Bristol Shopping Quarter, comprising Broadmead, The Galleries, The Arcade and Cabot Circus, has everything you need for the perfect Christmas shopping trip from high street names such as TK Maxx, Boots and Superdrug to independent shops, cafes and restaurants (over 110 of them) and fabulous festive markets. After shopping, you can relax over a drink, enjoy dinner with friends, go to the cinema, play adventure golf, or even experience virtual reality – check out our leisure and eating out pages for more ideas.
Bristol Christmas Market
Bristol Christmas Market opened on Friday 3 November and will run until Saturday 23 December, featuring over 50 stalls selling a variety of local and handmade products, food and drink, and entertainment.
The market is known for its cosy igloos, Bavarian bar and the stunningly decorated Christmas tree on Broadmead. Visitors can book an igloo or ski gondola online and enjoy an exclusive experience with their friends and family, while sipping on mulled wine, cider or hot chocolate.
New for 2023 is the captivating Candy Factory Escape room, situated above the Jäger Barn Bar. The perfect excuse to get together with friends, family or even a staff party – the escape room is a great way to have fun and test your teamwork skills! Help the genius factory owner to create a candy that holds the very essence of Christmas magic. After countless experiments and research, he’s discovered a way to infuse the warmth, family bonds, and sheer happiness of the holiday season into a delectable treat. But there’s a twist – the final touch needs the help of fearless and pure-hearted volunteers. Are you ready to embark on a spellbinding journey and join forces with the candy genius to craft a candy that will unleash the enchantment and wonder of Christmas whenever it’s savoured? Why not combine an exciting escape challenge with one of the party packages for a magical experience?
For those looking for more traditional Christmas treats, the market has plenty of options to satisfy their taste buds. From bratwurst and gingerbread to Somerset Brie bites and Bristolian sausage rolls, the market offers a range of local and international delicacies. Visitors can also find unique gifts and crafts made by local artisans, such as Christmas ornaments, lights, trees, chutney, jams and confectionery.
The market is not only a place to shop and eat, but also a place to enjoy the festive atmosphere and spirit. The market will host Santa and other seasonal characters throughout December, as well as other entertainment and activities for all ages, including a festive treasure hunt for children.
The market is also accessible, pet-friendly and free to enter. New for this year is a 15 meter Ferris wheel so you can enjoy view of the market from above.
The Bristol Christmas Market is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a memorable and magical Christmas experience in the city.
The market is open from 10am to 7pm daily, with food and drink stalls closing at 10pm.
Learn more and book your experience now at www.bristolchristmasmarket.com
The Christmas Challenge Trail in Bristol Shopping Quarter
Take on the Christmas Challenge Trail! Knock on 10 Christmas door posters located in shops’ windows by scanning QR codes. Meet the residents behind them, each one has a festive challenge for you and a prize! These include augmented reality challenges, selfie masks, puzzles, riddles ebooks and more! This is a free trail, starting from 25 November.
Get your custom painted bauble at Lady K Loves
Tozer Signs will visit Lady K Loves Pop Up on Thursday 30 November! She’ll be offering custom bauble painting throughout the day, it’s a perfect unique gift you simply can’t get anywhere else. They’re located in Cabot Circus.
They love this gift idea, especially if you give a bauble every year… you can make sure it’s truly personalised for your loved ones.
You can come, choose your colours, and see Tozer herself paintin’ em, then have a shop around while she works away.
Pick from their sustainable gift ideas or get yourself fitted for a pair of their high waisted jeans which keep getting rave reviews!
Plus she’ll also be bringing a few other hand-painted bits, teapots, jugs etc, some candles too!
Christmas at Charles Wesley’s House
From 6 – 16 December 2023, 11.30-12.30pm, celebrate Christmas at Charles Wesley’s House! More information HERE.
Give Brilliantly to a Child in Need
Cabot Circus is partnering with ‘The Grand Appeal – the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity’ and ‘Next Link’ who support women and children with domestic abuse and mental health services for this year’s Giving Tree.
It’s easy to take part: 1. Go to the tree and pick a name tag for someone you’d like to buy for (located next to the customer service desk on Upper Ground) 2. Choose a gift to buy that’s suitable for the child. 3. Return the gift to our ‘Donation Box’ by the Information Desk and Santa and his elves do the rest, including wrapping.
Their beautiful Giving Tree is located next to the customer service desk on Upper Ground Please make your donation by Thursday December 21st.
Support local families by donating a toy at Lidl
Christmas is all about sharing and bringing people together. To help make the magic happen, Lidl has brought back their in-store toy banks, in partnership with Neighbourly, where you can make unopened toy and gift donations.
Whether you’re able to give a stocking filler or something bigger, they’ll make sure your gift is donated to children in your area through their store partnerships with charities, foodbanks and community groups. And keep an eye out for their plush friends in stores – they’ll donate all profits from the sale of their Raccoons and Monkeys to their toy donation partners.
More information HERE.
