Can you believe it’s time to start thinking about Christmas days out already? I love Christmas and with two young children, it really is a magical time. We love to have at least one Christmas day out in December. It’s lovely to wrap up warm and head off on Christmas outings to see Santa. It’s lovely to watch our girls who still completely believe in the magic of Christmas. We’re spoilt for choice in the North West for Christmas days out for kids. We’ve got everything from Christmas theatre and concerts to Winter wonderlands. So if you are looking for Christmas days out in the North West, you’ve come to the right place. Most of these events are already taking bookings so it’s time to start thinking about what you want to do before they sell out. I’ll be updating the post over the coming months so do keep checking back.
Christmas days out in the North West
Christmas events Cheshire
The lanterns at Chester Zoo
We went to the lanterns at Chester zoo last year and had a lovely couple of hours wandering around the magical festive wonderland, full of sparkle, illumination. At the start, you get given lanterns to carry as you wander around an area of the zoo looking at lots of lanterns, large light displays and other entertainment. My eldest still talks about the dancing flamingos!
The lanterns are on selected dates between 23rd November and 23rd December. Prices vary depending on the date chosen, find out more here.
Experience the classic animation as you’ve never experienced it before. Watch this magical animation on a big screen, accompanied by a live orchestra in stunning locations including Chester Cathedral, Liverpool Cathedral and Warrington Parr Hall. We reviewed the performance at Chester cathedral last year and honestly, we had an amazing time. As well as the snowman there is a second animation which varies depending on the location. At ours, it was the beautiful The bear and the Piano which is narrated by Joanna Lumley and set to music played by the orchestra. I can’t wait to go again this year. You can read my full review here.
Various dates across the country from 3rd December until 30th December. Find out where the tour is going and when here.
Disclosure – we have been provided with 4 tickets to see this tour again this year.
The mansion this Christmas will be decorated with the theme of “food glorious food” and Father Christmas will be at the farm. Also at the farm will be his reindeers, live music, children’s entertainers, face painting, meet Aunty Mary in her Christmas Cottage who will be making traditional salt dough decorations (take one home to decorate!) and meet all your farmyard favourites around the nativity including our two donkeys, Frosty and Huw. Find out full details of costs and dates on their website.
Elf adventure challenge
Elf adventure challenge sounds like a great interactive elf experience for children. It’s on at 3 different locations this December, Cheshire Ice Cream farm, Rivendell garden centre and Red house farm. Sessions are interactive, last 60 minutes and are suitable for children aged 2-10 years old. The sessions are a mixture of music, fun and stories. Children get a certificate for completing the challenge and a colour storybook that the experience is based on. Find out more and book your tickets here. (Disclosure – We have been given complimentary tickets to one of these sessions in exchange for a review afterwards).
Christmas at Dunham Massey
Returning for the second year is Christmas at Dunham Massey. The garden and historic buildings will be made truly magical for this after dark trail full of lights and surprises. This event is on from 30th November to 30th December. Find out more and book here.
Quarry Bank Mill Once upon a winter’s day
Step into a winter wonderland and re-discover Christmas classics such as The snow queen, A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker. There will be family activities connected to the stories as well as The Snow Queen trail in the gardens, a Christmas tour of the apprentice house and visits to Father Christmas. Find out more and book here.
This year why not see how Christmas was celebrated in The Regency period. They knew how to celebrate, the celebrations spanned 6 weeks. There will be choirs performing daily and a selection of rooms will be decorated to show how Christmas was celebrated. There is also an option to book and see Father Christmas in the chapel complete with storytelling session from Mother Christmas. Find out more and book here.
Christmas things to do in Manchester
Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas, Sale Waterside theatre
Live music, songs and playful puppetry, bring to life the classic Raymond Briggs story. Children of all ages will delight in Briggs’ grumpy but loveable Father Christmas as he gets ready for his busiest day of the year: Christmas Eve. Watch as he prepares his Christmas deliveries, feeds his reindeer and finally takes flight into the snowy night. But things don’t run smoothly and he soon encounters soot-covered chimneys to squeeze through and treacherous weather conditions, all while plenty of mischief is had by his cheeky pets, Cat and Dog. We had a fantastic time when we went along to review the show. Read my full review here. On from the 4th to 31st December, find out more and book here.
White at Home, Manchester
A theatre show aimed at children aged 2-4 years old this sounds like the perfect first theatre trip.
Welcome to the beautifully strange world of White. Full of birdsong and birdhouses, it gleams and dazzles and shines in the night. Two friends look after the birds and make sure the eggs stay safe. We watch, we help. The world is bright, ordered and white.
But high up in the trees, something’s different – everything isn’t white. Colour appears. First red… then yellow… then blue…
Christmas events Lancashire
East Lancashire railway Santa specials
Take a steam train ride from Rawtenstall and back through the Irwell Valley. Enjoy a traditional brass band and carol singing. As well as enjoying an on-board magician, costumed characters and a festive drink and snack. Complete the Great Christmas Treasure Hunt at Bury Transport museum and meet Santa and his Elves on the train. Find out which dates the event is on and book your tickets through their website.
Christmas events for families in Cumbria
Heyes Garden World
This garden centre in Ambleside really goes to town with Christmas decorations. We often visit during October half term and only wish we were lucky enough to visit in December when they have a Santa’s Grotto too.
Do you have a favourite Christmas day out for the kids in the North West I’ve missed?
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