It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and we’re all busily planning which events to go to over the next few weeks.
There’s nothing that will get you into the festive mood like a proper Santa themed day out whether that’s at a Christmas market, theme park or train ride.
This year, there’s plenty to do as it’s the first proper Christmas when the threat of Covid doesn’t loom over everything.
READ MORE: Mariah Carey is hosting a lavish Christmas themed holiday in NYC – for just £16
Across the nation there are mince pies cooking, ice skates being cleaned and mulled wine being brewed.
To help you get into the festive spirit, we've rounded up some of the best Christmas days out and events this December…
There’s lots to do at Christmas markets from sipping on hot chocolate to getting boozy on beer and finishing off your gift shopping.
There are plenty to go to in towns, cities and even villages this year.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is one of the major ones – and we reviewed the experience which is full of funfair rides, tonnes of food options and traditional stalls.
Other large events include Manchester Christmas Markets, York’s St Nicholas fair – which made the world top 10 – and Birmingham's famous German themed market.
We've compiled a complete list of the UK's Christmas markets to help you find your nearest one.
A long way away from the stuffiness of commuter trains there are a number of festive journeys you can make.
The Santa Steam Express will give you and your family a real sense of festive wonder as you meet Father Christmas and his helpers on the classic steam train.
The hour and 15 minute experience includes a welcoming drink and sweet treat for children before they meet Santa and his elves.
There’s also a real life Polar Express in Yorkshire.
Wensleydale Station invites families to don their pyjamas and immerse themselves in a theatrical festive experience on rolling stock.
Many heritage railways put on similar shows, so much sure to check the one local to you.
For thrill seekers, a lot of the UK's theme parks are hosting special seasonal events.
At Alton Towers a Christmas market is currently running, as well as Lightopia Seasonal Wonderland – Europe’s largest light and lantern festival.
Visitors can drop in on Santa's grotto at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and enjoy a delicious warming hot chocolate with marshmallows.
Father Christmas is also visiting Chessington World of Adventures, where there is also a pantomime, Magical Christmas Kitchen and Elmer's Christmas Story Time.
The DUPLO Puppet Pantomime and Holiday Harbour Lights Show are just two of the attractions being laid on at Legoland Windsor this Christmas.
Check your favourite theme park to see if they’re throwing an event too!
There are plenty of light trails which add a glow to festive walks in some of the UK’s most beautiful gardens.
Kew’s Glow Trail is filled with gorgeously designed light installations all set to magical Christmas music – and you can buy mulled wine, mince pies, hot chocolate and other treats as you wander through the trees at night.
Sandringham is also running a light trail which takes up to 90 minutes to complete on the Royal estate, complete with fire pits where you can roast marshmallows.
Meanwhile Edinburgh Castle is illuminating its after dark trail against the city’s skyline with Castle Of Light: A Kingdom of Colours.
Up in Yorkshire you should head to Roundhay Park where wicker sculptures, fire gardens, light structures and music has all been installed in the 700 acre grounds.
There are also light trails at Durham Massey in Cheshire, Westonbirt and the Botanic Garden of Wales as well as Wollaton Hall and Blenheim Palace.
Ice skating is a festive classic, especially if your local Christmas market has an ice rink so you can skate around surrounded by festive cheer and twinkling lights.
For those with younger ones, it may be worth checking if there are any skating aids to help them stay upright, or book earlier in the day when there are dedicated family-friendly sessions.
There are big rinks at major towns and cities across the UK, including in Edinburgh's Princes Gardens, Cardiff's Winter Wonderland, and Ice Cube Leeds.
Plenty of towns have smaller ones in their centres, whether they be real ice or more environmentally but equally slippery alternatives.
There is probably no more enjoyable or family friendlier evening out than the pantomime.
Each year a list of about ten shows, including the knee slapping Dick Whittington, Aladdin and Puss in Boots, are rotated through theatres across the country.
Not only are they upbeat, cheap compared to most theatre and involve lots of crowd participation, they're a core part of keeping local theatres afloat.
The Big Panto Guide has a great list of shows on near you this Christmas.
Santa Claus meet and greets
What's more festive than getting to me the man at the centre of the magic himself?
The National Trust is hosting Father Christmas at some of its properties this festive period, meaning you can visit an impressive old pile and drop off your list.
At National Trust property Quarry Bank in Cheshire there will be a special baby and toddler storytelling and play session with Father Christmas.
Santa will then move to his grotto at Stourhead in Wiltshire to lead a storytelling session without music and with smaller group sizes.
Meanwhile Lotherton Hall in Leeds is hosting Santa and his elves along with a festive woodland walk.
You should always check the local historical buildings, great estates and castles near you as many offer Christmas events.
Battersea Power Station is running a whole smattering of festive fun including Christmas card and tree decoration making, face painting, community choir shows and new festive themed selfie sots around the site.
The photo hotspots include a larger-than-life bauble installation in the riverside piazza, a 40ft Christmas tree in Malaysia Square, a trail of candy canes on Electric Boulevard and an alpine takeover of The Coaling Jetty.
Over in Edinburgh, you can book a Christmas dinner or Afternoon tea to enjoy in the ancient monument.
Bedern Hall in York is hosting a traditional evening listening to carol singers in a candle lit hall.
While over in Trelissick, Cornwall, you can meet Father Christmas, hear festive stories, listen to local choirs in the stables and sit on hot drinks.
Harry Potter at Christmas
Arley Hall in Cheshire is offering something a little different with Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience.
You’ll be taken on a bewitching journey through a misty forest and come in contact with Hippogriffs and Centaurs before being welcomes at the village with food and a blazing fire.
Or, head over to the Harry Potter Studios in Watford for Hogwarts in the Snow where the great hall is decorated for the Yule Ball and each of the sets reflects the festivities.
Disney on Ice
Disney on Ice is back this year with Mickey Mouse and heaps of his friends taking to the ice for a dazzling new show.
Dream Big brings to life iconic stories through incredible figure skating, with appearances the likes of Olaf, as well as princesses including Moana, Jasmine, Ariel, Belle and Frozen's Anna and Elsa.
The show will be touring the UK with dates for Manchester, Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Newcastle, Sheffield and London, with dates until the 31st December 2022.
Tickets start from £39.30 – head to disneyonice.com to find out more.
Brits could face Christmas travel chaos as Border Force staff threaten strikes
Get 10 days off in a row over Christmas using just three days of annual leave
You can now book stays on a reindeer retreat for a Christmas staycation
Lake Placid has been named the world's most beautiful winter wonderland
Source: Read Full Article