Get into the spirit of the season with these Essex Christmas Lights Switch Ons. Enjoy a variety of stalls, rides and activities – and maybe even meet Santa and his reindeer!

We also have listings for grottos, pantos, and Christmas markets in Essex.

We do our best to provide accurate details, but please check with the organisers before travelling.

November 2017

Freeport Braintree
Thursday 16th November 2017, from 4pm – lights switched on at 7.30pm
Come and get the festive spirit at the Christmas Light Switch On at Freeport Braintree, with Stacey Solomon! The event kicks off from 4pm where you can enjoy a whole host of FREE arts, crafts and face painting, Real Reindeer, a Giant Santa Chair and performances from the Colchester Brass Band. Heart Essex breakfast presenters Martin & Su will take to the stage at 6pm, with the big switch on at 7.30pm by none other than Loose Women presenter Stacey Solomon!

Romford Christmas Lights Switch On – Romford Market, RM1 3ER
Thursday 16th November 2017, 4.30pm-6.30pm
Come and join us for an exciting evening of free family entertainment. A live performance from the winner of the voice kids 2017 – Jess Folley! Plus D’LuXE and Luke Stanley perform and Come and see Chase and Marshal from Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol during the intervals. All rounded of with a Firework Display Finale.

Southend High Street Christmas Lights Switch On
Saturday 18th November 2017, 11.00am – 8.00pm
A fun packed day of festive entertainment leading up to the Big Switch On!

Hornchurch Christmas Light Switch on – Hornchurch Town Centre
Saturday 18th November 2017, 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Be sure not to miss this evening of free family fun! Bedrock Radio and Bedrock Bear will be attending. More details to follow.

Harlow Christmas Lights Switch On at The Water Gardens
Saturday 18th November 2017, 4.00pm – 7.00pm

Billericay Lights Switch On – High Street
Sunday 19th November 2017, 3.00pm-4.30pm
Celebration of Christmas Lights – Billericay High Street Christmas Lights Switch On Event. Local School Choirs Harmony, Brass Band, Father Christmas, Dancers Salvation Army Band, Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year, Town Crier.

Maldon Vintage Christmas Fair and Light Switch On – Maldon Town Hall, CM9 4PZ
Thursday 30th November 2017, 6.00pm – 9.00pm
On Thursday 30th November 2017 Maldon will be holding a Vintage Christmas event. Starting at 6pm, there will be late night shopping, a street market, choirs, music, hospitality hosted by the local shops, and competitions. Watch the Town Mayor of Maldon turn on the Christmas lights at 7pm. 01621 850940.

Rayleigh Christmas Lights Switch On
Thursday 30th November 2017, from 4.00pm
Details TBC.

Upminster Christmas Event – Upminster Town Centre
Thursday 23rd November 2017, 4.00pm – 6.00pm
Featuring – Free children’s rides, Carol Singing, Festive On street Entertainment, free Elf Themed Treasure Trail.

Illuminating Elm Park – Elm Park Town Centre
Friday 24th November 2017, 4.00pm – 6.00pm
Featuring- Santa’s Grotto, Choir, Sweet Stalls, Bedrock Radio, Circus Acts, Children’s Games, Steel Band and much more.

Leigh Lights at Leigh-on-Sea
Friday 24th November 2017, from 5.00pm
Activities in town will begin at 5.00pm with the Yuletide Parade starting at Kings Road at 6.30pm, travelling along Leigh Road, Broadway and Broadway West. Crowds will be entertained in abundance throughout the evening with music, food stalls, a fun fair, Santa’s Grotto and more. Leigh Shops and businesses will be involved too! Leigh Community Centre will be holding their own activities during the day – more information to follow.

Halstead Christmas Lights Switch On and Christmas Market
Saturday 25th November 2017, 9.00am – 3.00pm
Come along for a fun day out in the Town Centre. Markets, crafts and stalls. The Mayor and three invited children will switch on the Christmas Light display in Halstead Public Gardens at about 4.30p.m. Santa arrives at EACH from 10.00am and will have some sweets for children, and there will be a snow machine to give a festive atmosphere. All welcome, no entry fee.

Canvey Island Lights Switch On – High Street
Saturday 25 November 2017, 12.00pm – 5.00pm
Christmas Festive Fun including local entertainment, Santa and sleigh, children’s games, funfair, stalls, Christmas lights switch on and much more! Free entry, everyone welcome.

Lighting Up Brentwood – High Street
Saturday 25 November 2017, 1.00pm – 5.30pm
A popular event attracting thousands to witness the Christmas Lights being turned on! There is entertainment throughout the day, stalls, rides and a great Christmas atmosphere! Stallholders applications have now closed. Local performers interested in helping us to entertain the crowds should email

Hockley Christmas Lights Switch On 
Saturday 25th November 2017, 3.00pm – 6.00pm
The road will be closed to allow for stalls, gazebos, Father Christmas and his sleigh and a professional stage for entertainment. The hog roast and mulled wine are also popular especially if the afternoon is on the chilly side.There will be a children’s colouring competition in the morning and the winner will be switching on the Christmas Lights at 5.30pm.

