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Where to Go in Cardiff for Christmas

With interesting events, all-day entertainment and plenty of places to go, Cardiff is one of the best cities to spend the most wonderful time of the year. As a vibrant and lively city, there’s something for families, kids, couples, and friends to celebrate Christmas in style. As a local removals company, we’ve been all over the city and seen the very best it has to offer. So let us give you some insider tips on where to head to for the holiday season.

1. Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland

This iconic attraction is unsurprisingly considered one the city’s highlights during the holidays. The place is every (big) kid-at-heart’s dream come true. Children and adults can skate at the Admiral Ice Rink or ride the Capital Big Wheel - a large Ferris wheel with birdseye views of Cardiff Castle. For food and refreshments, you can head over to the Alpine Village, where pop-up stalls serve beers, freshly grilled food, and crepes. Take note that it is closed on Christmas Day, but it will open its doors again on Boxing Day.

2. Santa’s Grotto

On Queen Street, Father Christmas is waiting in his log cabin for boys and girls to visit him. He and his elves will stay up until Christmas Eve. And, for a minimal charge of £6 - no mince pies necessary - a child with up to 2 accompanying adults can come in and take their photographs with the one and only.

3. Christmas Shows

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without taking in the holiday favourite The Nutcracker. The fantasy ballet performance runs at St. David’s Hall from December 21st to Christmas Eve.

Wales’ no. 1 pantomime returns this year with another spectacular show of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Running at The New Theatre, the show will feature an all-star cast. Bringing fairytale characters to life with amazing costumes, fantastic music and choreography, and realistic props. The same team, which has broken box office records for two consecutive years, is sure to bring the holiday cheer for both kids and parents alike.

4. Cardiff Christmas Market

With rows and rows of stalls selling local produce and handcrafted products, Cardiff has one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. It’s the perfect place to pick up some thoughtful, unique gifts and stocking fillers, and it’s open from now until the 23rd December - perfect for all you last-minute shoppers. It’s at the heart of the city and readily accessible from popular attractions, so there’s really no excuse for you to miss it.

5. The Castle Quarter

Cardiff’s 3 superb Victorian and Edwardian arcades, Castle Arcade, Duke Street Arcade, and High Street Arcade are vibrant shopping destinations, filled with an old-world charm. Especially under the romance of the Christmas lights.

Artist owned shops, bridal boutiques, vintage stores, jewellers, delis, and bookstores are all housed here, alongside some pretty excellent restaurants and cafes, to refuel at an all-day shop. Check out hot vegan lunch spot Crumbs, or Wally’s delicatessen for some beautifully fresh food.

6. Christmas Lunch at Restaurants

Luckily for you, Cardiff has no shortage of superb, local, restaurants - especially if you’re looking for something a little more extraordinary than the usual chain spots.

For the best in Welsh and British cuisine, dine in the renowned Laguna Kitchen and Bar. Previously hailed ‘Restaurant of the Year’ in the South Wales Echo Food & Drink Awards, the beautifully executed food, set in sleek modern dining, makes for a high-class dining experience.

If you’re looking for something a little more hands-on, get yourself down to the Grazing Shed. Their fresh to order burgers, homegrown ingredients and house-made lemonade has made them a firm favourite in the Cardiff restaurant scene. Vegetarians may also apply, as the Shed does a cracker of a veggie burger.

But if you’re feening for festive food, The Potted Pig is your best bet. Their seasonal menus, regularly updated to feature only the best of the local produce, and the fantastic array of gin cocktails has made them a popular spot all year round. Booking in advance is recommended here, especially if you’re planning on making a stop in on a weekend.

7. Bar Hopping at Pubs and Clubs

It’s not Christmas in Wales without an annual boozy Black Friday. For an adults-only Christmas celebration, head to the Pen and Wig. A traditional pub with an ever-changing selection of ales sourced from local breweries. The Coyote Ugly Saloon, styled after the film of the same name, offers up some prime spots on the bar for you to bust out your best moves. Or, if you’re out for the long haul, get yourself to one of the city’s hottest nightspots, Glam Nightclub.

If this list isn’t enough to make you want to call Cardiff your home, check out our other guides to the city, or better yet come visit us in person.

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