There will be nowhere quite as magical as Reading this Christmas. As the festive season starts to sparkle, a host of enchanting events will take place to complement the town’s top-class shopping and dining scene.
The town centre will host a breathtaking parade when Beautiful Creatures’ gigantic whale, Big Blue, is paraded down Broad Street. This gentle giant of the deep has a serious environmental message for children. Joining the whale will be a spectacular luminescent squid. Find out more about ocean sustainability and answer the call to become a plastic activist. There is also a whale workshop so you can join in the parade.
Meanwhile, Reading’s CCTV may catch a bunch of naughty elves up to no good around the town – tune in to find out what havoc they have been wreaking and see how, by meeting Reading’s children, they discover the error of their ways and are welcomed back to help Santa.
on Monday 3rd December, Reading Borough Council will be hosting Special Shopping Evening, for elderly and disabled people, between 5pm – 7pm , which will include lots of special offers, discounts, free refreshments and entertainment.The event gives elderly people and those with mobility issues a hassle free opportunity to do their Christmas shopping with free parking and assistance where required.
On Thursday 13th December, The Civic Carol Service is a highlight of the town’s festive season and hosted by Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin, in St Mary’s Butts, starting at 6.30pm. Members of the public are invited to join the service which will include a selection of favourite carols and lessons read by special guests.
The Snow Show on December 22 will have music, magic, carols, dance and the full Christmas spirit will greet the audience in the town centre. Father Christmas will also sleigh in to see those naughty elves and meet the friendly children of Reading.
And every day from December 1 to Christmas Eve, Reading’s Living Advent Calendar will take place in the town centre. Be amazed by 24 different events that truly represent Reading’s unique personality, from pop up choirs to theatrical performances, comedy, party games, history talks, belly dancing and more.
Reading has one of the best Christmas lights displays in the south east. 400,000 Christmas lights and an 8-metre high sparkling tree will illuminate the town, starting from the afternoon of Saturday, November 17 alongside a host of musical events and food stalls. On the Sunday, Broad Street Mall welcomes Dancing on Ice winner Jake Quickenden to light up the shopping centre and features a whole day of festive fun.
Add in to this magical mix, the traditional panto Aladdin at The Hexagon from December 8-January 6 with CBeebies favourite Justin Fletcher, Reading Between the Lines’ hilarious version of A Christmas Carol, heart-warming family fare with Reading Rep’s A New Coat for Christmas, plus other festive shows and you have a very merry programme.
There are also Christmas markets, puppet shows, carol concerts, riverside Christmas parades on Saturdays at The Oracle and creative Christmas workshops at Broad Street Mall.
Visitors to the town will also be charmed by the huge variety of shopping and dining. From our top name department stores like House of Fraser and Debenhams to indie shops selling games, gifts, art, delicious and unique foodie items and all that’s in between, you can literally buy anything here, all within a short walk. You can also buy unique gifts at the Christmas edition of ArtLine, a visual arts street market showcasing Reading’s local artists on Sunday 25 November.
Whether you want a snack or a festive meal on your visit there’s a whole range of eateries to choose from for a Christmas cracker of a treat, from fine dining to brasserie style eating, superb cafes for coffee and cakes to traditional cosy pubs.
Magical Christmas in Reading is managed and funded by Reading UK on behalf of Reading Business Improvement District with support from Reading Borough Council.
For all the information you need on Reading’s magical festive season including major stores’ opening hours go to www.magicalreading.co.uk