Christmas time is the perfect time of year for fun activities with the kids.
In these weeks and days leading up to the big day, our little people have been getting increasingly impatient & excited, asking us 'how many more sleeps until Christmas' on nearly an hourly basis! We’ve found a great remedy for this is to plan some fun festive things to look forward to during the run up to Christmas Eve.
Here we've compiled some well and some lesser known family activities, events, festivals and even the odd show to get both parents and kids in the Christmas spirit!
Lightopia Festival London, London SE19
Make your way to Crystal Palace Park between November 19th – January 2nd to experience the great festival of light. Lightopia offers interactive and incredible displays and more along a lovely Christmas light walk. Both kiddos and parents are sure to enjoy the interactive lanterns, colourful lasers, water shows, and the palace reborn in light.
Nothing says Christmas like a family theatre show - and we really missed getting to one last year!
The Bolds are just like you and me. They live in an ordinary house in an ordinary street, and they love to laugh. But there’s one slight difference… They’re hyenas! How long can they keep their beastly secret under their hats? With live music, songs and adventures, this brand new Christmas show revels in the joy of being anything but ordinary.
One of our absolute favourite South East London haunts, the Horniman, is putting on a Christmas special edition of their market on Sunday 12 December.
Alongside more stalls with fantastic food and gifts from local traders, you can join in with some Christmas crafts. Make your Christmas lantern in the Education Centre in our drop-in, family-friendly arts and craft session (free), or take the Christmas trail around the Gardens (£2).
Polhill Santa’s Grotto Experience, Sevenoaks TN14
Between November 13th and December 16th, book tickets for Santa’s Grotto Experience, hosted at the Polhill Garden Centre. Tickets for adults are £2.00 and tickets for children are £12.50. Adult tickets include a voucher for a hot drink and Child tickets include an experience with Santa, a special Christmas present and a photo with Santa too – the perfect memento from the day!
This is the final year that the Natural History Museum will be doing their ice-skating rink and it is a one-of-a-kind experience. The rink is surrounded by fairy lights and frost covered trees, which the kids will love. When they need a break from skating, they can get a hot chocolate from the cafe right next to the rink (and something stronger for the adults).
Blenheim Palace Christmas Lights, Woodstock OX20
Take a trip out to the Oxfordshire countryside between November 19th – January 2nd to experience an amazing, beautiful display of Christmas lights set to music. Through the main entrance, you can get food from the Christmas food stalls or enjoy the fairground rides.
Christmas at Chatsworth, Derbyshire DE45
Entrancing scenes combine nostalgic references to Christmases of years past with the traditions at the heart of Chatsworth’s seasonal celebrations. The Chapel plays festive music; a kaleidoscope of colour mingles playfully with gems and minerals; inventive use of recycled materials will illustrate the potential of sustainable decorating; and a sprinkling of the white stuff.
Christmas at Dunham Massey, Altrincham WA14
Over a million lights, lasers, and festive sounds fill the air with seasonal fun at Dunham Massey on weekends from November 19th through to the beginning of January. You can expect glittering deer, sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections, trees drenched in jewel-like colour and don’t forget to glimpse Father Christmas along the way. There are talented independent street food vendors too.
Durham Christmas Festival 2021 will run from Friday 3rd December to Sunday 5th December, 2021. With loads of Christmas shopping from more than 170 independent traders and seasonal entertainment for all the family. There will be 3 markets, and 3 days of entertainment throughout the city of Durham, it’s a great way to start the Christmas season 2021!
The Lanterns at Chester Zoo, Chester CH2
Explore the unique and magical wonderland at Chester Zoo between November 12th and December 23rd. Discover incredible spaces, each filled with colourful lanterns, spectacular costumed characters, and Christmas scenes, which the kid are sure to love.
The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland NE66
From November 29th to January 2nd, make your way out to Alnwick Garden to walk the north east’s biggest and brightest Light Trail. Tickets for the Garden Light Trail start at £12.10. Children 4 and under are free.
Christmas at Kew, London TW9
Because the end of daylight saving time means it gets dark so early, Christmas at Kew is the perfect family late afternoon or early evening activity. There are sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections, and trees drenched in jewel-like colour. Along the route, there are delicious independent street food vendors who offer tasty festive delights, from hot food and sweet treats to spiced winter warmers and hot chocolate. Walk under the stars and have yourself a holly, jolly Christmas as seasonal sounds fill the air. Kew is magical all year round but with the lights up too it really is something special!
Disney’s Frozen in Covent Garden, WC2E
Want to experience a little of the Frozen magic without forking out for the show? Around Covent Garden this festive season, parents and kids can live out their Frozen fantasy. Immerse yourself in the Frozen Forest on the North Piazza, where Christmas trees are dressed in snow, ice, and Frozen decorations. Explore the Insta-famous Frozen Infinity Chamber had an icy overhaul in true Elsa style to appear frozen, with an additional 3D neon installation at both the Long Acre and Floral Street entrances. Explore the Frozen Flower Barrows, where Frozen iterations of Covent Garden’s famous flower barrows are given an icy make over.
Winterfest, London HA9
Take a trip to Wembley Park to experience Winterfest after a years hiatus. The theme for this year is ‘Reunited in Light’. Walk down the family-friendly Christmas lights trails and don’t forget to go see the 25ft LED Christmas Tree, made up of 100,000 lights, which is sure to amaze both kids and parents.
Christmas in Swansea Bay, Swansea SA1
From November 12th – January 3rd, take a trip to Swansea’s Museum Park, which has been transformed into Waterfront Winterland. There’s a host of funfair attractions, a range of festive food and drink, and ice skating. This year also features Swansea’s first Ice Walk, which will meander through the park’s trees, with twinkling lights to guide you on your way.
Christmas Movie and a Cuppa at home!
And if little feet are tired from all the festive outings and excitement, one of our favourite things to do during any festive season is to watch a movie and drink a cuppa with our little people. This year we're excited to watch A Boy Called Christmas with a cup of our Mint Choco tea for us and the kids.
Whatever you get up to this Christmas, we hope you have a fantastically festive time!
Love from us all at Small & Wild x