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25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do 2023

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Are you looking for something that extra bit special this Christmas? Hopefully, the following ultimate bucket list of 25 + Ultimate Christmas events in the UK in 2023 will help you plan that very special experience. I have not experienced all of these myself (sadly), they are merely suggestions. Hurry, hurry, hurry because those that can be pre-booked are booking up fast…some may already be sold out! Listed in alphabetical order.

Please double-check the event descriptions on the attraction’s website as the below information could change. It is essential that you read their own information carefully.

Alton Towers – Christmas – Staffordshire – Tickets on Sale

Santa’s Sleepover at Alton Towers – Selected dates in late November and through December. A Santa’s Sleepover is the most magical, wonderful Christmassy Escape. Jump onto specially selected rides ideal for families, dive into the Whacky Waterpark, tuck into a lusciously festive evening meal and meet Santa! 

Experience the ultimate festive short break at Alton Towers Resort this Christmas! Immerse yourself in a world of enchantment and wonder with our best-ever Santa Sleepover. Jump onto specially selected rides ideal for families, dive into the Whacky Waterpark, tuck into a lusciously festive evening meal and meet Santa! 

Address: Alton Towers Theme Park Alton Towers Resort, Alton ST10 4DB

When? Selected dates from 24th November – 30th December

How much? Short breaks from £290 per family. Prebooking is essential.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

Bedgebury – Christmas at Bedgebury – Kent – Tickets on Sale

Firmly positioned as unmissable within the UK’s seasonal calendar, Christmas at Bedgebury has everything you need for an unforgettable time with friends and family, including a magical glimpse of Father Christmas along the way. Discover softly lit doves delicately balanced on branches, reed-like neon structures, sparking tunnels of light and the Pinteum filled with all the colours of the rainbow as you walk under Liquid Sky, just one of the new displays to see this year. 

Address: Bedgebury ForestGoudhurst, Wadhurst TN5 7QJ

When? Selected dates in November and December 2023

How much? Tickets from £29.50 peak including parking for non-members, additional adults, off-peak tickets and children are cheaper.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

Belton House – Christmas – Lincolnshire – Tickets on sale

Firmly positioned within the UK’s seasonal calendar, Christmas at Belton, Lincolnshire has everything you need for an unforgettable time with friends and family, including a magical glimpse of Father Christmas along the way. Discover a lawn filled with larger-than-life flowers, glowing lantern trees, a sparkling flock of jolly robins and contemporary Christmas trees all the colours of the rainbow, just some of the new displays this year. 

Address: High Road Belton, Grantham NG32 2LW

When? Selected dates from 24th November 2023 to 31st December

How much/Do you have to prebook? Adult peak tickets £29.50 for the first adult including your car and £21.50 for each adult thereafter. £15.00 for a child aged 3-16 and 0-2 are free. Prebooking is essential. Tickets are cheaper if you are a member of the National Trust and off-peak tickets are much cheaper.

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

Blenheim Palace – Christmas at Blenheim – Oxfordshire – Tickets on sale

Christmas at Blenheim Palace is a place where new memories are made as a multitude of twinkling lights and seasonal sounds fill the air with festive fun. Explore the Palace rooms transformed by the story of Sleeping Beauty as this classic fairytale is reimagined for a new generation. Outside in the Great Court discover a selection of treasurable gifts within the Christmas Market.

Your very merriest Christmas starts here. Limited capacity with timed entry. Plan now to secure the date and time of your choice.

Address: Woodstock OX20 1PP

When? Selected dates from late November through to early January

How much? There are a number of pricing and package options. Please see their website for further information. Prebooking is essential.

Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland – Wales – Tickets On Sale

We’re back for 2023 – bigger and better than ever before! You can join us for the ultimate winter experience split across two prestigious locations. You’ll be pleased to hear all your festive favourites of the ice rink, funfair attractions, ice bar, food and drink are making a return!”

Cardiff Winter Wonderland

Address: Gorsedd Gardens Rd, Cardiff CF10 3NP

When? From 16 November 2023 until 7 January 2024

How much? Tickets vary according to the activities that you want to take part in.

