25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

Are you looking for something that extra bit special this Christmas? Hopefully, the following ultimate bucket list of 25 + Ultimate Christmas events in the UK will help you plan that very special experience. I have not experienced all of these myself (sadly), they are merely suggestions. Hurry, hurry, hurry because those that can be pre-booked are booking up fast…some may already be sold out! Listed in alphabetical order. This post has been updated and includes all the best Christmas events for 2019.

*This post contains affiliate links. It will cost you no extra to book through our links.

Christmas at Alton Towers – Staffordshire

“Experience the most magical Christmas Escape with a Santa’s Sleepover! You won’t believe just how many treats lay in store with every Santa’s Sleepover including: An overnight stay in one of our fabulously themed hotels. A unique visit to Santa (with a delightful gift for each child). Tickets to our amazing Pantomime – Robin Hood.

Tickets to the Theme Park with a selection of family rides and attractions including CBeebies Land! Plus tickets to the wacky Caribbean themed Waterpark. 9 holes of crazy, zany Extraordinary Golf. A fantastically festive evening meal and a delicious buffet breakfast. Last but not least – fabulous evening entertainment including meet & greets, shows, a Christmas cinema and a farewell from Santa.”

24th November, 1st, 8th, 14th – 23rd December.

Farley Ln, Alton, Stoke-on-Trent ST10 4DB.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Alton Towers

Baytree Christmas Grotto, Spalding – Lincolnshire

One of the best Winter wonderlands and Grottos in the UK. Christmas at Baytree garden centre in Spalding has displays of decorations and lights that are envied far and wide. Baytree Winter Wonderland now boasts a staggering 26,000 square feet of undercover area. Winding your way through hundreds of snow-covered trees, onto Santa’s magic sleigh ride, into the heart of Winter Wonderland. Hop off the sleigh and amble through the lights, past the toy workshop and all Santa’s helpers and friends.

Open every day from Nov 2nd to Dec 24th.

Baytree Garden Centre, High Rd, Weston, Spalding PE12 6JU.

Find a family friendly hotel in Spalding, near to Baytree Christmas Grotto.

Blithbury Reindeer Lodge, Rugeley – West Midlands

From last years event “Visiting our reindeer will remain at the heart of the visit as well as meeting Father Christmas in his grotto – it wouldn’t be the Blithbury Reindeer Lodge Christmas Experience without these activities. With more than 100 reindeer at the farm, you will have the opportunity to meet our reindeer and hand-feed them too. You can also experience a traditional sleigh ride.

Dates TBC.

New House Farm, Uttoxeter Rd, Blithbury, Rugeley WS15 3HY.

Find a family-friendly hotel to stay at near Blithbury Reindeer Lodge.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Blithbury reindeer lodge

Best Christmas Events in UK

Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland – Wales

Information from previous years. “Situated in the heart of Cardiff the Admiral Ice Rink will this year see the return of the clear span roof to keep skaters dry and allow sparkling views of City Hall and the night sky. The Alpine Village is the popular catering area at Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland. Our authentic chalet units will serve delicious treats including German sausages cooked on a traditional swing grill and freshly made crepes. There will also be a funfair.

Dates TBC

Cardiff CF10 3ND.

Find a family-friendly hotel to stay at in Cardiff.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland

Chessington Winter’s Tail

“This Christmas celebrate Christmas with the Gruffalo and meet Father Christmas in his magical grotto. Plus enjoy some family favourite rides, including Vampire and meet our amazing animals at Chessington’s Zoo and SEA LIFE Centre. Visit Father Christmas in his magical grotto and receive an early Christmas gift.”

Selected dates in November and December.

Leatherhead Rd, Chessington KT9 2NE.

Book your festive stay at Chessington World of Adventures.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Chessington World of Adventures

Christmas at Blenheim Palace – Oxfordshire

“Start your day by escaping the bustle of the high street and join us for our Christmas Market. Next, take a journey into the New Alice in the Palace experience, explore the topsy-turvy world of Alice in Wonderland. Don’t miss our ever-popular Illuminated Light Trail. The formal gardens will be lit up in festive colour, brighter than ever before with lasers, projections and thousands of tea-lights. Please see my review from a previous year Christmas at Blenheim .

From 22nd November until 5th January.

