December is a magical time in Madrid. The city is filled with lights and colors and offers a wide variety of activities for family enjoyment. From Christmas shows to ice skating, Madrid has something for everyone. In this article, we will tell you what to do in Madrid in December and how to make the most of this festive season.
Family Activities: The Magical World of Cortylandia
One of the most endearing traditions in Madrid during the holiday season is visiting Cortylandia. This animated and musical show is located on the facade of El Corte Inglés on Calle Preciados. Both children and adults are fascinated by the lights and characters that come to life during the show.
The magic of Cortylandia envelops everyone who comes to enjoy this Christmas show. The bright lights illuminate the street as animated characters sing and dance to the rhythm of a show that changes every year. It is a true delight for the senses and an experience you cannot miss.
The tradition of Cortylandia began more than 40 years ago (it opened in 1979) and has since become a highly anticipated event for Madrileños and visitors of all ages. Each year, the show is renewed with a different theme, making it even more exciting and surprising.
Cortylandia Show: Schedule and Theme
The Cortylandia show takes place every day of the week and several times a day, so there are many opportunities to enjoy it. Each year, the theme of the show changes, making it a surprise for visitors. You can check the schedule on the official El Corte Inglés website.
The show’s schedule adapts to the different activities and events taking place in the city during the Christmas season. So, whether you have plans during the day or night, on weekdays, weekends, or holidays, you will always find a moment to enjoy Cortylandia and immerse yourself in its magical world.
Activities and Games near Cortylandia
In addition to enjoying the Cortylandia show, children can have fun with various activities and games offered in downtown Madrid during the Christmas season. From bus rides to enjoy the lighting to Christmas craft workshops, the city offers countless options to keep the little ones entertained for hours. Don’t forget to take a photo with Santa Claus or the Three Wise Men!
From Cortylandia to the Christmas market at Plaza Mayor, passing through chestnut stalls, illuminated streets, and all the children’s entertainment options scheduled during these days, downtown Madrid is the best choice for a fun family day with the little ones.
Immerse Yourself in the Pixar World
If you are a fan of Pixar movies, you can’t miss the exhibition “Pixar World” at the Ifema fairgrounds in Madrid. This exhibition allows you to immerse yourself in some of the studio’s most famous films and feel like one of its protagonists for a while. It is a unique opportunity to get to know the world of Pixar up close.
Furthermore, the exhibition “Pixar: 30 Years of Animation” at CaixaForum will take you on a fascinating journey through the history of Pixar. You will see how iconic characters like Woody and Buzz Lightyear were created and discover the secrets behind the most memorable scenes from movies like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, or Up. It is an educational and exciting experience for all movie and animation lovers.
Ice Skating: The Best Rinks in Madrid
If you want to enjoy outdoor activities in Madrid in December, ice skating is an excellent option. The city has several temporary ice rinks where you can glide and have fun with family or friends. Some favorites among tourists and Madrileños are:
- Plaza de España Ice Rink: open from November 23 to January 7.
- Javier Fernández Ice Rink, in Colón: from November 25 to January 7.
- Matadero Madrid Ice Rink: a classic in one of the capital’s most special cultural spaces.
- Amazon & Cibeles on Ice: from December 16 to January 5 in the Glass Gallery of the Cibeles Palace.
- Carabanchel District Ice Rink: from November 24 to January 7.
- Vallecas District Ice Rink: from November 30 to January 9.
- Fuencarral El Pardo District Ice Rink: from December 1 to January 7.
Madrid Gastronomy in December
In December, Madrid’s gastronomy is filled with typical seasonal dishes, but if there are two must-try dishes, they are Madrilenian stew and chocolate with churros. Take advantage of your day of tourism in the city center to recharge with these classics of Madrilenian gastronomy.
Chocolate with Churros: Where to Enjoy the Best in the City
If you’re looking for the best chocolate with churros in the city, you can’t miss Chocolatería San Ginés. Founded in 1894, this iconic chocolatería is known for its hot chocolate and freshly made churros and porras, and it is a must-visit during Christmas for both locals and tourists. The place is quite small and tends to be crowded, especially on holidays and weekends, so you may have to wait before sitting, but we assure you it’s worth the wait.
Gastronomic Fairs: Where and When?
In December, Madrid is filled with gastronomic fairs where you can try a variety of traditional seasonal dishes. From wines and cheeses to sausages and nougat, these fairs are the perfect place to discover new flavors and enjoy Madrid’s culinary culture.
You can’t miss the Art & Wine Madrid Tour, which runs until December, and it will allow you to explore the Mercado de San Miguel and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in a combined tour that offers you the best of gastronomy and art together.
Madrid Christmas Culture: Flamenco and Gospel
If you love music and culture, Madrid offers flamenco shows and gospel music concerts that will make you vibrate. Flamenco is an integral part of Spanish culture, and you can enjoy exciting performances in tablaos and theaters in the city. If you prefer something more spiritual, gospel music concerts are a unique experience to uplift your spirit during the Christmas season.
The Excitement of Flamenco in December
In December, many flamenco tablaos in Madrid offer special shows with a Christmas theme. These shows combine the passion of flamenco with traditional carols, creating a unique experience full of emotion and joy.
But if you’re looking for an authentic flamenco ballet show, where the art of the dancers comes down from the theater stage to thrill all attendees, the Christmas season offers a unique opportunity in the capital: the Gran Gala Flamenco company offers two unique performances in Madrid (on December 24 and January 1) that you can’t miss, whether you’re a fan of this ancient art or haven’t yet been enchanted by its magic.
Gospel Music in Madrid to Uplift the Spirit
If you’re looking for a spiritual musical experience in Madrid in December, gospel music concerts are a wonderful option. Gospel music is known for its contagious energy and its ability to touch people’s hearts. Attending a gospel music concert in Madrid will allow you to connect with the essence of these holidays and elevate your spirit.
Getaways from Madrid: Nearby Charms
If you have time for a getaway outside the city, Madrid is surrounded by nearby charms worth exploring. From the medieval city of Segovia to the stunning architecture of Toledo, there are many nearby destinations that offer an unforgettable day trip. If you’re going to spend several days in the capital, don’t hesitate to organize an excursion to discover all the beauty surrounding Madrid.