Frost Fest is back. From light switch-ons to lantern parades, festive markets to Santa’s Grotto, Wigan borough is getting ready for Christmas. Events are taking place across the borough throughout November and December, see full programme of events below and follow Visit Wigan on social for the latest headline event updates and community events.
Enjoy free weekend parking and weekdays after 3pm up until 6th January 2023 on all council owned car parks in Wigan and Leigh.
Wigan and Leigh town centres will be sprinkled with Christmas magic with festive street entertainment to entertain the family while you shop for your Christmas gifts for loved ones from a selection of local makers and lots of great food and drink to choose from.
- Wigan Standishgate – every weekend from 26th, 27th November, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th December, Saturdays from 10am, Sundays from 11am
Festive street entertainment
- Leigh Bradshawgate – Every Saturday from 26th November – 17th December
- Wigan Standishgate – Every weekend from 26th November – 18th December
Wigan Christmas light switch-on
Wigan Christmas light switch on this year will this year have Pop Idol icon Gareth Gates taking to the stage along with Abz from 5ive, Katy Unsworth and Sam Lavery. Local performance groups will also be joining the stage show. The town centre will be sprinkled with festive fun for the whole family to enjoy with Christmas markets and crafts, food stalls and a funfair on Standishgate from 10am.
When: Saturday 26th November 2022, entertainment from 1.30pm, light switch on at 7pm
Where: Wigan Town Centre
Santa and his reindeer will lead the Santa parades in Wigan and Leigh Town centres, the centres will transform into festive wonderlands with funfair rides, markets and a stage show.
- Wigan Town centre - Sunday 27th November, Christmas entertainment from 11am. Parade starts from Mesnes Park at 1pm.
Local community Christmas events
Local lights switch-ons events:
Golborne Christmas light switch-on
Christmas is coming to Golborne with a Christmas disco, a live performance and Christmas carols by Golborne Brass Band. Santa will also be flying by in is sleigh.
When: Thursday 24th November 2022, from 5pm
Where: Peter Kane Square
Tyldesley Christmas light switch-on
When: Saturday 26th November 2022, from 5pm
Bryn Christmas light switch-on
When: Friday 2nd December 2022, from 6pm
Hindley and Hindley Green Christmas light switch-on
Free festive fun for the whole family; visit Santa in his grotto, face painting, food and shop for Christmas presents at the Christmas market stalls.
When: Saturday 3rd December 2022, from 1pm
Where: Hindley Town Hall car park
Ashton Christmas light switch-on
When: Sunday 4th December 2022, from 1pm
Local Christmas markets
The Edge, Wigan
The Edge Christmas Market (external link) will showcase artisan crafters and creators, local food and drink stalls and Santa’s Grotto. Pop along and support local makers, sample the foods and treat yourself to some festive delights before Christmas arrives.
When: 26th November, from 11am
Pemberton Christmas market
Christmas funfair rides, street entertainment, food stalls and brass bands are coming to Pemberton to create some Christmas magic ready for Santa arriving on his Sleigh 4pm.
When: Sunday 27th November 2022, 12pm
Where: Pemberton Masonic Hall, Chapel Street and the White Swan Pub
Standish Christmas market
Festive street market, three craft halls, live music stage and drinks tent will take over Standish high street. For 2022, we're also hosting a virtual market alongside our physical one for the very first time! So you can be there even if you can't BE there. Find us on Tresstle.com (external link), where the online version of the market will be hosted.
When: Saturday 3rd December 2022, 11am
Where: Standish village centre
Atherton Christmas market
Up to 60 stalls offering the perfect place to grab your Christmas goodies.
When: Saturday 10th December 2022, 10am
Where: Market Square, Atherton, M46 0DA
Music, Stalls, Hot food, Brass band. No ticket needed! Visit Facebook (external link) for more information.
When: Saturday 10th December, from 2pm
Shopping Centre Christmas activity
Have you heard Santa and his elves are going to Wigan in December? Santa has brought his sparkly grotto to the Grand Arcade from Thursday 1st December right up to Christmas eve.
Price: £5 per child (ticket includes entry with a gift), book your tickets now (external link).
Give a gift
Would you like to give a gift to a child this Christmas who may not receive one?
From 21st November - 12th December the Makinson Arcade have a tree located within a window, next to Cawley Jewellery. Grab a tag and purchase a gift for the age and gender of the child and drop off your unwrapped gift to any of the drop off points – Niamh and Ruby’s, Truly Scrumptious (Aspull) or Uptown Diner. The gifts will then be donated to the Storehouse Project. View more information about this fantastic initiative (external link).
Wreath Making workshops
Makinson Arcade have teamed up with the wonderful Rose Boutique to host festive wreath making workshops this Christmas. You will be guided on how to make the arrangement and provided with all the materials and equipment you need to create your masterpiece. Suitable for all abilities.
Spinninggate shopping centre
Spinninggate in Leigh has so much festive fun to enjoy throughout December with carol singing, 12 days of Christmas giveaways, festive entertainment every Saturday, festive giveaways, plus free weekend parking.
There will also be free santa visits in December, Thursday – Saturday, 12:30pm - 4:30pm and Sunday 11am - 3pm.
Library Christmas events
Inside The Igloo Live! Family Interactive Theatre Show
Hawk Dance Theatre and The Knotted Project will fill you full of festive wonder as they perform Inside the Igloo Live! Follow the antics of the penguins, Pixel, Crash and Click as they make an adventure out of being stuck inside their igloo. A free interactive show, perfect for all ages. A festive family treat not to be missed!
Upcoming road closures
There will be a number of road closures to facilitate the events including:
Wigan Town Centre
- 26th - Standish Gate – pedestrian closure extended until 9pm
- 27th - Standish Gate – pedestrian closure extended until 7pm, Town Centre closures for parade – 1pm - 2pm.