Woodstock OX20 1PP

Find a family-friendly hotel near Blenheim Palace.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Blenheim Palace

Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas, Thomas Land – Tamworth

“Unwrap an amazing treat this festive season when you meet Father Christmas in our Castle of Dreams, and make even more special memories with over 25 child-friendly rides and attractions. Plus experience magical character parades, live Christmas shows, falling snow and spectacular fireworks all at Drayton’s Magical Christmas.”

On selected dates from 16th November until 31st December.

Drayton Manor Dr, Fazeley, Mile Oak, Tamworth B78 3TW.

Compare the best family-friendly hotels near to Drayton Manor.


Edinburgh’s Christmas – Scotland

Edinburgh’s Christmas offers no shortage of things to see and do this winter. Enjoy panoramic views of the capital from the top of the Big Wheel, spin around on the charming carousel in East Princes Street Gardens or brave a twirl on the 60-metre-high Star Flyer.

Younger kids will love Santa Land in Princes Street Gardens, a festive fairground with six fun rides and a children’s market full of gifts and toys. Try to find the Elves’ Workshop hidden in the Christmas Tree Maze, or visit Santa’s Grotto to meet the man himself! St Andrew Square will be hosting an oval ice rink, looping around the Melville Monument – hire a pair of skates and spin across the ice behind a gorgeous backdrop of the glittering city.”

From 16th November

Find a family-friendly hotel in Edinburgh.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Edinburgh’s Christmas

Enchanted Christmas – Gloucestershire

Enchanted Christmas returns to Westonbirt Arboretum with a new trail for 2019! The fairies have been up to mischief at Westonbirt Arboretum this winter, casting spells over the trees to transform it into an Enchanted wood. Wind your way through the trees to discover an enchanted wonderland of light and magic, meeting woodland characters along the way. Our popular Christmas village is back ready for you to soak up the seasonal cheer by creating some Christmas arts and crafts with the family, exploring the Christmas market stalls and warming up with a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine. Voted number 1 last year as being Britain’s Favourite Christmas Light Display.”

29th November to 22nd December.

Westonbirt, Tetbury GL8 8QS.

Find somewhere to stay in Tetbury.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Enchanted Christmas – Photo courtesy Visit Gloucester

English Heritage – Enchanted Events

“Discover an enchanting world of light and colour as you and your children experience the illuminated garden trail, with charming new elements.  Find hidden fairies, meet the magical talking trees and get hands-on with our interactive lighting. Perfect for festive family pictures. 

Afterwards, treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine and a toasted marshmallow from our vendors as you listen to festive music, have fun on a traditional fairground ride and visit our shop to stock up on original Christmas gifts.”

On at Audley end House Essex, Eltham Palace London, Witley court Worcestershire, Brodsworth South Yorkshire, Walmer castle Kent and Belsay Hall Northumberland.

My review from last year’s Enchanted Brodsworth.

Selected dates in December.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Enchanted Brodsworth

Santa Steam Trains – Great Central Railway – Leicestershire

“Santa has swapped his sleigh for a fun-filled journey on an enchanting steam train. Ride onboard our award-winning Santa Specials and let Father Christmas surprise you with an exciting present at your seat and a chat with the man himself! We look forward to welcoming you for some pure festive magic.”

Selected dates 23rd November to 24th December.

PLUS “See the Great Central Railway as you’ve never seen it before. During the Festive period we are launching for the first time our “Winter Wonderlights” experience. Our new Winter Wonderlights experience is a train ride like no other: See Great Central Railway as you’ve never seen it before. A steam train with a magical twist, fantastically dressed in a myriad of lights.”

Selected dates 23rd to 30th December.

Best Family Christmas Events in the UK

Hogwarts in the Snow – Warner Bros Studio Tour – London

Experience Christmas in the Wizarding World – “Join us to experience Christmas in the Wizarding World as Hogwarts in the Snow returns to the Studio Tour. The festive transformation will begin in the Great Hall, which will be lined with Christmas trees decked with golden baubles and topped with witches on miniature broomsticks.

The long dining tables will be dressed as they were for seasonal feasts at Hogwarts, complete with Christmas puddings surrounded by real flames. Discover the stage decorated as it was for the iconic Yule Ball scene, as seen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and get a taster of this incredible set dress featuring snow-covered Christmas trees, icicles and an orchestra of magical instruments.” and more….

