The festive season is returning to something resembling normality this December. The world-famous Lincoln Christmas Market is back after being cancelled last year, while more markets and live events can be enjoyed across the city throughout the month. Pubs will be full of cheer again, and the Christmas lights twinkling on the streets. We can’t wait! And there any many ways you can join in the fun. Here, we bring together ten things to do in Lincoln in December 2021.
1. Enjoy the magic of the Lincoln Christmas Market
Lincoln is home to one of Europe’s biggest German-style Christmas markets, and the oldest of its kind in the UK. The event is back this year from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 December.
More than 280 stalls will be spread across uphill Lincoln, with festive music filling the air. It’s like a huge festival of food, drink, arts, crafts, performance, fun and Christmas cheer. This is always our favourite event of the year in Lincoln!
In our ultimate guide to the 2021 Lincoln Christmas Market we take a deep dive into this year’s event as well as shining a spotlight on its history. Give it a read to find out about some of the stalls that will be there this December.
Make sure you try a soul-warming gluhwein at Feucht-Fröhliche-Neustadter’s stall. They’ve been serving it every year at the same spot in Castle Square since the first market in 1982, and they’re back again this year. A mug of this stuff is perfect for getting into the Christmas mood!
2. Find amazing local craft at Lincoln Makers’ Market
While Lincoln Christmas Market is very much the city’s main event, for us the real spirit of Lincoln is to be found in the many smaller, focused markets that take place throughout the year. Lincoln Makers’ Market is one such event that brings together a collection of stalls selling local handmade goods.
Lincoln Makers’ Market is being held twice in December 2021. It will set up in St Martin’s Square at the bottom of Steep Hill on 2–5 December, coinciding with the main Christmas market. Then, a week later on the 11–12 December, it returns to its usual spot in Castle Square.
This is a great place to come along and find a unique and artistic Christmas gift, especially if you want to escape the crowds of the main Christmas market.
3. Buy local produce at Lincoln Farmers’ Market
Another brilliant local market is Lincoln Farmers’ Market. Taking place on the third Saturday of every month, this is where you can find some of the freshest and finest produce from across Lincolnshire.
Come along on Saturday 18 December and stock your kitchen for Christmas, or find a last-minute gift. Our guide to Lincoln Farmers’ Market gives a rundown of some of the stalls you can expect to find.
4. Experience the sparkle of Lincoln Castle Illuminated
Lincoln Castle is one of our city’s biggest spectacles, and is impressive to behold at any time of year. However, the magic of the festive season brings an extra-special dimension to its grounds in December.
From Saturday 11 to Thursday 23 December, the grounds are brought to life with Christmas lights and festive tree-lined pathways for Lincoln Castle Illuminated. You can also upgrade and take the Illuminated Wall Walk, which will give you a spectacular lit-up view of the city from above.
You can buy tickets for the experience on Lincoln Castle’s website. Dog-friendly evenings are taking place on 15 and 22 December, so you can bring your furry friends along too!
Check out our visitors’ guide to Lincoln Castle for everything else you need to know before planning a trip.
5. Come along to the Stokes Christmas Spectacular
Stokes Tea & Coffee is hosting some special events this December at its live entertainment venue, the Blue Room at the Lawns. (For some interesting insights into how the venue has innovated through the pandemic, see our feature story about how the Blue Room has been taking theatre outdoors.)
At the Stokes Christmas Spectacular, you can have a fun-filled family afternoon of festive storytelling, songs, photos with Santa, gingerbread-person decorating, and a special Christmas afternoon tea. Oh, and there’s unlimited Stokes tea, coffee and hot chocolate thrown in too!
It’s taking place at 12–3pm on 21, 22, 23 and 24 December. You can buy tickets here for £35 per adult and £30 per child.
