Festive activities to keep the children busy in run up to Christmas

Do you need some inspiration to keep the children busy in the run up to Christmas?

Would you like to make some last minute plans for this weekend?

We’ve rounded up all the activities happening locally or just a short car, bus or train journey away.


Enchanted at Knowsley Safari Park

Enchanted at Knowsley Safari Park

Knowsley Safari Park

The magical lights experience has returned this year with a new rainbow road and talking trees!

The new animal installations include an illuminated hippo submerged in the safari park’s natural water features and they are joined by Enchanted favourites like the light-up giraffes, penguins, zebras and polar bears.

The winter village is back for its second year and visitors can enjoy the technicolour light tunnel and watch Santa’s elves prepare for the big day at his workshop.

Click here for more information or to book tickets, which are £10 or 38 for members.

Land of Light (Gullivers)

Land of Light (Gulliver’s)

Gulliver’s World

There is a new attraction for families this year at Gulliver’s World.

Visitors to Land of Lights can discover gigantic lanterns across 12 magical dream worlds which are bursting with colour, energy, and illumination.

They are inspired by animal kingdoms, mega monuments, and seasonal celebrations.

A special Jurassic zone even features ‘living dinosaurs’.

And there is street food, a licensed bar and stunning light installations.

Land of Lights runs until the end of February and visitors are promised more 7,000 lanterns and hundreds of thousands of LED lights on their walk around the park.

Click here for more information

The Nutcracker - A Magical Family Avdenture at Arley Hall

The Nutcracker – A Magical Family Avdenture at Arley Hall

Arley Hall

The Nutcracker – A Magical Family Adventure is on at Arley Hall next week.

Sneaky Experience returns with a brand new festive tale.

It’s midnight on Christmas Eve, Clara and her beloved Nutcracker doll, sleep peacefully as snowflakes descend from the twinkling starry sky.

But hold on tight, the night soon takes an unexpected turn; the evil Mouse King has invaded their dreams!

Share in Clara’s thrilling adventure, as she and her Nutcracker Prince set off to defeat their foe.

Visit the enchanting Land of Snow, journey through the Land of Sweets and be captivated by the presence of the famous Sugar Plum Fairy, who will teach you the art of dance.

And that’s not all – your epic journey concludes with a visit from Father Christmas.

You’ll have the opportunity to receive a present from the jolly man, capture the moment with photos, and place a wish on Christmas Wishing Tree.

The Nutcracker – A Magical Family Adventure runs from Wednesday, December 20 to Sunday, December 24.

Click here for more information

Luminate at Walton Hall and Gardens

Luminate at Walton Hall and Gardens

Walton Hall and Gardens

Walton Hall and Gardens is hosting Luminate again this year.

The mesmerising mile-long trial is full of ‘wonder and awe’ and aims to surprise and delight visitors with enchanting light displays.

You can take your time along the trail to spot fairies, make a wish, and even make your own light display.

There is also an opportunity to get warm and cosy as you toast marshmallows over the firepits.

Luminate runs until Christmas Eve and visits to see Santa will finish on Thursday, December 21

Click here for more information or to book tickets

Yuletide star bear is enchanting children on the glittering trail at Tatton Park this Christmas (Image Gavin Repton for Wild Rumpus)

Yuletide star bear is enchanting children on the glittering trail at Tatton Park this Christmas (Image Gavin Repton for Wild Rumpus)

Tatton Park

Families can discover forgotten festive stories, rituals and traditions from all over the world at a new Christmas event at Tatton Park.

Yuletide is a unique blend of a magical winter light trail and an outdoor Christmas festival, and runs on selected dates until Saturday, December 23.

Audiences can immerse themselves in winter stories as they walk the Glittering Trail through Tatton’s famous gardens.

There will be lit installations, interactive light effects, illuminated puppets and costumed characters along the route.

Winter folk tales from around the world will be brought to life in glittering technicolour.

Tales of icy Greek gods, mischievous gleaming goblins and of an arctic fox who conjures up the northern lights will weave around the gardens.

The sun and the moon will try to escape the clutches of the witch goddess of the north, and the most charming and cheerful of yuletide goats. Children can explore the sparkling underground world of the Kallikantzaroi goblins, and chant along with Welsh legend Mari Lwyd in a shining snow-covered village.

Once they’ve walked the magical light trail, audiences are invited to snuggle up round a glowing campfire and listen to more festive tales from master storyteller Ian Douglas.

They can also watch live musicians, toast marshmallows and enjoy impressive fire jugglers.

Food vendors will be serving up tasty festive treats and mulled wine.

Yuletide is created by the award-winning outdoor arts organisation Wild Rumpus, who run the Just So family festival and have also produced Lanterns at Cheshire Zoo for the past six years.

Click here for tickets priced £12 children, £20 adults and free for under twos


The Catalyst Museum

The Catalyst Museum

The Catalyst Museum

There are weekend and Christmas holiday workshops at The Catalyst Museum.

