Christmas can take its toll on budgets and as we all feel the pinch, we want to enjoy Christmas to the fullest while getting the best value for money. Luckily this year in Chester there are a variety of ways to enjoy Christmas that won’t break the bank. There’s a host of affordable events, attractions and more, and some completely free things to do this Christmas in Chester. We’ve put together a selection of ways to enjoy the festive season in Chester while saving, too:


See all the trees

For just £2.50 per person (adults and children over 5 years), you can experience the magic of Chester Cathedral’s Christmas Tree Festival. Open from 25 November – 8 January, there will be over 90 trees fully decked out throughout the historic halls of the Cathedral.

Christmas Tree festival. Credit Mark Carline


Take in a Christmas show and save

Storyhouse’s Christmas productions are a staple of the Chester Christmas calendar and this year they present The Snow Queen from 10 December – 15 January. Adapted from the classic Hans Christian Andersen story, The Snow Queen follows Gerda on her epic journey through the seasons to save her best friend Cei from the icy clutches of The Snow Queen, meeting pouting princes and tap-dancing reindeers along the way! Storyhouse have made it their most affordable production ever with all seats just £18 for members for many performances. If you join as a member, you’ll get more than the cost back with just one ticket!

The Snow Queen. Credit Storyhouse


Take a tour through Christmas' past

Brand new this Christmas, The Chester Tour bring The Christmas Tour. With your friendly, knowledgeable guide you'll take a tour through Christmas through the ages in Chester. From the Roman Saturnalia festivities, through the Nordic myths and the nostalgic Victorian idyll, you'll explore the customs, rituals and beliefs from many countries and religions that have all contributed to the way we celebrate today. Tours take place at 2pm Thursday-Sunday from 1 - 23 December (excluding 9 December) and tickets are just £10 per adult (16+) with up to two under 16s going free with each adult. 

Christmas in Chester


Celebrate with the Christmas Market

Celebrating its tenth year the Chester Christmas Market is back from 18 November – 21 December. There’s 70 stalls filled with local, independent and artisan wares including craft spirits, sustainable water bottles, hand-crafted homewares, fragrances, jewellery, local produce and more. It’s a great place to enjoy the festive atmosphere and there’s no entry charge.

Chester Christmas Market


Experience a Christmas Bazaar on the Rows

Chester’s historic and mysterious Rows are playing host to a range of affordable and completely free festive activities this year. The Rows Christmas Bazaar runs from 19 November - 18 December and features all kinds of Christmas fun including free face painting, free story time, free Christmas crafts, Christmas carolling, wreath making and more.

If you’re looking for a great free activity there’s also the new Rows Time Travelling Treasure Hunt trail. It’s completely free and great for families to explore the Rows. You can download the trail map and activity sheet or pick one up from the Chester Visitor Information Centre. For the grown-ups there’s also the Discover the Rows walking audio tour, which is also completely free and can be enjoyed alongside the Time Travelling Treasure Hunt.

The Rows at Christmas


Take your place at one of Chester’s famous parades

A real Chester spectacle, the annual festive parades in the city are not to be missed, plus they’re all free. There’s the 12 Days of Christmas Parade on 24 November, the Lanterns Parade on 30 November, and the Winter Watch and Saturnalia Parades on 8 and 15 December. Expect colourful characters, magical lights, rambunctious Romans, and lots of festive cheer.

12 Days of Christmas Parade


Celebrate Christmas with the Grosvenor Museum

The Grosvenor Museum, which is already a great affordable attraction that operates on a suggested donation basis, are offering a range of Christmas activities this festive season. On 18 and 19 November, the Grosvenor Museum, in collaboration with Refresh, artist Fabric Lenny and Urban Projections, present the Magic Lanterns. This completely free family-friendly trail features eight beautiful mini-projections hidden in the dark nooks and crannies of Chester's unique Rows. There’s also Christmas crafts every Friday from 3 – 17 December, and on 21 December the Museum is showcasing Christmas Through the Ages, where visitors can see real and replica Christmas objects and make some Christmas pudding potpourri to take home.


Save and celebrate with Cheshire Oaks

Cheshire Oaks is perfect for finding a deal. There are over 140 boutiques with big name and luxury brands at up to 60% off RRP, which makes saving on your Christmas shopping easier. Plus, this Christmas the Winter Village is back including an Alpine inspired German market, bookable chalets, giant Ferris wheel, and of course the Christmas tree, which stands at over 100ft tall, to add to the festivities. You can easily get to Cheshire Oaks from Chester using the 1 and 1X bus service with tickets from just £3.30, or if travelling by car parking is free.

Christmas at Cheshire Oaks


Travel back to a Christmas past

A very special Christmas event is coming to Chester’s 12th century Castle on 26 November. Ran in partnership with English Heritage you can experience Christmas past by listening to carols in the courtyard, meeting St Nicholas, and hearing about how Christmas was celebrated during the Medieval and Victorian periods. Entry is free with a daytime session from 11 am – 4pm and an after dark event 5 pm -7 pm.


Save with the Park & Ride

If you want to save on parking, you can always use Chester’s Park and Ride service from one of four locations. It’s just £2 to park and ride and up to 3 under 16s can travel with each adult ticket.  


Travel by rail and save

You can also save on train travel and save the stresses of driving. Transport for Wales operate regular services to Chester from Cardiff, Shrewsbury, Birmingham, and more, and you can save by booking direct and in advance.


Explore more of Christmas in Chester here

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