For those of you that know me you will know my huge love for Christmas, but it’s not actually the day itself that gives me the most pleasure but more the weeks leading up to the main festivities.
It can be a little overwhelming with so many things to see and do so I have compiled a list of my favourites, plus a few that are on my wishlist.
Lapland UK: This to me has to be the ultimate christmas experience and one that we are lucky enough to be experiencing this year.
Lapland UK is based in Ascot and is a complete snow covered village that allows you to spend time with the elves baking, writing letters to Father Christmas, ice skating and of course meeting the big man himself.
Chessington World Of Adventure: With a trip to Chessington World Of Adventure Winters Tale not only will you get the chance to visit Santa his magical grotto you can also have fun with the Grufflo on his fabulous river ride, decorate festive treats in the Gruffalo Kitchen and enjoy a wintery tale with The Gruffalo’s Child.
There will also be selected family friendly rides open and of course the Zoo and Sea Life Centre to explore while you are there.
Painshill Park: This is one of our favourite place to visit Father Christmas and due to its popularity gets booked up extremely quickly.
At Painshill Park children get to meet Father Christmas in his magical crystal grotto to receive a gift whilst the parents can eat a warm minced pie and sip a glass of mulled wine.
National Trust Properties: Our favourite National Trust properties to visit are Polsden Lacey, Chartwell and Morden Hall over the christmas period.
They offer Father Christmas visits, crafts, trails and christmas markets all at really reasonable prices and incorporate the great outdoors which is always a bonus.
Kew Gardens: The after dark festive trail at Kew is absolutely magical. Thousands of lights cover the grounds and buildings and put on a truly magical show.
There is the chance to visit Santa, have a ride on some of the vintage fairground rides and sample some amazing street eats.
Hever Castle: I have only heard great things about Hever’s Christmas event and we are going along to visit in a few weeks time.
The castle comes alive with beautiful decoration, there is a trail to follow, Father Christmas drop-ins, craft workshops, hug a husky, and a vintage fairground.
Disney On Ice: This is one that I am really looking forward to this year. With all the magic that comes with Disney brought together in a combination of all your favourites on ice.
Winter Wonderland: From 1-100 there is something for the whole family at Winter Wonderland. Ice skating, christmas markets, Santa Land, Cinderella On Ice, a giant big wheel, the Sooty christmas show and Zippos Circus are just a few of the attractions on offer at Hyde Park this year and it is well worth a visit.
Bocketts Farm: Bocketts is my favourite farm at any time of year and Christmas makes it all that more special.
With a visit to Father Christmas in a traditional hay barn workshop this is a really lovely experience.
RHS Garden Wisley: Wisley has been on my radar for a long time now as it sounds like they do Christmas pretty well.
Their ‘Christmas Glow’ illuminated trail brings the gardens to life with illuminated trees and dramatic installations.
There is also the chance to visit Santa, sing with Mrs Claus and decorate gingerbread.
The Snowman: This wonderful adaptation of the famous Raymond Briggs classic The Snowman brought a tear to my eye and was the absolute epitome of Christmas to me.
The stage comes to life with story telling, dancing and the most wonderful sets and the two hour show managed to keep even my wriggly bottomed little ones captivated.
Winterville: Winterville is an event new to Clapham this year and is billed as London’s alternative festive experience.
They are bringing all the fun to South London with activities such as plonk golf, ice skating, roller disco, Backyard Cinema and much, much more.
Southbank: Warm spiced cider, festive bites and gifts galore will all be on offer at Southbank this year.
Its a lovely way to spend a few hours walking along the river and taking in all the sights that London has to offer.
Knights Garden Centre, Woldingham: Breakfast with Santa at Knights is always one of the highlights of my little ones Christmas and something my husband and I love too as it allows us to sit and have a delicious cooked breakfast whilst Santa comes round and greets the children with a special gift. There is also a sneaky visit from his reindeers too!
Tulleys Farm:Tulleys know how to put on an event and Christmas is by no means an exemption.
Reindeer food making, an elves magical forest, build a bear, sleigh rides, puppet shows are just a few of the activities they have on offer.
Hobbledown: Hobbledown has brought us back year after year for their toddler lunch with Santa.
The children get a chance to let of some steam in the soft play area before decorating biscuits, eating lunch and meeting the big man himself in a super cute barn that is just the perfect location.
I hope this list has given you a little inspiration for this years celebrations and I would love to know if you have any other places that would be good for me to add.