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60+ UK Christmas days out for families in 2023

60+ UK Christmas days out for families in 2023

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Stuck for what to get your kids this Christmas? Why not give them a Christmas experience rather than another toy! In this post I’ve included some of the best UK Christmas days out with kids in 2023.

Ticket sales for some of the most popular Christmas days out are already live. Don’t delay in booking these Christmas events happening in 2023. They’re bound to get snapped up fast.

*Advertisement feature – this post contains affiliate links*

Christmas days out around the UK

I do love Christmas events for kids. That’s why you’ll find plenty of them listed here on Tin Box Traveller.

Below I’m pointing you to where to find some favourites like Christmas markets and light trails. Scroll a bit further and I’ve ordered what’s on in 2023 alphabetically by county and city.

Contents - jump to what you'd like to know

Christmas markets in the UK

Visitors experience Winchester Christmas Market
Picture credit: Visit Winchester

If you’re after the bet places to enjoy a Bavarian sausage and pick up some unique gifts take a look at my guide to the best UK Christmas markets.

Christmas light trails in the UK

Family in the tunnel of light made iup of strings of fair lights at Killerton in Devon

And if you need some sparkle in your winter, illuminations are where it’s at. Here’s my guide to Christmas light trails around the UK.

Find more days out in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in my big round up of 101 UK attractions for families.

More Christmas family days out near you in 2023

Here’s where you’ll find snowy white winter wonderlands, amazing Christmas shows and sparkling Santa’s grottos near you in 2023 (sorted alphabetically by area)!

For updates and inclusion of your event please contact me.

What’s on this Christmas in Bedfordshire

Here’s where to find festive cheer in Bedfordshire this year:

Father Christmas at Wardown Museum

This 30 minute experience includes a festive story with Mother Christmas, whimsical elves, and a special gift from under the tree when you meet Father Christmas. Plus, you’ll be treated to milk and cookies in the cozy café afterwards.

Wardown Museum, Luton, from 9 to 23 December 2023

Days out this Christmas in Berkshire

Here’s some of the most popular Christmas days out in Berkshire this year:

The UK’s REAL Santa – SOLD OUT

PODCast LaplandUK - elf workshop - Christmas family days out
Image credit – PODCast

Lapland UK is an immersive Christmas experience near Ascot and one of the best Christmas days out in the UK. No wonder it’s already sold out for 2023!!

Find out what it’s like to experience Lapland UK.

Sign up to the Lapland UK mailing list to hear how to snap up any cancelled tickets and about bookings for Christmas 2024.

LaplandUK, Ascot, SOLD OUT

The magic of Christmas at LEGOLAND

Family at LEGOLAND at Christmas

Families can have a festive experience at LEGOLAND this Christmas with rides, characters and LEGO builds all going for a seasonal spin.

Spot tiny festive scenes in Miniland, see the DUPLO Puppet pantomime and see Father Christmas as he roams the park on his magical sleigh.

You can also have a Santa Sleepover in a themed family room at the resort hotel including breakfast, evening entertainment and a day in LEGOLAND.

Christmas at LEGOLAND*, Windsor, selected dates from 25 November 2023

Christmas days out in Birmingham in 2023

Here’s some ideas for Christmas days out in and around Birmingham:

Peter Pan at Resorts World Arena

Peter Pan promotional poster with Boy George holding hook at centre

See Boy George at Captain Hook in this big budget extravaganza adaptation of J.M Barrie’s much-loved tale Peter Pan.

More than a panto, the show includes dazzling aerial stunts, a giant battle where the audience throw cannon balls at Hook’s ship and a death-defying escape from a locked water tank. 

Peter Pan*, Resorts World Arena, 22 to 23 December 2023

Christmas at Cadbury World

Father Christmas will be spreading festive cheer at Cadbury World in his tree-mendous stage show throughout the day.

Filled with festive fun and toe-tapping Christmas jingles, alongside a sleigh filled with chocolatey gifts for all little helpers at the show, the Santa Show is filled with entertainment for the whole family.

Christmas at Cadbury World*, Birmingham, selected dates from 18 November to 23 December 2023

Magical Christmas at Drayton Manor

Christmas fun returns to Drayton Manor this year with Father Christmas himself making an appearance.

You can also explore the amazing 15-acre zoo, and the 4D cinema, featuring Thomas & Friends Bubbling Boilers. There’s also no fewer than six brand new Christmas experiences including a grotto, a party show and Mrs Claus’ kitchen.

Here’s a taster of what to expect in this review of Drayton Manor’s yule-tide experience from a previous year by Natalie at Plutonium Sox.

Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas25 November to 31 December 2023

Here are some more great family days out in the Midlands.

Christmas experiences in Buckinghamshire in 2023

Here’s a festive event in Buckinghamshire you won’t want to miss:

Christmas at Waddesdon – the Rothchild house

Waddesdon Manor at Christmas

Experience a world of festive, musical splendour, as the gardens and exterior of Waddesdon – the Rothschild house in Buckinghamshire – is transformed for Christmas.

This year the Manor will have displays in the house and brand-new light projections on the façade inspired by three classic British tales: Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Peter Pan.

There will also be a Christmas fair from 22 November to 17 December 2023.

Christmas at Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, 22 November to 1 January 2023

Find Christmas events in Cambridgeshire 2023

Here’s some ideas for Christmas days out in and around Cambridge:

Christmas at Wimpole

Tree stars
Tree Stars. Credit: Richard Haughton, Sony Music

Visit Wimpole National Trust estate in Royston and see it like never before with a trail of magical lights illuminating the gardens. 

Lights, lasers and seasonal sounds will fill the air with festive fun, making the most wonderful time of year even more magical.