The Blue Room is also hosting ‘Party To Party Nights’ on Friday 10, Saturday 11, Friday 17 and Saturday 18 December. This all-inclusive party night includes a glass of bubbles, a three-course meal, an after-dinner tea or coffee, and entertainment until late. Tickets begin at £39 (group bookings available), and you can book by contacting Karis Hildred on firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Join the Santa Hat Hunt on the Skellingthorpe Christmas Trail
Santa has lost his hat! Can you help him find it?! This December will mark the return of the Skellingthorpe Christmas Trail after its debut last year. The trail will take participants around the village of Skellingthorpe, solving clues and collecting letters to find the missing Santa hat.
The trail is open from 4 December to 4 January. From 3 December you can download the trail for £2 and do it on any day of your choosing throughout the month. After successfully completing the trail and unscrambling the clues, you can submit your sheet to be entered into a prize draw.
All proceeds will be donated to Saint Lawrence Primary School and Billy’s House, a home for families with children undergoing cancer treatment.
7. Come to Christmas events at the Birdcage
The Birdcage on Baggholme Road is our favourite pub in town for events. We had a fab time recently at one of their comedy nights, and they also regularly host poetry, music and open mic nights.
On the second Wednesday of every month, the Birdcage hosts its popular quiz and curry night. For £10 you get a tasty curry and a drink, and then it’s £1 to take part in the quiz, which goes towards prizes. The event starts at 8pm on Wednesday 8 December.
The pub is also hosting some special Christmas events in December, including a Christmas Eve sing-a-long led by Dave Mallett, and a musical comedy, ‘Friz Frizzle Ruins Christmas’. Check out the full schedule on the Birdcage’s Facebook page.
You can also read our feature story behind the scenes at the Birdcage in the pandemic.
8. Find unique handcrafted gifts at Harding House Gallery’s Christmas Cracker exhibition
One of the creative gems on Lincoln’s Steep Hill, Harding House Gallery is run by a cooperative of ten local volunteer artists. Each has a different artistic style and plays a unique role in keeping the gallery running. The gallery itself is set inside a beautiful 16th-Century building.
This year the gallery is hosting a ‘Christmas Cracker’ exhibition, which opens in its upper gallery on Saturday 20 November and continues until 9 January 2022. The exhibition will feature an array of unique handcrafted items by artists from across the country, plus more unique pieces that will be displayed on the lower floor.
9. Join in with all day gaming at the Victoria Pub
Another of our favourite Lincoln real ale pubs, the Victoria on Union Road, plays host every week to a gaming community. The Lincoln Board Games Group meets every Tuesday in the pub from 7pm to play modern board games.
The group also occasionally holds all-day board gaming sessions, and that’s exactly what’s happening on Saturday 11 December. A room in the pub is booked out for the full day for an epic gaming session.
So, if you want to try something a little different this December, come along and join the competitive fun! They’re a friendly crowd and always open to newcomers.
10. See the Imps play on Boxing Day
As the weather gets colder, the football season is really heating up as we approach the midpoint of season. Lincoln City FC, or The Imps as they’re better known, aren’t doing as well as they did last season, and so could do with some more voices behind them!
Live matches in winter are very much a ‘proper’ football experience. Don your warm clothes, grab a pint at the Golden Eagle, wolf down a burger from a van near the ground, and join the crowd in chorus.
The Imps have a few home fixtures in December 2021, including one on Boxing Day. What better way to blow away your Christmas hangover? Here’s the schedule:
- Saturday 4 December: Lincoln City vs Hartlepool (FA Cup second round)
- Saturday 18 December: Lincoln City vs Doncaster Rovers (League One)
- Sunday 26 December: Lincoln City vs Milton Keynes Dons (League One)
You can buy tickets for upcoming games here.
Heard about other things to do in Lincoln in December?
We would love to add more ideas to this article, so if you’re a local business, you are running an event, or you have heard about something that’s happening, please get in touch and we’ll add it to the list.
It’s also never too early to start planning for next year. Read our full rundown of the best things to do in Lincoln to find some inspiration for your 2022 trip.
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