I have always loved Christmas, but since having children I am happy to admit that I am slightly crazy about Christmas! As a family it is our favourite time of the year. We spend most weekends in the six weeks running up to the big day attending Christmas family events in Gloucestershire. My boys are now 4.5 years old and 18 months and so thoroughly enjoy every event we attend which makes it so magical.
Each year we tend to visit two Santa’s grottos, one around the end of November (which works wonders for encouraging good behaviour for December!) and then another, usually onboard a steam train for added excitement, just before Christmas. We also enjoy attending a Christmas lights turn on celebration, a carol service, a good old-fashioned Pantomime (oh yes we do!), Christmas markets and a festive movie at the cinemas.
We equally enjoy festive activities at home too such as decorating gingerbread men, making festive crafts and mischievous visits from Alfie (our Elf on the Shelf!)…. did I mention that we are a little crazy about Christmas!
Our calendar for Christmas is always full from September and this year is no exception. We always book in advance to avoid disappointment as many of the most popular Christmas family events sell out very quickly.
Our first Christmas family outing is taking place soon. We are currently counting down the days until our visit to Copenhagen to review the Christmas markets and lights at the fabulous Tivoli Gardens.
Image – Christmas in Tivoli Gardens
After Copenhagen we have been invited to return to Westonbirt Arboretum to experience their Enchanted Christmas which sounds absolutely magical…. an illuminated one mile trail, Christmas character stilt walkers, festive market stalls and live entertainment!
If Westonbirt does not put us in the festive spirit then watching pantomime most certainly will! We have been kindly invited as guests to experience Cinderella at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury in a few weeks. My eldest son absolutely adored panto last year and so I cannot wait to see his reaction to the rags to riches story of Cinderella and her ugly sisters. ** Update – 2nd December – Our review of Cinderella at Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury **
After a little breather, (to recover from watching Cinderella marry her Prince Charming!), we have booked a weekend in London to visit Santa in his grotto at Harrods. (For readers interested in visiting the grotto at Harrods please be aware you need to sign up as a Harrods member for a year before you can apply for tickets). The ticket sales for the regular Harrods grotto visit sold out in a few hours leaving us with the option of either booking for the more expensive option, which includes afternoon tea, or giving up on the idea and trying again next year. As we are painfully aware that our boys are growing up at an alarming rate, we opted for the first option and paid just over £100. (I will let you know whether it was worth it after our visit!) Although I know the tickets were a considerable amount of money, I hope it will be a magical weekend for my boys, especially as we also plan to return to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park too.
Image – Entrance to Hyde Park, Winter Wonderland
Last but certainly not least, we plan to enjoy more festive fun closer to home. Towards the end of December we have booked to meet Santa onboard the Dean Forest Railway with our four friends and their children. This is sure to be a memorable and magical experience, especially as it will be the first time meeting Santa for two of the babies in our group:)
Phew, just reading this article makes me feel exhausted! I will be ready for a mulled wine slouched on the sofa watching the last episode of Downtown Abbey by Christmas Day!
I would love to know whether you are also ‘Crazy about Christmas?’ What Christmas events are you planning on visiting this year with your family?
Copyright – Tivoli Gardens image Copenhagen Media Centre