Jersey in December
Are you thinking of visiting Jersey in December? This page tells you what it's like.
In the period from 1 to 23 December, a festival called La Fete dé Noué takes place. It includes markets, carols, street theatre, parades, walks and a celebration of the winter solstice.
It's not all Christmas though! If the weather permits you can still go sea kayaking, sports centres and swimming pools are open, and there is a full programme of events at Jersey's
theatres and cinemas.
Christmas shopping is in full swing, and the main shopping area in St Helier is decorated with a canopy of white lights.
Late night opening on Thursdays before Christmas sees the town full of shoppers enjoying al fresco food and street entertainment along with the shopping.
Traditional markets take place on weekends in December, some specialising in local arts and craftsand produce, others in Norman French products.
Many local people head for Durrell on the first weekend of December for their Christmas Shopping Weekend. Find gifts with a difference, see the animals and help wildlife conservation too. Durrell will have various activities and entertainmnet on over the weekend.
Jersey in December wouldn't be the same without moonlight skating arena somewhere in St Helier. In 2007 this was in the Parade Gardens, with a food village alongside.
The arena had a tree in the centre and was decorated with festive lighting.
Prices vary for peak and off-peak skating times, and private lessons are available. The skating rink usually opens in the middle of December and continues until the end of the school holiday.
While not all of the Island's attractions are open in December, those that are often have special Christmas events and activities.
Durrell is open every day except Christmas Day, there are plenty of orchids in bloom at the Eric Young Orchid Foundation, Jersey Pottery has children's entertainment, and aMaizin! Craft Cente has a wide range of Christmas crafts and gift ideas. The Harbour Gallery in St Aubin has home-made food, great gift ideas made by loacl artists and regular craft workshops.
Look out for the street entertainment during the month. You'll find everything from local carol singers and brass ensembles playing traditional christmas music to innovative street theatre acts and acrobatics.
Times of performances vary. The best time to look for them is on Thursday late-night shopping nights.
Christmas Pudding Race
A Christmas Pudding Race, based on the annual event in Covent Garden, takes place in the second week of December. Teams of 6 compete over an obstacle course around the Royal Square in fancy dress. The event raises funds for Cancer Research, and is great fun to watch.
Why not plan to combine your shopping trip with a meal out? St Helier has many cafés, pubs and restaurants, many of which will offer special Christmas menus and local produce.
In Jersey in December the Fete dé Noué festival takes place, opening on 1 December with a parade of lanterns from Howard Davis Park through the centre of St Helier to the Cenotaph in the Parade, where entertainmnet awaits.
New in 2007 was a mini Battle of Flowers parade. Floats covered in flowers and lights and accompanied by dancers paraded through the St Helier streets.
Various carol services and concerts take place in the run up to Christmas. The largest is probably the open-air carol concert in the Royal Square a few days before Christmas.
The first day of winter is celebrated in the Royal Square with entertainment and nibbles.
Jersey's amateur dramatic societies always put on fantastic pantomines before and after Christmas. If you've never been to one before, this is a great opportunity - but beware, tickets can sell out quickly, especially for the holiday, weekend and matinee performances.
See details for the Jersey Art Centre and Opera House on the
While you might not think of Jersey in December to be the obvious place for walking, but Jersey Tourism offers a wide range of guided walks throughout the month. Choose from cliff path walks, town walks, ghost walks and walks in various of the Island's parishes.
Christmas Day swims
Now I love swimming in the sea, but I'm not sure I'm up for this!
There is something of a tradition in Jersey of Christmas Day swims - not in comfortable warm
, but in the sea.
The swims happen at a number of places around the Island. The one at Havre des Pas has taken place for more than a century.
If you're brave enough, you might find others at Ouaisné and St Catherine.
There are no foxes in Jersey, so the only hunts that take place are drag hunts. The Boxing Day Hunt is a long-established tradition started in the days when soldiers were stationed at Fort Regent.
Boxing Day Vintage Car Rally
Another tradition in Jersey in December, the Boxing Day rally has taken place for the last 40 or so years.
Expect to see around 80 to 100 vintage cars leaving the Esplanade in the morning, driving through most of the parishes, and then meeting for refreshments of lunch at the end. The route is publicised and there are many places where you can watch the cars pass.
Many hotels offer special Christmas and New Year packages.
If you want to get away for Christmas this year, but not miss out on the traditional Christmas activities, Jersey in December is a great place to be.
Find out more about shopping in St Helier here
Find out about theatres and cinemas in Jersey here
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Return to Jersey through the year