Christmas Events in Essex – Updated for 2023

In the mood to do something festive? You’re in luck- Essex is a fantastic place to be at this time of year.

There are so many exciting Christmas events in Essex that there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

From craft fairs, workshops, and markets, to pantomimes, grottos, and food and drink fairs, there are so many Essex Christmas events to choose from that you’ll be feeling festive in no time.

Magic of Christmas at Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo, Maldon Rd, Heckfordbridge, Colchester, CO3 0SL

The Santa Experience

Journey through our magical Santa Experience filled with festive scenery and cheeky elves, where you will also have the chance to meet Santa himself and take home Spirit, the White Tiger cuddly toy!

25th & 26th November, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th to 24th December 2023.


Reindeer Experience

Visit our Reindeer stables and experience a close encounter with Ash, Ronnie and Sami, in this exclusive experience on selected dates throughout November, December and January.


Magic of Christmas

Immerse yourself in the wonderful Christmas atmosphere with our festive activities on 25th & 26th November, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th to 24th December 2023.

Find out more about each of our Magic of Christmas activities below.

Elves’ Workshop – Feel festive and create magical crafts with our elves at their workshop. • Small cost applies. Crafts vary daily.

Face Painting – Transform into your favourite Christmas character. • Small cost applies.

Enchanted Woodland – Journey through the magical woodland and discover our many fairies and pixies and their homes.

Santa’s Reindeer Stable – Journey through the forest where you will be able to see our reindeer friends.

Post Box – Bring your Christmas list for Santa and post it in our post box for express delivery to the North Pole!

Christmas Road Train – Sing along and enjoy the view on board the road train. • Duration approx. 10 mins. Queues likely.

Christmas Tales – Join our Elves as they tell the tale of Santa’s new Tiger friend! • Duration approx. 20 mins.

Christmas Photo Point – Take home a magical memory from your festive day out with us. • Small cost applies.

Christmas Market | Colchester Town Hall

Colchester Town Hall, High St, Colchester, CO1 1PJ

Come join us at The Colchester Town Hall Christmas Market.

Stalls will include cards, festive refreshments, jewellery, beauty, ornaments, personalised gifts and MORE.

Sunday 26th November 2023

Sunday 10th December 2023

Colchester Christmas Evening Market

Mercury Theatre, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1PT

Wonderful selection of top quality local food and drink stalls as well as delicious street food, mulled wine and Christmas carols sung by the choir from the Mercury Theatre!

Saturday 16th December 2023


Christmas Fair at Layer Marney Tower

East Court, Tower, Essex, CO5 9US

An opportunity to get your Christmas shopping all wrapped up in one spectacular venue.

With over 120 stalls featuring a vast range of food and drink, gifts, handcrafted items and festive decorations, we are sure you will find the perfect gift.


  • Friday 17th November – 3pm to 8pm
  • Saturday 18th November – 10am to 6pm
  • Sunday 19th November – 10am to 5pm

Made in Colchester Christmas Makers’ Market 2023

One Colchester Community Hub, 4-6 Long Wyre Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1LH

Join us at the Made in Colchester Christmas Makers’ Market 2023 and find unique gifts handmade and designed by local artists and designers.

Sat 2nd December 2023

10:00 – 16:00

Businesses in Essex

Hedingham Castle | Essex

Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex, CO9 3DJ

Blackbrook Lodges | Essex

Blackbrook Stud Farm, Ivy Lodge Road, Great Horkesley, Colchester, Essex, CO6 4EN

Get To Know Animals | London Mini Zoo

Forest Lodge Commercial Complex, High Road, Epping, Essex, CM16 5HW

Luigi’s Al Fresco | Essex

21 Market Hill, Maldon, Essex, CM9 4PZ

Channels Estate Hotel | Essex

Channels Hotel, Pratts Farm Lane East, Chelmsford , Essex, CM3 3PT

Little Easton Manor | Essex

Park Road, Little Easton, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 2JN

Colchester Climbing Project

Unit B&C Global Park, 12 Moorside, Colchester, Essex, CO1 2TJ

The Crown Wormingford | Pub

Main Road, Wormingford, Essex, CO6 3AB

Dedham Boathouse Boat Hire

Mill Lane, Dedham, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6DH

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