Christmas is definitely one of our favourite times of year and although 2020 is looking a little different, there are still some incredible events being released daily – and they’re booking up fast too!
I know there are probably so many more than this, but I do prefer to share places we’ve visited/have experienced, so we can genuinely recommend them to you. I also know there are varying costs for tickets out now, so I hope this can help give everyone an idea for a Christmas day out with the family, whatever your budget.
So, without further ado, here are some of our top ideas for days out with the kids in and around the East Midlands this Christmas – particularly for those around Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire! Whether you’re looking for a Christmas market, to meet Santa, or for a festive family day out, there really is something for everyone.
Please note, as government guidance changes, some information may change too, so it is always best to check their websites before you visit.
West Lodge Farm Park
West Lodge Farm Park has always been one of our favourite places for both events as well as to visit after lockdown. This year’s Christmas Experience is now on sale with less numbers, but you still get to enjoy all the fun of the Twinkly Wood with your magical glasses, visiting elf school, making reindeer food and more.
As part of your experience you get to visit Santa, who will find out something special about your child, and choose a toy from the elf workshop too, as well as all the fun of the beautiful West Lodge Farm Park. The indoor play barn is also prebookable when you’re there too.
They also have a special SEN Christmas night too for those who may not enjoy the sensory overload of a normal Christmas Experience, with minimised crowds, less noise and queues too. All ages are welcome on this experience – find out more here.
Tamworth Snowdome’s Winter Wonderland is now becoming a tradition for us and now it is in its 16th year, it will be another one not to be missed in 2020.
With plenty of real-snow fun, a fun Santa show and the Christmas Village with real animals to explore, there really is something magical about the SnowDome’s Winter Wonderland. They’ve reduced capacity this year and expanded the theater to help keep everyone safer, but still able to enjoy their fantastic winter experience.
You also don’t meet Santa himself, which means it is great to combine with another event too, plus you have all the fun of playing in the real snow!
Winterfest Thoresby Park
Winterfest 2020 is set to take place at the beautiful Thoresby Park from November 28th – 29th 2020.
It is a free, socially distanced Christmas market that promises to be a celebration of local handmade crafts and foods, giving you the chance to buy unique and special gifts for your family and friends that you can’t find on the high street.
With a festive atmosphere and a whole host of local traders, we can’t wait to visit Winterfest this year, particularly as so many other events like this have already been cancelled – this really will be very special.
The event is free, although you still need to pay parking fees at Thoresby Park. It will be open 10am-5pm Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday.
Find out more about Winterfest 2020 here
Each year, Conkers is transformed into a popular Winter Wonderland, where you get to see Enchanted Forest and Valley of Christmas Lights with the elves to visit Santa’s grotto!
With mulled wine, mince pies and Mrs Claus’ homebaked cookies as well as the Head Elf’s twinkle train, Christmas shows and a balloon modeller, there sure is plenty to keep the magic of Christmas alive at Conkers again this year.
Sundown Adventureland, the fantastic theme park for under 10s, is offering limited tickets from 21st November to 24th December to take a ride through the enchanted forest to meet Santa at their Christmas event.
Enjoy the Night Before Christmas ride and the whole park transformed into a Winter Wonderland for all the family to enjoy, as well as all the fantastic rides at Sundown Adventureland too.
Christmas at Wollaton Hall
Christmas at Wollaton Hall is looking beautiful this year with their Light Up Christmas experience. Enjoy a fairy forest, light up sculptures and stunning light displays across the park to really give you all the feels of festive magic.
They’ve put in extra steps to support all visitors this year and make it a Covid-secure event, allowing everyone to still enjoy the spectacle this year.
Find out more about the Christmas at Wollaton event here
CBeebies Land, Alton Towers
If you’re looking for a family Christmas break with a difference, Santa Sleepovers have been announced this year at CBeebies Land, Alton Towers.
Your packages include visit to the theme park, access to the waterpark, an overnight stay in the themed hotels, entrance to the new Garden Lantern Trail from 6pm, a visit to Santa in his grotto, and more.
The amazing Bluebell Dairy is running Santa’s Sleigh School at weekends through December as well as from December 21st-24th 2020.
You can learn to pass your sleigh ride proficiency test with the help of elves, Mother Christmas, Father Christmas and Betsy Bakewell on a 2-hour journey, where you collect stamps from the North Pole helpers, before being rewarded with a present from Santa.
A magical Christmas event has just been announced at Wicksteed Park with a festive train journey.
The event is £15pp and includes train journey, making reindeer food, meeting Santa and more. There’s even a treat for the adults too as well as a carousel!
Information poster is below and bookings/enquiries need to be done by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twycross Zoo is hosting a Christmas Spectacular for 2020. Details and tickets have now been released with special festive events happening at the Zoo on select dates in December.
With snowball fights, reindeer food making, story time, elves, a Snow Queen and more, as well as a full festive feast with Mrs Claus, it really sounds like a truly magical and unique way to celebrate Christmas.
Mini Meadows Farm
The team at the lovely Mini Meadows farm have announced their Christmas experience this year, with a candy cane maze, meeting the elves in their village, visiting Santa’s workshop and writing a letter to Santa too. You also get to meet Santa and choose a gift from the festive trail.
You can also use discount code ELF10 for 10% off before 30th September!
Great Central Railway
Enjoy the Great Central Railways with a difference this year with either the Winter Wonderlights steam train lit up with magical lights or the Santa Express where you meet Santa in your own compartment of 4 or 6.
There is also activities at the station (Quorn & Woodhouse) with funfair, Christmas Village, funfair and more.
2020 Christmas event details coming soon from…
Gulliver’s Theme Parks
Gulliver’s Theme Parks are working on Christmas experiences and overnight stays for all the family. They are yet to release the details, but say that they’re releasing the information September 2020. We love staying at Gulliver’s Theme Parks, so will definitely be keeping our eye out here.
With festive decorations around the castle, festival activities, a huge Christmas tree and an ice rink, Warwick Castle will soon be announcing all the details of their magical Christmas event. Keep an eye out here for more information.
National Forest Adventure Farm
The National Forest Adventure Farm have announced the return of their North Pole Adventure for 2020.
They have yet to release the details, but we had a fantastic time last year on their magical journey of activities for all the family where you collect your passport stamps along the way. Don’t miss out on the special polar bear too!
I’ll update when I find out more, but check out our review of last year’s event here
Thomas Land / Drayton Manor
Thomas Land / Drayton Manor will be hosting Drayton’s Magical Christmas 2020. Details still to be announced but dates are now available on their website showing from November 20th – December 31st. Until then, check out our review of Thomas Land here
Also keeping our eyes out for possible Christmas events in 2020 from:
Tropical Birdland & Fairy Walk – review of last year’s event here
Twin Lakes theme park – review of last year’s Halloween event here
Manor Farm Park & Woodlands – farm park review here
Charnwood Forest Alpacas / Pukka pacas – check out our Reinpaca walk & review here