Christmas days out in the West Midlands sell out fast! This is a comprehensive list of places to see Santa in Birmingham and the surrounding areas as well as other festive events. Shows, pantomimes, Christmas markets and trains provide things to do at Christmas in the West Midlands both with and without Santa visits.
You can jump straight to each event using the links in the table below. Please do let me know if I’ve missed any brilliant events off the list, I’d be happy to add them in. Advance booking is essential at all attractions unless otherwise stated.
This post covers the West Midlands County area only. If you are looking for Christmas days out in nearby counties, please see below:
You can also check out my post about all the Pantomimes taking place across the West Midlands Region in 2024.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens – Luminate Live Winter Light Trail
Luminate Live is back at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens for Christmas 2024 with an illuminated trail that will delight and enthral your senses. The trail is almost a mile long and features gorgeous lighting elements and amazing light play set to ambient music. It will take around 60 to 90 minutes to walk round.
Tickets need to be booked online in advance and a small amount of free parking is available at the University and a nearby school. The Gardens themselves offers very limited blue badge parking on a first come, first served basis. If you would like to bring a dog with you to Luminate Live, two dog-friendly dates are available this year.
Dates: 29th November 2024 to 1st January 2025.
Birmingham city centre West Midlands – Frankfurt Christmas Market and Ice Skate Birmingham
Starting early in the festive calendar, Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market is widely accepted in the area as one of the first signs of Christmas! This is the biggest German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria. With food, drinks and gifts galore, you’ll be revelling in the fragrance and spirit of the festive season. Look out for live music on Victoria Square and don’t forget to pre-book your slot to go ice skating on Centenary Square.
Frankfurt Christmas Market dates: Dates for 2024 have not yet been released.
Birmingham Ice Skating Dates: Dates not yet relased.
Frankfurt Christmas Market Website: German Market
Birmingham Ice Skating Website: Ice Skate Birmingham
Independent review: Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Hippodrome – Peter Pan and The Nutcracker
Two festive shows take place at Birmingham Hippodrome for Christmas 2024. Choose between an upbeat panto or a classic seasonal ballet.
This year, the Hippodrome’s favourite panto star Matt Slack will be taking on the role of Smee in a swashbuckling performance of Peter Pan. Favourite characters making an appearance will include Wendy, Michael and John Darling and Tinker Bell. Look out for stunning special effects, amazing sets and fantastic costumes as your family embarks on an adventure to Neverland.
Dates: 21st December 2024 to 2nd February 2025.
Website: Birmingham Hippodrome
Sir Peter Wright’s ballet the Nutcracker is returning to Birmingham for Christmas 2024. Clara is on an adventure to a magical winter wonderland on Christmas eve. Dancing snowflakes, enchanted Christmas trees and of course, the sugar plum fairy will be on stage. This classic production is an ideal festive treat for ballet fans.
Dates: 22nd November to 14th December 2024.
Website: Birmingham Hippodrome.
Birmingham Moor Street Station – Vintage Trains Polar Express Train Ride
Information about the 2024 Polar Express event has not yet been released. Below is information from last year’s event. I have linked to the website so you can check for more recent updates.
Enjoy a theatrical recreation of the Polar Express movie on board a steam train. If you and your family believe in Father Christmas, now is the time to immerse yourselves in the magic. Take in the sights, sounds and smells as you watch actors portraying the dancing chefs, conductor and other characters from the Classic festive film. Leave Birmingham Moor Street station and travel to the North Pole, where Santa will board the train to give out the first gift of Christmas.
Dates: 2024 Polar Express dates have not yet been relased.
Website: Vintage trains.
Birmingham Rep – A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story
Retold by Mark Gatiss, this performance of Dickens’s famous ghost story will enthral visitors to the Rep for Christmas 2024. Miserly Ebenezer Scrooge experiences a visit from the ghost of his business partner Marley on Christmas Eve night. Marley explains that he is bound by chains due to a life of greed. He urges Scrooge to change his ways, but first three more spirits are on their way to visit him.
Age guidance: 12 +
Dates: 14th November 2024 to 5th January 2025. Audio described performances on Saturday 30th November 2024 and Saturday 4th January 2025. BSL Interpreted performances on Friday 22nd November and Sunday 15th December. Relaxed performances on Sunday 1st and Friday 6th December.
