Best Christmas Days Out with Kids from Luxury Family Hotels
Christmas is a great time of year to get away with the kids, to enjoy some quality family time and a well-earned break from routine and chores…
The following are some of our favourite festive days out, events and child-friendly Christmas markets within easy reach of our properties, but the hotels themselves will be awash Christmas spirit, hosting house parties and traditional entertainment and serving wonderful food and drink for all the family.
Bath Christmas Market
Handy for: Woolley Grange, Wiltshire
26 Nov–13 Dec 2015
Bath’s gorgeous, award-winning Christmas market brings more than 170 wooden chalets selling crafts and gifts to the streets surrounding the city's Roman Baths and Abbey. The scents of mulled wine and mince pies and the sound of carol-singing will get you into a truly festive mood, and there’s also a pop-up Après Ski bar, a Santa’s grotto and an ice rink.
Breakfast or Afternoon Tea with Santa, WWT Slimbridge Centre
Handy for: Thornbury Castle, Gloucestershire
12 & 13 Dec 2015
This year this Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust wetlands centre is offering visitors the chance to join the elves for breakfast or afternoon tea, visit Santa in his grotto, decorate gingerbread men, toast marshmallows, build elf dens, do some crafts and send a letter to the North Pole at the on-site post office. Booking is essential.
Family Christmas Sparkle, Ickworth
Handy for: The Ickworth Hotel, Suffolk
Weekends through Dec, plus Monday 21 Dec
Festive fun is right on the doorstep of the Ickworth Hotel, courtesy of the National Trust, which occupies the main part of this Italianate palace. In its atmospheric historic basement, there’ll be storytelling and sing-a-longs with Santa by the tree, a gingerbread trail, festive crafts and the chance to watch costumed cooks prepare a Christmas meal for the erstwhile aristocratic residents. Booking is essential. If you do feel like venturing out of the grounds, the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds is hosting ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ as its pantomime this year.
Santa's Christmas Wonderland, Paulton's Park & Peppa Pig World
Handy for: New Park Manor, Hampshire
Selected dates from mid Nov to 23 Dec
This family themepark goes to town for Christmas: Wonderland tickets give access to seven illuminated rides plus a whole host of other rides, as well as the new-for-2015 Happy Feet 4D Experience. There’ll also be elves, reindeers, Santa's toy factory, a grotto and a musical Christmas tree.
Santa's Grotto, Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre
Handy for: Moonfleet Manor, Dorset
19–23 Dec 2015
Book ahead, and elves at this animal sanctuary will escort you and the kids onto a fairy-lit buggy for a ride deep into the park to meet Santa, receive a gift and warm up with mince pies and mulled wine. Advance booking is required.
Cornish Christmas Night, Lost Gardens of Heligan
Handy for: Fowey Hall, Cornwall
7 & 14 Dec 2013
These botanical gardens are offering free entrance to their lantern-lit Northern Gardens on two evenings in the prelude to Christmas. You’ll be able to roam pathways winding past illuminated pools and glasshouses before heading to the tea-room for seasonal treats and carols. Alternatively, Santa will be receiving visits by the fireside in the Head Gardener’s Office on seven evenings in December, and there’ll be a festive trail.
A Falmouth Christmas
Handy for: Polurrian Bay Hotel, Cornwall
Various dates from late Nov
The coastal city hosts all kinds of festive fun over Christmas, including lantern-making workshops, a kids' parade accompanied by Father Christmas, a street food fair, and fireside tales, plus – in Pendennis Castle keep – traditional dancing, mulled wine, mince pies, carol singing and crafts. There’s also a Christmas market with leading artisan craft, food and drink producers from across Cornwall and Devon, a Santa versus Rudolf fun run, a live nativity and a carnival. Don’t miss the Viking Winterfest at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, with tales of Frost Giants, Scandinavian creative crafts and traditional gifts from Old Man Winter.
Read more about Christmas breaks at Luxury Family Hotels.
Image credit: Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust