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Barbican Lights Switch-on

The Barbican & Sutton Harbour

Add Barbican Lights Switch-on to your Itinerary

Barbican Lights Switch-on

About us

This year’s Christmas lights switch-on at The Barbican and Sutton Harbour has been re-scheduled to take place on Saturday 4 December, from 12pm to 6pm. We have carried over as much entertainment and activities as we were able, due to availability at this busy time of the year. We apologise for any inconvenience this change has caused, but hope you will join us on Saturday for some festive fun!

Join us on Saturday 4 December for an afternoon of festive fun and entertainment for all the family to enjoy. Brought to you by Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, the day will start at 12pm until 6pm.

FREE Children’s Activities

Outdoor rides are subject to weather conditions

12pm to 5pm | Face painting, from the Tourist Information Centre.

12pm to 4.30pm | Visit Santa's wonderful grotto in the Barbican Theatre

12pm to 5.30pm | Santa's Sleigh, at the entrance to Southside Street - a great place for a family photograph and weelchair accessible.

12pm to 4pm (running every hour) | Christmas storytelling with hot chocolate, at The Maritime Inn. 

12pm to 5pm / Giant snow globe, at Quay Square - it's the perfect spot for a snowy selfie! 

12pm to 5pm | Reindeer rodeo ride at Quay Square

12pm to 5pm | Free children's merry-go-round ride on West Pier


Christmas Trail

From 27 November 2021 to 1 January 2022, the 12 'Displays' of Christmas trail will be available. Walk or cycle along Plymouth's stunning Waterfront, to find the 12 winter wonderland LED displays. Download the free Plymouth Trails App below, and follow the map.

Entertainment at Quay Square 12.30pm - 5pm

In the lead up to the countdown to the Christmas lights switch-on, we will be joined by local choirs and performers, who will be spreading some Christmas cheer across the Barbican. 

There will also be local choirs performing on Southside Street (outside Peardrops, 11 Southside Street) where you can enjoy their performances from 2.30pm to 4pm. 

Look out for Vinny the magician who performing his magic tricks and the Elf stilt walkers.


If you are a local choir, school or community group who would like to sing at the event, and available between 12pm and 4pm on Saturday 4 December, we would love to hear from you!  

Please contact the Events Team:

Christmas Parade 

4.45pm to 5.15pm | Starting at the Tourist Information Centre and heading up Southside Street, finishing at the main performance area. Everyone is welcome to join the Christmas parade led by the Barbican Theatre’s giant 7m elf puppet and accompanied by the junk band. Don’t forget to wear your elf costume!

The Countdown for Switch-on

5.20pm | The Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Terri Beer turning on the Christmas lights, along with Santa and our local Community Hero’s Caine Taylor and Ethan Brierley, as nominated by the people of Plymouth.

Christmas Shopping and Festivities 

The Barbican has a wonderful selection of shops and galleries, helping you to find that perfect Christmas gift, or maybe some tasty festive treats. Businesses are able to join in a Best Dressed Christmas Window Display competition, so while you are strolling the cobbled streets take a look at the brilliant creative displays. It’s also a great place to take on some refreshments, with a wide choice of top places to eat and drink, from locally caught fish and chips, to zingy cocktails, you will find something delicious to suit all tastes.

Please note: 

  • Southside street will be closed at the junction of Notte Street from 11am to 7pm on Saturday 4 December
  • Please remember it's likely to be crowded during this event, you can help keep people safe by wearing a face covering.
  • Face coverings are now compulsory in shops and settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt. All hospitality settings are exempt.

All of the above times and event activities were correct at the time of going live, but is subject to change, particularly if the weather conditions change. Please keep an eye out on this page and Facebook @whatsonplymouth for the most up to date information. 




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