XMAS CITY GUIDE: 21 things you must go see in Leeds this Christmas

City Centre Christmas Treein City SquareCity Centre Christmas Treein City Square
City Centre Christmas Treein City Square
Leeds city centre has been turned into a Winter Moments wonderland with 21 dazzling installations that have got to be seen this Christmas - thanks to LeedsBID and Welcome to Leeds.

They have been designed to guide people around Leeds city centre by showcasing local creative talent and sharing festive moments.

Here we bring you a guide to the list with links to all you need to know. For more visit christmas.welcometoleeds.co.uk/about.

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Leeds Winter Moments - Christmas In Leeds is something new; creating moments of wonder, magic, joy, surprise, escape and beauty for all ages and guiding people around the city centre, whilst also showcasing the incredible talent of local creatives.

Leeds Business Improvement District (BID), is a business-led, not for profit organisation voted for by the city’s businesses with an ambitious plan to transform Leeds city centre

Here it has worked in collaboration with several key partners including, East Street Arts, Leeds Arts University, NEWSUBSTANCE, Lumen, Alison Smith, David Shearing, David Lynch, Cefn Hoile and Suzie Cross, Raf Bogan and Helen Russell Brown, The Glass Cyphers, Leeds City Council and key retailers, to create the installations and bring something a little different to the city for Christmas.


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01. Park Square Tree Lights in Park Square: See the effect of 20,000 LEDs wrapped around a select number of the statuesque trees stood in the city’s finest green space to shine a light on Park Square throughout the winter months - READ MORE.

Leeds Big Wheel in Victoria GardensLeeds Big Wheel in Victoria Gardens
Leeds Big Wheel in Victoria Gardens

02. Frost Blossoms, by Alison M Smith in Park Square: Witness the winter bloom of the trees of Park Square, adorned with icy formations clinging to their branches, bringing an ethereal, other-worldly glow to the square. Inspired by the natural formation of ice crystals and a development of the "Textures of Winter" installation of 2016, these wintry blooms are crafted from recycled commercial packaging materials donated by Leeds Art Gallery. From Nov 20 to Jan 4, 4pm to 4am - READ MORE.

03. Illuminate Us by Retrotextual & Shrimping.It at Platform, New Station Street: Spend a moment to reflect on how young people poetically paint with words, illuminating relationships with each other, our environment and the winter festival. Playfully performed using the Retrotextual digital canvas. Early Dec to Dec 31, during the hours of darkness. Get involved #illuminateleeds - READ MORE.

04. Arctic Bazaar by Raf Bogan and Helen Russell Brown (&/or Emporium) at Art Hostel, Kirkgate: Enter a mysterious world of warming spices, salted liquorice and black ice and explore a Nordic landscape of interactive artworks, participate in the daily family-friendly activities and enjoy the mobile sauna. Visit the curated marketplace and indulge in hot chocolate bar, Glögi and sweet bites to eat. From Dec 11 to 23, 3pm to 11pm - READ MORE.

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05. Candy Chaos by Alison M Smith at Park Plaza Hotel: Observe the chaos and indulgence of Christmas beautifully wrapped up in this illuminating artistic representation of the masses of sweet wrappers, decorations and wrapping paper typical of this time of year. Created using commercial waste from the Quality Street factory in Halifax (sourced via Scrap Creative Reuse). From Nov 22 to Jan 4 - get a 25per cent discount on beverages when showing a printed or digital Christmas map between these dates (T&C’s apply, not in combination with any other offer) - READ MORE.

Santas Grotto and Post Boxin the Merrion Centre:Santas Grotto and Post Boxin the Merrion Centre:
Santas Grotto and Post Boxin the Merrion Centre:

06. The Festive Yard at Leeds Corn Exchange: Visit this festive pit stop housed in the sumptuous surroundings of this Grade 1 listed Victorian building, providing a warm, inviting creative space for all ages to enjoy. Enjoy an array of festive food, drink, family entertainment, music and arts in among the very best in creative, innovative and independent retail enterprises. Fro Dec 1 to 22 (Mon-Wed and Fri-Sat 10am-6pm; Thurs, 10am-9pm; Sun 10.30am-4pm) - READ MORE.

07. Holy Trinity Church: Wonder at the simple beauty of Holy Trinity Church illuminated by a cascading waterfall of lights – the historic Georgian church shining just as bright alongside the new in the city centre. From Nov 1 to Jan 6, 2018, 4pm onwards throughout the evening - READ MORE.

08. SPIRIT by NEWSUBSTANCE at Victoria Quarter: Behold this huge, ethereal figure shining a festive light over shoppers bustling beneath through the splendour of Victoria Quarter. Internally lit, SPIRIT ties the city of Leeds and its textile history into something more magical, as lengths of white thread keep this superhuman form suspended above. From early Dec to end of Feb, 2018 - READ MORE.

