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Barbican lights switch on


This year’s Christmas lights switch-on at The Barbican and Sutton Harbour is taking place on Saturday 27 November, and it’s going to be full of Christmas magic! With a packed programme of festive fun, entertainment and free hands-on activities for all the family to enjoy. Brought to you by Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, the day will start at 12pm until 6pm.

FREE Children’s Activities

12pm to 4.30pm | Santa’s Grotto at Quay Square.

12pm to 4pm | Santa’s Workshop to make their Christmas Crowns and Snowflakes, at the Barbican Theatre,.* 

12pm to 4pm | Decorating a Christmas bauble biscuit, at the Barbican Theatre.*

12pm to 5pm | Face painting, from the Tourist Information Centre.

12pm to 4pm (running every hour) | Christmas storytelling with hot chocolate, at The Maritime Inn. 

12pm to 5pm | Reindeer rodeo ride and giant snow globe – it’s the perfect spot for a snowy selfie! Southside Street.

12pm to 6pm | Merry-go-round ride, West Pier

(*Please note, there are stairs to climb due to lift being out of action. We apologise for this inconvenience and will do are best to accommodate those that are affected, by providing additional crowns and snowflakes for the parade.)

Christmas Trail

From 27 November 2021 to 1 January 2022, the 12 ‘Displays’ of Christmas trail will be available. Walk or cycle along Plymouth’s stunning Waterfront, to find the 12 winter wonderland LED displays. Download the free Plymouth Trails App from your app store, and follow the map. 

Stage Performances, Quay Road

12pm to 5.30pm | A full programme of Christmas choirs and performances from: Starlines Drama School, Ocean City Sounds, Holy Cross Primary, Mayflower A Cappella Chorus, Plym Kids, Stage Stars and Italia Conti. 


12pm to 6pm | Look out for the stilt walkers and street performers around Southside Street and Barbican area. There will be a circus workshop so you can have a go for yourself, plus carol singers who will be performing a selection of festive songs.

1.30pm to 4pm | The Grinch will be making an appearance, lurking around the cobbled streets and alleyways of The Barbican, trying to steal the spirit of Christmas!

Christmas Parade 

4.30pm to 5.15pm | Starting at the Tourist Information Centre and heading up Southside Street, finishing at the grotto. Everyone is welcome to join the Christmas parade led by the Barbican Theatre’s giant 7m elf puppet and accompanied by the junk band. Don’t forget to wear your elf costume!


5.20pm | The Lord Mayor of Plymouth will be joined by Santa and a special guest, who will be the local Community Hero, nominated by the people of Plymouth. 

Christmas Shopping and Festivities 

The Barbican has a wonderful selection of shops and galleries, helping you to find that perfect Christmas gift, or maybe some tasty festive treats. Businesses are able to join in a Best Dressed Christmas Window Display competition, so while you are strolling the cobbled streets take a look at the brilliant creative displays. It’s also a great place to take on some refreshments, with a wide choice of top places to eat and drink, from locally caught fish and chips, to zingy cocktails, you will find something delicious to suit all tastes.


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Head to Flavour Fest, the south west’s largest free food and drink festival!

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