Plus, the Mansion House will be decorated for Christmas, with festive food and drink in the restaurant and cafés, and local choirs singing Christmas carols.

Christmas at Wimpole, Royston, 17 November to 31 December 2023

Days out this Christmas in Carmarthenshire

Check out these family attractions in Carmarthenshire to find out what they have in store for you this Christmas.

Christmas days out in Cheshire in 2023

Take your pick from these Christmas days out in Cheshire:

Christmas lights at Bolesworth

Christmas lights at Bolesworth Estate

A 1.2 mile trail of lights will illuminate the grounds of Bolesworth to guide young ‘advent’urers and their families through an enchanted winter wonderland.

There will be a rainbow of floodlit trees, lights that twinkle by the lakeside and sparkling walkways with laser lit bridges.

Father Christmas’ reindeer will be found in the woodland on route and there will be a festive food and drink market at the end so visitors can be ‘stocking’ up with seasonal treats.

There’s also a traditional fairground.

Christmas at Bolesworth, Tattenhall, 24 November to 31 December 2023

See my post about even more Christmas lights trails around the UK.

Christmas at Dunham Massey

Dunham Massey House illuminated
Picture credit: Andrew Ogilvy

Tickets are on sale now for this popular illuminated trail which is returning for a sixth year to this historic National Trust property.

Discover new light and sound installations for 2023 as colour-changing batons of light stretch out into the far distance and winding paths pass tunnels of stars. Watch lights dance along the lawn and discover larger than life flowers that tower overhead.

Tickets sell out fast each year, therefore early booking is essential.

Dunham Massey, Altrincham, 17 November to 31 December 2023

Christmas at Tatton Park

Tatton Park Mansion in snow - Christmas days out with kids

New for Christmas 2023 is Welcome to Wonderland: The Christmas Mansion!

Step inside Tatton Park and dive down the rabbit hole to find yourself in the magical world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Follow Alice’s footsteps through the Duchess’ Garden, the Queen of Hearts’ grand palace, and on through the amazing Magic Forest.

As night falls you’ll find a glittering illuminated trail in the gardens. The theme of the Yuletide event is folklore, festive tradition and rituals with installations featuring characters and creatures from winter myths and stories.

Tatton Park is also hosting Santa at its farm, a Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea and a Christmas craft fair. All events including the Christmas Mansion and light trail are ticketed separately.

Tatton Park, Knutsford, selected dates from 21 November to 31 December 2023

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo

The lantern festival at Chester Zoo is a highlight in its events calendar. This year there will be new captivating light installations that will transport you into enchanting lands filled with colour and festivity.

Meet orangutans, lions, dolphins and woolly mammoths as you’ve never see n them before and colour changing displays stretching as far as the eye can see.

There will also be a walk through the spectacular Winter Cathedral tunnel of lights and a glimpse of Father Christmas in his sleigh.

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo, Chester, 17 November to 31 December 2023

Also skip to the section about what’s on in the Peak District this Christmas.

Christmas days out in Cornwall in 2023

Here’s where you will find the best festive events in Cornwall:

Night Gardens at the Lost Gardens of Heligan

Illuminated umbrellas in trees at the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Illuminations at Lost Gardens of Heligan

Enter the Heligan Night Gardens and enjoy an enchanting lantern experience set amidst the atmospheric Lost Gardens.

Explore the Gardens as they are beautifully lit by a variety of traditional paraffin lanterns and discover a breath-taking display of flora and fauna lanterns, illuminated within Heligan’s much-loved and iconic locations.  

Heligan Night GardensSt Austell, selected dates from 17 November 2023 to 2 January 2024.

Christmas at the Eden Project

Father Christmas and elves in a festive grotto at the Eden Project
Picture credit: Eden Project

Father Christmas, with his sleigh and merry elves in tow, will return to the Eden Project this festive season for a new interactive, theatrical experience.

Join Father Christmas in his cosy log cabin in the heart of the Eden site where you’ll be regaled with a festive story while children can post their letters to the North Pole.

The whole experience lasts 40 minutes with each child getting the chance to meet Father Christmas and leave with a gift they can grow for many years to come.

There’s also new after-dark, immersive music performances and light shows. Meanwhile the Eden ice rink opens on 14 October and remains open until February 2024.

Booking is essential and don’t forget you’ll need to have tickets for the Eden Project as well as Christmas event tickets.

Christmas at the Eden Project, St Austell, 1 to 24 December 2023

More Christmas events in Cornwall 2023

I’m updating a separate post about what’s on in Cornwall this Christmas with more events as they are announced.

2023 Christmas in County Antrim

Check out this festive event in County Antrim:

Enchanted Winter Garden at Antrim Castle Gardens

As the winter sun sets over Lough Neagh, Antrim Castle Gardens will come to life with a magical Christmas experience.

Visit the fairies in Wonderland Wood, meet the sprites who embody the spirit of Christmas in Pixieland, drop in on Santa and don’t forget the rides, attractions, and mouth-watering food in the Festive Food Fayre.

Details of this year’s event are coming soon.

Enchanted Winter Garden, Antrim, 25 November to 19 December 2023

What’s on this Christmas in County Durham

Here’s an event not to be missed in County Durham:

Forest of Light at Beamish Hall

Expect an immersive theatrical experience laid out across Beamish’s ancient woodland. This illuminated experience is accompanied by music, interactive props and projections to dazzle and amaze. 

Christmas at Beamish Hall, Stanley, selected dates from 11 November 2023 to 7 January 2024.

Christmas at Beamish

Enjoy the wonder of Christmas through time at Beamish Living Museum of the North this winter.

From Georgian merriment to 1950s festive fun, maybe you’ll be inspired to start your own family traditions after a visit.

Christmas at Beamish daytimes are included in admission and are free to Beamish Unlimited Pass holdersand Friends of Beamish members.

