The Ultimate Guide to Christmas in Leeds

In partnership with Visit Leeds…

The most wonderful time of the year is almost upon us…

Leeds truly knows how to celebrate Christmas. This year, the Christmas Markets return after (what has felt like a very long) four years, there’s going to be more to explore this year than ever before.

And we’ve got everything you need to know!

Just like big Tescos has everything you need to do that big Christmas dinner shop, we’ve got a one-stop guide to everything you need to know about Christmas in Leeds this year. 

Want to find a heartfelt gift for a loved one and support a local Yorkshire business? We’ve got you covered. Need to find a Christmas show or panto? Try six options for size. Or how about restaurants open on December 25th for a festive dinner without any of the washing up – yep, there’s seven here, and a whole list of places with Christmas foodie specials to taste test in the meantime too…

Keep reading for the ultimate guide to Christmas in Leeds…

Leeds Christmas Markets

Various locations around Leeds | Open from Friday 24 November 2023

When: From 10am, Friday 24 November 2023 – 6pm, Friday 22 December

Where: Twelve different locations around Leeds

This is the one everybody has been waiting for…

Leeds has been waiting four years for the return of the much-loved Christmas Markets, so you can bet that their first year back is going to be bigger and better than ever, drawing crowds from near and far.

So far, twelve different locations have been confirmed across the city centre to host around 100 traders – so there’s going to plenty of local indies and international stallholders to explore.

There will be artisan gifts and handcrafted goods aplenty on offer, with a standout selection of food and drink options that embody the Christmas spirit we all know and love around this time of year. Hog roast, Italian chocolates and specialty cheeses are just the beginning…

The final details are still being confirmed about who we can expect where, but we do know that the Leeds Christmas Markets will be found at the following locations for the 2023 festive period:

  • City Square
  • Boar Lane outside Holy Trinity Church
  • Outside the Corn Exchange
  • Briggate
  • New Briggate
  • Albion Place
  • Lands Lane
  • Headrow
  • Cookridge Street
  • Bond Street
  • Dortmund Square
  • Millennium Square, next to the Ice Cube (more on this below)
Images: Unsplash

Opening from 10am Monday – Saturday and midday on Sundays, there’s truly going to be something for the whole family. Whether you’re watching the giant advent calendar open with the kids, or out with mates looking for a mugful of Glühwein to warm you from the cold – all twelve locations will bring the best of Leeds’ festive spirit alive.

The full opening hours for the Leeds Christmas Markets 2023 are as follows:

  •  Mondays: 10am-7pm
  • Tuesdays: 10am-7pm
  • Wednesdays: 10am-7pm
  • Thursdays 10am-9pm
  • Fridays: 10am-9pm
  • Saturdays: 10am-9pm
  • Sundays: 10am / 10.30am – 6pm

In addition to the Christmas Markets, there will also be a Nutcracker Trail around Leeds City Centre. Make sure to make a stop at The Headrow, Corn Exchange, City Square, Dortmund Square, Bond Street, New Briggate, Albion Street and Briggate (both the top and bottom ends) to find out what the excitement’s all about.

Find out more here.

Food and Drink at the Leeds Christmas Markets

Images: The Hoot Leeds

Since the markets were last in the city a lot has changed, including the cost of pretty much everything (looking at you, my energy bills).

That means that the previous prices at the Leeds Christmas Markets have changed too.

If you’re heading out to enjoy a mulled wine, a few pints, or a festive feast, you’ll be wanting to know how to budget. And where to find the cheapest pint, obviously.

We’re here to help.

Here is the list of food and drink prices at the Leeds Christmas Markets 2023.

Millennium Square and Victoria Gardens

Millennium Square | Open from Friday 24 November 2023

big wheel lit up by purple lights.
Image: Supplied

When: From Friday 24 November – Sunday 31 December 2023

Where: Millennium Square and Victoria Gardens, Calverley Street, Leeds, LS2 3AD

Ice Cube on Millennium Square is the perfect place to test out your ice skating skills – and whether you’re a pro on the ice or it’s just your first time skating, there’s different timings to suit every ability. There’s Penguin Club for little ones looking for some extra assistance, lessons with a National Ice Skating Association instructor and a dedicated accessible skating session for wheelchair users and those with additional needs; all in addition to the general public skates that take place each day.

