Top 8 things to do with the family this Christmas

Imagine your perfect festive weekend. The tree is up, the roast is on and the presents are all wrapped, but what have you forgotten?

Spending time with family is what really creates the holiday magic! So do it in style with our list of top 8 festive things to do with the family this Christmas.

1. Visit a bustling Christmas Market

Christmas Market FamilyWith dozens of food and refreshment stalls along with trinkets and potential Christmas gifts, attending a Christmas Market is one of the best ways to spend a wintery weekend. From the 22nd November until the 1st January, Waddesdon Manor & Gardens is hosting a huge Christmas event. Peruse a plentiful supply of festive crafts and treat your senses to the tastes and smells of locally sourced food and drink from over 80 specially selected exhibitors.

As the evening draws in, wander the light trail and marvel at the festive feast of light and colour around the grounds of the house and the Stables. Early birds can pre-book for a look around the house where there are Christmas trees aplenty with lots of intricate festive decorations that create a spectacular seasonal environment.

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2. Meet and greet Santa and his Reindeer

Child feeding a reindeerThey invite you to come and meet Father Christmas along with his magical reindeer. It’s a fantastic Christmas experience suitable for all!

Visitors can stroll through a 150ft magical grotto, enter the grand Christmas barn to encounter charming farm animals, feed the reindeer, and enjoy themselves in the beloved snow pit, among many other activities. The event commences on Saturday, November 18th, and will remain open daily until December 24th.

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3. Attend a Christmas light switch-on event

Father and daughter looking at Christmas lightsLights twinkling and the nippy winter air signifies the beginning of the festivities this season. Each year the best Christmas lights on the streets of London are heavily debated, with some having a soft spot for the dazzling lights of Oxford Street, and others appreciating the artistic flare that Carnaby Street brings. Either way, we’re certain London is the place to be for Christmas lights, year after year!

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4. Wrap up warm at a Winter Wonderland

LaplandUKThere’s nothing more quintessentially festive than winter-themed funfair rides and ice rinks. Paired with game stalls, gifts, food and yummy treats to line your tummy. LaplandUK is a secret immersive wonderland for the whole family, this elven magical world offers various theatre performances from Santa and his friends so you can experience the magic within the intimacy of your own family.

This award-winning experience begins with a special invitation from Father Christmas sent to your little ones sealed with wax and housed in a beautiful presentation box, requesting the help of your child this year to make toys for all the boys and girls.

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5. Laugh out loud at a Christmas panto

PantomimeWhat better way to spend a winter evening than seeing a Christmas-exclusive pantomime? This year the London Palladium presents the pantomime adventures of Peter Pan! With amazing special effects, stunning sets, beautiful costumes and barrel-loads of laughter, Peter Pan panto will take your whole family on a swashbuckling trip to Neverland like never before!

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6. Shop for those all-important Xmas prezzies

London shopping at ChristmasRetailers make billions every year around Christmas time with everyone buying gifts for family and friends, as well as spending millions on shopfronts to entice customers. So get some much-needed retail therapy with the family by picking up some gifts this Christmas!

Every year hundreds flock to London to watch the iconic Christmas Lights light up Oxford Street. With a whopping 300 stores to choose from, all with impressive store windows that cost brands millions each year, Oxford Street makes an ideal location for your festive shopping!

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7. Whip up some treats at a cookie-making class

Christmas cookiesWhat better way to bond with family over the frustrations and joy that come with baking? A traditional Christmas activity usually done at home is made a hundred times more festive when you’re in a class – so attend a craft festival this festive season! Leeds Cookery School host a Parent and Kids Christmas Cookie Decorating class where you can learn all the techniques to make a Bake Off-worthy biscuit!

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8. Skate in circles at a festive ice rink

Ice skating with friends at ChristmasOutdoor skating is big business in the capital, with London boasting a huge choice of beautiful ice rinks within royal parks, museums and stately homes. Yet the original rink at Somerset House, founded in 2000, still stands tall as the most stunning location to skate in the city. The rink is popular with kids and families during the day and there is a choice of skate schools catering to various ages and abilities. When the sun sets the courtyard is filled with couples gliding arm-in-arm under the stars and enjoying champagne and truffles and other apres-ski delicacies.

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