Family days out

Magical, sparkly days you don’t want your kids to miss this December

Last updated 4th December 2023

Looking for the most magical Christmas days out this December? Our guide has everything from enchanting light trails to Santa steam trains. Take your pick it’s all winter wonderful.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: top of the Christmas days out in London

Back for another year, Winter Wonderland is now a Christmas tradition in London. All the favourites are still there, including the ice rink, Bavarian village, the Real Ice Slide, and plenty of high adrenaline rides.

Mornings are best for young families, who should have the magical ice kingdom and Santaland on the top of their list, while older kids will love Cirque Berserk and ice sculpting workshops.

Where: Hyde Park, London

When: from now until 1 January 2024

See our recommended places to stay near Hyde Park


Christmas days out at Blenheim Palace

Christmas at Blenheim Palace: fairy tales and light trails in the Cotswolds

Twinkly lights and storytelling come to Blenheim Palace in the Cotswolds this year. The stately rooms have been transformed into the story of Sleeping Beauty as this classic fairy tale is reimagined for a new generation.

Outside, there’s a tempting market to help you with your Christmas shopping and in the grounds is an enchanting light trail to explore.

Where: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

When: from now until 1 January 2024

See our recommended places to stay in the Cotswolds


Take the train to meet Santa this Christmas

The Great Central Santa Express: get on board for sheer magic

A heart-warming trip on a heritage steam railway is the perfect festive adventure, so tickets please for The Great Central Santa Express to meet Santa and his jolly helpers!

For little ones, there’s an activity pack filled with games, puzzles and colouring sheets, and every child on board will receive a special Christmas gift from the man himself!

Children all get a drinks and a treat to keep them satisfied, while grown-ups can indulge in a complimentary Irish Cream Liqueur and a warm mince pie. Yum!

Where: Loughborough Central

When: from now until 24 December 2023

See our recommended places to stay in Loughborough


Glittery Christmas days out at Kew Gardens

Christmas At Kew: a botanical world illuminated

Located at one of the UK’s most spectacular gardens, Christmas At Kew has a reputation as one of the unmissable highlights of the festive calendar.

Glittering tunnels of light, dancing lakeside reflections and trees bathed in jewel-like colours create a beautiful winter world.

Don’t forget to lookout for Father Christmas along the way, and marvel at the mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden.

Where: Kew Hardens

When: from now until 7 January 2024

See our recommended places to stay near Kew Gardens

Lanterns & Lights, Chester Zoo: explore with the animals

Explore an enchanting land filled with colour and festivity, where you can meet orangutans, lions, dolphins and woolly mammoths as you make your way through the forest of light.

Take a walk along the spectacular, towering winter cathedral, and even catch a glimpse of Father Christmas in his sleigh.

With mouth-watering marshmallow tasting and a Christmas market full of festive food and drinks, Chester Zoo has all the Christmas feels this year!

When: Chester Zoo, Chester

Where: from now until 31 December 2023

See our recommended places to stay near Chester Zoo

Christmas At Chatsworth: for lovers of traditional Christmas days out

The countdown to Christmas has begun as Chatsworth is transformed into The Palace of Advent, a labyrinth of 24 rooms filled with Christmas wonder and the sights, sounds and scents of the season.

This is a traditional Christmas experience at its best: travel under archways adorned with candy canes, handmade Christmas stockings and mistletoe; at the heart of the house, you’ll find Father Christmas’ workshop, where preparations are busily underway; keep your eyes peeled for his little helpers around the house, who you may spot making mischief while Father Christmas is away; add your wish to the special Wish Trees; and take the opportunity to stir the giant Christmas pudding pot, just one of many festive photo opportunities to be enjoyed with friends and family.

Where: Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

When: from now until 7 January 2024

See our recommended places to stay near Chatsworth House

The Grinchmas Afternoon Tea: the Grinch himself would love this one

Looking for Christmas days out with a difference? The Grinchmas Afternoon Tea Bus Tour provides a full sightseeing experience of the capital’s most renowned landmarks, including Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park, Nelson’s Column, Downing Street, Green Park, Piccadilly Circus.

Book for the 5.30pm slot and be dazzled by the Regent Street Christmas lights too! On board expect a Grinch-inspired afternoon menu, festive pastries and delightful finger sandwiches – with dietary requirements catered for. This one’s from Brigit’s Bakery, known for their delightful Peppa Pig Afternoon Tea.

Where: Victoria Bus Station, London

When: from now until 31 January 2024

See our recommended places to stay in London

BeWILDerwood, Norfolk: a forest panto bursting with fun

At BeWILDerwood this year, follow the sparkly light trail to meet silly snowmen, curious Christmas crackers, a giant Christmas pudding and lots, lots more as you venture through the festivities.

If you like Christmas pantomimes, then you’ll love the fun and giggles at a ten-minute mini panto where you will learn what Santa Claus is doing visiting the WILD woods!

Will the curious characters of BeWILDerwood be able to save Christmas before it’s too late, and why does that reindeer have bunny ears? It’s all to be discovered…

Where: BeWILDerwood, Norfolk

When: from now until 23 December 2023

See our recommended places to stay near BeWILDerwood Norfolk


Magical meeting with Santa, Wookey Hole Caves

Winter Wonderland, Somerset: Santa and a circus extravaganza

Even the smallest members the family can enjoy the breath-taking 100,000 Christmas lights at this Winter Wonderland – the caves are always dark, so no need to miss bedtime!

Discover Santa’s North Pole Grotto, where every child will get to meet Santa and take home a present from Santa’s Elves from the Toy Shop, and finish the experience with a spectacular, Christmas-themed circus show, full of acrobats and tricks!

Where: Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset

When: from now until 1 January 2024

See our recommended places to stay near Wookey Hole Caves


Avon Valley Christmas Experience, Bristol

Christmas at Avon Valley, Bristol: Santa’s workshop and magical ice skating

When Santa turns up at Avon Valley in Bristol, make sure you have your Christmas wishes at the ready!

First, get in the mood with a family show jam-packed with seasonal shenanigans and full to the brim with mince pies and mischief.

After the show, it’s time to follow the tree-lined route to Santa’s beautiful cabin where he will present you with a ‘golden ticket’ to choose your own gift from the toy factory. There’s a gingerbread workshop for those feeling peckish, and a reindeer food-making station to ensure Rudolph is fuelled for deliveries on Christmas Eve! And don’t miss the Grinch House, ice skating, and the light trail.

Where: Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park, Bristol

When: from now until 24 December 2023

See our recommended places to stay in Bristol

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