In addition to the skating rink, you’ll find craft, food and drink stalls and a full family funfair with themed rides, like Rescue Rudolph, Santa’s Super Shooter, a giant Snow Globe and the North Pole Funhouse.

And for the traditionalists amongst you take a ride on the vintage carousel or The Wheel of Light which will give you spectacular views of the city. Plus, Thor’s Tipi will also be there – but more of that later!

The current opening times for Millennium Square and Victoria Garden’s festivities are as follows:

Ice Skating Rink

  • Monday – Thursdays: 12.30pm – 9.15pm 
  • Fridays: 12.30pm – 10.15pm
  • Saturdays: 10.15am – 7.15pm
  • Sundays: 10.30am – 7.15pm
  • Christmas Day and Boxing Day: CLOSED
  • Wednesday 27 December – Friday 29 December: 10.30am – 9.15pm (10.15pm on Friday)

Big Wheel

  • 12pm-8pm daily
  • Christmas Day and Boxing Day: CLOSED


  • Monday – Saturday: 12pm-9.30pm 
  • Sundays: 12pm – 7pm
  • Christmas Day and Boxing Day: CLOSED

Find out more here.

Christmas Shopping

christmas trees lit up inside Trinity.
Image: Visit Leeds

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without any presents, if you believe Jo March’s famous opening lines to Little Women are anything to go by, and although, of course, Christmas is about much more than giving and receiving, in our modern world we’re not going to deny that Christmas shopping is a huge part of the festive buildup. 

To make your shopping trips as easy as possible, we’ve rounded up a list of shopping centres where you’ll find the essentials. Think stocking fillers, wrapping paper and even one-off handmade gifts – there’s something for everyone here.

Click here for the ultimate guide to Christmas shopping in Leeds.

Independent shopping

Bonobo record held up next to other records.
Image: The Hoot Leeds
person in red coat carrying wrapping paper tubes in a tote bag.
Image: Unsplash

As a city that thrives on independent traders, it’s no surprise that when it comes to Christmas shopping, Leeds has limitless places to find everything from an office Secret Santa gift to a heartfelt gift for a loved one to treasure forever, all which support a local shop owner or artist.

If you’re unsure on where to begin your shopping trip, we’ve located all the best hotspots for you to mooch around…

Click here for the ultimate guide to independent shopping this Christmas in Leeds.

Christmas Shows and Pantos

Pantomime season is almost here…oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is.

two people leaping into the air from the nutcracker.
Image: Northern Ballet

Nothing screams Christmas more than heading to the theatre on a cold, crisp evening and watching a brilliant show. Whether you want to risk being pulled on stage by a lavish panto dame or prefer a more civilised evening at the ballet, there’s so many productions happening in and around Leeds this season for you to enjoy.

Click here for the ultimate guide to Christmas shows and pantos in Leeds.

Places to see Santa 

Want to see Mr or Mrs Santa Claus this Christmas? You’re sure to find one of them inside one of the many grottos. Father Christmas is extremely busy this year so there’s a few different bases dotted around the city centre and beyond to find Santa this year with his trusty elves by his side. 

Click here for the best places to find Father Christmas in Leeds.

Christmas Lights

Image: Visit Leeds

A large part of Christmas is wandering around and seeing all the festive lights. As well as the traditional offers in our shopping centres – Victoria, Trinity, Corn Exchange etc…  and throughout the city on the Leeds Christmas Markets, LeedsBID have organised some extra special pieces perfect for those festive photographs.

Drape Lighting, Trinity Church, Boar Lane – From Friday 3 November 2023

Festive Lights Tree, St Peter’s Square – From Friday 3 November 2023

Winter Decorations, Briggate with James Glancy Design – Friday 24 November 2023 -Sunday 10 March 2024

Christmas projection, The Queens Hotel with artists onionlab – Running Friday 15 -Saturday 23 December from 4.30pm-8.30pm with 10 mins show running every 30 minutes.

