20 + Christmas Light Switch Ons in Norfolk 2023

by Anisa // 0 Comments
close up of a star and christmas lights

You know it’s Christmas season when you start seeing the festive light displays. They seem to get better and better each year. If you want to be one of the first to see the lights, then you need to go to a Christmas Light Switch On.

In this post, we will share details on the best Christmas Light Switch Ons in Norfolk.

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What is a Christmas Light Switch On?

Many towns and villages spend a lot of time, effort, and money on their Christmas decorations. The Christmas Light Switch On is an event where they debut the current year’s lights to the public. Sometimes it will also include fireworks, stalls, and other family-friendly activities.

Best Christmas Light Switch Ons in Norfolk

You have several Christmas Light Switch Ons to choose from in Norfolk. The good news is that you don’t have to choose just one.

If you are unable to make the date for the Switch On, you can always see the light display another night. Most will be up until at least New Year’s Day.

You might also want to read about other Christmas events in Norfolk.

Note: Some details for the 2023 Christmas Lights Switch Ons have not been released. This will be noted at TBC and updated once I have more information.


When: 16 November

The new Norwich Christmas lights (without the beloved Tunnel of Light) will be switched on at 19:00. Millie O’Connell who will be playing the role of Sleeping Beauty in this year’s panto at Norwich Theatre Royal will do the honours.

The event will start at 5:30 and also include live song and dance entertainment, gymnastics displays, a funfair in Gentleman’s Walk, and a visit from Father Christmas. Norwich Market will be also be open until 20:00 so you can get your festive treats.

Get more details here.

Be sure to also read our suggestions for things to do in Norwich at Christmas.


When: 17 November

The official switch on in Holt is a big event! In addition to the lights, there will be live entertainment, street food, craft traders, Santa’s grotto, panto horse race, and firework spectacular. This year’s MC is Olly Day, the host of the Cromer Pier Christmas Show.

The panto horse race is now into its eighth year, and will take place on Holt Hight Street ahead of the official switch. You can watch on as fifteen+ panto horses run for the chance to grab the esteemed @Sowerbys Cup. These ‘panto’ horses are a three-piece composition made up of two-part horse, one-part handler all sponsored by Holt traders.

Since this event is popular we recommend booking the park and ride in advance. Get more information here.

Burnham Market

When: 18 November

The annual Christmas lights switch on coincides with a Christmas market with artisan and street food stalls. For 2023, there will be a Victorian theme. You can enjoy entertainment from the Burnham Church Choir and School Choir and there will be a funfair for the kids. The lights switch on at 17:15.

Learn more here.


When: 19 November

The Light Switch On in Gorleston happens at 17:00 There will also be more stalls along the High Street starting at 12:00 and a free firework display from the roof of the Palace Cinema at 18:00.

Get more information here.

*Also read about more things to do in Gorleston here.

Great Yarmouth

When: 24 November

The Great Yarmouth Christmas Light Switch-On happens on the first day of the Christmas Fayre and Christmas Market.

Harbour Radio will be hosting live music and entertainment on a distinctive double-decker bus stage located in the market square, starting at 17:00. The ceremonial lighting of the Christmas lights will be conducted at 19:00 by Her Worship the Mayor and special guests, followed by a spectacular fireworks display launched from the rooftop of the Market Gates shopping centre. Numerous shops and stalls will extend their operating hours, remaining open until 20:00.

Get more details here.


When: 24 November

Prepare to be enchanted at the Aylsham Christmas Light Switch-On, an event brimming with festive delights. From charming stalls offering an array of holiday treasures to the soul-stirring live music by Bill Downes, as well as captivating performances from Aylsham High School students and the Vocalights Choir, there’s something for everyone.

Satisfy your taste buds at the food and drink stalls, providing a delectable array of treats to keep you warm and content. For the little ones, Santa’s grotto is a must-visit, where they can share their holiday wishes with the jolly old man himself.

Immerse yourself further in the holiday spirit at the Christmas tree festival in St. Michael’s Church, and don’t miss the late-night opening of local shops, perfect for finding that unique gift. The festivities kick off at 17:00, with the grand lighting of the Christmas lights at 18:00.

Get more information here.


When: 25 November

The Christmas celebrations actually start on Friday 24th November with carols, mulled wine, and more in the Buttlands. On Saturday, the lights are switched on and Santa will arrive in the Quay by boat. He will head to the his grotto in Wells Maltings to see the children. It’s all capped off with fireworks in front of the Quay.

Get more information here.


When: 25 November

Along with the Light Switch On, there will be a Christmas market, Santa’s Grotto, lots of stalls, food and drink. It runs from 12:00 to 19:00.

Get more details here.

