THE most wonderful time of the year is almost upon us once again as Southampton announces its calender for the festive season.

Skate Southampton Ice Rink will kicking off the start of the city's festivities on November 9, and run all the way until January 5, except for Christmas Day.

Andy Collyer, General Manager at Westquay said: "We are very excited to be hosting Skate Southampton for the third year running."

Situated between the medieval walls and Westquay South, the 900 square metre, pure genuine ice rink, is Skate's biggest ever.

Sessions start at 11.30am until schools break up for Christmas, then sessions will start from 10.30am, with the rink closing at 9.30pm every night. If an hour on the ice isn't for you, or you need a place to rest your legs, head to the conveniently placed Moguls Alpine Bar next to the rink to relax with a warm, or cold refreshment.

Southampton's Christmas Lights Switch On is set to illuminate the high street on November 14, coinciding with the opening of the annual Christmas Market.

The Switch On is going to be hosted by the Wave 105 team, and will feature performances from Darren Day, Ukelele Jam, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's choir and also a snippet from the NST Production of CinderELLA: The Musical.

With Santa scheduled to make an appearance, the switch on is set to be a memorable event for the whole family.

The annual German themed market is set to have over 40 independent stalls selling an array of handmade gifts and decorations, the market has expanded due to its successful tenures over the past years. Food and entertainment will be a focus at the market, with live Bavarian music and food being served throughout, as well as cuisines from around the world. The stalls open at 10am and close at 8pm everyday.

The beer garden will be open from from 10am to 10pm everyday and will serve a variety of drinks from typically German draught beer, festive favourite mulled wine and winter warmers like hot chocolate.

Santa will be making guest appearances throughout, flying over the high street at 5pm and 7pm Monday to Saturday and 4pm to 6pm on Sundays, where he will be giving free gifts to the children at a giant advent calender next to the Bargate.