Frozen Science is at 11.30am and 2pm and youngsters can find out about the science of ice and snow.

Learn about snowflakes, be amazed by hot ice and make your own snowstorm in a jar in the family workshop.

Tickets cost £1.95 per person in addition to the normal admission charge and can be bought at reception on the day.

The Super Cool Show is on December 16, 17, 23, 27 to 30 and January 2 to 7 at 12.30pm and 3pm.

Click here for more information and to book tickets

Imagine That!

Imagine That!

Imagine That!

Children’s discovery centre Imagine That! promises a white Christmas packed with crafts, a festive science show, snow showers, and fun and laughter with mischievous elves.

The kids’ discovery centre has ‘10 Crafts of Christmas’ theme to get families in the festive mood.

Children can make not just one but 10 festive keepsakes, which are all included in the admission price.

Throughout the festive season, little ones can create their own Christmas Eve boxes to be filled with magic reindeer food, a hot chocolate popper and a candy cane mouse.

There will be melting snowman slime to take home as well as a pot of magical never-melting snow.

Children can also have a go at festive magnet painting, make elf masks and festive door hangers, and pose for a selfie with Elfie souvenir photograph.

As well as a new festive science show, there’s all the usual fun including role play in Imagination Village, painting a real car and getting messy in enormous vats of gooey slime.

Tickets, which must be booked in advance, include a fun, three-hour guided journey across four different zones – each designed with a unique blend of imagination, creation and learning.

The Christmas-themed event will run until Saturday, December 23 and between Thursday, December 28 and Sunday, January 7 with the exception of New Year’s Day.

Tickets are £15.95 for children aged three and over. Children aged one and two are £12.95 and adults are £7.95. Admission includes all crafts.

Click here for more information or to book tickets

Magical Woodland at Blakemere

Magical Woodland at Blakemere

Blakemere Village

Blakemere Village’s 15-acre Magical Woodland will be welcoming visitors until Christmas Eve.

More than a million fairy lights, along with laser displays, festive tunes, digital animations, dazzling tunnels, and captivating canopies of lights have transformed the autumn woodland into the a world of excitement for all the family.

Kids can meet the Grumpy Grinch at Whoville, pop by and check out the amazing house from Deck the Halls, and then make their way across the high seas and visit Tinkerbell in Neverland.

And don’t forget to wrap up well as you encounter the Frozen Woodland before meeting Santa Claus, Mrs Claus, and their trusty elves.

Steve Birchall, of The Magical Woodland, said: “Our 2023 Christmas Lights Trail is both enchanting and captivating.

“This year’s installation is the bigger and better than ever before with some wonderful festive scenes and guaranteed fun for all the family.

“Performance art brings scenes to life adding interactive fun to the occasion, and endless opportunities to take amazing photographs along the way.

“The food court is a magical oasis with plenty of choice, and our interactive characters add a magical touch to the whole experience.

“If you are looking for a date night with a difference, a family fun adventure, or a night out with friends or colleagues the only thing you need to bring with you to make unforgettable and instagrammable memories is your imagination.”

Tickets cost £23.95 for adults £16.50 for children. Family ticket are £75.

Click here for more information or to book tickets




BeWILDerwood Presents Christmas is a sparkly light and panto trail which is interactive for all members of the family.

BeWILDerwood is a huge woodland adventure full of family entertainment and outdoor activities near Whitchurch.

It’s based on the magical and enchanting books by author and creator Tom Blofeld and a day spent at BeWILDerwood promises to inspire imaginations.

BeWILDerwood Presents Christmas is back for another fun-filled festive season and the outdoor venue has also been nominated for an award.

The Christmas event has been nominated for Best New Event at the UK Theme Park Awards and picked up the award for New Tourism Business in the 2022/23 Marketing Cheshire Awards.

This year’s Christmas events will run on selected dates until December 23.

Discover areas exclusive to the event as you follow a sparkly light trail.

Families can spot silly snowmen, a giant Christmas pudding and interact with their favourite BeWILDerwood characters along the way.

Have a giggle at the Storytelling Stage with a mini BeWILDerwood pantomime as you make magical family memories in the woods.

Click here for more information

Lanterns and Lights

Lanterns and Lights

Chester Zoo

Lanterns and Lights is back at Chester Zoo this year and it’s bigger, better and brighter than ever.

Visitors will discover never before seen light and sound experiences while surrounded by festive magic.

Lands are filled with colour and festivity and you can meet orangutans, lions and dolphins as well as woolly mammoths as you make your way along a trail.

Wonder at the colour changing displays while birds and stars adorn the zoo’s winding paths and trees and take a walk through the winter cathedral tunnel of lights.

You might even catch a glimpse of Santa in his sleigh!

The event runs until New Year’s Eve.

Click here for more information or to book tickets

Warrington Guardian | What’s On