December is 1 of the busiest months of the year in Malaga with the usual round-up of cultural activities plus lots of Christmas events. Read our guide to Malaga events in December.
[box type=”note” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Note: As some of you probably know, it’s really difficult to find out what’s on in Malaga much in advance. So there’ll be plenty more to add to this list of Malaga events in December and so as we find out we’ll be posting them. Watch this space![/box]
Christmas Events in Malaga
These need no introduction and those in Malaga are famed throughout Spain. The lights on Calle Larios are the highlight – the entire street is covered in tens of thousands of fairy lights, topped with stars and moons, that flash in time to the music (Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’) at 6.30 and 9pm. Don’t miss the giant Christmas trees on Plaza de la Constitución and Plaza de la Marina plus the long line of lights that shine along the Paseo del Parque.
[box type=”info” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Did you know… some 1.7 million LED bulbs are twinkling away in Malaga this Christmas.[/box]
Christmas Music in Malaga
Plaza de la Constitución – concerts (traditional Spanish carols, flamenco and children’s choirs) will take place every evening between 7 and 10pm over the Christmas period. We’ll be posting the full programme here as soon as it’s released.
The Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra plays Schubert’s Symphony No 5 at the Cervantes Theatre on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 December at 9pm. Tickets from €12 here.
Asanviola, Malaga’s viola orchestra, plays its traditional Christmas concert in CAC Malaga on 13 December at 8.30pm. Free entry (get there early to be sure of a seat).
Joven Orquesta Andalusí, this youth orchestra plays Andalusí music for Christmas at the Carmen Thyssen Museum on 18 December at 1pm. Free entry (get there early to be sure of a seat).
Find out more about Christmas in Malaga.
Nearly 70 nativity scenes are on display around Malaga until 6 January. Ask at the tourist office for a map. Some of the biggest and most famous are:
- Cathedral – open daily 10am-2pm & 5-8pm
- Cofradía de Estudiantes – open daily 10.30am-1.30pm & 5.30-8pm (on Calle Alcazabilla)
- Carmen Thyssen Museum – during museum opening hours, closed Mondays
- Diputación (on Calle Pacifico, next to La Térmica cultural centre – get here on the No 16 bus) – open weekday mornings. This unusual nativity scene includes emblematic places from around Malaga province including the Antequera Dolmens and several resorts on the Costa del Sol.
- Archivo Principal – Alameda Principal, open weekdays 10am-1pm & 5-8pm, weekends 10am -1pm. 15 lifesize figures built in the traditional Valencian ninot-figure style using wooden frames and papier-mache. These figures are burnt on the night of San Juan in Valencia.
Christmas Markets in Malaga
With Christmas on the horizon, Malaga markets are a great place to start your Christmas shopping. As well as the usual Sunday arts and crafts markets on Muelle Uno and on the western seafront promenade:
Made in Soho Market takes place on Saturday 17 December in Calle Tomás Heredia, 11am to 7pm. As well as arts and crafts, stall sell vintage pieces, organic fruit and vegetables, plants and second-hand clothes.
El Rastro Cultural takes place at La Térmica Cultural Centre on Friday 2 December from 7pm to midnight. As well as 40 stalls selling vintage goods there’s a roller disco and a Lindy Hop class – how’s that for an eclectic evening?!
Paseo del Parque – lots of stalls selling Christmas gifts, fireworks and food from noon to midnight during the Christmas period.
Christmas Market in La Concepción Botanical Gardens – Christmas arts and crafts, food trucks and fun for kids plus a chance to look round these lovely botanical gardens in Malaga. Sunday 18 December 9.30am to 4.30pm. Free entry.
Christmas Sporting Events in Malaga
The highlight of the running year takes place in December – the Malaga Marathon is on Sunday 4 December starting at 8.30am in Paseo del Parque and running 42k around the city before returning to the starting point. A great way to lose weight before the Christmas excesses but we’ll be watching rather than participating!
Shorter runs also take place including the San Silvestre run on 31 December. The 7.5km race starts and ends at the Rosaleda Football Stadium. Sign up here.
Read about the 5 best places for running in Malaga.
Christmas in Malaga for children
Children will love the lights and nativity scenes, and:
- Muelle Uno – funfair rides and Santa’s grotto complete with reindeer. Santa’s open for requests between 2nd December and 5th January (he overlaps a bit with the 3 Kings there) from noon to 2.30pm and 5 to 8pm.
- Corte Inglés esplanade – as usual, the department store has set up its Christmas attractions. Enjoy the ice rink, toboggan ride and merry-go-round. Open daily during shop hours (10am to 10pm).
