Erin at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular

The O'Hallorans

The OHallorans

We’re made up of Lyndsey, John and Erin, who all love a new adventure. We try to get away as much as possible, especially during school holidays and variety is a must for us. That means staying anywhere from a luxury hotel to a hostel and it’s not often we go to the same place twice. 

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The festive season is in full swing here in Norfolk. The Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular is perfect for the whole family, bound to get you in the mood for Christmas!

About the Hippodrome Circus

Built in 1903 by circus showman George Gilbert, the Hippodrome is one of the only purpose-built circus buildings that still stands! Over the years, the building has been host to a number of amazing events and performers such as The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Julian  Moscow State Circus, Chinese State Circus, Circus of Horrors and even BBC Question Time

The building was purchased by Peter Jay in 1979, who went on to restore the sinking floor in 1981. The Hippodrome is still in the Jay family, with Jack Jay as ringmaster! In the summer months you can enjoy the summer spectacular, with other shows with pirate or Halloween themes and the Christmas spectacular in winter. 

Popcorn at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular

Contact and address

St. Georges Road (behind the CIRCUS CIRCUS Amusement Arcade)
Great Yarmouth
NR30 2EU

Box Office: 01493 738877 
Email address:

Parking at the Hippodrome

The Great Yarmouth Hippodrome does not have parking facilities. However, there are plenty of public (paid) car parks, most of which are a short walk away.

Hippodrome shows

Dance Estelle opening number

Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular

Jack Jay and Ben Langley

The Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular is led by ringmaster Jack Jay and Norfolk comedy star Ben Langley. During some of the Hippodrome’s other shows, you can expect to see Jack and Johnny Mac instead. 

Jack Jay and Ben Langley

Fans of the Hippodrome will already know Jack Jay, as he leads all of the circus shows, and he does it so well. He knows how to get the audience excited for the show and he’s a lovely friendly face to see every time we visit. Ben Langley is a local and from Norfolk and you might have seen him before of Britain’s Got Talent. He brings a different kind of comedy to Johnny Mac, including a fun bit with a balloon and his famous alternative lyrics section. 

Ben Langley at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular

World-class circus acts

The Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Christmas Spectacular is well-known for having a show packed full of amazing acts. If you’ve never been to the Hippodrome before, you might not know what to expect in terms of performers. However, you’re in for a real treat as the entertainment is world-class at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Circus. It’s some of the best I’ve ever seen. This iconic Hippodrome show is full of international circus artistes, coming from all over the world to perform. 

Act at Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular

This particular show happens to be my favourite so far out of all of the shows I’ve seen at the Hippodrome. I might say that each time I go but that’s because the show just gets better and better. The great thing about this particular show is that there was something for everyone, with varying levels of danger and excitement. There was a certain point in this show that we were all sitting on the edge of our seats, with our hearts beating incredibly fast. Acts in the 2023, new Christmas spectacular include:

  • Aerialists
  • Spinners
  • Magicians 
  • Wheel of Death (the stand-out act for me)
  • Hula hoopers
  • and much more! 
Wheel of Death at the Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular

The Hippodrome offers such an incredible variety of entertainment, and there really is something for everyone. I particularly like the more dangerous acts, while Erin loves anything with great music and the comedians. This is such an amazing show and a great Christmas treat. We had the best time as a family and it’s somewhere we’d definitely book tickets for again another year. This might be the final production of the year but it runs until early January, giving you loads of time to go and see it. 

Fantastic dancers

Something I always like at the Hippodrome shows are the dancers. The cast comes from Dance Estelle, a local dance company based in Great Yarmouth. The dancers are absolutely fantastic and they really put everything into their performances. This was our first time at the Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular and it was so nice to see even more dancers than normal! From Christmas numbers to Irish dancing, the dance sections are worth watching on their own and they are a nice way to break up the other acts. 

Dance Estelle Irish dance

The water spectacular

During the second half of the show, this circus does something that I’ve never seen anywhere else. The Hippodrome is home to the world-famous water spectacular, meaning that the stage turns into a swimming pool! The circus floor sinks and fills to create a gigantic swimming pool. The water show consists of synchronised swimming and dancing, as well as circus acts such as an aerialist, performing in the air. 

Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular - dancers in the water

Although this section of the show isn’t as long as the first, it’s so entertaining and something really different. As I said, I’ve never seen this done anywhere else and I don’t think I ever will. If you don’t know what’s coming, it’s such a fun surprise and one that I know both children and adults love to see. This year, with a bit of added extra special Christmas magic, even Santa makes an appearance from the water!

End of the show at Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular


When do the doors open?

The doors open roughly 35 minutes before the Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular starts. 

How long does the show last?

The Christmas Circus and Water Spectacular lasts around 2 hours. 

Is there an interval?

There is a 20-minute interval in the middle of the show. There is an announcement a few minutes before the show is due to begin again. 

Can I buy refreshments at the Hippodrome?

The Hippodrome offers a range of soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, children’s drinks and snacks both before a show and during the interval. Snacks include popcorn, sweets, ice cream and nachos. 

Other places to visit in Great Yarmouth:

For more day out ideas, go to the Visit Great Yarmouth website.

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