Christmas at Beamish, 26 November to 24 December 2023

Christmas in Derbyshire in 2023

Skip to the section about what’s on in the Peak District this Christmas.

Christmas days out in Devon 2023

If you’re looking for more inspiration for days out in Devon this December I’ve written about Christmas events in Devon including cruises with Father Christmas, Santa trains and events happening at family attractions.

We love the Christmas experience at Pennywell Farm.

Girls cuddling a piglet during Christmas event at Pennywell Farm in Devon
Piglet cuddles are standard at Pennywell Farm

The Crealy Christmas Spectacular ia another of our favourites and is back in 2023 with new features (check the Crealy website for this year’s event details):

Christmas days out in Dorset this year

There’s loads of things to do in Dorset with kids all year round and Christmas is no exception.

Christmas in Bournemouth

View across Bournemouth's Christmas Tree Wonderland festival

Bournemouth Christmas Tree Festival is back in 2023! This seaside town in Dorset will be transformed into an open-air alpine village.

Experience the magical spectacle of more than 100 glittering trees and illuminations, and explore the Alpine market and skate in the enchanting Victorian lower gardens.

Dates are still to be announced but the event is confirmed.

Read about what to expect from the Christmas Tree Wonderland and take a look at our video from our last visit.

Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland, 17 November 2023 to 1 January 2024.

Find more things to do in Poole and Bournemouth with kids.

Christmas at Kingston Lacey

Visit this historic National Trust property in Dorset to see each room transformed with beautiful decorations to highlight a different magical story.

Families will find trees twinkling with lights, tables ready for glorious Christmas feasts, and a stunning installation by papercraft artist Yasemin Wigglesworth.

Kingston Lacey, Wimborne Minster, selected dates 25 November 2023 to 1 December 2024

Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival

Fairy light carpet overhead town street with nautical themed lights (seashells, boats etc)

Enter a world of Christmas in Poole this year, with this FREE Christmas attraction!

Be prepared to be dazzled as thousands of twinkling lights take you on a nautical journey through the town and culminating in the glistening lit-up harbour.

There will be a number of impressive light installations, including a five-metre tall ship, a giant anchor, an impressive 120-metre maritime curtain of lights to give you a bespoke ‘under the sea’ experience.

This enchanting light festival offers much more than just light installations, with plans for funfair rides, a Christmas themed market selling traditional fare, and unique festive food and drinks offerings.

Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival, Poole Town Centre, 25 November 2023 to 2 January 2024

Christmas experiences in Edinburgh 2023

Here’s where to book a Christmas experience in Edinburgh in 2023:

Christmas at the Botanics

Now established as a firm family tradition in Edinburgh, the trail for 2023 will showcase a botanical world festooned with seasonal cheer. 

New displays this year include huge seed heads floating high into the sky, a lawn of larger-than-life crocus glowing in the dark, brightly coloured pampas, sparkling tunnels of light and the Inverleith House projections with a botanical theme filled with all the colours of the rainbow.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 16 November to 30 December 2023.

Christmas Experience at Conifox Adventure Park

Elves at Conifox Adventure Park near Edinburgh
Conifox Adventure Park elves

Conifox Adventure Park sees the return of its sell-out Christmas experience which will be bigger and better than ever this winter.

Embark on a journey to the North Pole to Meet Santa and his friends with plenty of festive activities and experiences along the way.

Conifox Adventure Park, Kirkliston, 1 to 24 December 2023.

Find more Christmas events in Scotland as collated by Jenny from Monkey and Mouse.

Christmas days out in Essex 2023

Here’s where to enjoy a Christmas experience in Essex:

Miniature Santa Express at Audley End

Ride the Santa Express at Audley End Miniature Railway for a magical festive experience.

Each year the woods are transformed into a winter wonderland compete with a craft area where you can write a letter to the Big Man under the guidance of cheeky elves.

Kids will also get to meet Santa and receive a gift and see a Christmas fairy storytelling show.

A Magical Christmas Experience, Audley End Miniature Railway, 18 November to 24 December 2023

Christmas days out in Gloucestershire in 2023

Have a magical Christmas is Gloucestershire with these days out:

Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum

Family walking through Enchanted Christmas light at Westonbirt

Enchanted Christmas for Westonbirt © [email protected]

The Enchanted Westonbirt illuminated trail is one of the most magical Christmas activities happening in 2023.

Prepare to be dazzled by an enthralling winter wonderland, filled with sparkling lights, festive sounds, and mesmerising installations.

Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire, selected dated from 24 November to 23 December 2023

Christmas at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park

A elf helps a small child stuff a teddy in a magical workshop
Photo credit: Cotswold Farm Park

Christmas on the Farm returns this year with Father Christmas’ grotto and a host of immersive festive activities will engage visitors in the ultimate Christmas experience.

After sharing their heartfelt wishes with Father Christmas, children will be invited into his Toyshop to select a very special present, decorate ginger bread with Mrs Claus and to the Elves’ Teddy Bear Workshop, where they can breathe life into their very own cuddly companion.

And for those visiting Father Christmas in the evening, the Christmas on the Farm ticket provides an extra touch of magic with access to the Farm Park’s Enchanted Light Trail.

Christmas on the Farm, selected dates from 24 November to 23 December 2023.

See my post about even more Christmas lights trails around the UK.

Days out this Christmas in Hampshire

Here’s some of the places to check for events in Hampshire this Christmas:

Festive light trail at Marwell Zoo

Family enjoying the Glow illuminated trail at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire
Glow at Marwell Zoo

Glow Marwell 2023 is going to be bigger and better than ever with half a million twinkling lights, brand new illuminations and interactive elements.