- Tin soldiers – one for adults too, this exhibition in the Archivo Municipal (Alameda Principal 23, weekdays 10am-1pm & 5-8pm, weekends 10am -1pm) includes several unique collections of tin soldiers.
For more information on things to do with children in Malaga, click here.
What’s on in Malaga in December – Art exhibitions
As always, events in Malaga in November include lots of great art (whatever your favourite genre):
‘To Breathe – Zone of Zero’ – This unique installation by Korean artist Kimsooja, includes almost 1,000 Buddhist lanterns laid out in the form of a lotus flower. Accompanying them is a song track of traditional chants from around the world including Buddhist and Gregorian. A very relaxing place to get away from the busy streets outside. Until 1 Jan. Free
Camara de las Maravillas – Mark Ryden brings a collection of his work to CAC Malaga from 16 December. The American artist’s exhibition, called ‘The Wonderland Room’ showcases his work as part of the Lowbrow movement. Shades of Alice in Wonderland and Edward Scissorhands. Until 5 March. Free
The Modern Arcadian – one of the must-see art exhibitions in Malaga this month, it features the Uruguayan artist Torres-García and takes an in-depth look at his work. On display are paintings, sculptures and toys, some of which are on loan from MOMA in New York. 10 October to 5 February. €5.50
Carmen Thyssen Museum
New York also appears at this museum showing ‘Notes from New York’ by Spanish artist Joaquín Sorolla. Sketched during his visit to the Big Apple in 1911, the small collection provides a unique snapshot of Central Park and Fifth Avenue. Until 8 January. €4.50
The Winter section of the Four Seasons exhibition at the Russian Museum in Malaga takes central stage this month. Contrast the positively icy pictures of Russian in the snow with the bright sunshine and mild temperatures outside.
While you’re at the Russian Museum, don’t miss:
Chagall and his Russian Contemporaries – a look at 60 works by Chagall and his fellow painters. Another must-see art exhibition in Malaga, this small collection also includes a recreation of Chagall’s home in Belarus. Until January 2017. €4
Resistance, Tradition & Opening – Russian Art over the last 4 Decades – the title is a bit of mouthful but the paintings are well worth a visit. They include Vogue as you’ve never seen it and some cutting-edge modern works. €4 (included in the ticket for the Chagall exhibition)
Fan of architecture are in for a real treat at the Pompidou Centre that starts the month with a new exhibition, From the City to the Museum – Parisian Architecture 1945-2015. The exhibition covers the 60 years from the post-war period to the present and includes the hey-day of iconic design in Paris during the Mitterrand years. Expect to see models, plans, photos and sketches etc of the best in Parisian architecture. 1 December until 5 March. €4
[box type=”note” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Top tip for Malaga art exhibitions: Entry to all the art museums in Malaga is free on Sundays from 5pm.[/box]
La Térmica Cultural Centre
Don’t miss this one because it’s a must-see. ‘Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: a tribute to master photographers‘ shows the iconic American actor as you’ve never seen him before. He features in 41 photos from the 20th century (think Hitchcock, Dali, Picasso, Marilyn… ) as seen by American photographer Sandro Miller. And don’t miss the video showing the making-of. Until 29 Jan. Free
Get to La Térmica Cultural Centre on the No 16 bus from the Alameda Principal.
La Casa de Gerald Brenan
‘Intimate Gerald Brenan’ looks at the British Hispanist’s social life during the 1960s in Torremolinos. The writer and his American wife formed an essential part of the beatnik, jet-set and hippy scene on the Costa del Sol and this exhibition offers an interesting insight into the beginnings of Torremolinos as part of the European holiday circuit. Casa de Gerald Brenan, Churriana. 4 November to 1 February – Weds & Thurs 4-9pm, Fri 11am-2pm & 4-9pm. Free.
Get to Gerald Brenan’s house on the No 9 bus from the Alameda Principal and get off in Churriana at Maestro Vert (stop number 1041). Find out more about Gerald Brenan’s house, one of the more unusual things to do in Malaga.
Film events in Malaga in December
CAC Malaga shows the BAFTA Shorts 2016 Nominees on 14 December at 8pm. Free entry (get there early to be sure of a seat).
P.S. – Heads-up for January
7 January to 11 February – Malaga Theatre Festival. Over 48 plays and perfomances at the Cervantes Theatre and Echegaray Theatre by big-name actors such as British mime genius Lindays Kemp, Aitana Sánchez Gijón and Maribel Verdú together with the Catalan classic, El Joglars.