Christmas is definitely one of our favourite times of year and I know many are looking for special events this year for one big event rather than several events, due to the cost of living – so I hope some of these ideas will help.
I know there are probably so many more days out than this, but I do prefer to share places we’ve visited/have experienced, so we can genuinely recommend them to you.
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.
West Lodge Farm Park, Kettering
West Lodge Farm Park has always been one of our favourite places for both events as well as a fun day out, whatever the weather. This year’s Christmas Experience is now on sale and we’d get in quickly to not miss out on tickets.
The whole experience is just so magical and on our must-do list every year, including wandering through 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 too.
Bluebell Dairy, Derbyshire
The amazing Bluebell Dairy is running the Father Christmas Experience this year and we really recommend their events. This year the event is running on 26-27th November, then 3rd-4th, 10th-11th, 17th-18th, 21st-24th December.
Celebrate the wonder of Christmas with our MAGICAL and INTERACTIVE Father Christmas Experience. You’ll be mesmerised by the beauty of The Wishing Woods and you’ll discover your toy making skills in the Toy Workshop. Unleash your imagination on the Peculiar Penguin Sleigh Journey and of course join Father Christmas for a night time sleigh ride!
We had a great time at Bluebell Dairy in 2020 for Christmas and really do recommend it!
Manor Farm Park & Woodlands, Leicestershire
We always enjoy our visits to Manor Farm Park & Woodlands, and last year was just so magical at their Christmas afternoon tea meeting Santa in the woodlands.
Their events are always so well organised, and so we are excited that their Christmas event is running:
- Every weekend from 26th November 2022 until Christmas Eve.
- Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th December.
- Daily from Monday 19th until Saturday 24th December.
The events include meeting Santa in his magical woodland cabin, seeing the real reindeer, and why not make reindeer food, toast on the campfire, decorate gingerbread men and write a letter to Santa to post in the woodland post box?
They also have an Early Evening Wonderland where you can meet Santa and see the lights in the magical woodland.
To find out more, check out their website here.
Check out our full farm park review here
Tamworth Snowdome’s Winter Wonderland is now becoming a tradition for us and now it is in its 17th year, it will be another one not to be missed in 2022.
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.
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!
National Forest Adventure Farm
The National Forest Adventure Farm are once again running their North Pole Adventure for 2022, which we loved in 2019 – it really was so magical.
Hatton Adventure World, Warwick
This Christmas, Hatton Adventure World is being transformed into a brand new Enchanted Christmas Kingdom!
Treat your family to a unforgettable magical adventure, including their Christmas Panto starring Father Christmas and the North Pole Elves (from your private socially distanced sleigh).
Enchanted Christmas Kingdom is a festive fun packed day the whole family can enjoy, with many magical experiences. Be guided by some cheeky Christmas Elves through the Enchanted Forest to find Father Christmas in his grotto.will then give you the location of his Secret Toy Shop to choose your very own toy. Or choose to upgrade your visit and visit Father Christmas’ very own Create a Bear workshop.
That’s not all…. Mr Holly has a hilarious Festive Friends and Yuletide Trickery Show for you. The Falconry Centre has a very special indoor performance, The Owl and the Orient King. Take a walk through the Winter Wonderland, have some fun at the festive fair. Find out who has been naughty and who has been nice. Get creative at the gingerbread factory, make your own reindeer food to leave out on Christmas Eve.
Plus, all day enjoy the Reindeer Quest, and the usual Hatton fun with Festive Farmyard Favourites, All Day Animal Handling, Animal Feeding & Play Areas. There is so much to do at the Enchanted Christmas Kingdom, a truly magical experience!
Click here to find out more and to book tickets to their Enchanted Christmas Kingdom
With festive decorations around the castle, a Christmas light trail festival, festive activities, a huge Christmas tree and an ice rink, Warwick Castle has a truly magical Christmas event.
Inside, discover splendid Staterooms adorned with twinkling trees, dazzling decorations and festive flourishes. In the Great Hall, marvel at medieval armour, majestic architecture and the renowned 20ft high Christmas tree.
Outside, climb the towers and ramparts for impressive panoramic winter views and explore 64-acres of grounds and gardens. Overhead, you’ll find impressive birds of prey, flying gracefully as our expert Falconer leads them in an unforgettable demonstration.
A popular event, Stories with Santa, where Santa will settle down to tell charming tales, sharing stories of festive cheer with little ones, accompanied, of course, by his merry elves.
Twycross Zoo, Warwickshire
Twycross Zoo is hosting an Alpine Adventure for 2022 – keep an eye out for more details coming soon here.