Children of all ages will be able to play in an LED playground, walk across light-up stepping stones, and strike a pose on Rainbow Road.

This year’s multicoloured light tunnel spans an incredible 36 metres and our specially created Enchanted Tree will tower overhead.

Father Christmas will also be there in a new grotto.

Marwell Zoo, Winchester, selected dates from 24 November to 30 December 2023.

The Magical Christmas Adventure at 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park

A group of elves ready to greet visitors to the Christmas experience
Picture credit: 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park and Farm

Santa is coming to 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park in Headley which hosts the UK’s biggest indoor Christmas experience.

The Magical Christmas Adventure is a spectacular 2.5-hour storytelling journey filled with immersive experiences.

Book tickets for your children to experience a private audience with the big man himself before exploring his magical North Pole village of Sparkle Copse.

From toys to teddies, snowballs, and sleighs, immerse yourself in a seasonal extravaganza; take lots of fantastic photos and come away laden with goodies and filled with Christmas cheer.

4 Kingdoms Adventure Park, Headley, 25 November to 24 December 2023.

Cosmic Christmas at Winchester Science Centre

Father Christmas and helper at Winchester Science Centre

Step inside an intergalactic wonderland this Christmas at Winchester Science Centre.

Join Santa in the Winchester Planetarium for a live-action performance and join in as the story is brought to life through magical immersive experiences, exciting live science and an out-of-this-world journey through space across the dome.

Winchester Science Centre, 16 December to 23 December 2023

Christmas at Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World

Peppa Pig and George dress in winter coats and standing in snow
Image credit: Peppa Pig World

Visitors to Paulton’s Park near Southampton will be able to see Peppa Pig World decorated for the season as well as a new Christmas show and illuminations around the park.

Paultons Park, Romsey, 3 to 23 December 2023.

Take a look at my full guide to more than 20 Christmas events in Hampshire.

Christmas days out in Hertfordshire in 2023

Enjoy one of these Christmas days out:

Christmas at Paradise Wildlife Park

Santa will be arriving at Paradise in a beautiful grotto that you can visit for free as part of the entry price. Meeting Santa is on a first come first served basis.

The park will also be turned into a winter wonderland with a glorious festive fairy light tunnel to walk through.

Santa’s grotto at Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne, selected dates from 2 to 24 December 2023

Christmas experiences in the Isle of Wight in 2023

Here’s where to find festive spirit and fun on the Isle of Wight this year:

Santa Specials on Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Board one of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s historic steam trains at Havenstreet for an atmospheric ride through wintery woodland.

Back at Havenstreet follow the pathway to Santa’s North Pole station, where you’ll be welcomed by a seasonal Station Master and his helpers. Next Meet Santa himself on board a traditionally festive Victorian carriage.

There’s also magic shows, a traditional carousel and pop up stores selling unique Christmas gifts.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Havenstreet, selected dates from 2 to 24 December 2023

Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival, Isle of Wight

Nestled in the Isle of Wight Village of Brighstone, 150 Christmas trees will be placed across multiple venues for all to see.

Local charities, businesses, schools and groups will come together to decorate each tree in an act of true Christmas spirit and community feel.

There will be a Christmas craft market close by offering tasty treats and gifts, along with live music throughout the festival including the Lights of Love concert.

Christmas Tree Festival, Brighstone, 7 to 10 December 2023

Polar at Robin Hill

Embark on a magical journey as Pippa the polar bear goes on an adventure at Robin Hill.

Step into an enchanted world, featuring the beautifully illuminated ancient woodland, Walk of Wonder and spectacular illuminations.

Warm up beside the cozy fires found in the Ponds and indulge in delicious selection of festive food and drinks before hopping on-board the Big Red Express for a twinkling tractor journey through the trees in search of Father Christmas’s loose reindeer.

Polar at Robin Hill, Newport, 9 to 24 December 2023.

Find more suggestions for things to do in the Isle of Wight with kids.

Christmas days out in Kent in 2023

Here’s some seasonal experiences to seek out in Kent this year:

Illuminations at Bedgebury

Cathedral of Light at Bedgbury

This family-friendly one-mile magical festive trail in the heart of the High Weald AONB countryside will once again be awash with colour. 

This year see the trees as you’ve never seen them before. International artists have designed a range of installations to portray the pinetum in a majestic light, beneath unique canopies drenched in seasonal colour and inspired by the landscape.

Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, Kent17 November 2022 to 31 December 2023.

Festive fun at Kent Life heritage farm

A host of Christmas activities happens at Kent Life, from a live nativity with real animals to a WWI Home Front Christmas experience.

Of course the highlight will be visiting Father Christmas in his magical grotto where children can select a gift of choice from the well stocked toy shop.

This year, you can also enjoy graduate from elf school, snuggle up in front of some Christmas films in the Chapel, visit the sweet shop and build your own bear.

Be sure to catch an enchanting live show and make a stop at The Snow Inn for delectable festive treats and drinks. And don’t forget to hop on The Jingle Express for a merry ride!

Kent Life heritage farm, Maidstone, 25 November to 24 December 2023

Santa’s grotto at The Reindeer Centre

Meet Santa and his reindeer at The Reindeer Centre’s grotto.

Walk through a 150ft magical grotto, head into the big Christmas barn and meet all the other wonderful farm animals, feed the reindeer and have fun in the snow pit.

The Reindeer Centre, Bethersden, on selected dates between 18 November to 24 December 2023

Christmas events in Lancashire

Here’s where to find some sparkle in Lancashire this Christmas:

The Big Christmas Day Out at Williamson Park

Williamson Park in Lancaster will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with fairground rides, Christmas crafts, festive cinema screenings, and Christmassy Storytime sessions.

Surprises await in the Christmas maze along with performances and workshops by Heartbeeps, Northern Heights, and the Rag Tag Roadshow.

