Festive Watch

Long held family traditions make Christmas magical for both children and grown-ups alike! From trimming the tree, to digging out the stockings and leaving a mince pie out for Santa, it’s a season to be treasured. Make yours even more special with a visit to some of these sparkling destinations – all ready to treat and entertain you to make it your merriest Christmas yet.


Step into Lyme’s Christmas stories

From putting up the tree to leaving a carrot and mince pie out on Christmas Eve, we all have our festive traditions but how did they differ in times gone by? Take the family on a day of discovery to explore festive memories and stories from the past at Lyme. See the Dining Room transformed for a Christmas Day or experience the sights of a winter wedding in the Drawing Room. A special bearded man will also be stopping off at Lyme this Christmas to meet children, but with spaces filling up fast you’ll have to book soon to make sure you’re on his list. W: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyme


Festive Fun for all the Family at Bents

With Christmas just around the corner, Bents has planned some very special festive events to keep the little ones entertained starting with Father Christmas’ arrival on Saturday 9th November and the Centre’s popular Festive Family Fun Weekend on 7th and 8th of December. Bents’ Little Face of Christmas Facebook competition returns for another year and children can enjoy Tea and Breakfast with Father Christmas at one of Bents popular party events, but be sure to book soon to avoid disappointment! And with a choice of dining destinations, outdoor adventure play area and an indoor beach there’s every opportunity to treat yourself whilst the little ones play. W: www.bents.co.uk


Brilliant shows brought to the stage at M & S Bank Arena

This Christmas, M&S Bank Arena is overflowing with wonderful festive performances that are perfect for families. The heart-warming story of Elf, based on the hit movie, is supersized into a huge Christmas spectacular with a giant 30 foot-tall Christmas tree, a flying sleigh, and high octane stunts. This year's magical panto Snow White is filled with laughter, music and comedy, astonishing special effects and lots of sparkle! The first ever stage adaptation of Grandpa’s Great Escape, the number one bestselling children’s book by David Walliams, will be here and the TheraPlate UK Liverpool International Horse Show returns with a huge line up of impressive horses & riders. W: www.mandsbankarena.com


Choose your perfect tree at Ivy Cottage Tree Farm

Ivy Cottage Tree Farm in Wilmslow is the largest Christmas tree grower in Cheshire. You can pick your own from the field, or choose one that is ready cut. There is a shop full of decorations, wreaths and lights and a chance to see the model trains busy ‘delivering trees’ amongst the rafters! Even if you want a ready-cut tree, you are welcome to visit the field, borrowing boots if necessary- and see some of the Jurassic surprises hidden there! The Farm is open 7 days a week, 9am-5pm from the 20th November. The Red Bus Café is open every weekend for tasty refreshments too. W: www.ivycottagetreefarm.co.uk


The Christmas Countdown begins at Delamere Forest

Wellies crunching through twigs and leaves. Steaming hot chocolate and a cheek-warming tea. Trails to follow, and Santa’s knee. It’s a trip to pick up your real Christmas tree! Wrap up warm, pull on your walking boots and make it a day for everyone to remember at Delamere Forest. From 28th November to 15th December, their Tree Team will be on hand to help you choose from hundreds of spruce, fir, and pine trees in the fresh, wintery air of their beautiful forest. Once you’ve chosen your tree, why not visit Santa in his grotto, pedal away on a bike ride or let the kids go wild at Go Ape. To finish, grab a warming hot drink and a slice of cake in the café! W: www.forestryengland.uk/delamere-forest/christmas-delamere-forest


Get the family on a bike for exhilarating fun in Delamere Forest!

