I have always loved Christmas, and since we have had the little ones I find it even more magical. There is something special about trotting off to find the P E R F E C T Christmas tree in a field of mud, breathing in that wonderful smell of a fir tree, and then rushing home to dust the chosen one with baubles and glitter and twinkling lights, with the christmas tunes in the background and a glass of hot mulled wine staring at me on the sideboard. OK….well our Christmas tree shopping normally ends with child A face down in the mud, and child B loosing a wellington boot in the mud, and Mr S’s enthusiasm fading fast as I ‘shun’ the twentieth tree in search for that picture ‘perfect’ shape 🙂
I think the thing that I love most about Christmas is the build up…the planning…the anticipation of what is to come. I have always loved planning lots of special things to do trying to make those wonderful lasting memories and watching the children enjoy the excitement and magic, and just simply – believing.
I have put together a little list of our most favourite things to do over the festive period. These are events that we as a family have enjoyed over the last two or three years. Some of these events I have planned and booked very early on ..even before those beautiful summer evenings have ended.
I hope you enjoy our favourite festive family days out 🙂
1. The Snowman – Chester Cathedral
We have enjoyed this for the last two years, and it has soon become our favourite day out to introduce us the the festive period. This Christmas classic held at Chester Cathedral and is shown on a large screen accompanied by a live orchestra. you can read about our day here. I am letting you in on our little secret, as it is an event that is not well publicised and therefore seems to stay that little big magical. The girls loved dancing away to the sound of the violins, and this year lil_E squealed with excitement when the big man himself (The Snowman) wobbled his way around the cathedral. I would definitely recommend a visit – just remember this event is a sell out – so get those tickets early.
2. Santa Sleepover – Alton Towers.
We visited here a couple of years ago and it was great value for money. It involved a jam packed weekend of visiting the theme park, staying in a themed room at the hotel and enjoying christmas dinner alongside a full itinerary of christmas activities. The following day we headed over the waterpark for more family fun before coming home.
This is somewhere we visit EVERY year. Before I married Mr S…I used to drag my beautiful exasperated dad around the farm, inspecting each and every tree in search of that perfect tree, of a perfect size…you see the perfection really does exist. 🙂 My dad quickly handed the baton over to Mr S and now we enjoy this annual tradition of donning the wellington boots and hats and scarves and getting lost in the field of trees. (Okay well maybe I enjoy it slightly more! ) We do always manage to plan the visit on a day when it is cold..wet and muddy.. which seems to make the kiddies love it even more…. (Mr S not so much 🙂 )
4 Breakfast/tea with Santa– Bridgemere Garden Centre
This was something we did last year and was great fun. We couldn’t fit it into our schedule this year but I would definitely recommend a visit. We chose the tea with santa, and the mini me’s enjoyed decorating gingerbread men, pulling a cracker, eating the food and ending the day with a ‘hello’ from the big man himself. It was also the day we snapped my most favourite ever festive family snap. see below…One that will make me giggle for years to come.
5 Live Nativity – Glebe Farm and Astbury Church
We learned about this magical event just after we got married, and it has become a firm favourite in our family festive events. I don’t know about what the words ‘live nativity’ means to you, but when we first booked this event I didn’t quite realise that Live nativity meant live nativity…as in outdoors on a farm (yes I know..the clue is in the title but my brain didn’t register!) so I dressed M in her best Sunday clothes, with her glittery white pumps, and we joined the other totally prepared children in their snowsuits, wellies and glow sticks. We absolutely loved it, (despite sporting completely inappropriate clothing) and it is now an annual tradition of ours. It involves acting out the Christmas story, stopping off at the local pub and being greeted by a grumpy in keeper with no room in the inn, and following the star, passing the shepherds on our way, and ending in the barn to sing carols. a wonderful evening for the children to understand the true meaning of Christmas.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading our favourite festive days out so far. We have planned a couple of additional festive days this year, including iceskating at Somerset house, and Christmas eve at Blithbury Reindeer lodge…..so maybe next year these will make it onto our list.
I would love to hear of any more family days out to enjoy over the Christmas period.
Enjoy your magical adventures !
*Please note all activities have been paid for by myself,and I have reviewed the attractions with no benefit to myself.