When you’re working in the run-up to Christmas and don’t finish work until a couple of days before it can be hard to feel Christmassy before the big day arrives.
You’re so busy with work and are rushed off your feet spending your free time shopping for gifts and planning childcare for the holidays that you don’t give much thought to feeling festive. I never really feel the Christmas spirit until a few days before, but when you have kids you do find Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier!
I refuse to do anything Christmassy before December but I have started to plan a few festive activities for the weekends leading up to Christmas. You have to get in early or there are no tickets left for anything.
If you need a bit of help feeling festive why not book some Christmas days out for you and the kids. Here are a few ideas for family days out to get you in the Christmas spirit…
Visit Santa’s Grotto
The obvious one is booking a visit to see Father Christmas. We’ve done a few different ones over the years but our favourite one is at a local garden centre where we’re going again this year. As well as Santa’s Grotto they have real reindeer which is actually Little H’s favourite part! Check out your local garden centres and shopping malls for Santa’s Grottos near you.
Go Ice Skating
We’ve been ice skating a few times on the weekends before Christmas and it definitely makes you feel all festive, especially with a hot chocolate to warm you up afterwards. We live near Bournemouth and they have a great outdoor ice rink in Bournemouth Gardens every year. I’d love to go to London to go ice skating outside the Natural History Museum one year, that looks amazing!
Go to the Christmas Illuminations
I’ve booked for us to go to see the Festival of Light at Longleat on Christmas Eve which we’re all really excited about. It’s not cheap but we used our Tesco Clubcard vouchers to pay for the majority of it which is a good tip if you have some vouchers! If you’re not near Longleat I’ve also seen similar ads for the Magic Lantern Festival in London and The Lanterns at Chester Zoo.
See the local Christmas lights
If you live near a city or big town then a wander around of an evening to see the Christmas lights while you’re all wrapped up definitely makes you feel Christmassy. We also have a street in Poole where every house is completely covered in Christmas lights. So many people head over there in the weeks before Christmas that you can park anywhere near the road. It’s a good (and free!) way to spend an hour and join in the Christmas spirit. Check out the local paper or Facebook pages to see if there’s anything similar near you.
Go to A Pantomime
It might make me sound a bit like the Grinch. but I hate pantos! Kids love them though and going to see a panto does mean it’s nearly Christmas. So if you don’t mind the cheesy acting from has been soap stars then this might be an idea for you.
Visit a Christmas Market
We only have a small Christmas market in Bournemouth, but there’s a much bigger one in Winchester which we’ve been too a few times. A glass of mulled wine (or hot chocolate for the kids!) and buying a few Christmas knick-knacks is a good way to feel festive.
Buy Christmas Decorations
Every year Little H and I go to our local garden centre and look at all the Christmas decorations. They have the usual trees and lights, and also a scene with moving animals and a model train which all the kids love. I let Little H buy a new decoration for the tree and maybe some Christmas chocolates or sweets. It’s a fairly inexpensive way to get that warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling.
I hope this has given you some ideas for a few family days out to get you in the Christmas spirit. Have you got anything booked for the run-up to Christmas?
You might also like my post from last year about creating your own family Christmas traditions.