Based next door to Delamere Café, Tracs have a variety of good quality bikes and equipment suitable for families to plan a fabulous day in the great outdoors! There are two waymarked trails in Delamere Forest which are family friendly so all ages will be happy! You can simply follow the coloured markers to navigate but take a map just in case (available to purchase from their shop). Their friendly team can also teach children to ride and offer a Mountain Bike Party experience for a birthday to remember! T: 01606 881 802 W: www.delamerebikes.co.uk


Festive favourites are in abundance at Liverpool ONE

Enjoy the magic of Christmas at Liverpool ONE with festive favourites and new attractions too! Bar Hutte, the popular Alpine- inspired carol-oke venue returns underneath the iconic tree and new for 2019 is an exciting Polar Adventure for all the family on Chavasse Park! Board the Christmas Express and be transported to a special pop-up polar party with music, dancing elves, and lots to do! You’ll also find gifts for the whole family and with extended opening hours starting from Monday 9th December, there is plenty of time to visit them all. ONE BIG Christmas Street Party will mark the official launch on 15th November, between 4-8pm. W: www.liverpool-one.com


Santa Sleepovers at Gulliver’s World, Warrington

Escape to the most magical winter world with unique Santa sleepovers this December at Gulliver’s World, Warrington. Stay overnight in their cosy, family friendly, themed Hotel and Lodgings. Experience the all-inclusive Christmas Theme Park fun! Enjoy the festive rides & attractions and explore the Winter Wonderland on your way to meeting Santa himself, receiving a free gift before he sets off on his journey around the globe! Join in lots of Christmas activities such as Gully’s Magical Snow Show, Mrs Christmas’ Kitchen and Elf School, as well as seeing unique Christmas shows and characters! W: www.gulliversfun.co.uk


Spend a magical time with Father Christmas at the National Waterways Museum

At the National Waterways Museum, spend some quality time with Father Christmas and enjoy stories in his grotto with presents and refreshments. On arrival you will be guided across to Father Christmas's magical grotto where you will see the elves in action. Father Christmas will tell you a story and give you an early Christmas gift. You will then get the chance to meet him whilst enjoying some light refreshments in his special cafe. Please allow 90 minutes to enjoy this experience and remember that your ticket allows you to explore the museum for the whole day. Running at various times on weekend dates from Saturday 7th December; please check their website for details. T: 0151 355 5017 (option 7) W: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk


Santa guarantees a splashing time for all at SeaQuarium!

SeaQuarium offers some truly magical moments this Christmas season! The Grotto packages start from £6.99 and include a welcome from the elves, meeting Santa in his magical grotto, a lovely present and a souvenir photo in a festive wallet to take home. Plus have a unique time with their storytelling elves and the resident seals in their daily show and get into the Christmas spirit with an interactive Christmas story! Rhyl SeaQuarium is open everyday, only closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. T: 01745 344660 W: www.seaquarium.co.uk


Once upon a time stood a fairy tale Christmas Mansion….

Nostalgic family favourites are brought to life at Tatton Park this Christmas as you join the fairy godmother on an enchanting journey through dark magical woodlands and enchanting forests. Find out who is the fairest of them all in the Dining Room and wind up in the Beast’s magnificent Castle Library with Belle before being whisked away to Aladdin’s golden palace. Meander through the Mansion’s grand staterooms into a stunning Winter Wonderland where you’ll enter Cinderella’s magnificent Ballroom for family photos next to her pumpkin carriage.

Guests can follow the sweetie trail through woodland onto the servant’s quarters entering the Witch’s gingerbread house. Before you leave you can say farewell to the fairy godmother who will have a tasty treat for you! W: www.tattonpark.org.uk/christmas


Light up the season at the Christmas Tree Festival

Escape the hustle and bustle of the Festive Season to Chester Cathedral’s annual Christmas Tree Festival which lights up the cloisters once again! This year the Cathedral is using the theme of sustainability, recycling and re-using - the grand finale to its year of ‘waves’ and in support of Adoption Matters and Stick ‘n’ Step. Children can follow the Nativity Trail around the trees and cathedral. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite tree! Free entry – donations welcome. Open on Monday - Saturday 9am – 6pm and on Sunday from 10am – 4pm. W: www.chestercathedral.com


Experience a Gingerbread Christmas in Chester!

