UPDATE 2019: Kelham Island Museum Victorian Christmas fair this year will be on 30th November-1st December.
Every year the Kelham Island Museum’s Victorian Christmas Market is on from Saturday 2 December (10am – 7pm) and Sunday 3 December (10am – 5pm). This super popular Christmas market says it’ll “bring a sprinkle of Christmas cheer to the steel city”. This year was our first visit and I was intrigued to what it was going to be like for families, seeing as I’ve heard mixed reviews from friends and family. Here’s what we thought and photos from the day! 🙂 What i
s Kelham Island Victorian Christmas Fair like? Review
What to expect at Kelham Island Victorian Christmas Fair
What is Kelham Island Victorian Christmas Fair like? Review
– A Dickensian themed Christmas Market on the cobbled streets at Kelham Island
– Busy event – that attractions over 16,000 visitors
– Huge market with LOADS of stalls… there’s over 120 stalls “bearing seasonal goods to suit every pocket”
– Festive traders, Santa’s grotto, traditional rides, Victorian costumes
– Santa Industries Co. with a Santa’s Workshop and HQ Grotto, with real reindeer
– Costumes! “Dickensian Living History folk, Snow Queen, cheeky Diggin’ Holes Victorian pickpockets”
– Music, brass bands, Morris dancers, choirs and main stage
– Much food and drink, take your pick with lots of traders… there’s “hot chestnuts, mulled wine, a scrumptious hog roast, cakes and chocolates galore and taste sensations from around the world.”
When and how much?
The event is on every year and typically the first December of the month. In December 2017, it was on from 10am until 7pm on Saturday 2nd December, and 10am until 5pm on Sunday 3rd December.
Prices? Entry costs £6 for adults with kids free. Rides and grotto extra. Admission into the museum is included.
What we thought of Kelham Island Victorian Christmas Fair
I was excited to go because it was a first having never been before and I do really like kelham island museum. I was looking for a unique Christmas market instead of the usual… this looked just like that, and I was looking forward to this with the traditional and victorian theme.
We set a Sunday aside for it and headed there around 11am. By the time we arrived there was a huge queue going down in front of The Fat Cat pub. At first we stopped and thought, “is it worth it?” but we had planned to spend most of the day there so we went ahead and joined the queue, regardless. To my surprise in the queue it wasn’t so bad to wait because entertainers came to keep us occupied… we were greeted with a victorian pickpocketer and a victorian dressed old lady serving mulled cider. That was a nice surprise!
The price to get in was £6 each, under 16’s are free. This is cheaper than museum entry (increased this year, or if you gift aid) so essentially it’s a bargain. However, there are extras… food, drink, rides, grotto and stalls… be aware of this and take cash.
There was a decent fairground with rides and a Ferris wheel opposite the Kelham Island Museum… we planned to go back but it was really busy. On average the rides were around £3 each. I really wanted to go on the Ferris wheel!
Kelham Island Victorian Christmas Fair is vast with LOADS of stalls. I was really was taken aback with how much there was to browse and buy… you could probably do all your Christmas shopping here. There’s markets inside, outside and in marquees. I did like how we could go inside the museum without paying more, but it’s not a good way to see the museum as it’s so crowded.
Although, because it was so busy, you couldn’t really see anything in the museum because you were surrounded by crowds. Eric was in a sling and I wouldn’t have put him down for the fear of him being stampled on. We quickly left the inside of the museum without buying anything because it was just a bit too chaotic for us.
Outside there’s food, drink, entertainment, more stalls and the Santa’s Workshop & Grotto. Inside a marquee tent were some crafts before you could go and meet Santa, this was an extra charge. The workshop and grotto were towards the back of the museum with some kids rides and food stalls. It wasn’t as busy here and we were able to let Eric have a wonder around but not for long before it picked back up again. We spent some time looking at the blacksmiths working which was very impressive, the reindeer and old vintage train and fairground sets.
We didn’t eat because, again, it was just too busy and there would have been no where to put Eric. The food looked fantastic though, with seasonal options, tasty street food, beer, festive drinks, treats and desserts.
I wouldn’t go again with Eric because it was just too crowded for us. You really would have to take a sling for little ones, we took both a pram and sling and it was far too busy to get through most of the crowds with a pram and inside the museum where majority of the stalls are it is really busy. There are lifts so there is access for prams and disabilities but the rooms where the stalls are it is very crowded and hard to get through. I didn’t feel like I wanted to browse because I had to keep making sure I wasn’t going to lose sight of ollie in the crowds.
I would definitely not take the pram if I went again, and just take a sling, but he’ll be 3 for next year’s event and I don’t think he will be particularly entertained in a sling looking at busy market stalls. However, that being said, there really are SO MANY stalls to browse with amazing foods, you can do lots of Christmas shopping and find unique items with food, crafts, homemade, drinks, homeware, art and so much more. It was the biggest Christmas market in terms of stalls I have ever been to.
Admission into the museum during the event is free, which usually costs £6ish, but it is impossible to actually enjoy the museum (which we are frequent visitors of) because of the crowds. Please do go back another time to see the museum if you’ve never been before to really benefit from your visit. 🙂 The indoor play centre was closed on this day, too, (and unless this had been supervised by staff I think this was probably the best idea for safety).
Atmosphere is nice despite the crowds, you can get some nice photos in some spots and if you manage to get some food and drink I bet you can have a nice time. I’m glad we went as there’s always a first for everything. 🙂
What is Kelham Island Victorian Christmas Fair like? Review
Visting Kelham Island Museum is something we like to do all year round, it’s a good day out for us and a museum I really like. There’s loads of space, indoor play area, good playgroup once a month which has great activities for kids, and the museum itself is just very interesting and great to learn all about Sheffield history. To read my complete review you can find that here.
Sooo in conclusion… If you have been, what do you think? Do you reckon it’s worth the money? Is it good for kids? If you’ve been this year will you be going back?
For more reviews of Christmas markets, grottos & more, browse the Christmas category here!
Here’s to next year for more Christmas fun! Happy new year everyone and thanks for reading 🙂