Website: Birmingham Rep.
Review: Lost in Theatreland (review of the London performance).
Black Country Living Museum
Information on the Black Country Living Museum 2024 Christmas events has not yet been released. Below is some information about last year’s events – Glad Tidings and Santa Hunts. I have linked to the BCLM website so you can check for more recent updates on the 2024 event.
Head to the museum after dark with the family for a cosy evening by an open fire. Join in with traditional carol singing and favourites from the fifties. Festive treats will be on offer and street entertainers and costumed characters top off the night. This is recommended for visitors aged 8 and over.
Glad tidings dates: Not yet released.
Visitors can help Santa’s elves to prepare for the big day with the BCLM festive Santa Hunts.
Santa Hunts dates: Not yet released.
Review: You can read my review of a family day out at the Black Country Living Museum.
Cadbury World, Birmingham West Midlands – Step Into Christmas
Information on the 2024 Christmas event at Cadbury World has not yet been released. Below is some information about last year’s event. I have also linked to their website so you can check for more recent updates.
Father Christmas will be making the time to spread some festive cheer this year at Cadbury World. His tree-mendous stage show is full of Christmas jingles and festive fun. Look out for chocolatey gifts for all the children at the show, and entertainment for kids and big kids of all ages. The show runs 17 times throughout the day and is included in the price of entry. The rest of the site will transform into a festive wonderland too. Check out the giant chocolate Christmas tree and sparkly decorations. Visitors can stock up on yuletide chocolates in the Cadbury World Shop too.
Dates: Not yet released.
Website: Cadbury World
Review: Mama Geek
Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust West Midlands – Winter Nights by Christmas Lights
Information about the Christmas event for 2024 at the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust has not yet been released. Below is information about last year’s event. I have linked to the Canal and Tunnel Trust website so you can check for more recent updates.
Board the boat through festive tunnels to enjoy the Winter Nights by Christmas lights event. Journey to the winter wonderland where tunnels and caverns are decorated and lit to create an incredible atmosphere. Be ready with Christmas carols and pantomime boos while you enjoy the interactive musical experience. After your boat ride, disembark to join Father Christmas and the elves in the festive workshop. Every child receives a gift, whilst adults enjoy a mince pie and hot drink. There are plenty of opportunities for Santa selfies, so bring a camera. They advise booking early as this popular experience sells out every year.
Dates: 2024 dates not yet released.
Website: Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust
Review: Trip Advisor
Echills Wood Railway – Santa Trains
Climb aboard Santa’s Express to his grotto, where children under 12 can pay him a visit. Santa will select a special gift for each child based on their age and adults will receive a mince pie and hot, seasonal drink. Then, it’s back on board to ride the train all the way around the railway. Ticket holders for this event will be able to use their ticket on other trains during their visit.
Early booking is advised due to limited availability. Tickets can ONLY be purchased at the venue and MUST be booked in advance – this is extremely popular and likely to sell out early as there are only a few dates available.
Website: Echills Wood Railway.
Dates: 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th December 2024.
National Sea Life Centre Birmingham
Information about the 2024 Christmas event at the National Sea Life Centre has not yet been released. Below is the write-up about last year’s event. I have linked to the Sea Life website so you can check for more recent updates.
Visitors to the National Sea Life Centre this festive season can join Snowy’s Conservation Crew and help the North Pole animals to have a fun festive season and a safe future. Meet and learn about arctic animals along with sea life regulars and find out how you can help to keep them safe.
Visitors can also pre-book a slot to visit Santa and his elves in a glittering grotto. All children will receive a small gift from Santa.
Dates: Not yet released.
Website: National Sea Life Centre
National Sea Life Centre Christmas event Review: Plutonium Sox
Resorts World Arena West Midlands
The past couple of years have seen some big Christmas productions at Resorts World Arena. There are no event details for 2024 as yet. However, I have linked to their website events page so you can check for more recent updates.
Website: Resorts World Arena
Dates: Not yet released.
Review: Tripadvisor review of last year’s Peter Pan.