Alternative Markets

Just because the Leeds Christmas Market is making its return this year it doesn’t mean we can forget about all the other alternative markets in and surrounding the city. From an adorable market lit by candlelight to one that’s been around since the 90s, we’re really spoilt for choice this year.

Leeds Winter Market

Royal Armouries | Sunday 3 December 2023, 10.30am – 5.30pm

people walking around market stalls with masks on.
Image: Leeds Winter Market

When: Sunday 3 December 2023, 10.30am – 5.30pm

Where: New Dock Hall, Armouries Drive, Leeds Dock, LS10 1LT

Leeds’ biggest independent winter market is back for another year and the organisers are already promising over 100 stalls. Find the perfect gift from a local artist, designer, printmaker, florist or artisan food sellers and shop knowing you’re supporting small businesses across the region.

Find out more here.

Harewood House Artisan Market

Harewood House | Sunday 12 November 2023,  10am – 4pm

outside of big house with garden lit up in yellow lights.
Image: Harewood House

When: Sunday 12 November 2023,  10am – 4pm 

Where: Harewood House, Leeds LS17 9LG

Back by popular demand, Harewood House is bringing back its Artisan Market once again for 2023 and it’ll be bigger and better than ever before. Across five days, there will be 100+ local makers and crafters taking over the beautiful Harewood estate.

Find out more here.

Christmas Tipis

Ideally, a pub crawl around every single tipi in town will let you test out the best cocktails, cosiest blankets and warmest spot by the fire. But realistically, once you’ve sat down with your mulled wine at your first stop, we bet you won’t want to leave.

Luckily, all of these tipis will keep you warm and well-fed throughout the night so no matter how many you visit, you’ll be able to get into the Christmas spirit in style.

Thor’s Tipi

Victoria Gardens, outside Leeds Art Gallery | Open from Friday 17 November 2023

Image: THOR’S Tipi Leeds

Where: Victoria Gardens, Millennium Square, Leeds City Centre, LS2 3AD

When: From Friday 17 November – Sunday 31 December 2023,  open 12pm-11pm Monday – Saturday and 12pm-8pm Sundays, with last orders called 30 minutes before

Thor’s Tipi is something that’s become a real Christmas staple in Leeds. Serving up 170,000 pints, 125,000 cups of mulled wine and 55,000 hot chocolates each season, Thor’s is seasoned in the festive drinks game, so take a seat by the fire and cosy up with your favourite festive tipple.

Find out more here.

Green Room

Wellington Street, Leeds City Centre | Open from Thursday 4 October 2023

Image: Supplied, PGHL

Where: 36 Wellington Street, Leeds City Centre, LS1 2DE

During summer, Green Room is voted to have one of the best rooftops in Europe, but as the sunny days grow further apart and we spend more time staring at the stars (or let’s face it, the rain) than we do sunshine, Green Room offers us a cosy alternative to bring the outside in. This year, you’ll find drinks from local suppliers on the bar, roasts from Braizin’ Squad on the weekend, and fire pits and heat lamps dotted throughout.

Find out more here.


City Square | Launch date TBC

Where: City Square, Leeds City Centre,  LS1 1PJ

Back for a second year, Banyan’s huge tipi at City Square will keep the festive spirit alive with smokey fires and glasses of mulled wine on even the darkest and wettest of winter days.

Find out more here.

Christmas Music and Performances

Christmas music is undoubtedly one of the best parts of the festive season. Give us any chance to sing Mariah Carey at the top of our lungs or watch carol singers get together for heartwarming singalongs that bring the whole community together.

Christmas by Candlelight

Left Bank | Sunday 12 December 2023, 7pm – 10pm

candle lit room.
Image: Left Bank Leeds

When: Sunday 12 December 2023, 7pm – 10pm

Where: Cardigan Road, Burley, Leeds, LS6 1LJ

Left Bank is welcoming a festive celebration that brings together the local community with spoken word, music, warming food options and (most importantly) mulled wine this Christmas and it’s the ideal chance to see the beautiful Grade II* listed, former church, in all its glory. Lit head-to-toe in candlelight, the Christmas by Candlelight celebrations will be serenaded by a selection of poems, reading and music from local artists. 