Santa’s inclusive workshop – Leicester
A fantastic entry and brand new last year in 2021 – a fully inclusive Santa experience in Leicester – Santa’s Inclusive Workshop. “Our aim is to create a fully inclusive space where anyone with special requirements can feel comfortable and enjoy the magic of visiting Santa.”
Here’s what you can expect:
Plenty of time with Santa
Northern lights with falling snowflakes
A present from Santa
Accessible entry – ramp access
Customised lighting and sound for each child’s needs
Take all the photos your heart desires
Find out more here
Mini Meadows Farm, Northampton
From Saturday 26th November through to Thursday 23rd December, your visit promises enchanting surprises for all ages (and a chance to make sure some names are etched on Santa’s ‘nice’ list).
Step inside our elf forest, discover our candy cane maze and immerse yourself in a festive fantasy world where you and your little ones will:
- Explore our elf village and choose sweets from the shop
- Taste the best mince pies of your life, toasted with a festive drink
- Write a letter to Santa
- Meet Santa in his workshop (and take a selfie too)
- Visit Santa’s toy shop
Ticket price includes all-day entry to the farm park, outdoor play areas, sandpit and cafe.
Wicksteed Park, Northamptonshire
Magical Wicksteed is back once again for 2022!
Uncover the magic at Wicksteed when you join our cheeky elves through our magical experience. Start your journey by boarding our festive train ride where you get to meet Santa’s reindeer, Dancer, Prancer & Vixen! Enjoy an exclusive Christmas show in our theatre starring Mrs. Claus before meeting the main man himself, Father Christmas.
Finish off this wonderful experience by choosing a special gift from Santa’s workshop before having fun on our rides including our fantastic BRAND-NEW attraction!
Why not pop in to say Merry Christmas to our farmyard animals whilst you’re here?
Babes in arms are free however if you would like them to receive a gift from Santa, a child ticket must be purchased. We cannot wait to celebrate another festive season with you.
- Rides will open at 11am until 5.30pm
- Experience lasts approx. 1:30/2hrs
Find out more 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.
Christmas in Leicester
Each year we love to head into Leicester to check out the Christmas events, including the ice rink, big wheel and more.
The Jubilee Square Real Ice Rink will be back from Thursday 1 December 2022 – Monday 2 January 2023.
Outdoor film nights in Green Dragon Square take place throughout November, and the Christmas Wheel of Light is back from 11th November – 2nd January.
You can also enjoy the funfair at weekends, as well as the traditional nativity scenes in the Town Hall Square and the fantastic free Sanata in the Square is back from 3rd December – 23rd December.
Magic Alley, Stratford
Enter The Ice Kingdom and make your way through our magical 10 rooms completing the Christmas quest. On the way you will happen upon various characters and magical creatures before meeting Father Christmas.
All children receive a present and then continue on their journey culminating in a visit to the snow covered Enchanted Forest where you can play in the snow and have a snowball fight!
Christmas at Magic Alley for children aged 4 and over
This session is aimed at children aged 4 and over and includes elements of basic reading and puzzle solving. Presents are age appropriate (in light of customer feedback) and as a result you will be asked to provide the age of your child/children upon booking.
In this session children under 4 are only permitted entry as part of a family group including older children.
Some of the later evening sessions are restricted to those over 4 only as a result of experience and feedback from other visitors
Christmas at Magic Alley for children under 4 (marked with * at either end of the title)
This session is targeted at younger children and includes a Christmas quest which is age appropriate. Children will receive a gift suitable for younger children. Please note adults do not receive a gift in these sessions.
For more information, click here
Windmill Farm Park
If you’re looking for a quieter and more affordable option for Christmas, we really do recommend Windmill Farm Park.
We’ve been with friends several times at Christmas and really do enjoy the simplicity of it. You can feed the reindeer, meet Santa, visit the Woodland Wonderland, write a letter to Santa and more.
Included in the child’s price; all the extra activities and a festive gift.
Under twos are free entry to the farm park – if they would like to join in with activities/Santa visit (selected days only), crafts and receive a present there is an additional upgrade charge of £5.
Find out more about Christmas at Windmill Farm Park here
Tropical Birdland & Fairy Walk, Leicestershire
We are so excited that the Tropical Birdland Winter Wonderland is back for 2022 as it is always one of our favourite events.
With magical lanterns, glittery fairies, the snow queen and more, it is always one of the most magical of experiences.
For the full review of 2019’s event, click here
Sundown Adventureland, the fantastic theme park for under 10s, is once again back for Christmas where you can 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 from 2 Dec 2022 – 1 Jan 2023. Enjoy a fairy forest, light up sculptures and stunning light displays across the park to really give you all the feels of festive magic.
