by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer

Plymouth is a great place to be in November and December – especially if you’re a yuletide fan. This time next year The Box will be heading into its first Christmas as a fully functioning venue. We don’t have anything set in stone just yet, but once we’ve celebrated our launch we’ll definitely be planning for 2020’s festive season.

Here’s a seasonal roundup of some of the main Christmas events that are taking place in the city over the next few weeks, plus some cultural highlights!

Photo of Plymouth city centre with the Christmas lights onCity Centre
The annual lights switch-on is the official start of Plymouth’s holiday calendar and takes place tomorrow evening (14 November) in the city centre piazza from 4pm. Santa will be assisted by the Mayflower 400 Town Crier when he turns the lights on at 6.30pm. From 28 November until 19 December, the city centre will host a Christmas Market where you can pick up some unique gifts. It’s open from 10am to 6pm each day apart from Thursday when closing time is 9pm.

‘Illuminate’ takes place at the Royal William Yard, the Barbican and Mount Edgcumbe from 28 November to 1 December. Plymouth’s beautiful (and free) light festival marks the official start of Mayflower 400 and runs from 5.30pm each evening. The Barbican’s Christmas lights switch-on also takes place on 1 December. Santa will arrive on a lifeboat to do the honours at 5pm.

Find out more about all these events here.

Photo of an illumination from the 2018 'Illuminate' event at Plymouth's Royal William Yard

National Trust
Take a trip to Cothele to see the traditional Christmas garland hanging in the great hall from 16 November until 5 January. This year’s floral masterpiece is apparently bigger and better than ever. Or step into the magical world of ‘Enchanted Saltram’ from 22 November until 30 December to see fairytales interpreted in different ways throughout the house and illuminations in the garden.

Plymstock, Plympton and Mount Edgcumbe
Plymstock’s Christmas Lights will be switched on at 6.30pm on 20 November. There will be lots of music and family fun on The Broadway from 3.30pm onwards. ‘Light Up Plympton’ takes place from 3pm to 9pm on 25 November with entertainment, stalls and more on the Ridgeway. Mount Edgcumbe hosts its annual Christmas Fayre on 7 and 8 December with cooking demonstrations, local produce, gifts and crafts.

Photo of a print in a black frame on a grey wallExhibitions
If you’re looking for some pre or post-Christmas culture make sure you visit ‘Future History’ in The Levinsky Gallery from 29 November until 11 January. The show explores the evolution of all things digital. ‘Torsten Lauschmann: War of the Corners’ opens in the Gallery at Plymouth College of Art on 6 December. The exhibition runs until 8 February and includes video projections, light and sound.

And finally, if you’d like to experience a bit of The Box this Christmas, how about a print of a work from our fantastic art collections? Take a look at our online shop to see what’s available. It could make a great present for a loved one – or you could just treat yourself!