Chatsworth House – Christmas at Chatsworth – Derbyshire – Tickets on sale

Discover 24 rooms filled with Christmas wonder and the sights, sounds and scents of the season. Travel under archways adorned with candy canes, handmade Christmas stockings and mistletoe. Explore a winter wonderland and glittering Christmas tree brooch forest.

At the heart of the house, you’ll find Father Christmas’ workshop; a hive of activity as preparations are underway for the all-important Christmas Eve deliveries. Keep your eyes peeled for his little helpers around the house, who you may spot making mischief while Father Christmas is away.

Every festive celebration needs a host, and welcoming you on arrival will be Chatsworth’s ‘Host of Advent’, a gregarious character with a fondness for fun (and mince pies). 

Address: Bakewell DE45 1PP

When? 4th November 2023 – 7th January 2024.

How much/Do you have to prebook? Adults £18.50-34, children £11-19 and other pricing options are available. Cheaper tickets do not include the house.

Best UK Christmas events

Chessington World of Adventures – Winters Tail – London – Tickets on sale

Make magical memories this Christmas at Winter’s Tail, enjoying festive family fun with your nearest and DEERest at Chessington.

With the help of our jolly elves and reindeer, meet Father Christmas in his log fire grotto and revel in all the Christmas cheer that a traditional panto and carollers offer.

Plus, NEW for 2023, visit the charming residents of Enchanted Hollow as they prepare for a magical Christmas. Help them countdown to the BIG day and wish them all a ‘Merry Christmas’ as you and your family wander through the delightful underground town of Enchanted Hollow decked out in all its festive finery.

Address: Leatherhead Rd, Chessington KT9 2NE

When? 25th November – 31st December

How much? Early booking offer from £30pp

Best UK Christmas events

Drayton Manor – Christmas Wonderland – Staffordshire – Tickets on Sale

The ultimate destination for family Christmas fun featuring ALL NEW festive shows and attractions, Thomas Land rides & shows, plus over 500 animals in our fantastic zoo.

  • NEW: Wishmas Express – an illuminating light trail train journey
  • NEW: Enchanted Christmas Grotto
  • NEW: Rory’s Christmas Party Show
  • NEW: Mrs Claus’ Christmas Spectacular End-of-Day Show
  • NEW: Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen
  • NEW: Open late to make the most of magical Christmas evenings
  • Thomas Land rides & shows
  • Snowfall each day

Address: Drayton Manor Dr, Fazeley, Mile Oak, Tamworth B78 3TW

When? Selected dates from 25th November – 24th December

How much? Park entry + Santa’s Grotto + Wishmas Express costs from £32 pp. You can do less and it will cost you less money.

Drusillas Park – Christmas – East Sussex – Tickets on sale

Watch little eyes twinkle with wonder as they experience the glistening magic of Christmas at Drusillas! Come and meet Santa snuggled in his cosy cottage, get nose-to-nose with our cuddly huskies, join in with our jolly singing reindeer, stroll through twinkling decorations, and marvel at our spectacular 24ft Christmas tree.

No Christmas would be complete without a moment with the big man himself… so upgrade your visit to meet ol’ Saint Nick who will be nestled in the heart of our cosy Christmas grotto waiting to sprinkle festive magic on your little ones. Our Santa Experience includes a personal one-to-one with Santa, a photo opportunity, and a magical Christmas gift!

Address: Alfriston Rd, East Sussex BN26 5QS

When? 25th November to 23rd December

How much? Please see the website for further information. *Santa Experience tickets are an optional add-on and do not include entry into Drusillas. A valid Drusillas entry ticket is also required.

Westonbirt Arboretum 2023 – Enchanted Christmas – Gloucestershire – Tickets on sale

Prepare to be dazzled by an enthralling winter wonderland, filled with sparkling lights, festive sounds, and mesmerising installations – making for an unforgettable experience for all the family.

Westonbirt’s captivating landscape and stunningly lit trees create an enchanting world full of wonder and imagination – the perfect place to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Address: Westonbirt, Tetbury GL8 8QS.