Witham Christmas Lights Switch On – opposite the Town Hall in Newlands Street
Saturday 25th November 2017, 4.00pm
There will be a Dickensian Market with lots of stalls selling various things, then when you are finished shopping come along to watch the Chrismas lights being switched on. This will be a great day out for the whole family so come down to Newland Shopping Centre in Witham Essex this November 2017. Email

Colchester Zoo Starlight Nights
25th November, and 16th and 23rd December 2017
Be transported into a winter wonderland at Colchester Zoo this Christmas to meet Santa’s beautiful reindeer and enjoy his amazing grotto experience. As well as our fantastic daytime events you will be able to stay after dark as the festivities continue into the evening beneath the Christmas lights from 5pm!

Colchester Present Christmas Event 2017
Sunday 26th November 2017, big switch on at 4.30pm
Come along to Colchester Presents Christmas on Sunday 26th November for a day of festive entertainment to get you and your family in the seasonal spirit. It’s off to Colchester we go to! Join leagues with the seven dwarves from 11am when you can browse all your favourite shops, from big name brands to quirky independents, and enjoy the buzz created by brass bands and choir singers whilst mingling with magical street performers in the most historic town in the UK. Watch Santa ride into town at 4pm and enjoy a spectacular surprise showcase outside Fenwick ahead of the big light switch on at 4.30pm, marking the official launch of Christmas in Colchester.

Chelmsford Lights Switch On – City Centre
Sunday 26th November 2017, 2.00pm – 5.00pm
The entertainment starts on the main stage, outside Shire Hall. The festivities will end with a fireworks display around 4.45pm, near the Town Sign. We will also be unveiling a new set of lights for the High Street. This will include a large scale net-like illumination. The lights will create a large, contemporary ceiling of lights which will be spaced out along the High Street. The main colour for the lights will be a cool white.

December 2017

Colchester Zoo Starlight Nights
25th November, and 16th and 23rd December 2017
Be transported into a winter wonderland at Colchester Zoo this Christmas to meet Santa’s beautiful reindeer and enjoy his amazing grotto experience. As well as our fantastic daytime events you will be able to stay after dark as the festivities continue into the evening beneath the Christmas lights from 5pm!

Collier Row Christmas Event – Collier Row Community Group , RM5 3NR
Friday 1st December 2017, 4.00pm-7.30pm
It’s the CRCG Christmas Event! Santa and his reindeer, light switch on, fairground rides, music, and snow!

Dovercourt Town Centre Christmas Lights and Market
Friday 1st December 2017, 5.00pm – 9.00pm
This is a special night for all the community to get together. Carols, sweet treats, children’s rides, characters, hot food & refreshments, meet and greet Santa, come see the reindeer, lots to see and do.

Rainham Village Christmas Fayre
Saturday 2nd December 2017, 10.00am-4.00pm
Featuring Jordan’s Irish Dancers, The Russellettes Majorette Troupe, Lightnin Drama, Thunder Drama, The Singing Princesses, Blues Brother, Dusty Springfield, Oasis, Legends Theatre School, Dance Mode, Foresters Dance Group, Father Christmas with elves, La Salette and Parsonage Farm School Choirs in the church and more.

Barking Mad About Christmas Lights Event – Barking Town Square
Saturday 2 December 2017, 11.00am-5.00pm
We’re holding a Christmas event in the Barking Town Square and the highlight will be turning on of the annual Christmas tree lights by Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Free Santa’s Grotto and gift. Meet and greet with In the Night Garden’s Upsie Daisy and Iggle Piggle and Toy Story’s Buzz and Woody. Lots of festive crafts, face painting, and much more.

Braintree Christmas Lights Switch On Event
Saturday 2nd December 2017, switch on at 5.00pm
This years event is more fabulous than ever before, its a Saturday so we have lots of markets, including a continental market in George yard, Pop up market at the Fountain end of the High Street, Main Stage and 2nd Stage at each end of the High Street, loads of entertainment including a Brass Band. The Museum are hosting a craft market and the Town hall a Wedding Fair! More details will follow as we have them, light switch on at 5pm with the main stage being hosted by Essex Radio and possibly 2 celebs to turn on the lights!

Great Dunmow Christmas Lights
Saturday 2 December 2017, from 3.00pm-7.00pm
Please join us at the festivities, there will be entertainment, food and drink stalls. Use the form on the event website to book your meeting with Santa.

Hadleigh Christmas Lights Switch On
Saturday 2 December 2017, starts at 4.15pm with carol singing. Lights switch-on at 4.30pm.
Come along to sing carols and see the Christmas lights switched on. At the gardens by the eastern end of St James The Less Church graveyard. Refreshments served afterwards in the church vestry

Shenfield Christmas Fayre and Lights – Hutton Road
Sunday 3rd December 2017, 12.00pm – 5.00pm
The event celebrates Christmas with festive entertainment, activities and a variety of Christmas market stalls for local people to enjoy.

Hullbridge Christmas Fayre and Lights Switch On
Saturday 2nd December 2017, 3.00pm – 6.00pm
Hullbridge Community Centre Pooles Lane Hullbridge Essex SS5 6PA
V.I.P. guest to switch on the Christmas Lights. There will be a variety of hot and cold refreshments, live entertainment for all age groups and tastes, Santa arriving by horse and carriage, Santas grotto and much more. Christmas Lights switch on around 17:45.

Rochford Christmas Lights Switch On
Sunday 3rd December 2017
This annual event is fun for all the family. More news nearer the time on what stalls and acts will be on during the day.

Events To Be Confirmed


Loughton Christmas Lights Switch On

Saffron Walden Winter Wonderland