With just over a month to go, businesses across Derby are getting ready for Christmas, with a number of fun activities.
Bondholder intu Derby will be switching on their Christmas lights this Saturday, with a programme of events, including festive food sampling. Changing every 30 minutes, shoppers will be able to sample treats from intu's melange of restaurants and cafes.
The light switch on ceremony will begin at 5pm and will celebrate the amazing achievements of the local community. The ceremony will feature your favourite Christmas songs from two Christmas choirs, dance groups performing live, and will also see the stars of Bondholder Derby LIVE's Cinderella pantomime performing a song from the highly-anticipated show.
From this Saturday till Christmas Eve, intu will also play host to Santa's Grotto. This year Santa and his elves have had a helping hand from Playmobil to create fantastic gifts.
Tickets are also now on sale online for the Cathedral Quarter 3aaa ice rink, which is set to open on Thursday December 1 in Derby’s Market Place.
Thanks to Bondholders Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District, 3aaa, Derby LIVE and Derby City Council, the Cathedral Quarter 3aaa ice rink will welcome skaters every day (with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) until Wednesday January 4.
Martin Langsdale, chair of the Cathedral Quarter Board and Management Group, which drives forward activities under the area's BID status, said: "Christmas is obviously an important time for the majority of our businesses in the Cathedral Quarter and we recognised that the ice rink is a pivotal attraction to increase footfall to the area and improve the visitor experience.
“We hope that the increased publicity around the Cathedral Quarter’s success in reaching the finals of the Great British High Street Awards will further add to the success of the ice rink and encourage more people to visit the attraction and then further explore this unique part of the city centre.”
As part of the Christmas charm, a post office with a direct line to Lapland has opened at Derby Market Hall in the Cathedral Quarter for local children to deliver their letters to Santa.
Mrs Claus’ Post Office has opened ahead of the Market Hall’s Winter Wonderland which will launch on Thursday December 1 as part of the historic venue’s one-going 150th anniversary celebrations.
Bondholder Mercia Marina is also launching its festive season this week with late night shopping and the switching on of some unique Christmas decorations.
Shops at the South Derbyshire marina will stay open until 8pm on Wednesday and Thursday, November 16 and 17, to give visitors a chance to get some early Christmas shopping out of the way.
And, with less than six weeks to go until the big day, the marina will also be unveiling some very special Christmas decorations, including several giant “snowballs” festooned with thousands of lights.
Robert Neff, general manager of Mercia Marina, in Findern Lane, near Willington, said: “We are delighted with the result. We can guarantee that visitors will not see anything quite like this, so we hope people will come along and see them.
“We want to make Christmas at Mercia Marina more spectacular every year, so that people even come here solely to see our wonderful Christmas lights display.”
To purchase tickets for The Cathedral Quarter 3aaa ice rink, please click here.