Visitors can also immerse themselves in the enchanting world of Magical Story Jars nestled within the Ashton Memorial, while savouring seasonal treats from the diverse food and drink stalls.

The Big Christmas Day Out, Lancaster, 17 November to 22 December 2023

Christmas events in Leicestershire in 2023

All aboard for a Christmas train ride in Leicestershire:

Santa Steam Trains at Great Central Railway

Santa has swapped his sleigh for a fun filled journey on an enchanting steam train.

Ride on board this award winning Santa Special and let Father Christmas surprise you with a an exciting present at your seat and a chat with the man himself!

There’s also a festive drink and mince pie for adults.

Great Central Railway, Loughborough, selected dates form 25 November to 24 December 2023.

Christmas in Lincolnshire in 2023

Here’s what’s on this Christmas in Lincolnshire:

Christmas at Belton

Neon Tree - family stands in front of illuminated tree
Photo by Richard Haughton © Sony Music

This year visitors will see a new route and new lights at Belton National Trust’s magical Christmas light trail.

The lights are choreographed to a soundtrack of much-loved seasonal music, transforming Belton’s majestic gardens into a winter wonderland.

There are picture perfect colour-changing spheres, a sea of lights, a sparkling rose garden and stars leading to larger-than-life mistletoe. 

Belton House, Grantham, selected dates from 24 November to 31 December 2023.

Christmas days out in London in 2023

We do love visiting London with our kids – there’s a surprising amount you can fit in, even when you only have a weekend to explore. Here’s all the things to do in London with kids that we fitted into our last short visit.

If you want to give a special someone a London-themed gift to enjoy after Christmas then Red Letter Days have lot of experiences in and around the capital. Bag a bargain with these Red Letter Days voucher codes.

And here’s what’s on in London this Christmas:


Wishmas is a new central London-based experience which blends the best of theatrical performance and immersive technology.

It’s a 60-minute walkthrough activity with Wishkeepers, Robins and the legendary Father Christmas to meet as you in a journey through magical rooms.

Wishmas, Waterloo, 14 November 2023 to 7 January 2024

Shrek’s Christmas Adventure

Shrek’s Adventure! London is hosting a special seasonal experience with a grotto inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s beloved Christmas special, Shrek the Halls.

Meet Shrek santa, pose for a picture with him and take away a Christmas card.

Shrek’s Christmas Adventure*, Westminster, 1 to 24 December 2023

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Christmas fair in Hyde park in 2016, London
Christmas in Hyde Park

This popular London event returns in 2023 with all the fun of spectacular shows, fairground rides, a Christmas market and Santa experiences in the heart of the capital.

Check the website for ticket options and what’s on. More is being announced over the autumn.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, from 17 November 2023 to 1 January 2024

Ice skating at Queens House, Greenwich

The Queen’s House Ice Rink will return to South London this season.

Enjoy unbeatable views of the River Thames and Greenwich Royal Park as you weave (or wobble) your way around the rink.

Queens House Ice Rink, Greenwich, 23 November 2023 to 7 January 2024

Santa Steam Express from London Victoria

Climb on board a vintage steam train at London Victoria and hear the squeals of delight and excitement as you take a magical trip and meet Santa and his helpers.

Children will be welcomed on board with a drink and sweet treat before meeting Santa and his helpers with their bag of gifts.

Santa Steam Express, London Victoria, selected dates from 15 to 21 December 2023

The World Premiere of Christmas Actually on the South Bank

The World premiere of Christmas Actually – a festive show curated by Richard Curtis and directed by Daniel Raggett will grace The Royal Festival Hall stage this December to raise money for Comic Relief.

The show will bring live music, comedy, poetry, stories and performance to viewers and will run for eight performances only.

The production will be set against a backdrop of live illustrations from world renowned artists and illustrators as well as include Christmas favourites performed by the live band and sing-alongs.

Christmas Actually, The Royal Festival Hall, 7 to 11 December 2023.

Kingdom of Winter at ExCel

Kingdom of Winter is an all-encompassing winter experience boasting an ice rink, traditional fairground rides and an ‘Ice Expedition’ designed for picture-perfect moments.

With a circus adding to the festive entertainment, visitors can also explore alpine craft stalls and indulge in a variety of winter warmers at the chalet-inspired bars, all within London’s ExCeL Centre.

The two food and drink villages provide a cosy haven to enjoy a diverse selection of culinary delights.

Kingdom of Winter, ExCel, 8 December 2023 to 7 January 2024.

More festive ideas

If you’re looking for more ideas why not spend a whole weekend in London in the run up to Christmas.

Christmas fun in Manchester

The very best place to find out about is to read this guide to what’s on in Manchester at Christmas by We’re Going on an Adventure. Colette is the expert!

Want to make a date with the big man? Here’s also where to meet Santa in the Manchester area.

Christmas days out in Newcastle 2023

Here’s some of what’s on in and around Newcastle this Christmas:

Christmas at Gibside

There’s no light trail at Gibside this year but you will find a winter fairy trails around the gardens.

The chapel will also be decorated for the season and there are bookable audiences with Santa in the stables.

Gibside, Gateshead, 25 November 2023 to 8 January 2024

See my post about even more Christmas lights trails around the UK.

Fenwick’s magical window

Fenwick Window North East Family Fun

For events in Newcastle and the North East there’s no better place to search for festive days out than North East Family Fun. Here’s the family’s visit to see Fenwick’s window revealed.

Fenwick, Newcastle, early November 2023 onwards.

Festive Planetarium Show at the Life Science Centre

Look up in the North’s largest planetarium to see Santa’s global journey across the world on Christmas Eve.

