Christmas Activities for Children in Cornwall
Put some Ho, Ho, Ho! into the season with some of these fabulously festive ideas in Cornwall…
Christmas Lights Switch-On, Markets and Lantern Parades
Although the big build up to Christmas Day starts from the autumn, the real fun begins when towns, villages and cities switch-on their Christmas lights and host festive events.
Many mark the occasion with lantern parades, music from brass bands and dress the streets in bright illuminations, and some places hold themed Christmas markets following traditions of days gone-by.
PTA Christmas Fayres and School Nativities
Schools are incredibly busy places in the run up to Christmas, with many PTA’s holding Christmas fayres, which are huge money-raisers for the schools – for extra Christmas Fair ideas for your PTA event see www.ptasocial.com/christmas-fair-ideas.
Whilst for many parents, one of the best bits about Christmas, that is the most heart-warming of all, is watching the brilliant school performances or nativity plays and listening to the children sing. Don’t miss it!
Reduce, reuse and upcycle your Christmas waste this festive season…
Have a go at getting the kids involved by making some DIY Christmas decorations. Cut out snowflakes to stick on the windows, stick cloves into oranges and bake until dry, and pick some holly and ivy to make table decorations and wreaths.
This can be a fantastic way to reduce your waste and costs, while having fun with the kids too.
As a nation, we use 83 square miles worth of gift wrap every festive season, but this doesn’t mean it needs to be scrapped.
Get the kids involved by cutting and sticking your leftover paper, gluing it into a scrapbook, and adding photos, words and decorations to create a family book of festive mementos.
DIY Decorations for the Tree and Home
Always eager to please, it’s no surprise that Santa’s hair has turned white as the finances at this time of year are often stretched and sometimes even he has to pull tightly on the reins. Still, he always manages to make Christmas dreams come true.
So, taking a giant leaf out of Santa’s book, you too can make amazing savings by making your own Christmas decorations for the home and tree.
Make even more savings by sending Christmas e-cards to friends and family instead of sending traditional cards. Notably, the ‘Elf Yourself’ digital Christmas cards are especially popular –www.elfyourself.com
Giving at Christmas
Christmas is truly the season of giving and there are so many ways families can give something back to the community or worthwhile charity.
Christmas Day Swims, such as those in Coverack and Bude, are becoming incredibly popular whilst the Santa Fun Runs, such as Children’s Hospice South West’s fun run are a colourful spectacle that all members of the family can join in with.
Buying a Real Christmas Tree
What better way to celebrate the festive season than with the most glorious Christmas tree! Each tree species can be a little different in size, scent and needle retention, so here’s the Forestry Commission England’s guide to choosing the perfect Christmas tree:
Norway Spruce: Considered the traditional Christmas tree, the Norway Spruce is best known for its wonderful shape, abundance of branches and lovely ‘Christmassy’ scent.
Nordmann Fir: With its big needles which are lovely and soft, Nordmann Fir are perfect for those with young children. Having soft foliage and an even shape, it makes it a joy to decorate.
Lodgepole Pine: With the best needle retention of them all, Lodgepole Pines are perfect for those who like a long festive season. It has luscious long green needles with branches that point upwards which hold a wonderful pine scent.
Caring for your Christmas Tree
Preventing needles dropping and the green from fading on your Christmas tree requires a little bit of care and attention. Follow these top tips for a longer lasting, healthier real Christmas tree:
- Cut off 2.5cm from the trunk to aid with water absorption
- Put the tree in a stand with the trunk immersed in water
- Keep your tree in a cool, dry space. Away from radiators and fires
- Water your tree regularly
Read more at www.forestry.gov.uk/england-about-uk
Read on for more about the wide range of Christmas events and activities taking place in Cornwall...
Free Festive Fun at Redruth’s Christmas Festival
Embrace the festive spirit at this year’s Redruth Christmas Festival which will be happening on Saturday 30 November. During the day, meet Nadelik and Lowen the reindeer in Market Strand from 3pm to 5pm. Unlike all of Father Christmas’s other reindeer, Nadelik and Lowen prefer the Cornish seaside to the North Pole, which is why they live at Feadon Farm. They will be visiting Redruth so do go along and say hello to them. Then, from 5pm, the excitement will mount for the start of the Christmas procession! The procession will weave its way through the streets before ending up at The Miner’s Statue, where there will be a live countdown to this year's Christmas Lights switch on. Also, Father Christmas will be at The Miner’s Statue waiting to greet everyone. For more details about Redruth’s fantastic festivities visit www.visitredruth.co.uk
Book Now for Crealy’s Christmas Spectacular
The Crealy Christmas Spectacular returns this winter, from 30 November to 24 December, and it’s bigger and better than ever. Guests will be queuing up to see a brand-new Christmas on Ice show featuring Crealy’s Buddy and Blossom bears and involving a colourful Christmas Eve journey around the globe. The show will take place in the new 750-seater, permanent Big Red Top.
