‘However you Christmas’, Reading has your festive plans covered

The Christmas season in Reading gets underway on Saturday 18 November with the turning on of the town centre’s 400,000 Christmas lights. However you celebrate Christmas, this festive season in Reading will offer everyone a way to make the most of the holiday period.   

As it gets dark on Saturday 18 November, Reading town centre will come alight as Broad Street’s Christmas tree and 400,000 Christmas Lights are switched on. There will be a bar selling drinks and coffee, lots of Christmas fayre to get everyone in the mood, live Christmas music from 1:30 to 4:30pm and a special appearance by Reading’s favourite Pantomime Dame. 

Reading's Business Improvement District (BID) is delivering a number of festive events starting with the Reading Lantern Parade on 2 December starting at 5:30pm outside Blue Collar Corner and culminating in Forbury Gardens with a light and musical finale. There are also lots of other events taking place throughout December.

  • On 3 December, shoppers at John Lewis will be serenaded by the Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band performance from 2 pm to 3:30 pm.
  • The highlight on 8 December is the NHS Christmas Concert at Reading Minster Church, featuring Let’s Sing Reading 2023 winners, The Barberettes, Calcot Junior School Choir, and Sing For Fun.
  • The Biscuit Factory hosts an all-things-festive Christmas Craft Shop on 9 December.
  • The Hexagon presents the classic panto, Sleeping Beauty, starring Justin Fletcher and Paul Morse, from 9 December.
  • Other events include the Civic Carol Service, Terry's Reading Walkabouts at The Blade, Calypso and Carols by RASPO at Broad Street Mall, Christmas Characters on Broad Street, Seasonal Singing with the Family Choir Club and delightful stories shared by Mrs. Christmas and the Reading Children's Book Group.
  • Reading Winter Wonderland is back in Hills Meadow with a real ice-skating rink and fun rides as well as apres ski bar. It opens on 11 November and operates until 7 January 2024.
  • Plus, keep an eye out for Father Christmas making a special appearance on Christmas Eve between 12 pm and 2 pm in Reading town centre.

See the Christmas In Reading page for all our seasonal events and activities

Still looking for somewhere to host your office Christmas lunch or family Christmas party? There’s plenty of choice in Reading from a 5-star hotel and swanky restaurants to the glitzy casino and festive pubs. Christmas menus, with and without turkey or meat-free menus, to match all tastes and budgets.  You could hire out a whole restaurant for your works party, book a private dining room, theme your party or make it a refined affair. There’s a world of choice on visit-reading.com/Christmas.

Christmas shopping couldn’t be easier. Mix and match from Reading’s many independent stores to all the famous high street names in The Oracle, Broad Street Mall or in the pedestrianised town centre streets. Pick up a new family board game, stocking fillers and love tokens with all the shops within a short walking distance of each other.  This year’s Christmas shopping opening hours at The Oracle, Broad Street Mall, M&S and John Lewis are on visit-reading.com/Christmas

However you Christmas, Reading is the place to celebrate the yuletide season - from the best Christmas shopping for miles around, to stylish office Christmas lunch and party venues and a fabulous events programme. Why would you do Christmas anywhere else?

However you Christmas, you’ll find lots of ideas to make the most of the festive season at visit-reading.com/Christmas or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram #ChristmasInReading. It all starts on 18 November.