This world first show has been created by the Life Science Centre team and includes specially tailored relaxed sessions scheduled for 26 November at 3.15pm and 3 December at 1pm for those with sensory needs.

Following this starry adventure, visit Santa’s home for an unforgettable encounter and enjoy an array of festive demonstrations.

What Santa Sees, Newcastle Life Science Centre, selected dates from 25 November to 3 December 2023.

Days out this Christmas in Norfolk

Here’s some of what’s on in and around Norfolk this Christmas:

Christmas Spectacular at Thursford

Show girl at Thursford - UK Christmas days out

The Christmas Spectacular returns in 2023 with magical surroundings of mechanical organs and fairground carousels, with a cast of 120 professional singers, dancers and musicians – most of whom are straight out the West End.

The three hour performance delivers an extravaganza of non-stop singing, dancing, music, humour and variety.

It’s a fast moving celebration of the festive season featuring an eclectic mix of both seasonal and year-round favourites, with famous and much-loved chart toppers being performed alongside traditional carols.

Thursford Christmas Spectacular, 8 November to 23 December 2023

A Sparkly Light and Panto Trail at BeWILDerwood

Explore brand new areas of BeWILDerwood as you follow The Sparkly Light Trail through the woods.

Discover silly snowmen, curious Christmas crackers and lots, lots more as you venture through the festivities.

There’s also a short pantomime.

BeWILDerwood Christmas, Hoveton, 2 to 23 December 2023

The North Norfolk Pole Experience at Pensthorpe

Father Christmas is setting up shop in Norfolk for nine days this December to kick-start the Christmas celebrations.

Join Santa and his playful elves as they spread the holiday spirit, singing merry tunes and sharing yuletide tales in the Grotto’s storytelling sessions.

There will be festive crafts, creating Christmas-themed decorations and the opportunity to indulge in some hot chocolate and cookies before heading over to the present room.

The North Norfolk Pole, Pensthorpe, Fakenham, selected dates from 2 to 23 December 2023.

Christmas experiences in Northumberland in 2023

Here’s some of what’s on in Northumberland this Christmas:

Christmas Kingdom at Bamburgh Hall

Father Christmas at Bamburgh Castle
Picture credit: Phil Punton

The Christmas Kingdom returns to Bamburgh Castle this winter with new immersive soundscapes that tinkle and peal and awe-inspiring light projections.

Inspired by Northumberland’s myths and legends, journey through the Castle’s staterooms steeped in stories and folklore and discover a world sprinkled full of fairy magic. 

Christmas at Bamburgh Hall, Bamburgh, 11 November 2023 to 7 January 2024

Christmas activities in Nottinghamshire in 2023

Here’s some of what’s on around Nottinghamshire this Christmas:

Christmas at Wollaton Hall

Wollaton Hall’s park will be transformed into an enchanting light spectacle with a trail of discovery, specially designed to fit into the natural landscape of the Hall and Gardens.

This year there are more than 10 new light installations, so even if you’ve visited in previous years there will be somehting new for everyone.

Here’s a taster of what you can expect:

Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, 1 December 2023 to 1 January 2024

Christmas days out in Oxfordshire in 2023

Here’s where to celebrate Christmas in Oxfordshire this year:

Christmas at Blenheim

Illuminations at Blenheim Palace - UK Christmas days out

The Palace’s gardens will be illuminated by a million lights, while inside you’ll find rooms transformed into The Kingdom of The Snow Queen.

Outdoors you’ll also find Blenheim’s famed Christmas market in the Great Court.

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, 17 November 2023 to 1 January 2024

Tom Thumb at The Story Museum

The Story Museum’s Christmas show is back and this time the tale being given a festive outing is Tom Thumb.

One night tiny Tom overhears Mum and Dad talking – there’s nothing left to eat so they are going to leave him and his six brothers in the forest! Outwitting his parents and the ogre Tom shows everybody that even though he is small he is still mighty

The Story Museum, Oxford, 21 to 29 December 2023

Christmas in the Peak District in 2023

Take a look at this brilliant guide on Peak District Kids to what’s happening in the Peak District this Christmas including events at Chatsworth House and Poole’s Cavern, plus Christmas markets.

Christmas events in Shropshire

Here’s a festive event not to missed:

Santa Island Experience at Alderford Lake

Enjoy an unconventional Santa visit involving a power boat ride to ‘Santa Island’ in the centre of Alderford Lake.

There’s various activities for children led by eco-minded elves, like storytelling, gift making and campfire treats. Meanwhile parents can enjoy a mulled wine before a visit to Santa’s grotto.

Santa Island, Alderford Lake, every weekend from 24 November to 23 December 2023.

Christmas in Somerset

Here’s where to find Christmas fun in Somerset:

Winter Wonderland at The American Museum & Gardens

This Georgian House will get a Christmas makeover this December with an impressive 18-foot tree in the main hall, adorned with 9000 twinkling lights.

On offer for visitors will be Christmastide workshops and activities, the opportunity to make the most of the extended opening hours (open until 5pm) with a frost covered walk in the extensive grounds and a visit to the LEGO exhibition, Brick America.

Normal admission applies.

Find out more about visiting The American Museum.

Winter Wonderland at The American Museum, Bath, 1 to 31 December 2023

Christmas days out in Staffordshire in 2023

Here’s some of what’s on in Staffordshire this Christmas:

Christmas days out at Alton Towers

Make magical Christmas memories at Alton Towers and CBeebies Lands this winter. As well as all the usual rides and attractions there will be some extra seasonal sparkle with special shows and plenty of festive spirit.

Why not make an extra special trip of it and book a Santa Sleepover. This includes a visit to Santa’s grotto and an all new pantomime.