Step into an enchanted world of Gingerbread Christmas in Chester city centre this year! With a magical mixture of your favourite high-street stores, boutique shops and independent restaurants, Chester is the perfect place to shop, dine and play this Christmas. From the 16th November to 5th January, the city centre will be filled with Gingerbread-themed events, activities, gifts and competitions that will ensure you enjoy a fun-filled festive experience. Spot Santa at the 12 Days of Christmas Parade, listen to Storytelling with Santa, meet Chelfie and Elfie, watch free festive family films and more! T: 01244 403680 W: www.experiencechester.co.uk


Journey through an enchanting Christmas Woodland

Visit Blakemere Village this Christmas for an unforgettable journey through the Cheshire woodland to find Father Christmas, his festive forest friends and the captivating Snow Princess and her Unicorn. And new for this year: build-a-cuddly-toy experience with Mrs. Claus, yours to take home and treasure! This enchanting 3-hour family event runs every weekend from 30th November – 23rd December. Tickets are priced at £30 per person plus booking fee (under 3s £10) and includes gifts from Father Christmas for children and adults, festive photo opportunities, Mrs Claus’ activity, unlimited festive skating plus magic wand whittling. W: www.christmaswoodland.co.uk


The Snowman flies in to The Hallé for the ultimate festive treat

Bring the whole family to the Hallé’s screening of Raymond Briggs’ classic animated film, The Snowman – an essential part of Christmas. The film is accompanied by the Hallé performing Howard Blake’s magical score live, including a chorister singing ‘Walking in the Air’. In the first half of the concert, start the countdown to Christmas with the Hallé and an Alien Party on Planet Zum-Zee. Get on the Hallé spaceship and prepare for an astonishing musical journey with big screen animation. T: 0161 907 9000 W: www.halle.co.uk


Adventure and all things Christmas at Anderton Boat Lift

A fantastic day out for all the family, visit Anderton Boat Lift where there is so much to discover! Take a river cruise along the Weaver Navigation, enjoy a guided boat trip through the lift or simply explore with free entry into the coffee shop, interactive exhibition, gift shop and grounds. Plus the kids will love the impressive adventure play area, built to replicate the lift itself! This Christmas is all about family time at the Lift, as the well-loved Santa Cruises return for another year and there’ll be a brand new ‘Breakfast with Santa’ experience to kick things off in style! T: 01606 786777 W: andertonboatlift.co.uk

Sledging, Snow and Santa – enjoy it all at Chill Factore!

Experience a snowy Christmas at Chill Factore’s real snow wonderland. Treat all the family to the ultimate Christmas experience with family fun in Mini Moose Land or Snow Park and visit Santa himself in his grotto. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the festivities this Christmas. All visits to the Grotto are combined with some sub-zero fun. Take on the Downhill Donuts, the Snow or Ice Slide and sledging in Snow Park. If you have little ones aged 3 or under then Mini Moose Land is perfect. You can meet Santa in his Grotto every weekend from 16th November and every day from the 1st December right up until Christmas Eve. W: www.chillfactore.com/christmas


Winter Wonderland captures the thrill of a family Christmas

The UK’s biggest Christmas indoor Winter Wonderland is returning to Manchester on 6th December until 5th January. It will see five amazing festive attractions including: a huge real ice rink, Christmas circus, panto, an indoor funfair and of course, Santa Claus. It’s taking place at EventCity, opposite intu Trafford Centre where there’s over 3,000 free car parking spaces. As well as all these attractions there will be plenty of food and drink available. For parents of young children, there’s space to park any prams, a breastfeeding area and baby changing facilities throughout the venue. Tickets are £23.50pp and under 3’s go free and are available from the website. W: www.winterfunland.com


NEW YEAR’S EVE Around the World Celebrations at Gulliver’s World, Warrington

Start the New Year in style at Gulliver’s! Join Gully and the gang in celebrating the new year as it sweeps across the globe. Enjoy the festive theme park rides, attractions and world-wide buffet into the evening as well as a themed celebration every hour and much more. Top the night off with a fantastic firework display above the castle at midnight as the New Year reaches the UK! Make the new year even more special with a sleepover in cosy, award winning, themed accommodation situated right next to the theme park! It’s a New Year’s treat the whole family will love. W: www.gulliversfun.co.uk