Christmas trees have already started to appear in living rooms and lights can be seen down local high streets, which means only one thing - the festive season is very nearly upon us.

Whether you're into Christmas markets or pantomimes, there's something for everyone happening in Cardiff this year.

We've rounded up some of the best events happening in Cardiff over the festive period.

Read more:Free things to do during Christmas 2021 in and around Cardiff


Cardiff Christmas Market

Cardiff Christmas Market is open until December 23

The annual Cardiff Christmas Market is well underway, with a huge range of craft and food stalls on offer for you to spend a day browsing and picking up gifts for loved ones.

With Alpine-style bars selling mulled wine, beer, and hot chocolates and bratwurst stalls with hot dogs and rolls, there's plenty of food to keep you fuelled as you browse the range of stalls.

There are also plenty more stalls selling all kinds of food, including 'dirty' hot chocolates, mulled cider, raclette, and marshmallows dipped in chocolate.

The market attracts visitors from all across Wales every year. The market is open between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 6pm on Sundays and will be here until December 23 this year.

Indie Superstore Christmas Night Market

The Indie Superstore is a hub of outdoor markets based across Cardiff, with sites at The Railway Hotel, Corporation Yard, and Clearwater Parade.

Now, for the festive season, they will be hosting a weekly Christmas night market at The Railway Hotel in Llandaff North. Every Friday between 5pm and 9pm, the market will feature hot food and drinks, music, and mulled wine, with a whole range of market stalls to explore.

Riverside Real Food Christmas Markets

The Riverside market takes place every Sunday, and now it has been granted permission to run two Christmas markets.

A Christmas market in Roath will take place on December 22 between 4pm and 6pm, and the Riverside Christmas market will take place on December 23 between 5pm and 8pm - perfect to get you in the mood for the big day, or pick up any last-minute gifts.

St David's Dewi Sant Shopping Centre

There are over 150 shops, restaurants, and cafes for you to spend a day doing your Christmas shopping at St David's Shopping Centre and, while the shopping centre is usually open until 8pm between Monday and Friday, there will be different opening hours in the run-up to Christmas to allow you to fit in even more shopping.

Between December 20 and 23, the shopping centre will be open between 9:30am and 9pm and from 9am to 5pm on Christmas Eve.

Pantomimes and shows

Aladdin at the New Theatre

There are a range of shows this year in Cardiff to keep the whole family entertained

If you're looking for some festive fun, this year's panto at the New Theatre is Aladdin, starring Paul Chuckle, Gareth Gates, Gareth Thomas, and Mike Doyle alongside Stephanie Webber and Denquar Chupak.

The show is set to be packed with classic pantomime ingredients to create a festive experience for the whole family. There are also accessible performances, with audio-described, British Sign Language interpreted, captioned, and relaxed performances throughout the period.

The pantomime is on show between December 4 and January 2. Click here to find out more.

Beauty and the Beast at the Wales Millennium Centre

Disney's Beauty and the Beast will be showing at the Wales Millennium Centre from December 9 to January 15.

The re-imagining of the 'tale as old as time' is set to be brought to life on the stage in Cardiff, after debuting on Broadway 26 years ago.

There is also a relaxed performance on January 11 at 5pm. Click here to find out more details.

The Nutcracker at St David's Hall

This classic Christmas ballet is set to come to the stage at St David's Hall this festive season.

Performed by the Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia, the whole family can enjoy this famous ballet.

Performances will run between December 20-24, with a total run-time of an hour and 47 minutes, including an interval.

Click here for more information.

Along with this festive ballet, St David's Hall is also showing Cinderella on December 18-19, Swan Lake on December 27-30, and Romeo and Juliet on December 31 to January 2. Click here for more information.

Lexicon Circus

Set to come to Sophia Gardens over the festive period is the amazing Lexicon circus company. The company are coming to Cardiff with their Festive Comeback Special in a fully-heated Big Top with food, drinks, and a licensed bar.

The show is set to be full of incredible spectacles, from acrobatics to tight-rope walking and is advertised as 'an experience like no other.'

Book tickets and find out more information here.