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09. The Wishing Tree by Jordan Harrison-Reader, at St John’s Centre: Spread festive messages of goodwill, selflessness and hope to all by making a wish this Christmas to hang from this special tree. The messages written on seeded paper will be planted in the New Year to bloom in various city centre locations. Run in association with other festive family friendly events – check website for further details. From Dec 1-24, during centre opening hours - READ MORE.

The Queens Hotel in City SquareThe Queens Hotel in City Square
The Queens Hotel in City Square

10. Christmas with Us byDavid Shearing at Leeds Station: Find stillness in the midst of the festive chaos by taking a seat at the table to enjoy a moment of reflection and share in an intimate conversation over a warm drink and mince pies. Presenting the stories of people living in and connected to Leeds, 'Christmas with us' reveals personal stories, highlighting the beauty and the difficulty of the Christmas season. From Dec 1-17, 12-7pm - READ MORE.

11. Wagon Lifting Hoist Projections (& mobile projections) by Leeds Arts University + Lumen, Wellington Place / various: Marvel at the artistic talents of Leeds Arts University students animated in association with Lumen as their festive light projections grace the historic lifting tower standing tall in the centre of Wellington Place. And look out for the projections popping up elsewhere in the city-centre with a mobile element to the installation. Operating10 live dates from Dec 6-22, 4-7pm - READ MORE.

12. The Murmuration Cloud by Paul Miller/Griet Beyaert - The Glass Cyphers at The Light: Interact with the Murmuration Cloud, bringing it to life, swirling over heads with the simple beat of a drum. This sound-responsive installation complete with drum set responds to volume and pitch with people invited to take to the floor and play the cloud into an explosion of light. From Dec 2 to Jan 6, 2018 - READ MORE.

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13. 'Heofon' Light Maze, designed by Brut Deluxe (manufactured by Ilmex S.A/ARRO Lighting), in Central Square, Wellington Street: Discover ‘Heofon’, an immersive light maze bringing the entire colours of the rainbow to the vicinity of Central Square. Get lost in the beauty of this 2m high maze, designed exclusively for the UK, moving inside the installation to experience a unique cosmos of overlapping light patterns and constantly changing colours. From Dec 4- Jan 6, 2018 - READ MORE.

14. Santa’s Grotto and Post Box in the Merrion Centre: Capture those Christmas wishes by paying a visit to his post office this Christmas. A family favourite with helpful elves on hand to assist with that all-important letter writing and a special post box to send those wishes direct to the North Pole. In association with the Merrion Centre Christmas Grotto. From Nov 18 -Dec 24 (days and times vary; please check website for details) - READ MORE.

15. Harvey Nichols Christmas Windows in Briggate: Gaze upon the ever-impressive window displays dressed up for Christmas at Harvey Nichols. Inspired by the vibrant colours from the Autumn/Winter 2017 fashion shows and pre-spring collections, the high energy, celebratory displays are brimming with star shapes and motifs, innovative lighting techniques, a dazzling riot of colour and luxurious gift ideas designed to delight customers and passers-by - READ MORE.

Thors Tipi in Victoria GardensThors Tipi in Victoria Gardens
Thors Tipi in Victoria Gardens

16. Wishmas Tree in Trinity Leeds: Get your wish on and watch 50,000 magical lights light up Europe's largest Christmas tree. Towering above at a monumental 60ft. tall, it’s not to be missed. Pay a visit to Trinity’s Wishmas tree and try your luck this Christmas - READ MORE.

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17. City Centre Christmas Tree in City Square: Admire the colossal Christmas tree standing proud in City Square with its new traditional style pot to compliment the heritage of the neighbouring buildings. From Nov 9 to early Jan, 2018 - READ MORE.

18. Christkindlmarkt – German Christmas Market in Millennium Square: Indulge in one of the most established German Christmas Markets in the UK, with everything from traditional wooden stalls, festive greenery, Christmas carousel ride and twinkling colourful lights, creating a unique continental family festive atmosphere in the heart of Leeds city centre. From November 10 to Dec 24 - READ MORE.

19. Thor’s Tipi in Victoria Gardens: Feast on wholesome winter drink and fodder to celebrate Christmas in a Viking inspired, pop-up tipi bar nestled in the heart of the city. Cosy up inside in front of log fires and twinkling lights or enjoy the Winter garden with Christmas trees, atmospheric lights and outdoor heating. From Nov 17 to Dec 31 - READ MORE.

20. Leeds Big Wheel in Victoria Gardens: Take a moment to escape the busy streets of Christmas shoppers for quiet reflection while appreciating the great city views from a sky-high position. From Nov 17 to Jan 1, 2018 - READ MORE.

21. The Queens Hotel in City Square: Celebrating 80 years, the building will feature draping white lights from the roof to the top of the doorway - READ MORE.

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