- Delight in the Christmas at Wollaton light show in the Formal Gardens
- Take a wintery walk inside the Hall to discover Ye Olde Christmas Past and see Santa or his helpers
- Explore with our Outdoor Christmas trail
- ‘Make and take‘ activities in the Hall
- Get inspired with gifts & treats in our cafés, stalls & shop
Find out more about the Christmas at Wollaton event here
Gulliver’s Theme Parks
Gulliver’s Theme Parks are working on Christmas experiences and overnight stays for all the family. Santa Sleepovers are available at Milton Keynes and Warrington. We love staying at Gulliver’s Theme Parks, so these sound so magical – find out more here.
Milton Keynes, Warrington and Gulliver’s Valley Rotherham are all operating their Christmas festive days out – you can enjoy different levels of packages including Winter Wonderland, gifts and appearances from Santa.
Find out more here.
CBeebies Land, Alton Towers
This December get ready to enjoy a magical festive day out at Alton Towers Resort, with specially selected rides ideal for families, including CBeebies Land and Gangsta Granny: The Ride!
This Christmas season enjoy unforgettable festive fun with a day out at Alton Towers Resort! Experience fun-packed live entertainment and a whole host of family rides and attractions across three fantastical themed Lands including the UK’s only CBeebies Land, The World of David Walliams with Gangsta Granny: The Ride, as well as Mutiny Bay, the home of budding buccaneers, plus HEX and Spinball Whizzer!
Explore the enchanting Christmas Market and discover unique gifts, tasty treats and festive delights from the fantabulous market stalls, bars and food stands along Towers Street.
Then, marvel at the award-winning illuminated trail, Lightopia, returning for 2022 with new installations and interactive experiences letting you control the magic! An immersive spectacle, this year’s “Christmas Wonder” themed attraction is a truly awe-inspiring season wonderland taking on a brand-new route through the park not to be missed!
What’s more, they also have Santa Sleepovers to make Christmas extra special.
Ninja Warrior Christmas Party, Leicester
CHILDREN’S NINJA CHRISTMAS PARTY
£30 PER CHILD
Wednesday 21 December, 5-7pm
Venue will be open exclusively for the party and will be closed to the general public at this time.
• Suitable for ages 4 and upwards
• Games and competitions with Ninja guests
• Meet Santa and his elves
• Christmas gift for each child
• Ninja Warrior UK socks included
• Hot buffet food
• Unlimited squash and water
Thomas Land at Drayton Manor, Staffordshire
Make special memories this festive season when you unwrap an amazing treat at Magical Christmas on selected dates from 26th November – 24th December 2021 at Thomas Land, Drayton Manor.
The whole family will be able to meet Father Christmas himself in our 15-minute Grotto Experience, as well as all the fun and excitement of our family-friendly rides throughout the park, enchanting decorations, our fascinating 15-acre zoo, Santa’s House Party live show in the 4D Cinema, and exciting entertainment in Thomas Land.
Plus, NEW for 2022 – Gingerbread Decorating Workshop included in your Grotto Experience Ticket.
Twin Lakes Theme Park
See Santa in his magical Grotto and experience a true Christmas with a fantastic Gift!
Santa arrives Friday 25th November 2022 – 24th December 2022
Grotto Ticket must be in conjunction with a day pass, season pass or complimentary ticket.
- See Santa in his Grotto
See Santa in his magical grotto, travel through the fairy tale forest, ride The Polar Express train and meet Santa in his cosy log cabin. All children’s grotto tickets receive a unique token from Santa which can be taken to the gift shop to choose their own gift. We take a very special photograph of you and your family when you meet Santa, which is then available to purchase when you leave the Grotto.
£12.99 per Child.
Adults accompanying are FREE
Please note, customers can only purchase a grotto ticket if they are either Season Pass holders or are purchasing a Twinlakes day ticket/Twinlakes at Christmas Winter Wonderland ticket.
- Christmas Packages and Specials
Want to add a special and magical touch to your family’s Christmas? Book a bespoke character package with us.
- Breakfast with Santa!
On selected dates only we have Breakfast with Santa where you will join Santa, Mrs Claus and their Elves for a breakfast feast at Twinlakes Winter Wonderland to add that extra special magic to your child’s Christmas.
- Party in the Park with Santa!
Maybe an evening party is more your thing? A charming event to get you in the real festive spirit of Christmas, a party with Santa, what more could the kiddies ask for? Join Santa, Mrs Claus and their Dancing Elves for a special Santa Supper and dancing at Twinlakes Winter Wonderland.
- Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve is a very special day at Twinlakes as we help celebrate the joy of Christmas. Everyone’s super excited for the big day including Santa, Mrs Claus, the elves and the Twinlakes festive team. Christmas Eve is a pre-book-only day. We wave Santa on his way!
Park is open daily 10 am – 5 pm except for Christmas Eve when we close at 4 pm.
Find out more here