HomeWinter BreaksChristmas Activities It’s time to get merry, meet Father Christmas and rejoice in spectacular lights! We’re fortunate enough to have some spectacular Christmas experiences right here in the UK. So grab some eggnog and have a read of the best things to do this Christmas below. MAGICAL LANTERN FESTIVAL AT ROUNDHAY PARK ( LEEDS ) 24th November – 1st January A 25 minute drive from Leeds Bradford Airport will bring you to a Christmas themed Lantern Festival full of vivid colours and imaginative sculptures. These life-size lanterns take all shapes and forms, including ‘Polar Bears on Ice’ and a glorious giant ‘Chinese Temple of Heaven’ recreation. Once you have gasped at the impressive lanterns you can retreat to the entertainment area with food & drink, Santa’s bar and fairground rides for children. www.magicallantern.uk/magical-lantern-festival-yorkshire ELF THE MUSICAL (MANCHESTER) 24th November – 7th January This year Manchester’s The Lowry will play host to Elf the Musical. This much-loved tale tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Due to his enormous size and poor-toy making abilities, Buddy has to face the truth that he is human. With Santa’s consent, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. www.quaytickets.com LONGLEAT’S FESTIVAL OF LIGHT, WILTSHIRE ( BRISTOL/ EXETER) 5th – 26th December (selected dates) The magic of storytelling is being brought to life as part of Longleat’s spectacular Festival of Light. Visitors can wander through magical settings depicting famous scenes from Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, The Snow Queen and Beauty and the Beast. At 25.5 metres Rapunzel’s tower will be the largest lantern ever constructed for the event and a total of 30,000 metres of silk have been used to create the displays – enough to wrap around Longleat House 124 times. www.longleat.co.uk/festivaloflight A MAGICAL CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE AT TITANIC BELFAST (BELFAST CITY) 22nd November – 23rd December Explore the Elves’ workshop and watch the excitement unfold as Father Christmas and his elves count down to their favourite night of the year! Hear Christmas tales, get creative with arts and crafts and make a Christmas wish to hang on the magical wishing tree. You can also work with the elves to write and post your Christmas letter. Finally, wrap up your magical Christmas journey by venturing through the enchanted forest to meet Father Christmas! www.titanicbelfast.com HYDE PARK’S WINTER WONDERLAND (LONDON) 17th November – 1st January Make magical Christmas memories at London’s most Christmassy location. With attractions such as the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink, Zippos Circus, the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, shows, bars, giant wheel, Santa land and Christmas markets, there is something to suit anyone and any age. We’ve got our eye on a new show, Cinderella on Ice which combines powerful storytelling and world-class ice skating. Book your tickets over at www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com MEET THE REINDEER AT BLITHBURY REINDEER LODGE, STAFFORDSHIRE(EAST MIDLANDS / BIRMINGHAM) 11th November – 23rd December Nestled in the heart of Staffordshire, New House Farm is home to over 150 reindeer which roam freely across a 30-acre site. The magic truly arrives at Christmas when the Lodge is transformed into a winter wonderland, filled with twinkling lights, Christmas trees, Santa and – of course – reindeer, and sleigh rides. There are over 100 reindeer to feed and fuss over and they love nothing more than posing for a photo! Then gather for story-time by the fire, attend the original elf school, meet Santa and choose a gift at the Elves toy workshop. www.blithburyreindeerlodge.co.uk THE ENCHANTED PARK AT SALTWELL, GATESHEAD (NEWCASTLE) 5th – 10th December The annual event, which sees specially commissioned artists transform Gateshead’s Saltwell Park into a magical and mythical wonderland, will run for six nights this winter. This year’s event tells the captivating, fictional, story of Ursula Wailes, the eldest daughter of William Wailes and heiress to the Saltwell Towers Estate, who makes a gift of Saltwell Park to the people of Gateshead. After filling the park with incredible inventions, plants from all over the world and wonderful creatures, she captures the imagination of children and adults alike; many reporting that the park itself feels 'alive'. www.enchantedparks.com CHRISTMAS IN THE CASTLE (CARDIFF) 25th November – 23rd December (selected dates) See Santa in residence, in spectacular surroundings, at Cardiff castle. There will be beautiful decorations, magnificent banquets and wonderful entertainment. Hidden away in the magical setting of the Black Tower, Santa can be found in his beautifully-decorated Grotto, waiting by the fire to dish out presents, while there’s also a Christmas wreath making class on the 3rd December where expert guidance will be on hand to teach you how to make your own festive wreath. www.cardiffcastle.com GLASGOW SANTA DASH (GLASGOW) 10th December Dust off your Santa boots and join thousands of other Santas for a festive 5K run! This year is the 11th anniversary of the Glasgow Santa Dash and will see the city centre transformed into a red sea of festivity all in aid for Beatson Cancer Charity. Around 7,500 Santas took part in last year’s race so it’s by no means a small affair in this city! Ready, set, go ho ho! www.glasgowloveschristmas.com ‘TUNNEL OF LIGHT’ (NORWICH) 16th November – 5th January The UK’s first ‘Tunnel of Light’ was revealed in Norwich last year, with thousands visiting the city to experience the spectacle. This year it’s back and even bigger with new animated sequences and a glittering tiara. With 50,000 sequenced lights that echo the patterns and colours of the Northern Lights, the 45-metre-long tunnel, situated on Hay Hill opposite The Forum will be the perfect back drop for a seasonal selfie. Throughout the city you’ll also find projection displays on Norwich’s castle, a sparkling wonderland in the Cathedral Quarter, pantomimes, live music and traditional carol concerts. www.visitnorwich.co.uk. Are you visiting anywhere festive this Christmas? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.