16th November until the 26th January.

Studio Tour Dr, Watford WD25 7LR.

Find hotels near Warner Bros Studio London.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Warner Bros Studio London

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – London

“Come down to Winter Wonderland and see a show. Sit back and be entertained in one of our heated, theatre-style venues. You’re truly spoilt for choice with over 100 rides that will make you spin, fly and drop from a great height to get the heart pumping! Or if you prefer a slower pace there are plenty of gentle rides, fun houses and games to test your skills. Explore the land of Santa, see his workshop, meet the elves or ride on the Santa Express. An enchanting experience with children’s rides, games, eateries and all the magic of Christmas!

With exciting new attractions for 2019 including the world’s tallest transportable Observation Wheel, a new theme ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Magical Ice Kingdom, a Season Ride Pass, Paddington™ on Ice, Mr. Men & Little Miss And much more…”

21st November until 5th January.

Compare the closest hotels to Hyde Park London.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Christmas at Kew – Richmond, London

“Now in its seventh year, the 2019 winter trail takes a magical new route and includes a host of all-new installations. Framed by glittering spiral trees, dynamic laser projections will illuminate the iconic Temperate House. A dazzling arch leads to a cascade of glowing silvery shards at the Treetop Walkway. Walk amongst immersive vines as they surprise with changing ribbons of light, and wander beneath the branches where mysterious fairy-fire known as Will-o’the Wisp softly glows.”

From 20th November until 5th January.

Richmond TW9 3AB.

Compare the best hotels near to Kew Gardens.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Christmas at Kew

LaplandUK – Berkshire

LaplandUK is an original adaptation of the Father Christmas story and the secret world of the elves brought to life through a 4-hour immersive experience of unprecedented scale and quality.”

“Personal invitations from Father Christmas are delivered to the children, requesting their help at his secret Elf Toy Factory in his Arctic wonderland. Once arrived, visitors are handed their LaplandUK passports and have the chance to get their hands on some Elf Jingles (LaplandUK currency). Families then meander through the beautiful snowy woodland pathways and stop off at the Toy Factory, where children can help the Elves get the toys ready to be delivered across the world on Christmas Eve.

Afterwards, families have the opportunity to meet Mother Christmas in her kitchen, to lend a hand at decorating delicious gingerbread, before gathering for a traditional story. They can then visit the Elves’ Village, meet LaplandUK’s resident huskies and reindeer, and get their skates on to enjoy the festive Ice Rink. To top off the experience, every child enjoys a personalised meeting with Father Christmas in his snowy woodland home and takes away a luxury husky soft toy.”

Dates TBC very soon

Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Rd, Winkfield Row, Ascot SL5 8BD.

Find a family-friendly hotel close to LaplandUK.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy LaplandUK

Northern Lights Express – North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Join us this winter for a trip on our new, Northern Lights Express! This truly spectacular illuminated journey starts at Pickering Station, where our train with heritage carriages awaits you – decorated with thousands of lights.

You will travel through a twinkling forest which is transformed by a multitude of lights and surprises. You will then arrive at Levisham Station, where a dazzling light show will begin. Experience a light extravaganza and a snow covered authentic heritage station, like you’ve never seen before!

 30 November & 1, 7, 8, 12*, 13*, 14, 15, 19*, 20*, 21, 22 & 23* December, departing at 7pm

28 Park St, Pickering YO18 7AJ

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy North Yorkshire Moors railway

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

Christmas at Paultons – Hampshire

Meet Santa in his magical Grotto and many of his animal friends along the way as they all get ready for Christmas Eve. Adorable animated characters greet you at every turn with twinkling lights and magical scenes brought to life. A gift for all children and a festive treat for adults. Peppa Pig World at Christmas is transformed with twinkling illuminations, seasonal music and giant Christmas trees. And more.”

Ower, Romsey SO51 6AL

From Saturday 18th November.

Choose a family-friendly hotel close to Paultons.

Photo courtesy of peppapigworld.co.uk

Polar Express Train Ride – Norfolk, Telford and Wensleydale

Mid Norfolk Railway – “Do you believe? We do at the Mid-Norfolk Railway and that is why we are proud to be hosting an exciting magical experience like no other. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is returning to the Mid-Norfolk Railway again in 2019 with the magic of the 2004 motion picture THE POLAR EXPRESS™ being theatrically re-created so you and your family can be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children’s tale. Prepare to be surrounded by the magic and wonder of the Christmas season!”