Find out more here.

Lord Mayor Christmas Carol

Leeds Minster, Leeds City Centre | Thursday 14 December 2023, from 6.30pm

person reading sheet of music.
Image: Unsplash

When: Thursday 14 December 2023, from 6.30pm

Where: 2-6 Kirkgate, Leeds City Centre, LS2 7DJ

The annual Christmas carol concert is taking place at Leeds Minster this year for the Lord Mayor’s Charity Appeal. Joined by Rothwell Temperance Brass Band, it’s set to be a memorable one.

Brudenell Social Club

Burley | Sunday 17 December 2023, from 3pm

stage with people playing guitars on.
Image: Wikicommons

When: Sunday 17 December 2023, from 3pm

Where: 33 Queen’s Road, Burley, Leeds, LS6 1NY 

The Brudenell Social Club welcomes hundreds of bands and artists to its two stages on a yearly basis, but this December the gig venue will be hosting a ‘full punk Christmas takeover’ for a good cause. Dirt Box disco, Geoffrey Oi!Cott, Knock Off and loads more will be heading to the Brud stage, with money raised supporting local food charity Batley Food Bank. 

Northern Guitars

Call Lane, Leeds City Centre | Every evening from 5pm

Images: The Hoot Leeds

When: Open everyday from 11am, music times vary

Where: 41 Call Lane, Leeds City Centre, LS1 7BT 

With live music on every single evening at Call Lane bar Northern Guitars, December will be no exception. Head down to cure the Monday blues or  start the weekend with a Friday night out and sing along the very best of the rock and indie genres with some festive covers thrown in.

Christmas Food and Drink

Christmas is one of the tastiest times of the year, and with endless turkey burgers, unlimited glasses of mulled wine and plenty of festive puns you could stuff them inside your Christmas cracker.

It really is the season to be merry, so here’s how Leeds is saying it with food…

mince pie pancakes.
Image: The Hoot Leeds
cocktails in bauble-shaped glasses.

Christmas food shopping and hampers

We all know that a major part of Christmas is of course…the food. From the controversial sprouts to pigs in blankets and that highly anticipated cheese board which you masterfully put together to unveil at the end of the night, it’s that one time of the year where you can keep the fridge stocked with a host of deliciousness to indulge on over the festive period.

And for that family member or friend who adores food and drink, what better gift to give than a delightful hamper overflowing with treats to take them blissfully into the New Year.

cheese and wines in a line.
Image: Bottle Chop
room full of cheese.
Image: The Cheesy Living Co.

So, we’ve pulled together a list of Leeds independents who can help make your Christmas food offering that little bit more special, and who also offer great gifting options to make you the most popular person in town.

Click here for the ultimate guide to Christmas food shopping and hampers in Leeds.

Christmas Specials

Image: The Hoot Leeds
Image: Gaucho

Nothing says Christmas like heading out for some pigs in blankets months before the big day, it’s almost like a warm up for the stomach ahead of December 25th. Leeds’ foodie scene has gone big this year on its festive specials, here’s a few that have been announced so far…

Click here for the ultimate guide to Christmas food shopping and hampers in Leeds.

Festive bottomless brunch

For those big groups looking for somewhere with copious amounts of Prosecco, bottomless brunches are a great option and this year, there’s plenty of Christmas spirit wrapped up in these boozy lunches… 


Multiple locations across Leeds | Launch date TBC

Image: ManahattaUK via Instagram

When: Served all day, every day

Where: Multiple locations across Greek Street, Merrion Street, Headingley and Harrogate.

Enjoy the famous Manahatta bottomless brunch with a Christmas twist this festive season. Two hours of unlimited cocktails like Berry Crumble Spritz and the classic Prosecco and Coors paired with seasonal twists on the classic Manahatta menu. Available at £39.95 and an extra £5 for some of the premium ‘uptown options’, you’re in for a real treat.

Hoot recommends: We love the tasty pork and bacon burger with chestnut sage stuffing, paired with apple and cranberry chutney, Monterey Jack cheese and served with skin-on fries, an onion ring and the ultimate festive treat: a pig in a blanket. Or for a lighter alternative, try the Christmas Bagel: spicy crispy coated chicken, pancetta, brie, pig in a blanket, cranberry and apple chutney and mayo, all stuffed inside a toasted bagel and served with skin-on fries.


