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SPOTLIGHT ON

Christmas days out

28 November 2018


From Christmas lights with a difference to ice-skating in an amazing location, make the most of this festive time of year with a fun day out with the kids, says Charlotte Duck


MANCHESTER

Christmas Markets

Throughout December, more than 300 festive stalls and chalets descend on the city, selling delicious food and beautiful gifts. This is not your average market; vendors come from all over Europe so expect everything from French soap and Belgian kitchenware to Spanish paella and Hungarian goulash (as well as mince pies, of course).

Till 22 December; free; manchester.gov.uk



LONDON

The Christmas Trail at Kew

A feast of colour, light and music, Kew’s Christmas Trail never fails to impress. For 2018, expect to see over a million pea-lights, moonlit woods and the ominously named ‘Fire Garden’. A magical experience that ends in a spectacular laser show against the backdrop of Kew’s iconic Palm House.

22 November to 5 January; from £16.50 (adult), family tickets available; kew.org



WINCHESTER

Ice-skating at Winchester Cathedral

Take the kids skating in the beautiful surroundings of Winchester Cathedral. The clear roof above means, whatever the weather, you won’t get wet and, new for 2018, there’s an enormous Christmas tree to skate around. Plus, afterwards, you can enjoy Winchester’s Christmas Market next door.

17 November to 2 January; £11 (adult), from £6.95 for children aged 2-7, £8.95 for children aged 8-16, family tickets ticket (2 adults + 2 children £37.50); winchester-cathedral.org.uk


BIRMINGHAM

Magical Lantern Festival Birmingham

See beautifully crafted, larger-than-life Chinese lanterns in the idyllic setting of Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens. These illuminated artworks even move, with pandas waving, a dragon who blows smoke and lions that roar.

23 November to 1 January; from £12.50 (adult), £8.50 (child), family tickets available; magicallantern.uk


Photography: Getty Images



SHOP GIRLS' WINTER KNITS


SHOP BOYS' WINTER KNITS


NORTHERN IRELAND 

A Yuletide Evening

This unique evening for older kids involves listening to traditional stories and learning about Celtic customs. You’ll be asked to participate in a Yule Log ceremony, lit to banish evil spirits, before relaxing with music and seasonal refreshments. 

7 December; £12; discovernorthernireland.com 


SHROPSHIRE 

Ironbridge Victorian Christmas

Experience a 19th-century Christmas; listen to carol singers and brass bands playing music from the time, hear about how the Victorians celebrated the festival, and meet Santa and his reindeer. 

8, 9, 15, 16 December; £10.90 (child), £17.95 (adult), family tickets available; ironbridge.org.uk 


WILTSHIRE 

Longleat Festival of Lights

Longleat is being lit up by Chinese lanterns as its Festival of Light takes you on a journey through space and time. From camels and pyramids to dinosaurs and even a rocket blasting off into space, this light show is bound to ignite their little imaginations. 

Selected dates to 6 January; from £31.45 (adult); from £23.55 (child); longleat.co.uk


 NORTHUMBERLAND 

Kielder Winter Wonderland 

Meet Santa and his elves at a secret cabin in the enchanted Kielder Forest this Christmas. After telling the big man himself what’s on their list, kids can help Mrs Christmas in her forest kitchen and watch a show at the Christmas Theatre. 17 November to 23 December; from £39.50; kielderwinterwonderland.com


EDINBURGH 

Santa Land 

Edinburgh’s East Princes Street Gardens are set to be transformed into a pop-up festive fairground over the holidays. Kids can get lost in the Christmas Tree Maze, take a ride on the Santa Train and even release some of that pent-up energy on the Candy Cane Bungees. 

17 November to 5 January; from £5; edinburghschristmas.com 



SHOP GIRLS' WINTER CLOTHES


SHOP BOYS' WINTER CLOTHES

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