I canâ€™t believe itâ€™s September and Iâ€™ve skipped autumn, Halloween and all of the festivities and already begun planning ahead for Christmas. Last year we did manage to squeeze in some activities but just like everyone else, most of our plans were scuppered at the last minute and we were unable to participate in many of our family traditions. Every year at Christmas we love to gather together and share experiences. This usually begins with making our gingerbread village and doesnâ€™t end until the last Christmas decorations have been taken down from the tree.
We have already booked in a few different activities and have found that so many people are excited to visit attractions and see live performances that tickets are selling out like hot cakes, so hereâ€™s a definitive list of some Midlands based family friendly days out to enjoy with your families this Christmas. As always please check websites and Facebook pages of each provider for the most up-to-date information / links provided are correct at time of publishing. Letâ€™s make this year the best one ever!
1. The Polar Express
Based on the beautiful animated film starring Tom Hanks, which stormed its way in to the list of top Christmas movies of all time, there are several railways in and around the Midlands which offer immersive experiences. You can wear your pyjamas and transport your household directly in to the magic of Christmas on a magical train journey, sample a hot chocolate and maybe even meet the big guy in red yourself!
There are several places you can book which is bonus of living in the centre of the country – each railway creates its own magical experience and these tickets sell like hot cakes so keep an eye out of the social media pages and websites for re-releases and added dates :
â„ï¸ Churnet Valley
â„ï¸ Telford Steam Railway
â„ï¸ The Severn Valley Railway
2. Christmas Lights
There is nothing more beautiful than seeing festive lights shine brightly as the nights draw in. I vividly recall the â€œlight switch onâ€ days of my childhood and now so many attractions in and around the Midlands host light trails with additional experiences to enjoy such as street food, craft markets and live music making the evening trips in winter worthwhile and enjoyable for all members of the family. Just remember to wrap up warm!
â„ï¸ Warwick Castle – their festive light trail with the back drop of the castle is breathtaking. They host additional options such as stories with Santa for little believers to enjoy
â„ï¸ Webbs of Wychbold are hosting a new light trail in their Riverside Gardens, and if last experiences of their grotto are anything to go by then this promises to be spectacular
â„ï¸ The National Memorial Arboretum – from 7th to 18th December the arboretum will be illuminated with a kaleidoscope of colour after hours.
â„ï¸ The Winter Glow in Malvern – Jingle the elf told me that this spectacular event with four attractions including an awesome ice rink and big wheel is not to be missed!
Thereâ€™s nothing more exciting than finding the perfect Christmas gifts for loved ones. I always find unique hand crafted treats from independent traders at street markets and tend to treat myself to sweet treats too. I like to try and visit as many different places as possible, especially smaller towns on the outskirts of the Midlands for a traditional expensive and these events really do make me feel festive.
â„ï¸ The big one is back – Birmingham is hosting its famed Frankfurt Market once more and I couldnâ€™t be more excited
â„ï¸ Stratford Upon Avon – for a glorious Victorian themed market 9th -12th December
â„ï¸ Worcester – their awesome market returns once more to bring festivities to town.
Visiting the theatre at Christmas is a much loved family tradition , I have missed live performance so much this last eighteen months that Iâ€™m keen to squeeze in as many trips as possible. From Pantomime to ballet and everything in between, theatres across the Midlands all have some special events lined up, we are spoilt for choice with some awesome venues and shows this year.
â„ï¸ The Stick Man – Julia Donaldsons much loved story is touring the Midlands with a special Performance at the Town Hall on Boxing Day
â„ï¸Alice inWonderland – at the Old Rep until 17th December
â„ï¸ The Snowman – hosted by Carrot Productions touring nationally and in Coventry on 23rd December
â„ï¸ The North Pole Experience in Nottingham at Thoresby Park is a new immersive family experience.
â„ï¸ Winter Wonderland at the Midlands Snow Dome for thrill seekers and adventurers
â„ï¸ Santa Safari – at West Midlands Safari Park for animal lovers what better place is there to meet Santa and have a fabulous day out?
Itâ€™s officially less than a hundred days to go until Christmas and so itâ€™s okay to start playing Mariah Carey and looking forward to all of the festive fun!