A Christmas Carol at the Sherman Theatre

Gary Owen's adaption of this classic Christmas tale is on at the Sherman Theatre, and this time it's set in Cardiff, 1843.

Shows are running until December 31, and there are accessible performances throughout this period, including relaxed, audio described, captioned, and British Sign Language interpreted performances.

Some performances are already sold out, so book your tickets here.

Festive Fun

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland is back in Cardiff for Christmas 2021

The much-loved Winter Wonderland is back for Christmas 2021. It's now split across two locations at City Hall Lawn and Cardiff Castle.

At Cardiff Castle, you can enjoy the ice rink and ice walk set in the historic castle grounds, as well as festive food and drinks, including Yorkshire pudding wraps.

At the City Hall Lawns, you'll find family funfair rides and games, featuring a big wheel which gives you views across the city. There's plenty of food and drink on offer too, with the Sur La Piste ski lodge bar and the new Ice Bar, as well as stalls selling carvery rolls, hot chocolate and more.

Winter Wonderland is here until January 3.

Santa's Grotto

What would Christmas be without a visit from Santa? The big man himself will be in Cardiff this year for your little ones to meet - and get in some present requests too.

Santa's Grotto in on Queen Street until December 24 and open daily from 10:30am. Walk-ins are available, with the price per child costing £7.50 - which includes a present - and photos can be purchased from £6.

Bute Park Light Walk

The light trail in Bute Park is now open

The Bute Park Christmas light trail is now open to explore until December 31. The park has been taken over by some dazzling light displays, from an avenue of twinkling trees to laser shows, and mirror-balls hanging from the trees. Read our review here.

There's also funfair rides, street food, and mulled wine on offer, as well as a fire area to keep yourself cosy. You can purchase tickets here.

Street Food Cinema

The drive-in cinema is back with a whole host of films to see you through the festive period.

There's a film for everyone, from Christmas classics like Elf and Home Alone to Die Hard.

There's also set to be some special effects and pre-show surprises to add to the Christmassy experience. A range of delicious street food will also be on offer to order via your phone to your car.

Believe at St David's

St David's is hosting 'Santa's Magical Reindeer Grotto' this year, where children will have a chance to make reindeer food for Christmas Eve and meet Santa himself. They will also received a wrapped gift of an age appropriate book to take home with them.

Get your tickets and find out more information here.

Cardiff Santa and Elf Dash

This fun-run in Cardiff Bay is raising money for Calon. Whether you decide to walk or run, you can get dressed up in a festive costume and complete this 5km dash to raise money for a good cause.

Returning for 2021, the festivities will begin at 10am on December 5, with the 'dash' beginning at 12pm from Roald Dahl Pass, around the Barrage and back.

Sign up here.

There's an Underground Cinema as well as an ice rink and ice walk at Cardiff Castle this Christmas

Christmas Underground Cinema at Cardiff Castle

For December, Cardiff Castle is hosting an Underground Cinema in its atmospheric Undercroft which dates back to the 15th century.

They'll be showing a range of Christmas classics for both kids and adults, including Elf, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Home Alone, Gremlins, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express, The Muppets Christmas Carol, and Die Hard.

Find out more and book tickets here.

For the grown-ups

Christmas Bingo Lingo at Depot

Bingo Lingo is back at Depot for the Christmas season with Bingo Lingo: The Christmas Circus.

The event promises acrobatics, fire breathing and singers, along with hits from The Greatest Showman. As well as all this, there are set to be dance-offs, twerk-offs, and 'on-stage festive mischief,' with prizes up for grabs.

Tickets are selling quickly and some days are already sold out, so grab yours here.

Party at the Parkgate

For a glamorous experience over the Christmas period, head to the Parkgate Hotel for their Christmas party.

With live entertainment, dinner, drinks, and a disco, the dress code is an optional 1920s fancy dress theme or Black Tie - no ripped jeans allowed.

Most of their dates are sold out, so be sure to book your place quickly. Find out more here.

Adult Lates at Techniquest

On December 10, Techniquest will be open after dark for an adults-only evening. There will be a paid bar, street food station and two floors open for activities with over 50 exhibits.

Among these will be a Star Tour in the 360 degree Planetarium. Find out more here.

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