When? Selected dates from 24th November to 23rd December.

How much? Adults £19-21, children aged 3-16 £12-14. Under 3’s are free but will require a ticket. Other pricing options are available. Advanced booking is essential.

English Heritage – Enchanted Events – Tickets on sale

Enchanted Audley End House, Enchanted Eltham and Enchanted Walmer are back for 2023.

Gather your friends and family this winter and experience the past in a spectacular new light. Visit Audley End House and Gardens, Eltham Palace and Gardens, Wrest Park and Walmer Castle and Gardens on selected nights throughout December and discover a magical world of illumination, sound and colour.

Address: 3 different locations

When? Please visit each event’s URL

How much/Do you have to prebook? Please follow the link above for further information.

Great Central Railway – Santa Steam Trains – Leicestershire – Tickets on Sale

Experience the enchantment of Christmas with a heart-warming journey on our heritage steam railway! Join us for a festive adventure as we invite you to meet Santa and his jolly helpers on the train!

The little ones will be delighted with our specially created Christmas Activity Pack, filled with games, puzzles, and colouring sheets. Santa knows how to spread happiness and cheer, and every child on board will receive a special Christmas gift from the man himself! The joy in their eyes will be priceless as they unwrap their surprises, and that’s not all! Each child will receive a drink and a treat onboard as well!

We haven’t forgotten about the grown-ups! As you enjoy the scenery and laughter of the children, indulge in a complimentary Irish Cream Liqueur and a delectable warm Mince Pie. It’s the perfect way to savour the season.

Address: Great Central Rd, Loughborough LE11 1RW

When? Services depart from 25th November through to 24th December

How much? Tickets from £24 pp

Hogwarts in the Snow – Warner Brothers Studio – Hertfordshire – Tickets on Sale

2023 will conclude with the return of the Yule Ball for Hogwarts in the Snow, as the Great Hall is transformed with the icy silvers of the iconic Yule Ball scene. The Gryffindor common room will be dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow will cover the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley and the magnificent Hogwarts castle model.

Address: Studio Tour Dr, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR

When? 11th November 2023 to 14th January 2024

How much? An adult ticket is £49.95 and £39.95 for a child aged 5-15. Under 5s are free, other pricing options are available.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – London – Tickets on sale

Located in the heart of London in Hyde Park, immerse yourself in all things festive for 6 weeks. Let’s make it one to remember as we celebrate our 16th Edition. Come and enjoy the ultimate party this festive season in true Winter Wonderland style. The countdown is on for this November! Offering a wide variety of attractions, activities, entertainment, food, drinks and so much more, we guarantee there’s something for everyone!

Address: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH

When? Selected dates from 17th November – 1st January

How much? Entrance costs £5 – activities including rides are then an additional cost.

Kew Gardens – Christmas at Kew – London – Tickets on sale

Join us for the most wonderful time of the year at Kew Gardens as our magical winter trail lights up the evening skies for 2023. Enjoy our annual after-dark festivities with family and friends, as you discover sparkling tunnels of light, dancing lakeside reflections, and trees drenched in jewel-like colour. Journey through the mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden, spot larger-than-life illuminations and say hello to Father Christmas along the way.

Address: Richmond

When? Wednesday 15th November 2023 – Sunday 7th January 2024

How much? Standard advance adult: Off-peak £22.50/ Peak £29.00, children are £19 peak. Prebooking is essential.

Knowsley Safari Park – Enchanted – Merseyside – Tickets on sale

This year, we’re delighted to introduce our new rainbow road and we’ll even have our own Knowsley Northern Lights to experience as well where the whole family can have fun capturing memories. You may even notice some talking trees have too! 

We’re also excited to reveal new animal installations at this year’s event, keep your eyes peeled for illuminated hippos submerged in our natural water features, whilst Enchanted favourites return, such as light-up giraffes, penguins, zebras, and polar bears.

Our Winter Village is back for its second year, journey through our technicolour light tunnel and watch as Santa’s elves prepare for the big day at his workshop – don’t forget to write and post your Christmas wish list to the big man himself.

