10 Great Christmas Days Out
There’s so much to do all over the UK at Christmas, it’s hard to know where to start. Luckily our friends at KidRated.com – the website where kids review and rate family attractions – have done the hard work for you, and found the top 10 things to do with your family during the festive season. Ho, ho, ho!
1. Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND
Kids' favourite, LEGOLAND, is even more exciting at Christmas when it's full of festive fun, including an Elves Workshop, a Mrs LEGO Toy Shop, and a magical grotto to meet the main man himself, Santa.
Kids will love: Receiving a special LEGO gift from Father Christmas.
Parents will love: Treasuring a take-home LEGO snowflake tree decoration, made by their kids, for Christmases to come.
Until 24 December 2016, £33.00 per person. legoland.co.uk
Watch the KidRated review of the Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND.
2. The Winter Garden at The View From The Shard
London's highest viewing platform, The View From The Shard, is getting a Christmassy makeover for the whole of December, as the open-air Skydeck on the 72nd floor is transferred into a twinkling Winter Garden, 800 feet above ground. Go on a Sunday to enjoy carols around the highest Christmas tree in London, and enjoy free entry for two children with every paying adult from 17th – 24th December, including a free Spot the Sights activity sheet.
Kids will love: The design-your-own Montezuma's hot chocolate bar – delicious!
Parents will love: Saving money because kids go free!
Two kids go free with each paying adult between 17 – 24 December. Valid for children aged four to 15. Adult tickets cost £25.95 in advance and £30.95 on the day of entry. theviewfromtheshard.com
Watch the KidRated review of The View from The Shard.
3. i360 Santa Flights
The i360 opened early this year and has already become a firm favourite in Brighton. This winter, Santa really will be soaring through the sky, as he’ll be on special flights, giving out presents with his helper elf.
Kids will love: The presents, of course!
Parents will love: Picking up a few Christmas treats in The Lanes of Brighton afterwards.
Santa Flights take place until 24 December and depart at 2pm and 4pm daily. Buy online for 10% off. britishairwaysi360.com
4. The Snowman at The Peacock Theatre
The Snowman has become a must-see Christmas classic, and this year it returns for its 19th year to The Peacock Theatre, where the story is bought to life in a magical production set to delight kids and parents alike.
Kids will love: Seeing The Snowman and his pal actually 'walking through the air'.
Parents will love: The nostalgia of it all. Could it be any more Christmassy?!
Until 28 December. Ticket prices vary and start at £15. sadlerswells.com
5. Christmas at Chatsworth
The beautiful Chatsworth House in Derbyshire becomes a beautiful winter wonderland at Christmas and this year, the theme is The Nutcracker, so expect ballerinas, gingerbread houses and other sweet treats.
Kids will love: Exploring the festively decorated rooms and the maze in the grounds.
Parents will love: Unleashing their inner Darcy and recreating classic scenes from the Pride and Prejudice movie, which was shot here in 2005.
Until 3 January 2017. Open Thursday and Friday evenings until 16 December. Closed 24 – 26 December and 1 January. The complete adult ticket costs £21.90 and the complete child ticket is £14.00. chatsworth.org
6. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Incredibly, 2016 marks the 10-year anniversary of Winter Wonderland, the festive spectacular that takes up residence in London's Hyde Park each Christmas. With rides for all ages, a giant observation wheel, bars, restaurants and a German Christmas market, there’s plenty for all the family. Don't forget to book ahead for the ticketed shows and ice skating.
Young kids will love: The Sooty Christmas Show and Zippo's Christmas Circus.
Teens will love: The thrilling, white-knuckle fairground rides.
Parents will love: The fact that the whole family is entertained.
Until 2 January, 10am – 10pm daily. Free to enter, but you'll need to buy tickets in advance for ice skating, plus shows including The Nutcracker on Ice, The Sooty Christmas Show, Zippo's Christmas Circus and Cirque berserk. hydeparkwinterwonderland.com
7. Christmas at Eden Festival of Light & Sound
Cornwall's Eden Project is an exciting place to be at any time of year, but there's an added dash of magic this Christmas, with the cracking Festival of Light & Sound which will be transforming the Mediterranean Biome with colourful projections and music. Visitors can also ice skate, enjoy story telling and craft activities, meet Santa and enjoy some festive food at the cafe.
Kids will love: Another chance to meet Father Christmas, plus the luminous fireflies in the light show.
Parents will love: Tucking into some tasty winter warmers.
Until 2 January. Advance adult tickets cost £22.50 (standard entry, £25.00) and advance children's tickets cost £12.60 (standard entry, £14). edenproject.com
8. Christmas at Kew
After dark during the festive season, Kew Gardens is lit up by amazing illuminations. Don’t forget to keep warm with mince pies and mulled wine for grown-ups.
Kids will love: The brand-new North Pole Village where you can meet Father Christmas.
Parents will love: The dazzling lights – they’re seriously impressive and might make you want to up your game in the garden next year!
Until 2 January, 5pm – 10pm. Free with entrance to Kew Gardens but book in advance (it gets busy). kew.org
Watch the KidRated review of Christmas at Kew. This one scores a top mark of 10 out of 10!
9. Edinburgh’s Christmas
Maybe it’s because it’s closer to the North Pole, but Edinburgh is simply magical to visit at this time of year. The whole beautiful town is buzzing with Christmas markets, festive shows, rides for all ages, a Christmas Tree Maze, Big Wheel and, of course, a Santa’s grotto at Santa Land.
Kids will love: Morgan & West: A Sort of Christmas Carol Magic Show
Parents will love: The Street of Light on George Street, with its magical illuminations, choirs and bands.
Until 7 January. Entry to many events is free, but it's advised you book tickets in advance to the shows. edinburghschristmas.com
10. The Natural History Museum Ice Rink
One of the biggest and best ice rinks in London is great for kids and grown ups of all abilities. Don’t forget to drop into the museum to say a fond farewell to Dippy the Diplodocus before he heads out on tour.
Kids will love: Whizzing around the ice.
Parents will love: Warming up after with a cup of mulled wine in the Café Bar.
Until 8 January. Book in advance. Adults from £12.60, kids from £8.80. nhm.ac.uk
Watch the KidRated review of the Natural History Museum Ice Rink.
For more ideas for fun things to do with the family, go to KidRated.com