Telford – “The Polar Express Train Ride is perfectly suited to those who want to experience some extra magic this Christmas, with a Train Ride to the “North Pole” to collect Santa and his Helpers to receive the first gift of Christmas – a Silver sleigh bell. Indulge in a cookie and a drink of hot chocolate, whilst listening as the story of The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is told in its entirety as chefs show pages from the beautifully illustrated book for the whole carriage to follow, and families who pre-ordered copies of The Polar Express book read along together too.”

Wensleydale railway – “your journey begins just like the 2004 Motion Picture where The Polar Express will pick you up to take you to the North Pole. You will get to meet all the characters from the film including the conductor, the singing chefs, the hobo and of course the main man himself Father Christmas. You and your family, hopefully, dressed in PJs, will experience and fun-filled theatrical adventure as you make your way to the North Pole. Throughout your journey, you will tangle with the Caribou, see the magic of the Northern Lights and have the story of The Polar Express told you by the singing Chefs. Don’t forget to have a bite of your cookie and authentic Hot Chocolate before arriving at the North Pole to meet Santa Claus.”

Selected dates this Christmas.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Wensleydale railway

Santa’s Magical Journey – Thursford Norfolk

“Your journey takes you past the penguins and polar bears to see all the giant-sized teddy bears ready to load Santa’s sleigh, past the busy elves, hard at work in the toy factory taking in the wonderful wrapping machine. You’ll meet lots of fantasy characters including the snowman family but watch out for the snowballs before you make your way through the magical forest to reach Santa’s House where you meet the man himself and his gifts for all the children that visit.”

Selected dates in November and December.

Thursford, Fakenham NR21 0AS.

Find a hotel in Thursford.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Thursford.com

Santa Spectacular – Willows Activity Farm – Hertfordshire

“The Santa Spectacular programme will be published soon. It is a full day out of festive family fun and the child ticket price includes all the activities and shows plus a visit to Santa and being able to choose a gift from his Toy Shop, making a toy bear in the Create-a-Character workshop and biscuit decorating.  Under 2’s can go free but paying under 2’s visit Santa, do the Create-a-Cuddle workshop and biscuit decorating.”

23rd November to 24th December.

Coursers Rd, St Albans AL4 0PF.

Compare the best family-friendly hotels in Hertfordshire.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Willows Activity Farm

Santa’s Winter Wonderland, Snowdome, Tamworth

“Play and slide around in real snow as you explore Santa’s Christmas snow trail featuring snow slides, fun displays and now falling snow! Take a walk through the enchanted forest, enjoy a fun game of snowballs, hitch a ride on a sledge and have fun sliding about in the snow tubes… great fun for all the family!

Plus there’s an all-new Santa show and discover the delights of Santa’s Christmas village, featuring a brand new traditional children’s carousel. Get close and personal with Santa’s furry animal friends as you explore the animal area. Step inside Santa’s boots when you visit his house, take a photo of his huge Christmas tree and don’t forget to write the big man a letter to drop in his talking post box.”

Selected dates in November and every day in December except the 25th.

Leisure Island River Drive Tamworth Staffordshire B79 7ND.

Book a family-friendly hotel near the Snowdome.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Snowdome

 Winter Illuminations & Christmas events – Stockeld,
North Yorkshire

“See our award-winning enchanted Forest come to life after dusk as our Winter Illuminations; Yorkshire’s premier light event transforms Stockeld Park into a dazzling, twinkling wonderland!”

Plus Santa’s Panto Breakfast. Back by popular demand, our Santa’s Breakfast Panto experience will be running every weekend from 30th November, throughout December, and also 23rd December and Christmas Eve. Followed by a meet and greet with Santa himself and a photo opportunity! Includes a gift from Santa and a free Forest and Maze ticket!

Plus Santa’s Grotto – Our Santa’s Grotto is the most wonderful experience for both adults and children. With twinkling lights and Santa in a rustic wooden cabin, the whole family will feel the festive cheer here!”

Various dates.

The Adventure Park, Stockeld Park, Wetherby, North Yorkshire, LS22 4AN.