Address: Prescot L34 4AN

When? 18th November – 30th December

How much? General from £10 and members from £8

Lapland UK – Berkshire – SOLD OUT – Cancellations will be added when available

Lapland UK is the epitome of all things Christmas. It’s where the ‘magic of Christmas’ lies and where fairytales come true. Besides being an absolute visual treat with its fake snow, log cabins and real huskies, it is above all a genuinely memorable experience. Especially when the children meet Father Christmas!

Address: Lapland UK, Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Rd, Winkfield Row, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 8BD

When? Selected dates in December

How much? The 2023 Toy Factory is now full! If any cancellations become available, they will be bookable through their website.

Legoland Windsor – Legoland at Christmas – Berkshire – BOOK NOW

Get ready for a magical day of entertainment starting as soon as you enter the Park. 

Start your day snapping an (s)elfie in front of our giant DUPLO® Christmas Tree – the perfect spot for a family photo worthy of a Christmas Card. 

There will be lots of festive scenes hidden in Miniland for your little builders to discover.  Also, in Miniland, Christmas is taking over The Brick! Your little elves will be able to festive activities and LEGO builds… 

There will be live entertainment and characters to meet plus a selection of our amazing rides and attractions will be available so you and your family will be able to build memories that will last a lifetime. 

Address: Winkfield Rd, Windsor SL4 4AY

When? Selected dates from 25th November 2023

How much? Tickets from £34 per person.

Longleat – The Festival of Light – Wiltshire – Tickets on sale

Rediscover the stories that shaped our childhood and make your own magical moments as Longleat presents Treasured Tales: The Festival of Light 2023. Enjoy Britains biggest singing Christmas tree for a spectacular display featuring lights, carols and even a flurry of snow!

All aboard for the North Pole! A trip on our Santa Train is the perfect way to make this Christmas extra magical. Oh the weather outside may be frightful, but the Drive Through Safari is still delightful!

Address: Warminster BA12 7NW

When? 11th November ’23 – 7th January 2024

How much? Please visit their website. 1 adult & 1 child costs a little over £50

Lotherton Hall – Christmas Experience – West Yorkshire – Tickets on Sale

A magical journey through the enchanting world of Christmas. From visiting Santa in the North Pole to crafting in the Elf Village, there’s something for all the family. Explore the Christmas Traditions Woodland Walk, and Fairy Dell. Marvel at Lotherton’s splendour in the Hall and lit gardens. Warm up with a hot chocolate or mulled wine, don’t forget to visit the Christmas stalls on a weekend.

Address: Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3EB

When? Selected dates in November and December

How much? Prices vary greatly depending on what you want to book

25 + Ultimate Christmas Events in the UK | Best Things to do

North Yorkshire Moors Railway – Santa Specials – North Yorkshire – Tickets on sale

Join Santa and his special team of elves at either Pickering or Grosmont Station before a magical adventure aboard the Santa Express which will take you on a festive journey you won’t forget!

This enchanting Christmas experience sees Mr. Claus and his jolly helpers pass through the heritage carriages, giving children a chance to meet the legendary man himself on board the train, and gifting a special soft toy present to the children onboard – providing they’ve managed to keep themselves off the naughty list this year!

Santa will visit you in your seat and check if you’ve been good or bad.
Meet Santa’s Helpers onboard for fun and games! 
Soft toy for Children aged 1-15 which they can complete themselves.
NYMR Christmas backpack.
The return journey lasts approx. 1 hour on board the Santa Express from Pickering or Grosmont.

Address: 12 Park St, Pickering YO18 7AJ

When? 25, 26 Nov & 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 & 24 Dec

How much? The Adult or Child fare is £30 per person and includes a present and backpack for each child.

Best UK Christmas events

Paultons Park – Christmas at Paultons – Hampshire – Tickets on sale

Visit Paultons over the Christmas period and discover the new land Tornado Springs, magical illuminations, Peppa and George in their seasonal outfits, Christmas characters, a Christmas show featuring Father Christmas and of course, selected rides and attractions (including the UK’s one and only Peppa Pig World).

