Gifts, entertainment, markets, funfair and more lined up for Christmas in Braintree, Halstead and Witham

Explore what the Braintree District has to offer during the festive season where visitors and shoppers will be spoilt for choice of events, activities and more in the lead up to Christmas.


Christmas lights switch-on

Join Heart Essex favourites Martin and Su as well as special guests to turn on Braintree’s brand new Christmas lights this year. The annual event will take place on Saturday 2nd December from 5pm including a jam-packed entertainment display, competitions and more from 4pm.

Artist’s impressions of what the Christmas town centre illuminations will look like have also been revealed.

As well as the switch-on, the centre of Braintree will be transformed into a shopper’s paradise with a selection of festive markets including crafts, food and drink and gifts, along with fun rides and activities for all to enjoy.

Christmas Markets

Enjoy a fantastic Christmas shopping experience at Braintree markets that will get you well and truly in the festive spirit.

Available throughout the day every Saturday from 2nd December up until Christmas (23rd December) in the town centre, the markets will feature a range of local suppliers and businesses providing a variety of handmade goods including jewellery, art, homeware and clothing as well as food and drink vendors. 

Reindeer Trail

Take part in a free fun Reindeer Trail to help Father Christmas find his missing reindeers in the lead up to Christmas. Explore Braintree Town Centre to find the reindeers and receive a certificate from Father Christmas.

Participants will also be entered into a prize draw to win a festive hamper and a chance to switch on Braintree’s Christmas lights.

Trail maps are available free of charge at Braintree Town Hall from Saturday 4th November until 5pm on Friday 15th December.

Full details of the reindeer trail and terms and conditions of the prize draw can be found at

Braintree District Museum

Visit Braintree’s historic museum where visitors will be treated to an array of festive delights, free activities for the kids and indoor workshops.

Christmas Crafts & Activities
Saturday 18th November 10am-4pm
Make your own Christmas cards, decorations and other festive delights for the whole family to enjoy!
FREE with admission

Christmas Wreath Making
Thursday 7th December at 7.30pm. Tickets: £20
Create your own handmade wreath to add to your Christmas decorations  lead by an expert florist.

Christmas Shop Drop Off
Thursday 21st & Friday 22nd December 11am-1pm
Drop the kids off for a crafts session while you do some last minute Christmas shopping and explore the High Street to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Booking in advance is essential. Free with admission.

Warner Textile Archive

Christmas Gift Fair
Sunday 19th November 10am-4pm
Celebrating craft, design and textiles, you can discover a selected array of gifts and decorations, ranging from independent designers to Fairtrade organisations from around the world.

George Yard Shopping Centre

Reindeer Day
Saturday 25th November
Real reindeers will be visiting Braintree during a quick stop in their practice flights. Come along & say hello!

Santa Stroll and Reindeer Run
Sunday 17th December from 10am
A communal stroll around the town to raise money for local charities.

The Day Before, The Day Before
Saturday 23rd December from 11am
Swing Express will be playing live music from 11am-1pm
Hand drumming by Andy Franklin from 1:30pm-2:30pm
Free face painting for the children


Halstead Christmas Fayre & Light Switch On
When: Saturday 25th November from 10am
Where: Through Halstead Town Centre 
The event includes charity & local business stalls, raffle, activities & competitions as well as a range of entertainment throughout the day from local Choirs, bands & dancers.

Halstead Christmas Light Switch On
When: Saturday 25th November at 4.30pm
Where: Halstead Public Gardens
Switch-on will be followed by Holy Trinity Church for a “Meet & Greet” hosted by Halstead Chamber of Trade where people can enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie whilst admiring the decorations made by local schools and nurseries to decorate the church.


The Great British Christmas Choir Concert with Colchester Brass Band

When: Sunday 10th December
Where: Witham Public Hall

Festive favourites, carols & family hits wrapped up and delivered by renowned sell-out Modern Choir The Sound Collective.

Councillor Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “It’s great to see that each town centre is hosting fantastic events to launch Christmas in their local communities including a range of great entertainment, markets, competitions and activities lined up. This is a fantastic way to start the Christmas festivities and will bring a timely boost to local businesses in the town centres. I would encourage you all to visit your local town to see what it has to offer and join in the festive fun.”