Bristol Pop-Up shop in The Galleries
Their doors have officially opened on Thursday 15 November and you’ll be able to shop with them 7 days a week until Christmas Eve.
Wreath-Making Masterclass & Afternoon Tea at Harvey Nichols Bristol
Get in the festive spirit with a wreath-making masterclass hosted by Edward Allen, followed by their ‘All the Fun at the Fair’ themed afternoon tea.
Enjoy a wreath-making demo, along with the opportunity to make your own, followed by their afternoon tea, full of fairground favourites including a Harvey Nichols Hot Dog, smoked paprika chicken taco and Toffee Apple created by the Edible Art Patisserie.
Sunday 3 December
Available at 10am or 1pm (2hr wreath-making, followed by afternoon tea)
£95 per person, includes a glass of Prosecco and wreath to take home
Carols at The New Room
- Lunchtime Carols
Celebrate the festive season with the New Room‘s lunchtime carol service. Enjoy special performances from their Community Choir and indulge in festive favourites from the café menu. Everyone is welcome!
Wednesday 13 December, 1 – 2pm
The lunchtime carols service will last approximately 60 minutes.
This is a free event with donations gratefully welcomed.
- Carols by Candlelight
Enjoy an evening of festive cheer as they welcome everyone to gather for traditional Christmas carols in the atmospheric surroundings of their 18th century candlelit chapel. A unique cultural experience in the heart of Broadmead.
Why not join them straight from work, or combine your carol singing with an evening meal with friends?
Thursday 14 December, 5.30pm – 6.30pm
The service will last approximately 60 minutes.
Hot drinks and mince pies will be available from the cafe.
This is a free event with donations gratefully welcomed.
StreetSmart at Harvey Nichols
The Second Floor Restaurant at Harvey Nichols in Bristol Shopping Quarter is among the restaurants taking part in the StreetSmart initiative, which takes place every winter in major cities nationwide to raise vital funds for those faced with life on the streets.
Since 1998, StreetSmart has partnered with restaurants to support local charities to help homeless people over Christmas, raising over £11.2 million for homeless and vulnerable people in the UK.
At StreetSmart participating restaurants, during November and December, a voluntary £1 donation is added to diners’ bills with every penny going to support local homelessness projects.
Learn more HERE.
Christmas Craft Day at The New Room
Need a break from Christmas prep?
Come and sit in The New Room’s calm and festive chapel and enjoy making festive crafts including angels and snowmen on Tuesday 19 December, 10am–3pm!
Hot chocolate and cake available in the café and a warm welcome guaranteed.
All welcome. Pay what you feel.
Celebrate Christmas at Coal Kitchen
Bring some sparkle to your Christmas get-togethers, lunches, dinners & drinks with Coal Kitchen! Whether it is an office Christmas party, a reunion with friends or a spontaneous after-work cocktail – they will create a beautiful festive experience that will leave lasting memories and get you in the spirit of Christmas. They can cater for numbers ranging from small groups all the way up to 150 people.
Book on their website HERE.
Step Into Sparks this Winter
Santa’s Beach Club at The Galleries
This Christmas, The Galleries is inviting you to come and enjoy their ‘Santa’s Beach Club’ on the top floor for some free family fun! Think flamingos rather than reindeer, decorated Palm trees & much more!
Families can play in their sea themed ball pool, lounge on their sun loungers and deckchairs or enjoy the activities each weekend from 11am – 5pm.
Theyll be making Christmas themed smoothies using just pedal power, decorating reindeer themed ice-creams, making melting snowman biscuits and Santa themed fruit skewers.
Each weekend they’ll also supply the perfect ingredients to make reindeer food, ideal for sprinkling outside your house on Christmas Eve to show the reindeer exactly where to come!
Plus, come and join their Christmas ‘After Party’ on 30/31 December to meet their festive T-Rex, Trevor, along with his baby dino friends Sarah and Terry, for some festive-themed dino fun!
2/3 Dec: Smoothies
9/10 Dec: Reindeer ice cream
16/17 Dec: Melting snowman
23/24 Dec: Santa Skewers
30/31 Dec: Christmas ‘After party’ with Trevor the T-Rex!
They’re looking forward to seeing you there!
Sparks Giving Grotto
Pop into Sparks and drop off a present at their Giving Grotto donation point and they will make sure it gets to someone who needs it! Their charity partner, Aidbox Community, will distribute your gifts to refugees and asylum seekers in Bristol.
They’re looking for more practical gifts like clothing and household items along with some things that are a little more festive and fun! You have until 18 December to donate. More info HERE.
The Love Bristol gift card
Bristol is home to an incredibly diverse shopping, dining and entertainment scene. Take the guesswork out of present-buying and give the gift of Bristol city centre. From independents to well-known brands, there’s something for everyone.
With over 160 venues accepting the Love Bristol Gift Card you’ll be spoilt for choice!
You can buy the Love Bristol gift card HERE or call into Trespass on Merchant Street South, where you can pick up a card, then load it, and gift it.
Visit our News & Events page to find out what’s happening throughout the year.