15-17 Duncan Street | From Thursday 16 November 2023

pies on plates next to pigs in blankets.
Image: Pieminister

When: From Thursday 16 November 2023

Where: 15-17 Duncan Street, Leeds City Centre, LS1 6DQ

Pieminister’s bottomless festive feast will serve two courses of Christmas dinner pies, washed down with unlimited pints and Prosecco. This bottomless brunch is a far cry from pretentious cocktails and snacks: Pieminister has kept its menu simple, focusing on serving a quality two-course feast and unlimited booze for just £40 per person. 

It’s just what we need this winter. The menu has five festive pies and each sound, equally as delicious as the next. Inspired by the traditional British Christmas dinner, choose from fillings of turkey, venison, or beef with seasonal veggies and alcohol, all in one tasty pastry dish.

Hoot recommends: We think you need to try the ‘Cracker’ filled with free-range turkey, ham, cranberry, parsnips and cherry, whilst the ‘Mistle Moo’ is a boozy British beef steak pie with bacon and port. If you’re a vegetarian go for the ‘Christingle’ pie which is filled with honey roast parsnips, chestnuts, cheddar and leek, and the ‘Good Elf’ is a vegan pie with port, thyme, cranberry and vegan ‘turkey’ filling.


Multiple locations across Leeds | From Thursday 16 November 2023

Image: BanyanUK via Instagram

When: From Thursday 16 November 2023

Where: Multiple locations across City Square, Harrogate, Roundhay and Ilkley

Bringing the Christmas energy to City Square, Banyan is back again this year with a festive bottomless perfect for getting friends and family together. Enjoy a menu boasting brunch, burgers and festive twists on Banyan staples all washed down with 90 minutes of Prosecco, pints of Coors and a variety of cocktails. 

Hoot recommends: If you’re indulging in this bottomless we recommend you try the Brie, Bacon and Turkey Melt – it’s the perfect festive treat. Deep fried brie wedge, crispy bacon, succulent turkey and cranberry sauce on rustic ciabatta. Wash it down with as many Berry Crumble Spritz as you can fit into a ninety minute sitting, a balanced drink that tastes like your favourite season. 

Festive Afternoon Tea

Want to enjoy the best foodie offerings of the season without the hustle and bustle of a bottomless brunch bar? An afternoon tea is the perfect alternative, with fizz optional. 


Leeds Trinity  | Menu from £24 per person 

afternoon tea in abirdcage.
Image: Crafthouse

Where: 4th floor, Leeds Trinity, 70 Boar Lane, Leeds City Centre, LS1 6HW

You can enjoy a seasonal, festive afternoon tea in Leeds, curated by expert chefs with free-flowing Prosecco. 

Find out more here.


Greek Street, Leeds City Centre  | Menu from £27.50 per person 

afternoon tea with glass of fizz at the front.
Image: Dakota Leeds

Where: 8 Russell Street, Leeds City Centre LS1 5RN

A selection of buttery scones, roast turkey and cranberry sandwiches and festive sweet treats like mince pies and mini Yule logos. You can add a glass of fizz or a festive cocktail to complete the experience. 

Harewood House

Where: Harewood House, Harewood, LS17 9LG

Taking the signature afternoon tea to a whole new level by infusing it with the warmth and wonder of Christmas. With a selection of seasonal sandwiches like brie and cranberry or roast turkey alongside rum cream cakes and a fresh selection of teas, this is the perfect treat this December. 

Where to go for food on Christmas Day

steak on a plate next to cracker and red wine.
Image: Miller & Carter

Hands up if you don’t want to do any washing up this year on Christmas Day. Us too. Luckily, there’s plenty of bars and restaurants across the city that plan to open on December 25th. Choose from fancy five courses with Champagne or find a laid back turkey dinner at your local pub – whatever your preference, it’s still available on Christmas Day.

Click here for the ultimate guide to where to go for food on Christmas Day in Leeds.

Feature Image – Unsplash / Bottlechop

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