Book a family-friendly hotel near Stockeld Park.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Stockeld Park

Christmas Spectacular – Sundown Adventureland – Nottinghamshire

“When it comes to a Christmas Event in Nottinghamshire, no-one does it better than Sundown Adventureland. As Christmas draws near, the park is converted into a Winter Wonderland with Christmas theming throughout and the annual opening of the wonderful ‘Night before Christmas’ ride. Climb aboard one of Santa’s sleighs and take a magical journey through the enchanted forest.” My review from a previous year.

16th November to 24th December.

Treswell Rd, Rampton, Retford DN22 0HX.

Compare the closest hotels to Sundown Adventureland.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Sundown Adventureland


The Chill Factore Santa Grotto – Manchester

“Twinkly lights, real snow and a magical grotto can only mean one thing – Santa has come to Chill Factore. Treat all the family to the ultimate Christmas experience with family fun in Mini Moose Land and Snow Park, plus a snowy visit to see Santa himself”.

16th November until 24th December.

7 Trafford Way, Stretford, Manchester M41 7JA.

Find family friendly hotels near the Chill Factore

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Chill Factor Manchester

The Christmas Experiences – Lotherton, West Yorkshire

“Steeped in Christmas magic and excitement. Enjoy a magical Twelve Days of Christmas Walk through the Captains Wood around the estate, make the turtle doves fly, walk through the five gold rings and be one of our drummers drumming! Uncover a secret fairy hideaway in our rock garden. Visit Santa in the North Pole and meet our elves helping in their workshop. Marvel in the splendour of the Edwardian House with the rooms dressed in all their festive finery. Wander down to the Elf Village where young ones can join the elves in making craft activities or listen to stories, and everyone can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or warm snack under our twinkling canopy.”

22nd November until the 5th January.

Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3EB.

Book a hotel close to Lotherton Hall.

The Snowman brought to life – Various Venues

“Something magical is happening this Christmas… the classic animated film of The Snowman, accompanied by live orchestra… alongside other family-friendly stories such as The Nutcracker, The Bear and the Piano and A Donkey’s Tale. The perfect family Christmas show!” My review from last year.

On selected dates from 2nd December.

Ultimate Christmas Bucket List - 26 Great Family Things to Do - Days Out
Photo courtesy of Carrot Productions

The Train to Christmas Town – Devon and Durham

“This new holiday tale is sure to become a family favourite! Janice and her brother ride to Christmas Town for the first time alone. Grandma can’t make the trip this year, and they miss her very much. On board, they share seats with friends and woodland animals, meet elves serving cocoa and cookies, and stop to welcome aboard a very special passenger, Santa Claus. Will all the holiday fun help calm their worries about their grandma?”

Various dates in December.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Train to Christmas Town


Winterfunland – Manchester

“Christmas 2019 is rapidly approaching and the team at Winter Funland is working hard together with Santa and the elves to get the North West England’s Largest Indoor Winter Wonderland ready in time… This year’s Christmas Winter Wonderland 2019 bonanza is taking place in EventCity, in Trafford Centre, Greater Manchester.

Winterfunland tickets are all-inclusive and include access to the following great attractions, all undercover at EventCity: Manchester’s largest real ice ice-skating rink. A magical festival circus. A gigantic indoor funfair. Traditional Christmas panto and Santa’s Grotto.

6th December until the 3rd January.

Find family-friendly hotels close to Winterfunland.


Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland – near York

“Glide gracefully on the North of England’s largest outdoor ice rink, with a 30ft high sparkling Christmas tree as its centrepiece. This magical setting makes for the perfect family fun day out, both on and off the ice. Step inside the cosy alpine-themed, apres-skate café overlooking the ice rink, where you can warm up after your session on the ice or simply sit back and watch the skaters glide past. Enjoy thrilling vintage funfair rides including the dodgems and follow the path through the snowy enchanted woodland to find Santa’s cosy log cabin to collect a special gift.”

16th November until the 5th of January.

St Nicholas Ave, Fulford, York YO19 4TA.

Book a family-friendly hotel near Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do
Photo courtesy Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland
UK Family Days Out

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25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do


  1. Suzy, these look magical! Last year we went to the Edinburgh markets and this year, we are taking the sprog to the Manchester markets. This year, she will be big enough to appreciate it 🙂 lovely post x

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