Attractions throughout the region have been working extremely hard to prepare safe and secure environments to welcome families over Christmas. With that in mind, we are remaining positive that restrictions will ease in the lead up to Christmas. Therefore, we are continuing to provide ideas for Christmas activities to enjoy as a family and have listed a few of our favourites below!
For all attractions that are listed below it is really important to visit them online or telephone them to get all the latest details before planning a visit for when lockdown restrictions ease.
Most attractions must be booked in advance, and numbers are limited to keep everyone safe.
Christmas Days Out across the East of England region
Magic at Cambridge University Botanic Garden – Dress up warmly for a great day out with a difference this festive season. Some rather mischievous elves have been sprinkling seasonal fun around! Held from the 14th November to the 23rd December. https://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/
Magic of Christmas at Colchester Zoo – Visit this wonderful zoo on selected dates in December for lots of festive fun. There’s lots to see and do this Christmas. Pre-booking is essential. https://www.colchester-zoo.com/
The Father Christmas Experience at Marsh Farm – Book your tickets early for this fun Christmas experience at Marsh Farm. This year there will be even more magic and surprises with activities suitable for all the family. Held on selected dates in November and December. https://www.marshfarm.co.uk/
Luminate Sandringham – Dress up warmly and enjoy an illuminated trail through the Country Park at Sandringham, from the 10th November to the 20th December. All the family can enjoy the mesmerising light displays, set to music while at Her Majesty the Queen’s rural retreat! https://luminate.live/sandringham-estate
The Norfolk Lights Express at The North Norfolk Railway – Book your tickets early to enjoy a wonderfully illuminated evening train ride through the beautiful Norfolk countryside. Held from November 16th to January 3rd 2021. Each family or bubble will be in their own compartment. https://www.norfolklights-express.co.uk/
Santa’s Christmas Visits at Bressingham Steam and Gardens – See Santa in his grotto where you will be able to speak with him and receive a present! Then climb aboard the steam train, have fun on the Gallopers and see the Dad’s Army Exhibition festively decorated. Held on selected dates from the 29th November to the 24th December. https://www.bressingham.co.uk/
Thursford’s Enchanted Journey of Light 2020 – Even though Santa is isolating this year, there is still a world of magic for all the family to enjoy. Indoors and outdoors is filled with fairy-tale characters and amazing lights and sounds! Held on selected dates from the 19th November to the 3rd January 2021. https://www.thursford.com/
2020 Santa Specials at the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway Museum – Take your children on a magical train journey in individual compartments from Brockford Station to meet Santa at North Pole Halt. Book your places early for this popular Christmas event held on selected dates in December. https://www.mslr.org.uk/
Meet Father Christmas at Glemham Hall – Enjoy a wonderfully festive weekend on the 5th and 6th December making Christmas crafts with the jolly elves, going on a Reindeer Hunt in the gardens, and having a special, personalised meeting with Father Christmas! Each child receives a small gift. Book your tickets well in advance. https://www.glemhamhall.co.uk/
Christmas with Santa at Pink Pig Farm – book your tickets to visit the magical woodland Christmas experience from Saturday 5th to Thursday 24th December 2020. Meet Santa, socially distanced and receive a quality present down the chimney! Booking is open now on the website. https://www.pinkpigfarm.co.uk
Christmas Illuminations at Belton House – plan ahead and book a festive treat for all the family this Christmas season when Belton House gardens will glisten, shimmer and sparkle with an illuminated trail. The stunning spectacle is open from Friday 27th November until Sunday 3rd January 2021. Walk through a towering Tunnel of Light, the mesmerising voices of the Singing Trees can be heard in the distance. Step into the Laser Garden where dancing lines of light playfully bounce across the branches. See the website for more information, advance bookings are essential. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house
Christmas at West Lodge Farm Park – boost your Christmas cheer for you and your family at the farm park in Northamptonshire. Choose your date from 28th November until 24th December. https://westlodgeruralcentre.co.uk/events/
Magical Christmas at Wicksteed Park – during December Wicksteed has a pure magical experience lined up for you and the family from Saturday 5th to Tuesday 24th December. Take a magical journey on the Festive Train to meet Mr and Mrs Claus on their reindeer. Booking is essential, check the website for further information. https://wicksteedpark.org
Twycross Zoo Christmas Spectacular – Mrs Claus warmly welcomes you to celebrate Christmas in style as she’s joined by her Elves and other special guests in her Gingerbread Kitchen for an immersive dining experience. Book early for dates from 5th to 24th December on the website. https://twycrosszoo.org/events/
Christmas Days Out across the South of England region
Illuminated Light Trail at Blenheim Palace – Look out for magical highlights such as the Heart of Stars on the lawn, a scented fire garden on the Water Terrace and a glowing fairy fire as night falls at Blenheim this winter. Visitors will spot Father Christmas on the trail, although he will not be able to meet children individually. https://www.blenheimpalace.com/
Santa’s Grotto at Oxford Castle & Prison – Santa will be visiting Oxford Castle on selected dates until 23rd December. Take the kids along to join the elves for socially distanced activities at the ‘South Pole’ and then make your way to the grotto at the ‘North Pole’. https://www.oxfordcastleandprison.co.uk/
Father Christmas at the Watercress Line – Make this Christmas season extra special with a visit to Father Christmas in his festive carriage! Enjoy unlimited rides on the miniature railway and the vintage fairground. Held on selected dates in November and December. https://www.watercressline.co.uk/
Father Christmas at The Hop Farm Family Park – Father Christmas is back at The Hop Farm on selected dates this December between the 5th to the 23rd December. https://thehopfarm.co.uk/
Experience Christmas at Kent Life Heritage Farm Park – There’s so much so see and do, including meeting Father Christmas in his magical grotto. Each child will get a gift and the opportunity to take part in some delightfully festive activities. Held on selected dates – it is important to book your tickets early. https://kentlife.org.uk/
Christmas at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest – Book your tickets for this year’s amazing illuminated trail. Held in November and December on selected dates. https://www.forestryengland.uk/bedgebury
Glow Wild 2020 at Wakehurst – As it gets dark, families can marvel at the gardens brought to life with glowing lanterns, mesmerising projections, immersive soundscapes and glistening torches of fire! There are also some amazing new light installations to enjoy this year. Held from the 26th November to the 30th December. https://www.kew.org/wakehurst
Winter’s Tail at Chessington World of Adventures Resort – Book your tickets early for a day of festive fun that is both safe and exciting! The event is held from the 5th December to the 4th January 2021, on selected dates. https://www.chessington.com/
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink – Open from the 20th November to the 3rd January 2021, this popular outdoor ice rink has the magnificent Hampton Court Palace as its backdrop. This year the rink is bigger than ever, ensuring a safer skating experience for everyone. Book your tickets well in advance. https://www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace
Stay safe. Coronavirus advice is being updated regularly. Despite the November lockdown, please enjoy browsing our site for What’s On when lockdown restrictions ease again. Please check directly with venues before booking.