Things to do in Exeter during December

December 21, 2022

As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, it’s nice to have something to look forward to. Whether you’re staying at uni for a longer time this year or staying in Exeter until next term, here are some fun things you can do this holiday season!

Christmas Market

Chalet stalls lit up at Exeter Christmas Market

The Exeter Christmas market is open until December and is the perfect way to get you into the holiday spirit! With lots of cute shops and stands offering great food and drinks, you don’t want to miss this. It’s open 10:00 - 19:00 Monday through Wednesday and 10:00 - 21:00 Thursday through Saturday.

Winter Wonderland

Rides lit up at night, Exeter Winter Wonderland


If you’re looking to have a good time after going to the Christmas market, Exeter has it's very own Winter Wonderland! It can be found in Northernhay Gardens and is filled with fun rides and attractions, ice skating, chances for you to win prizes and more places to have some food. It’s open daily from 11:00- 22:00 and is here until 2 January. Winter Wonderland has free entry free but in order to go on the rides, you will need to buy some tokens.

Princesshay

Shops and festive lights in Princesshay


Not only does Exeter’s Princesshay have many stores to choose from if you’re looking for somewhere to do your Christmas shopping, but it is also filled with many Christmas decorations that will put you in the festive spirit. There are also a lot of fun photo opportunities if you’re looking for a good Instagram post 😉


Comedy Shows

Audience laughing in the Northcott Theatre


Live at Christmas
with Dylan Moran, Mike Wozniak, Jayde Adams and more are coming to Exeter Northcott Theatre for a festive comedy show! “Legendary BAFTA and Perrier award winning comedian Dylan Moran headlines this year’s incredible Live at Christmas line-up. You’ll be floored as he takes you on a joyously furious romp through the frustration and folly of modern-day life.” You can watch this show on Wednesday 21 December at 19:30.

Fancy a Movie Night instead?

Exeter Phoenix Cinema are showing a number of festive classics over the winter break. Student tickets are £5!

Carolling at Exeter Cathedral

Sheet music in a choir book

If you’re looking to enjoy some cheerful carolling, make sure to visit our beautiful Exeter Cathedral on Tuesday 13 or Wednesday 14 December at 19:30.


Exmouth Christmas Day Swim

A group of swimmers on the beach

This is one of Exmouth’s biggest traditions, and it’s only one train away from Exeter! If you want to get in on the action, go to the sea front of Exmouth on the 25 December from 10:45 until 12:00!

Photo credit: Exeter University Open Water Swimming Society (@euowss on Instagram)

Christmas Dinner

A table full of Christmas dinner

If you’re staying in Exeter during the Christmas holidays and you’re looking for a place to have a Christmas meal, here are some of the restaurants that will be open:

  • Cote Exeter
  • Harry’s
  • Bill’s
  • Cosy Club
  • On the Waterfront
  • Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel

Or you could join other students and University staff on the Streatham campus for the Christmas Day Lunch at Lopes Hall, organised by the University's Care Team. Book your tickets here before 12:00 on 19 December - only a limited number of tickets are available.