The festive events that ARE going ahead this Christmas – from ice skating and light shows to pantos

AS lockdown comes to an end this week, families will be looking at ways to entertain the kids this Christmas.

Thankfully, a number of festive events are still going ahead, including ice skating, light shows and even pantomimes.

The events depend on the region, with only tier 1 allowed to mingle inside with people outside of their household.

Tier 2 residents can meet up to six people outside, but no-one from outside of their household inside, while tier 3 cannot meet anyone, with only essential travel.

Many hotels are also offering festive events, such as The Mitre at Hampton Court, which has ice skating and mulled wine as part of their overnight stays, and The Castle Hotel in Windsor with Christmas dinners and magical garden shows.

We've rounded up the best events that are still going ahead this Christmas, which you can book now.

Christmas at Kew Gardens

The well-loved London attraction is welcoming guests from December 4 – later than usual to abide by lockdown restrictions – until January 17.

Guests can enjoy the favourite light tunnel as well as light shows and decorated trees and attractions.

  • Tickets start from £19.50 – book here

Lapland UK

Popular with celebs such as David Beckham and Holly Willoughby, Lapland UK is back from December 2 and extended the opening dates to January 10.

Families can spend the day at Lapland, with Santa meets, presents from the elves and gingerbread making.

  • Tickets cost £75 – book here

Longleat’s Land of Light

Running from December 3 to January 10, the Land of Light has 17 themed light attractions across Longleat.

These include a 70 metre light tunnel, mazes and labyrinths and even a Santa train and grotto experience.

  • Ticket start from £20.95 – book here

Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

The former home of Henry VII, Hampton Court Palace is opening their ice rink from December 5 to January 17.

It is also their largest rink ever to allow guests to social distance.

  • Tickets start from £12.70 – book here

Eden Project Ice Skating

The Eden Project's ice rink is opening again this year, with 40-minute sesions open to the public.

Tickets also include admission to the attraction itself.

  • Tickets start from £7 – book here

Paulton Park's Celebration of Christmas

The theme park, home to Peppa Pig World, is inviting kids to meet the characters at the festive event, including Peppa and George.

An all-singing and dancing Santa show will also be part of the experience along with light shows and Christmas shops.

  • Tickets start from £33.75 – book here

Legoland at Christmas

This Christmas, Legoland has their own Christmas festivities which include carol singing, Duplo puppet pantomimes and light shows.

While kids won't be able to visit Santa's grotto this year, they will still be able to see him walking around the park.

  • Tickets start from £29 – book here

Christmas pantomimes

Thankfully, a number of pantomimes are still going ahead this year – here are where you can find some of the festive favourites:

  • Birmingham (The Alexandra) – Robin Hood
  • Blackpool (Joe Longthorne Theatre) – Cinderella
  • Blackpool Grand Theatre – Pantomonium!
  • Bradford Playhouse – Sleeping Beauty
  • Bristol (Hippodrome Theatre) – Robin Hood
  • Cheltenham (Everyman Theatre) – Tweedy's Reduced Pantomime
  • Chesham (The Elgiva Theatre) – The Sleeping Beauty
  • Colne (The Muni Theatre) – Christmas Cracker
  • Exeter Corn Exchange – The Wizard Of Oz
  • Lytham (Lowther Pavilion) – Jack & the Beanstalk
  • Great Yarmouth (St George’s Theatre) – Rapunzel
  • Horsham (The Capitol) – A Christmas Carol
  • Lichfield Garrick – Jack & The Beanstalk – The Bite-Size Panto
  • London (Garrick Theatre) – Potted Panto
  • London Palladium – Pantoland at the Palladium
  • London (Dominion Theatre) – A Christmas Carol
  • Milton Keynes Theatre – Sleeping Beauty
  • Norwich (The Garage) – My First Panto: Goldilocks and The Three Bears
  • Portsmouth (Kings Theatre) – Dick Whittington The Pompey Panto
  • Sheffield (The Crucible) – Damian’s Pop-up Panto
  • Stoke-on-Trent (Regent Theatre) – Robinson Crusoe
  • Windsor (Theatre Royal) – Cinderella

Christmas markets

The majority of Christmas markets have been cancelled this year, but the below are still running:

  • Selfridges, London
  • Nottingham City Centre
  • Swansea City Centre
  • Cardiff, Christmas at The Castle
  • Plymouth, Winter Village at Treeby Court
  • Bury St Edmunds, Christmas Emporium at Ravenwood Hall

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