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 have found the top 10 things to do with your family during the festive season. Ho, ho, ho!
1. Christmas at LEGOLAND
Kids’ favourite, LEGOLAND, is even more exciting at this time of year when it’s full of festive fun in the Christmas Kingdom. Book tickets online to enjoy a LEGO Scavenger Hunt, Christmas decoration-making workshops, a LEGO Santa and festive foodie treats. Plus, there’s a magical grotto to meet the main man himself, Santa (must be pre-booked) and all the usual fun attractions and rides.
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.
16th – 24 December 2017, £35.00 per person. legoland.co.uk
Watch the KidRated review of the Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND.
2. British Airways i360 Santa Flights
The i360 opened last 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 daily, £16 (adults); £10 (children aged 4-15); £5 (under 4s). Book online to receive a 10% discount. britishairwaysi360.com
3. The Snowman at The Peacock Theatre
The Snowman has become a must-see Christmas classic, and this year it returns for its 20th 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 31 December. Ticket prices vary and start at £15. sadlerswells.com
4. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Incredibly, 2017 marks the 11-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 on the UK’s largest outdoor skating rink.
Young kids will love: Cinderella on Ice, Zippo’s Christmas Circus and The Sooty Christmas Show.
Teens will love: The thrilling, white-knuckle fairground rides.
Parents will love: The fact that the whole family is entertained.
Until 1 January, 10am – 10pm daily. Free to enter, but you’ll need to buy tickets in advance for ice skating, plus shows including Cinderella on Ice, The Sooty Christmas Show, Zippo’s Christmas Circus and Cirque berserk. hydeparkwinterwonderland.com
5. 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 (booking in advance is essential) and tuck in to 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.
15-23, 27-30 December. Advance adult tickets cost £25.00 (standard entry, £27.50) and advance children’s tickets cost £12.60 (standard entry, £14). edenproject.com
6. 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 1 January, 5pm – 10pm, £18.50 for adults and £12 for children (under 4s go free). There are only a few dates with availability, so book up now! kew.org
Watch the KidRated review of Christmas at Kew. This one scores a top mark of 10 out of 10!
7. 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: Shark in the Park! and The Arabian Nights shows. There are Baby Loves Disco events for little ones, too.
Parents will love: The Street of Light and Christmas Market on George Street, with its magical illuminations, choirs and bands.
Until 6 January. Entry to many events is free, but it’s advised you book tickets in advance to the shows. edinburghschristmas.com
8. 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 hello to the mighty blue whale, now on display in the grand entrance hall since Dippy went 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 7 January. Book in advance. Adults from £12.65, 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
9. Christmas in Leicester Square
This central-London hotspot has been transformed into a wintry wonderland for Christmas, with a giant Belgian Spiegeltent hosting festive shows including the Olivier-award winning improvised musical, The Showstoppers’ Christmas Kids Show, plus Christmas markets, live music events, a Santa’s Grotto (book in advance) and lots more.
Kids will love: Watching the Dicken’s classic, A Christmas Carol, and meeting Santa.
Parents will love: The high-kicking showgirls at the Black Cat Cabaret.
Until 7 January, free entry but you’ll need to purchase advance tickets for the shows. christmasinleicestersquare.com
10. Raver Tots Christmas Party
You may have children, but you don’t have to let that stop you hitting the dance floor for an old-school-style rave! Raver Tots hosts child-friendly events across the UK with music from some of the best DJs from the 90s, so you can let rip with your little ones in tow. Their Christmas party featuring DJ Slipmatt and Artful Dodger is happening this Friday in London, with more raves planned for 2018. A substantial donation will be donated to the autism charity, ADDISS, with £1 from each ticket sold going to the National Autistic Society.
Kids will love: The chance to have a good boogie with mum and dad.
Parents will love: The chance to relive their youth on the dance floor and listen to top DJs without the guilt of leaving the kids at home.
Raver Tots Christmas Bash takes place on Saturday 16 December from 2pm – 4pm. A family ticket for four is £33.25, no age restrictions. ravertots.co.uk