Christmas at Alton Towers*, Staffordshire, 24 November 2023 to 7 January 2024

Christmas Festival at Trentham Estate

Enjoy a winter experience in the historic gardens at Trentham with a brand-new ice sculpture trail, festive live music, food and markets.

As night falls, there’s also a live Ice Show.

Christmas at Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, 16 to 17 December 2023

Winter Wonderland at Snowdome

Santa’s magical winter wonderland returns to Snowdome this year with a Santa show, snow trail and Christmas Village.

Snowdome, Tamworth, from 11 November to 31 December 2023

A North Pole Adventure

Immerse yourselves in a festive experience at the National Forest Adventure Farm this Christmas.

Grab yor personalised ticket from Santa and go on a magical journey to the North Pole where children can help the elves sort parcels in the post office, sing carols with a reindeer and make gingerbread with Mother Christmas.

Of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without an audience with Santa too. The whole experience lasts an hour and a half.

Here’s a review of previous visit to The North Pole Adventure by Otis & Us to give you a taster.

Tickets go on sale over the summer.

The North Pole Adventure, National Forest Adventure Farm, selected dates from 25 November to 24 December.

Also see the section above about what’s on in the Peak District this Christmas.

Christmas events in Surrey

Here’s where to find festive fun in Surrey:

Christmas at Chessington World of Adventures

This Christmas Chessington presents its Winter’s Tail event complete with elves, reindeer, Father Christmas’ grotto and a panto.

A new addition for 2023 is a visit to the charming residents of Enchanted Hollow as they prepare for a magical Christmas. Help them countdown to the BIG day and wish them all a ‘Merry Christmas’ as you and your family wander through the delightful underground town of Enchanted Hollow decked out in all its festive finery.

Christmas at Chessington*, Surrey, 25 November to 31 December 2023

Christmas at Kew

Christmas at Kew. ©RBG Kew.
©RBG Kew.

Christmas at Kew, a much-loved highlight of London’s festive calendar, returns for its eleventh year this November.

The 2023 light trail features new installations, illuminating Kew Gardens’ UNESCO World Heritage landscape with vibrant bursts of colour and over a million twinkling lights.

Immerse yourselves in sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections, glitter balls and trees drenched in jewel-like colour on your way to the panoramic Palm House light display.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 15 November 2023 to 7 January 2024.

Ice rink at Hampton Court Palace

Bundle up and delight in the magnificent views of this beautiful Tudor palace while gracefully gliding around its stunning outdoor rink.

Whether you’re skating under the stars with your loved one or creating unforgettable memories on a delightful day out with the kids, Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink offers the perfect setting for an enchanting winter adventure.

There’s also a festive food fayre over two weekends in December.

Hampton Court Palace, Richmond, 17 November 2023 to 7 January 2024

Christmas days out in Sussex in 2023

There’s some brilliant days out with kids in Sussex. Here’s what’s on this Christmas:

Christmas at Drusillas

Child and husky in Husky Ice Cave at Drusillas Park

Bring your little elves to meet the big man himself in the Drusillas grotto,as well as meet huskies and pose for plenty of festive photo opportunities around the park.

Drusillas Park, East Sussex, selected dates from 25 November to 23 December 2023

Christmas days out in Warwickshire in 2023

Here’s some of what’s on in Warwickshire this Christmas:

Christmas at the Magic Alley

This year’s immersive event at the Magic Alley is called Christmas in the Crystal Kingdom.

Starting in a snow covered enchanted forest you will make your way through the magical rooms completing a Christmas quest and solving puzzles on the way.

There are age targeted and SEN sessions to help you pick the best experience for your family.

The Magic Alley, Stratford, selected dates from 25 November to 20 December 2023

Christmas at Warwick Castle

Gaze upon glittering trees, wander through a sparkling outdoor light trail and meet Santa in the cosy castle library at Warwick Castle.

There’s also a Christmas market where you can treat yourself to a festive feast.

You can read review of previous Christmas celebrations at Warwick Castle on the Plutonium Sox and Mummy Travels blogs.

Christmas at Warwick Castle*, from 25 November 2023 to 7 January 2024

Whats on this Christmas in the West Midlands

Here’s where to find festive cheer in the West Midlands this Christmas:

My Christmas Orchestral Adventure at The Civic at the Halls, Wolverhampton

Father Christmas has lost his map on a practice run of his delivery route. Thankfully The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Wolverhampton Youth Choir have found it but they need your help to return it to him ahead of the big day!

This family-friendly Christmas concert includes singing and dancing as the full symphony orchestra brings the adventure to life.

My Christmas Orchestral Adventure*, Wolverhampton, 17 December 2023

Things to Do at Christmas in West Sussex 2023

Here’s the Christmas events to enjoy in West Sussex this year:

Leonardslee Illuminated Spectacular

Lake scene of a country estate garden with illuminated lilypads and birds
Photo Credit; Ray Gibson

With the event in its fifth year, the historic 240-acre Grade I Listed estate will transport visitors into a magical world as the gardens are transformed with illuminations, large-scale installations and atmospheric soundscapes.

Guests are welcomed with a Victorian funfair, a small Christmas market, a selection of seasonal food and drink and other entertainment before entering the mile long trail.  

Leonardslee Illuminated, Horsham, selected dates from 24 November to 21 December 2023

Christmas days out in Wiltshire 2023

Here’s some of what’s on in Wiltshire this Christmas:

Longleat Festival of Light

Longleat House illuminated for Land of Light, Christmas event in 2020

Rediscover the stories that shaped your childhood at this year’s Festival of Light: Treasured Tales.

Expect show-stopping scenes from C.S Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Cinderella, Snow White, The Wizard of Oz and Winnie the Pooh.

