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Children look at Christmas Tree in Suffolk

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Christmas in Suffolk 2019

Ah Christmas, here you come again in all your tinsel-wrapped glory. Love it or not, the build up to the festive season is upon us and has made itself impossible to ignore.

So, in the spirit of embracing the twinkling glamour of it all, we have compiled a list of sparkling events coming up in Suffolk, to get you in the Yuletide mood...

Christmas tree at Ickworth House ©ShowCapture
The Christmas Tree dazzles at Ickworth House 

Christmas Fairs, Festivals & Markets

In the heart of glorious Suffolk sits some of the UK’s prettiest, medieval villages and towns.  You can find Christmas fairs here that are small, intimate and creative promoting lots of local businesses.  There are also plenty of independent shops and cafes to make Christmas present buying an enjoyable day out.

Perhaps the smallest place is the town of Clare - a Suffolk Wool Town, and where festivities are anything but boring at the Clare Christmas Fair with the Hells Bells Alternative Morris Dances, the Snow Queen, the Salvation Army brass band, and last, but not least, Father Christmas and his reindeer - dazzle us with their festive charm! (29th & 30th Nov).

Christmas shopping in Bury St Edmunds ©ShowCaptureFestive Shopping in Bury St Edmunds 

For a truly seasonal feast, the village of Lavenham really delivers. The half-timbered buildings lend themselves to creating a magical scene worthy of a Victorian Christmas card. Glimpse inside the houses at the roaring log fires, decorated trees and holly-laden mantelpieces and you can almost smell the mince pies and mulled wine.

Lavenham Christmas Fair
Lavenham at Christmas 

At Suffolk Food Hall just outside Ipswich little ones can enjoy breakfast with Santa’s helpers, take part in crafty activities and listen to Christmas stories. (22nd and 23rd Dec)  Explore the Food Hall and home store for some great ideas for gifts and decorations for the home.

Whilst close to Ipswich, pop into the town and visit The Saints district where you will find an exciting mix of cafes, shops and restaurants.  Whilst in Ipswich, you can also tie in a trip to Christchurch Mansion to see an exhibition of one of Suffolk's favourite singer/songwriter, Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk (until 3rd May 2020)

Christmas food and crafts ©ShowCapture
Visit markets and fairs for Christmas food gifts 

Ready to start your Christmas shopping? Then Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre has everything from home decorations to the perfect Christmas stocking filler! With 300 stalls and a backdrop dating over 1,000 years, you’re bound to get in the Christmas spirit. Expect traditional and contemporary arts, crafts and gifts, as well as food and drink from the region, and the world! (21st - 24th Nov)

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre
Visitors come from afar to see the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre
Newmarket is hosting Presents Galore, the perfect place to do your shopping and find that original and unique seasonal gift. (22nd - 24th Nov)
image of Christmas decorationPerfect stocking fillers for sale at many of Suffolk's Christmas craft fairs
Thought to be the largest in the country and earning its name of 'Suffolk's Christmas Tree Town', the fifteenth Stowmarket Christmas Tree Festival attracts 35,000 visitors and is seen as one of the region’s major winter attractions. Displaying 350 Christmas trees, the event is spread across locations in Stowmarket, including the Parish Church and the magnificent Abbots Hall in the Museum of East Anglian Life. A must on your Christmas ‘to-do’ list! (23rd Nov – 4th Jan)


Stowmarket Christmas Tree FestivalSuffolk's Christmas Tree Festival - one of the largest in the country!

Christmas 2019 Events

New for 2019 is the opportunity to explore nature by night on the sound and light based trail at Ickworth House's gothic Victorian Stumpery and Italian inspired ever green garden.  Bring your friends and family along and enjoy seasonal artisan food and drinks, the National Trust gift shop is open until late too. (22nd Nov - 6th Dec)

You can also put the 'ho ho ho' back into your Family Christmas at Ickworth House for their last ever Family Christmas Sparkle (there's a brand new family activity and separate house offer coming in 2020).  This is your last chance to experience the magic of Ickworth Sparkle! Children can listen to Christmas stories told by Father Christmas within the glow of the dazzling tree, before joining in the festive sing-a-longs and receiving a gift.

The illuminated Garden Trail at Helmingham Hall Gardens is back and is bigger and better than before.  It truly is a winter wonderland experience, together with a Christmas market full of crafts, gifts and local fayre. (23rd Nov & 8th Dec)

At Flatford Mill you can get crafty and Christmassy and learn how to create and decorate willow wreaths, make stained glass wreaths and glass decorations for the tree.  (various dates in Nov & Dec)

Father Christmas at Ickworth House near Bury St Edmunds ©ShowCapture
Storytelling with Father Christmas at Ickworth House

Many of our Christmas traditions were invented by Charles Dickens, so what better way to experience the festive season than at Kentwell Hall and Gardens and their Dickensian Christmas event? See the Victorian household and villagers relive history, meet Father Christmas in his Grotto, owls and reindeer, and enjoy Victorian entertainment in the Music Hall & magic show, and Carols by candlelight at the end of the day. Also, children can see how the Wicked Fairy has turned her house upside down, visit the Elves' training facilities in their Magic Kingdom and enter Narnia-land through the wardrobe. (7th – 8th & 14th - 15th Dec)

 Wonder the cloisters, the Millennium Tower and medieval stained glass windows under the majestic glow of candlelight on this special Candlelit tour of St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds. Mince pies and a warm drink will give you that extra glow. (12th Dec)

A Dickensian Christmas at Kentwell ©ShowCapture
A Dickensian Christmas at Kentwell Hall

 Head over towards the Suffolk coast for some Christmas treats for the children, they can help the elves and see the reindeer at Easton Farm Park and pet the animals and decorate cookies.  There's Christmas themed party food and a gift from Father Christmas. Parents are treated, too, with some hot refreshments and a slice of cake. (7th – 24th Dec various days)

For a real family affair, there's Africa Alive! as well as seeing all the animals there's the chance to meet Father Christmas and enjoy some festive craft making, as well as handle the animals in the Discovery Centre.  Each child leaves with a gift and plenty of special memories of their visit. (30th Nov, 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 19th - 24th Dec)

Christmas wreath ©ShowCapture 


New Christmas events are being added all the time, so do keep an eye on our events list. You could also sign up to our monthly newsletter and we will send you news of Suffolk events, special offers and competitions, right into your inbox.