Address: Ower, Romsey SO51 6AL

When? Selected dates from 2nd until 23rd December.

How much? Tickets are £37.00 each in advance, pre-booking is recommended.

Choose a family-friendly hotel close to Paultons.

Wensleydale Polar Express – North Yorkshire – Tickets on sale now – SELLING FAST

Your journey begins just like the 2004 motion picture when THE POLAR EXPRESS™ will pick you up at Leeming Bar station to take you to the North Pole. You will get to meet the characters from the film including the conductor, the singing chefs, the hobo and of course the main man himself Father Christmas. You and your family, hopefully, dressed in PJs, will experience a fun-filled theatrical adventure as you make your way to the North Pole.

Don’t forget to have a bite of your cookie and authentic hot chocolate before arriving at the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. Santa will join you on board and, if you are on the nice list, hand you your first gift of Christmas, a Silver Sleigh Bell just as in the motion picture we all love. You will get to speak with Santa.

Address: Leeming Bar Station, Leases Road, Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, DL7 9AR

When? Various dates from 10th November until 23rd December.

How much? Tickets from £31.95 to £44.95.

THE POLAR EXPRESS CAN BE FOUND AT OTHER VENUES ACROSS THE UK in 2023

Thursford – Enchanted Journey of Light – Norfolk – Tickets on sale

The fading light of the Winter’s sun starts the magic of Thursford. Your journey will progress into the Fantasyland Building, as you travel past the penguins and polar bears to the giant-sized teddy bears! Get ready to see how the elves have loaded Santa’s sleigh, then past the busy elves hard at work in the toy factory using the wondrous wrapping machine!

Throughout your journey you’ll meet lots of fantasy land characters including the snowman family, make sure you watch out for their snowballs!

Your journey continues as you venture outside to the Lantern Light Extravaganza, with lots of creatures to marvel at – a beautifulbreathtaking festival of luminous sculptures, from a fantasy underwater world to the wilds of the North Pole. Watch out for the naughty mushroom gnomes!

Christmas Spectacular 2023 and Santa’s Magical Journey tickets are also on sale now…..

Address: Thursford, Fakenham NR21 0AS

When? Selected dates in December and January

How much? Prices are £22 per person

Willows Activity Farm – Santa Spectacular – Hertfordshire – Tickets on Sale

There’s no better place to bring your children to meet Santa and enjoy a fabulous festive family day out. We recommend you allow a minimum of 4 hours to make the most of your visit to our Santa Spectacular as there is so much to se and do!

Our all-inclusive tickets are limited and members and non-members must book online prior to their visit. Under 2s are free but must have a ticket. If your Under 2 would like to visit Santa’s Toy Shop for a gift, Create-a-Cuddle, or take part in the toy workshop and Gingerbread decorating, you’ll need to purchase an ‘Under 2 Top Up’ ticket.
Members receive a discounted rate and must show their digital membership card at admissions at the time of their visit.

Address: Coursers Rd, St Albans AL4 0PF

When? Selected dates in November and December

How much? Adults are from £24-31 and children are from £48.55. Other pricing options are available.

Snowdome – Winter Wonderland – Staffordshire – Tickets on sale

Santa’s back at the SnowDome for Christmas 2023 with a family festive extravaganza! From 11th November, his magical winter wonderland in the snow returns and this year he’s all set to spread heaps of magic along the way, including a new larger theatre experience. With real snow, real animals and the ALL NEW winter wonderland show, it’s the ultimate Christmas adventure for all the family!

Address: Leisure Island, River Drive, Tamworth B79 7ND

When? Selected dates from 11th November until 31st December

How much? Prices from £17.95 each off-peak up to £24.95 per person peak.

Stockeld Park – Christmas Adventure – North Yorkshire – Tickets on Sale

What was once but a simple Christmas Tree shop, from this small acorn grew what came to be Stockeld Park’s most famous adventure season. Join us for Christmas fun, get active and discover large themed outdoor playgrounds within the beautiful woodland of Stockeld Park. Watch the Enchanted Forest come alive after dusk with our famous winter illuminations and enjoy our magical ice rink! This truly is the home of Christmas magic.

