Step into Christmas in Plymouth! There’s still plenty of safe, socially distanced family fun to enjoy this festive season, from thrilling theatre shows to beautiful light displays.

Theatrical fun

The Theatre Royal Plymouth has reopened with three fantastic festive shows, offering something for all the family. All the shows are socially distanced and there are lots of safety precautions in place.

For little ones, check out The Gingerbread Man, a delightful show filled with puppetry, live action, music and humour. With no scary bits, it’s perfect for kids aged from three to ten years old – and their adults - and retells the well-loved classic story.

If you’re after something a little bit different and have older kids or teens to entertain this festive season, try The Thing That Came From Over There. Inspired by sci-fi B-movies of the 1950s, it’s a fast paced ride filled with spine-tingling silliness and comedy galore. 

And for a traditional Christmas treat, you can’t go wrong with a panto! This year, an all-star cast featuring Les Dennis and Simon Webbe will take to the stage for a specially produced, socially distanced, one act pantomime that the entire family will love. Get ready for a swashbuckling adventure full of dangerous buccaneers, and a magical journey across the ocean in the all-new production of Robinson Crusoe.

Robinson Crusoe pantomime with image of all-star cast


‘Tis the ‘sea’son

The National Marine Aquarium is the perfect location for a wintery day out – all undercover, there’s no need to worry about the weather, and there’s lots of fishy festive fun to experience. The aquarium will be twinkling with lights from the Ocean as it shines a spotlight on all things bioluminescent, with a special trail to follow.

And while you’re there, keep an eye out for the big man himself as Santa enjoys diving in the aquarium’s Eddystone exhibit during the 1.30pm dive shows on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!

Scuba diving elf and Santa in the tank at the National Marine Aquarium


Bear-y Christmas

Take a wander across the waterfront this Christmas in search of some adorable bear cubs, as the Polar Bear Trail returns! This year the trail has taken a vibrant twist as each bear has been given their own individual sense of style, with each one having been painted by either local school children or top Plymouth-based artists: Loci, Lee J Art, Arth Lawr and Steve Evans.

The bears can be found hiding in businesses around the Barbican, Mount Batten and in Royal William Yard and they’re easy to find – just download the free Plymouth Trails App! Every child that completes the trail will receive a special badge and a sweet treat at the final location.

And the bear-themed fun doesn’t end there either. You’ve heard of Elf on a Shelf, but now get ready for ‘Polar Bear on a Chair’. One cheeky bear cub will be at the Tourist Information Centre and if you snap a selfie with him, you could win your very own giant cuddly polar bear toy worth £200. To enter, share your selfie on Facebook tagging the @ChristmasInPlymouth Facebook page and use #PolarBearOnAChair. The Tourist Information Centre will be open for selfies Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and Saturdays, 10am to 4pm.

Three painted polar bear cub statues


May your days be merry and bright

Step into a wondrous world of make believe at Mount Edgcumbe this Christmas with Wonder Nights, featuring amazing light shows and beautiful illuminations. Walk through the grade-one listed formal gardens for a truly unique story-based adventure, as you discover 12 magical realms – it’s sure to delight the entire family.

The Christmas lights are also on in the city centre and along the Barbican, so why not go for a wander with the family to soak up the atmosphere? Pop into some of our fantastic local shops on the way to finish off your Christmas shopping and when it gets chilly, warm up with a delicious festive treat from the food stalls on the Piazza or at one of Plymouth’s brilliant cafes.

Don’t miss the beautiful 15 foot Christmas tree at Royal William Yard too, standing proudly on the lawn. Plus the historic Yard is lit up after dark, with bright colours illuminating the impressive listed buildings.

Christmas lights on Southside Street in Plymouth, spelling out The Barbican


What’s in The Box?

Not only is our new museum and art gallery, The Box, home to a fantastic shop filled with brilliant gift ideas for family members of all ages, they also have some extra special Christmas activities for the whole family to take part in. You can enjoy a very special breakfast with Santa at The Box Kitchen and Bar, take part in a Christmas workshop to make your own decoration inspired by The Box’s collections or experience the museum after-hours at one of the special festive Family Lates sessions.


Stay safe

We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy Christmas in Plymouth, so please make sure you’re following the latest coronavirus guidance and don’t forget the Hands, Face, Space rules:

  • Hands: Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds and make sure you do this before leaving home and as soon as you arrive back. Use hand sanitiser while you are out and about.
  • Face: Check you have your face covering with you before leaving home and wear it in enclosed space where social distancing may be difficult, for example on public transport, in shops and before you’re seated in a restaurant. Make sure it covers your nose.
  • Space: Stay two metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or one metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings).




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