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Community Events

Carlisle Winter Wonderland and Santa’s Grotto

[T]ickets are now on sale for a magical Santa’s grotto in Carlisle city centre.

The grotto will be the star attraction at this year’s Carlisle Winter Wonderland event due to start on Saturday 16 December.

Organised by Carlisle City Council, it will be based in a magical marquee, outside the Old Town Hall, between Saturday 16 and Thursday 21 December. It will be open between 11am and 4pm (Saturday – Wednesday) and 11am and 8pm (Thursday).

The Winter Wonderland will be a sparkling festive extravaganza and will include woodland creatures and Santa’s little helpers. Visitors will be able to get their photo taken on a ski lift and get your photo to take home free of charge.

Children can also meet Santa in a glittering grotto. Entry for the grotto is £5 per child and will include a special Christmas gift from Santa. Tickets for the Santa’s Grotto are now on sale from the Carlisle Tourist Information Centre. Remember to bring your letter to Santa, to post in the special post box on the day!

Other Carlisle festive events include:

Christmas Lights Switch-On
Carlisle city centre – Sunday 19 November, 2pm – 5.30pm
A packed family entertainment programme to suit all ages. The Christmas Lights Switch-On stage will be in place outside the Old Town Hall and will play host to a fabulous afternoon of free open-air entertainment. Join the countdown to Christmas and the festive lights switch on at 5pm.

Late Night Shopping
Every Thursday between 23 November and Thursday 21 December
A special offer is available for shoppers visiting Carlisle this festive season. Carlisle City Council is providing FREE parking after 3pm on the following Thursdays: 23 and 30 November & 7, 14 and 21 December in the following city centre car parks: Bitts Park; Caldew Riverside; Castle; Civic Centre; Lowther Street; Paddy’s Market; The Sands Centre; Viaduct and West Walls.

Carlisle Christmas Market
Carlisle city centre – Thursday 23 November – Saturday 2 December (9am – 5pm) and Sunday 3 December (10am – 4pm)
A showcase of local producers. Get your festive gifts and support local businesses.

For further information about festive events in Carlisle, visit