If that’s not enough, Santa will take centre stage in his own magical performance Santa’s Magical Show Time where he will delight audiences at intervals throughout the day and Mary Christmas is returning to the park to her festive bakery. Santa’s Toy Factory will be up-and-running at the theme park where his dedicated team of toy making elves will help children choose something from a vast array of toys. Tickets are now available - book now to get the best times and dates, head to www.crealy.co.uk.
Tickets Selling Fast for Bedruthan’s Sugar and Spice Grotto
Bedruthan Hotel and Spa released tickets for their renowned Sugar and Spice Grotto at the beginning of September and saw strong sales within the very first week. Now in its sixth year, the fun and festive journey is suitable for the whole family and has built up quite the reputation across Cornwall. Weekend sessions have now sold out completely, but there is a selection of weekday sessions still available.
During the magical adventure, families will first join Tomte, Astrid, the friendly elves and loveable reindeer in Tummetott village, before entering a candlelit Festlig Wood to decorate beautiful wooden Christmas tree decorations. Then it’s onto the snow cavern to meet the coolly composed Ice Queen, before finally wandering through the frozen forest to find Father Christmas’s Sugar and Spice Grotto, to meet the old man himself and help to fix his sleigh and save Christmas! Bedruthan’s Sugar and Spice Grotto runs from Saturday 30 November to Monday 23 December. Tickets must be booked in advance online at: bedruthan.com/grotto
Be Bowled over with Festive Fun this Christmas
Looking for a great fun venue for your family Christmas Party? Well, Country Skittles should be top of your list! With 4 bowling (skittle) alleys, lots of games and a great value kids’ menu, there is everything you need to make the Christmas holiday fun. For details about Christmas at Country Skittles, see www.countryskittles.com or call 01736 850209.
Visit Santa’s Grotto at Paradise Park in Hayle
Make your child’s Christmas extra special this year, by paying Santa a special visit in his magical grotto at Paradise Park. Santa sessions will cost just £5.45 per child, including a gift, and will run from 30 November and 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, then 18 December through to the 24 December. There’s no need to pre-book as tickets will be on sale on the day. When you visit Santa’s Grotto you can claim £2.50 per person, off entry to the Park for two people (valid for adults or children) or use your season or return tickets. Read visitor comments about Santa’s Grotto on the Park website at www.paradisepark.org.uk
Free Kids Christmas Disco at The Seahorse
For fantastic festive fun for all the family, head to The Seahorse, Pentewan Sands for one of its free Kids Christmas Discos! All you need to do is make sure you turn up in Christmas themed fancy dress and the friendly team will do the rest. With festive games and good old seasonal jingles, this is the perfect opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit! The discos are free and open to everyone and take place on Sunday 15 December from 3pm to 5pm and Friday 20 December from 6pm to 8pm. For further information, call the team on 01726 845208 or visit: https://seahorsecornwall.co.uk
Wonder and Magic at Lappa Valley
Enjoy the wonder and magic of Lappa Valley at Christmas time. Take a nostalgic steam train ride through the wooded valley into a world of play and adventure at Lappa, where you’ll find lots of festive fun. Meet Father Christmas in his grotto, where he has a present for every child.
When you disembark from the train, you can enjoy balloon modelling, face painting and Christmas music from the fairground organ - as well as all the usual fun of Lappa’s woodland railway, crazy golf and their adventure play areas – all while you wait to see Father Christmas. For more information and to book your ticket: www.lappavalley.co.uk/events
Jump Over to iBounce this Festive Season
Don’t miss out on a magical fun-filled festive day out at iBounce this Christmas! It doesn’t matter how old or young you are - trampolining is fun for the whole family. Delve into the Jurassic zone with its state-of-the-art soft play facilities designed to keep your children entertained, engaged and roaring with energy, then relax in one of the cafes and enjoy a festive treat from the delicious menu. Visit regularly and benefit from loyalty card rewards. For more, see www.i-bounce.co.uk
Flock to Cardinham Woods this Winter
An alien has crash landed into Cardinham Woods and Lu-La, from the Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon has been stranded. Now, Lu-La needs the help from youngsters across the area to charge her communicator so that she can call for rescue. Download the free Glow Trail app and pick up your Activity Pack for just £3.50 from the Ranger’s Office at Cardinham Woods. Search for UV puzzles, solve clues, and help Shaun and Lu-La escape the Hazmats. The Glow Trail is a baa-rilliant way to get kids aged 6-12 active and is supported by Sport England and affiliated to Children’s University. Find out more at www.forestryengland.uk/ cardinham-woods
Dickensian Christmas Craft Fayre in Flambards’ Victorian Village
For a truly Dickensian Christmas shopping experience, whatever the weather, visitors can head inside to explore the full-sized Victorian Village at Flambards and discover craft stalls, sample local treats and enjoy a drink among the authentic 19th Century installations including a milliners, butchers and sweet shop among many others.
Back for its fifth year, the Flambards Christmas Craft Fayre, from Saturday 30 November to Sunday 1 December, is a festive and family-friendly event, combining the magic of Christmas with the perfect opportunity to choose some great gifts and treats for loved ones.
Added entertainment will be on offer in the form of Helston Town band for a Christmas Carol sing-a-long. Entrance is just £1 per person. See www.flambards.co.uk