The Festival of Light, Longleat, from 11 November 2023 to 7 January 2024

Christmas activities in Worcestershire in 2023

Here’s what’s on in and around Worchestershire this Christmas:

Winter Glow at Three Counties Showground, Malvern

Family picture of 2 adults and 4 children with Father Christmas
Photo credit: Mikal Ludlow Photography

Winter Glow invites you to embrace all things seasonal, with an impressive line-up of activities and excitement on offer this Christmas.

Along with the Personalised Santa Experience, visitors can also take part in a newly themed Light Trail ‘A Christmas Odyssey’, ride a 120ft Observation Wheel, skate on the Indoor Ice Rink, and browse Winter Glow’s brand-new Christmas Market, which will feature a selection of local traders, crafters and artisans.

A food quarter, ice cafe and Bavarian-style bar will also be in place for visitors to refuel after a busy day of festive fun.

Winter Glow Illuminated Light Trail, Malvern, 24 November 2023 to 6 January 2024

Victorian Christmas Fayre

This well loved event has been running for more than 30m years with Victorian themed characters, treats and diverse street food on Worcester’s historic streets.

This year there will be close to 200 stalls and festive chalets, showcasing an array of Christmas delights, artisanal crafts, local products, and international cuisine. Alongside the stalls, there will be a lineup of entertainment, including Victorian performers, stilt walkers, skilled musicians and lively buskers.

Victorian Christmas Fayre in Worchester, selected dates from 30 November to 3 December 2023

Christmas days out in Yorkshire in 2023

Here’s where to celebrate Christmas in Yorkshire:

Christmas at Mother Shipton’s

Two young boys sat in a Christmas sleigh
Picture credit: Mother Shipton’s

Mother Shipton’s magical Christmas experience returns this winter with storytelling, reindeer food making and a visit to meet Santa in his grotto.

You can also post a letter to Father Christmas in the Snowy Owl Sorting Office and hang your handwritten wish upon the Christmas tree.

Every child with a Santa Experience Ticket will receive a pack of festive activities and a magical pass to unlocking the wonders that await. Please note that tickets to meet Santa must be purchased in addition of park entry.

Christmas at Mother Shipton’s, Knaresborough, 24 November to 25 December 2023.

Winter Illuminations and Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park

Illuminations at Stockeld Park
Stockeld Park. Picture credit Richard Walker

See Stockeld come to life after dusk as it is transformed into a dazzling, twinkling wonderland!

There will be light effects, a captivating soundscape and animated installations through almost a mile of beautiful, ancient woodland.

As well as the lights, experience a Christmas adventure. Meet Santa and his elves, get lost in a magical Snowflake Maze and whizz around the ice rink! 

Winter Illuminations and Christmas Adventure, Stockeld Park, 19 November 2023 to 3 January 2024

Santa Special at North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Santa is stepping into the driver's cab of a vintage train at North Yorkshire Model Railway
Picture Credit: Charlotte Graham

Hop aboard a heritage steam engine at the beautifully decorated Pickering Station for a magical Christmas adventure.

Mr Claus and his jolly helpers will pass through the heritage carriages, giving children a chance to meet the legendary man himself on board the train.

There will be a special soft toy for all the children onboard, providing they’ve managed to keep themselves off the naughty list this year.

North Yorkshire Moor Railway Santa Specials, selected dates 25 November to 24 December 2023

Harrogate Christmas Fayre

Harrogate is set to host its annual Christmas Fayre which this year will extend to 17 days of merriment.

School choirs and local performers will grace the Christmas market each day and the Candy Cane Express Road train will make a return, ferrying folk around the spa town in festive style.

Nearby Crescent Gardens will morph into a fairground with an outdoor ice rink, rides, a bar and a traditional carousel.

For festive shopping there’s a host of independent retailers in the town centre and the Country Living Christmas Fair at the Harrogate Convention Centre, offering an assortment of traditional market cuisine and gifts.

Harrogate Christmas Fayre, Harrogate town centre, 1 to 17 December 2023

Lightwater Valley Illuminations

Alice in Winterland illuminations at Lightwater Valley

Expect a giant lantern trail in the Lightwater Valley park this Christmas.

Details of what’s on this year are still to be announced.

Families can also enjoy some traditional fairground fun including a spin on the carousel and take to the night sky on the Skyrider. There will also be a Christmas themed puppet show, Santa’s workshop and Santa Express.

Christmas at Lightwater Valley, TBC

Take a look at Yorkshire Tots to Teens for a full guide to things to do this Christmas in West Yorkshire.

Where else for Christmas days out in the UK?

Don’t forget to check out my post about Christmas markets happening in 2023.

Carrie at Flying with a Baby has all the info on Santa’s Grottos in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

Still looking for the perfect Christmas present? Here’s some more ideas for gifts for the whole family and for kids who have everything.

If you know of a wonderful Christmas day out with kids that should be included in my post get in touch.

Find more days out in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in my big round up of 101 UK attractions for families.

I’ve also got posts on what’s on in England and Wales at Easter and things to do in England in the autumn.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links marked with *. If you click on one of these links and make a purchase I may earn some commission. This doesn’t affect the price you pay.

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Ask The Dutch Guy

Monday 21st of December 2020

Wow! Looks really great! Pretty sure that the kids will enjoy these places.

Susan Mann

Friday 12th of October 2018

Wow what a great list. So many I'd love to visit x


Monday 13th of November 2017

What a comprehensive list! I'm eyeing up the Victorian Christmas at Harewood House this year I think!


Sunday 12th of November 2017

The Princesshay events look really good! Might give this a go this year! I've always found my youngest got too tired to venture out , now he's getting older this sounds ideal xx

Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me)

Sunday 12th of November 2017

Ooh what a phenomenal list! I love this idea - there are so many inspiring ways to get into the Christmas spirit. Thanks for putting it all together (and for mentioning my post)! x

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