Address: Wetherby Rd, Wetherby LS22 4AN

When: Selected dates November, December and January

How much? There is a wide range of activities and packages available – please visit their website for pricing.

Best UK Christmas events

Warwick Castle – Christmas at the castle – Warwickshire – Tickets on sale

Visit the Castle during the daytime and discover twinkling trees, dazzling decorations, and festive flourishes at every turn. Make magical memories with Santa and Mrs. Claus as you listen to a special story of Christmas hope and joy. Glide upon our magnificent open-air ice rink in the stunning setting of the castle grounds. As darkness falls, journey through our historic grounds and gardens with our magical illuminated light trail.

Address: Castle, Castle Ln, Warwick CV34 4QU

When? 25th November ’23 – 1st January 2024

How much? Castle and Santa prices from £38, other pricing options are available. The light trail from £16.50 per person.

Sundown Adventureland – Glorious Christmas – Nottinghamshire – Tickets on sale

You’ll be greeted by the elves and the ever-friendly Mrs Claus and when it’s your time, you’ll be invited to meet the big man himself. Where you’ll receive a lovely, individually wrapped present and the chance to share your wishes with him.

This year there is a HUGE new surprise with a massive purpose-built Four Seasons Arena. This will be the home for all of our biggest events throughout the year and we can’t wait to show you it! What’s even better, is that you’ll be protected from the weather, so Christmas can still be magical, even if the weather is distinctly un-festive.

Address: Treswell Rd, Rampton, Retford DN22 0HX

When? 18th November to 24th December

How much? Prebooking is essential. Adults from £19-25, children 90cm-10years £23-29. Other pricing options are available.

The Snowman Tour 2023 – Various Venues – Tickets on sale

Something magical happens each Christmas. The classic animated film of The Snowman, accompanied by live orchestra. Alongside other family-friendly stories, it makes the perfect family Christmas show!​ The world’s leading performers of The Snowman film with live orchestra, we have staged almost 250 performances to date across the UK, with upcoming shows scheduled worldwide.

On selected dates at various venues.

Ultimate Christmas Bucket List - 26 Great Family Things to Do - Days Out

Winterfunland 2023 – Birmingham – Tickets on sale

We are really excited to bring the UK’s largest indoor Christmas funfair to Birmingham NEC 9th December 2023 – 1st January 2024. It’s the perfect Christmas experience for all the family where you can enjoy 4 hours of unlimited funfair rides, skate on our gigantic ice rink and visit our amazing festival circus – all included in your ticket price!

Winter Funland is a great opportunity to wear your Christmas jumpers and get into the festive spirit….without worrying about the weather! Expect plenty of Christmas magic, with all the fun of the fair and a spectacular circus show.

They’ll be lots of smiles on the ice rink too, whether you’re gliding along like a pro or wobbling along with the help of one of our penguins! Visit our food and drink vendors for that Christmas market feel, and watch out for the mischievous elves who’ll be popping up around the event to help you make some special memories.

Address: Manchester, Eventcity, Opposite Intu Trafford Centre.

When? 9th December – 3rd January

How much? £29.50 + £3.55 booking fee pp plus a charge of £7 per child to meet Santa

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland – near York – Tickets on Sale

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland is free to enter, with separate tickets required for skating at The Ice Factor and for Santa’s Grotto. Tokens for the funfair rides can be purchased on site. 

The Ice Factor is the North of England’s largest outdoor ice rink, with 975 sq m of real ice and a 30ft high sparkling Christmas tree as its centrepiece. Surrounded by illuminated trees, log cabins, the rinkside cafe and a viewing platform, this magical setting makes for the perfect festive experience for all ages. 

Address: St Nicholas Ave, Fulford, York YO19 4TA

When? 17th November – 7th January

How much? Prices vary according to activity.


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  • Suzy McCullough

    The most up-to-date UK days out website plus holidays here and overseas, written by parents. Search our extensive database with an interactive map and find a great day out near you.


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