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The UK’s Best Festive Family Activities

7 December 2017 | Natasha Healy

Christmas is a time for family, but it is also a time when tensions can come to a fray over choosing activities that will please everyone and avoid tantrums, from parents and children alike. However, there is no need to stress as there are plenty of interesting and family-friendly events occurring across the UK this winter which are sure to fill up the diary over the Christmas holidays.

Christmas at Kew

Image credit: Kew Gardens/ via Facebook

Kew Gardens are a fantastic destination for families throughout the year, and at Christmas they only get better as a kaleidoscope of lights illuminate the landscape making the plants and pavilion a feast for the eyes. Christmas decorations also transform the gardens into a fairytale wonderland as giant baubles, twinkling lights, ribbons, and huge flora embellish the vegetation. Not only will young children be ecstatic whilst running around a fantasy backdrop usually confined to daydreams, but teenagers will be pleased with the killer Instagram opportunities. Parents can congratulate themselves with a hot chocolate or mulled wine at the end of the day.

Christmas at Kew runs until 1 January 2018 at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE.

Skate at Somerset House

Image credit: Somerset House/ via Facebook

Ice skating is a fail-safe winter activity and while there are multitudes of rinks across the UK, one of the best is surely set up at Somerset House. Not only is the setting within the courtyard of the stately home incredibly picturesque but, for families with slightly older children, certain nights offer Skate Lates, meaning you can take in the London Christmas lights on your way there. Fortnum & Mason’s are behind the swanky pop-up Fortnum’s lodge which is part of the skate extra package that serves up mince pies and mulled wine, or champagne and chocolates along with your ticket if you fancy making the day more of a special occasion.

Skate at Somerset House runs until 14 January 2018 at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA.

LEGOLAND at Christmas

Image credit: Official LEGOLAND Windsor/ via Facebook

There are few places as eponymous with childhood joy as LEGOLAND, so what better place to inject some festive cheer? Along with the usual pleasures of the park, which include various rides and attractions, visitors will also get to participate in Christmas themed activities such as taking part in a LEGO scavenger hunt and building LEGO snowflakes and Christmas decorations. Santa will also visit the park, and those who have been nice this year will get a chance to meet him.

LEGOLAND at Christmas takes place on various dates until 24 December 2017 at Legoland, Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4AY.

Winter Wonderland

Image credit: Winter Wonderland/ via Facebook

Enjoying its tenth year in its prime location of London’s Hyde Park, Winter Wonderland has become quite a noteworthy event during the Christmas period. The event has continued to grow over the years and now boasts a huge array of food, drink, gift stalls and fun activities meaning there is sure to be something for everyone. Some of Winter Wonderland’s best features are its plethora of bars serving warming favourites for older visitors, a Magical Ice Kingdom full of beautiful ice sculptures, a Circus, numerous rides, and much more. The best bit? It’s free to enter, so you are able to stroll in whenever you please.

Winter Wonderland runs until 1 January 2018 at Hyde Park, London, W2.

Disney on Ice, Worlds of Enchantment

Image credit: Disney on Ice/ via Facebook

There aren’t many companies that scream Christmas more than Disney – the whimsy and magic of their films thoroughly capture the childhood excitement of Christmas. The Disney on Ice show, Worlds of Enchantment, is sure to be a spectacle to remember as some of children’s favourite Disney characters come alive on the ice, including the stars of Toy Story, The Little Mermaid and Frozen, who will be accompanied by the hit songs from the films that the whole family knows and loves.

Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantments takes place at various locations across the UK.

Oh, Dickens!

Image credit: Chatsworth House/ via Facebook

Chatsworth Estate is opening its doors this Christmas to celebrate the author of one of Britain’s most beloved Christmas tales, A Christmas Carol, Mr. Charles Dickens. Some of his best-known characters such as Fagin, Bill Sikes and Miss Havisham will be brought to life in amongst scenes that are created to present some of his most famous settings such as Victorian squalor, shop fronts and Scrooge’s bed. The Estate is also holding a Christmas market on various days throughout December turning it into a festive destination not to be missed.

Oh, Dickens! runs until 7 January 2018 (excepting 24–26 December and 1 January) at Chatsworth House, Bakewell, DE45 1PP.

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