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Head to Newcastle and experience Fenwick’s window – it’s more festive than a reindeer in a Santa onesie piggybacking an elf. From 2 November this Northumberland Street store façade is transformed into a magical scene to wow youngsters – and adults too. Each year a new festive theme is unveiled and you can only watch silently as your little ones look up in wonder. Beautiful. And free. Bonus!
Get your skates on this Christmas at the gigantic ice rink in Manchester’s awesome Ice Village experience. With its transparent roof you’ll be able to gaze up at the stars over the beautiful Cathedral Gardens when you slip onto your bum for the umpteenth time. Other winter-themed attractions include an Ice Cavern full of stunning sculptures made from over 250 tonnes of ice, a wonderfully authentic Santa’s Grotto and a super-cool, South Pacific-themed Ice Tiki Bar.
Come for the Christmas lights switch-on jamboree, stay for the incredible shopping – your kids will feel like they’re in a Harry Potter movie as they meander down York’s storybook streets. The Christmas festival is in full swing from mid-November under warm lights and if you want to turn the elf dust dial up to 11, visit historic tea room Betty’s where festive treats are made on site and served in a beautiful, traditional setting. They have a series of carols by candlelight events throughout December so you can sing for your Christmas cake and eat it.
At the most magical time of the year head to Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden to experience more sparkle than a Strictly Come Dancing costume fitting. While the grown-ups enjoy spiced cider and mulled wine the little ones can cosy up with a hot chocolate in enchanting surroundings – you can visit a laser garden, watch a festive flotilla of glowing boats bobbing around and soak it all up in a scented fire garden.
This Christmas, Glasgow’s iconic Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery is being taken over by the kids and transformed into a huge after dark experience. Watch in awe as the museum comes to life once night descends. You’ll discover Santa’s best-kept secret through state-of-the-art projection and a spectacular light and sound show, enjoy festive treats and a snow disco inside a giant snow globe!
Give the kids a laugh this Christmas – at the expense of grown-ups trying to waddle around a fun run in Santa gear! The Santa Stride in Cleethorpes extends a fine tradition of fancy dress festive running with a daytime run at 2.30pm and evening event at 4.30pm. It’s all hosted at Cleethorpes’ Discovery centre. Thankfully, there are optional distances according to how much festive cheer you need to make room for – 2.5km if you’re planning a standard pig out, 4km if you’re heading towards special elasticated trousers territory.
In between the bouts of chocolate scoffing and giftwrap-ripping joy, every kid should sample the true meaning of Christmas – and Liverpool is a great place to do just that. Merseyside is an epicentre of worship for people of many faiths. Lest we forget the true meaning of this special time of year, the candles will be flickering into life at Liverpool Cathedral for their festival carol service and a host of other Christmas events in a divine setting.
Enjoy all the magic of Christmas around the North and Scotland with up to 50% off when you book an Advance ticket.
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