North Walsham

When: 25 November

The Christmas lights in North Walsham in the Market Place will come on at 18:00. There will also be food, gifts stalls and children’s rides too.

Find out more details here.


When: 25 November

Mundesley has a festive event planned to illuminate the town. As the sun begins to set, the air will fill with tunes thanks to live music performances. Stroll through the charming craft stalls, where you can find unique and handmade gifts to make your holiday season special. The joyous sound of carollers will create a heartwarming atmosphere, while tantalizing food stalls and a licensed bar offer a delectable selection of treats and beverages to keep you warm and satisfied.

The lights will switch on at 17:00. If you have little ones in tow, be sure to arrive early, as Santa himself will be making an appearance in his cosy grotto starting at 14:00. It’s a magical opportunity for children to share their wishes with the jolly old fellow.

Get more information here.

King’s Lynn

When: 26 November

Last year children were being invited to play an important role in the popular Christmas lights switch-on event in King’s Lynn. They could make their own remote controlled lanterns for the parade at the free workshop, presented by Kick the Dust Youth Group and called ‘Light the Way to Christmas’ on the Tuesday Market Place.

After the workshop, the parade went through King’s Lynn and made it’s way back to the Tuesday Market Place ready for the count down to the Christmas lights being switched on at 17:00.

Get the details here. STILL TBC for 2023


When: 26 November

Christmas arrives in Hunstanton with a Dickensian-themed Christmas Market in the High Street. There will also be live music from local bands and schools along with rides and more festive fun.

The Christmas lights will be switched on at 17:00.

Get details here.


When: 26 November

The fun starts with a Christmas Carnival at 13:00, then the light switch on is at 16:15 in Queens Square.

Get more details here.

Downham Market

When: 26 November

The annual switching on of the Christmas lights will take place in the town centre at 16:30. While you are waiting for the lights, you can enjoy the community stalls, festive food, live music, fairgrounds rides and games, and a free visit Santa in his grotto starting at 14:00.

Get details here.


When: 26 November

The Dereham Christmas Light Switch is fun for the whole family. There will be stalls, entertainment, fair rides and more. Miss Dee Licious will switch on the lights at 16:30. You can also visit Santa in the Assembly Rooms from 13:30 and there is no booking required.

Get more information here.


When: 1 December

Father Christmas will make an appearance at Thetford Riverside at 16:30. There will be photo opportunities around town, and market stalls selling Christmas treats and crafts leading up to the switch on at 18:15.

Get more information here.

*Also read about more things to do in Thetford.


When: 2 December

Cromer hosts one of the largest switch ons in Norfolk which includes a Christmas Tree Festival, Street Market, Santa’s Grotto, and street entertainers.

If you would like to join in the torchlight parade, then gather at North Lodge Park at 16:30. The parade will head off towards the churchyard at 16:45. The lights (including their lighted arch) will be switched on about 17:45

Get all the details on the Cromer Christmas Festival Facebook page here.


When: 2 December

The Fakenham Christmas Fayre is a family filled day of festive fun! In addition to the town lights switch on, there will be stalls (starting at 10:00), Santa’s grotto, music, entertainment (from around 13:00), and food.

Get more details here.


When: 2 December

Head to Diss Market Place for an afternoon of festive fun for everyone. Ben Langley will be the event compere. There will be live music, a parade down Mere Street, performers, comedy, stalls, Santa’s grotto, a small funfair and the Christmas Lights switch-on at 17:15!

Get the details here.


When: 3 December

A day of celebration will reach its peak at 18:00 with the illumination of lights in Sheringham. Starting at noon, Sheringham High Street will be closed from the Clock Tower to the sea, offering festive live music throughout the afternoon.

From 13:00, you can pay a visit to Santa in his enchanting grotto at Oddfellow’s Hall. Upstairs at Oddfellows, you can capture the magic of the event with a special festive portrait taken by a local photographer. Plus, there will be complimentary mulled wine available for adults until the supply is depleted.

At 17:20 pm, you can join the lantern parade starting from Oddfellows, winding through town, and concluding at the town clock. There, you’ll enjoy uplifting seasonal music, including two sessions by the Salvation Army.

Get more details here.


When: 3 December

Swaffham will have a Christmas market with a variety of craft and food stalls, a funfair, and live entertainment from Fakenham Town Band. Santa will be there to meet children and their families in the Grotto in the Assembly Rooms, but you will need to book a time slot.

Get more information here.


When: 3 December

More details for the Poringland Christmas Light Switch On coming soon here.

More Ideas for Christmas in Norfolk

You might also want to read:

Best Christmas Markets in Norfolk

Where to See Father Christmas in Norfolk

Pantos and Christmas Shows in Norfolk

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