Feeling festive? These are the best Christmas days out in the UK
Halloween is over and we can practically hear Mariah Carey defrosting as we type. It’s officially the festive season, and we have some of the best Christmas days out in the UK.
The RadioTimes.com team are something of festive connoisseurs. If there’s a winter wonderland, an ice rink or a Christmassy musical out there, we’ll sniff it out. And, of course, we’ll tell you, our Christmas-loving readers, about it.
There are so many Christmas attractions to try and it can be hard to know where to begin. Some of you might already have an idea of what you want to experience this year, whether that’s a Christmas market, a festive castle, a West End show or a live orchestra event, in which case, do we have some suggestions for you!
But if you’re still unsure what ho-ho-holiday day out to try, the below options are guaranteed to spark some inspiration.
There’s plenty of Christmas days out across the UK, so if you’re planning on staying local this year, there will be something nearby. Or, if you fancy venturing into the capital, we have some events that will knock your slipper socks off.
So without further ado, here are the best Christmas days out the UK has to offer this year.
Best Christmas days out at a glance
- Christmas at Blenheim Palace, from £18
- The Snowman with Live Orchestra, from £15
- Santa Sleepover at LEGOLAND
- Christmas at Castle Howard, from £14.25
- Thursford Christmas Spectacular
- Christmas at Kew, from £21.50
- Christmas at Warwick Castle, from £33
- Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, from £33
- Christmas at Belton, from £15
- Christmas at Alton Towers, from £15
- The Holiday with Live Orchestra, from £35
- Christmas at Kenwood, from £22.50
- Disney’s Frozen The Musical, from £30
- Christmas at Dunham Massey, from £14.50
Best Christmas days out in the UK for 2022
Christmas at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
Known for its iconic festive themes, Christmas at Blenheim Palace is back for 2022 with a new theme: The Kingdom of the Snow Queen. Expect a sparkling winter wonderland inside the palace and a light trail throughout the gardens, as well as a Christmas market with food, drink, and craft traders.
Find out more about Christmas at Blenheim Palace.
The Snowman with Live Orchestra, London and Kent
You’ll probably know the classic tale of The Snowman: a boy builds a snowman in his garden and the snowman comes to life at the stroke of midnight. In this magical experience, you can watch the tale with a live orchestra.
More like this
Santa Sleepovers at LEGOLAND, Windsor
This festive activity is guaranteed to be a hit with the little ones. If you book a Santa Sleepover package, you’ll get entry to LEGOLAND at Christmas, seats on selected rides, an overnight stay and a yummy breakfast. Oh, and you’ll meet Santa.
Christmas at Castle Howard, York
Castle Howard is no stranger to a great theme. Last year it was Christmas in Narnia, and in 2022, it’s Into the Woods: A Fairytale Christmas. Expect installations and projections of classic fairytales throughout the gardens, a Storytelling Grotto in Castle Howard’s courtyard, and visit Father Christmas in the main house.
If you're a fan of Christmas markets, be sure to check out the best UK Christmas markets.
Thursford Christmas Spectacular, Norfolk
This all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza will get even the most bah humbugs in the festive spirit. Now in its 45th year, the Thursford Christmas Spectacular promises plenty of variety acts with its 130 performers.
Find out more about the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.
Christmas at Kew, London
London’s Kew Gardens are spectacular at any time of year, but even more so at Christmastime. From November 16th 2022 to January 8th 2023, Kew Gardens will be lit up with colourful light trails and jewel-coloured trees, and you might even catch a glimpse of Santa.
Christmas at Warwick Castle, Warwick
There’s a lot going on at Warwick Castle this Christmas: a food and drinks market, an ice rink, light trail, decorated castle walls, and a Santa Sleepover.
Find out more information about Christmas at Warwick Castle.
Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, London
Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol gets a country twist with a soundtrack written by none other than Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol will be at the Southbank Centre in London for just two months over Christmas, so it’s a good idea to snap up tickets soon.
Christmas at Belton, Lincolnshire
From November 24th 2022 to January 1st 2023, Belton House near Grantham will transform into a winter wonderland. The light trail is back this winter, and it features over one million twinkling lights as well as seasonal sounds.
Christmas at Alton Towers, Staffordshire
Have a simply wonderful Christmastime at Alton Towers this winter. Choose between a Lightopia (Alton Towers' award-winning illuminated trail) ticket, a Lightopia and theme park pass, or a Santa Sleepover bundle which includes theme park and Lightopia access.
The Holiday with Live Orchestra, London and Glasgow
It’s the Christmas classic everyone loves: Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz swap homes over the festive period and fall in love with local eligible bachelors. Now, you can experience the film with a live orchestra. The movie’s musical score was composed by award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, so you’re in for a real treat.
Find out more information about The Holiday with Live Orchestra
Fancy yourself as a movie buff? Then here's how to get cheap cinema tickets.
Christmas at Kenwood, London
Head over to Hampstead Heath this winter and spend an hour or so walking through the magical light trail with a hot chocolate or mulled wine in hand.
Disney’s Frozen The Musical, London
Earlier this year, Theatre Royal Drury Lane reopened its doors after a huge refurbishment to restore the theatre back to its 1812 glory - and its first musical is Disney’s Frozen. This West End show is enjoyable for the whole family.
Dunham Massey, Manchester
It’s the Fairytale of Greater Manchester. National Trust’s Dunham Massey is hosting a huge light trail through its spacious gardens. On the walk you’ll see giant baubles, a fire garden and Father Christmas, and you’ll get the chance to toast your own marshmallows.
Find out more about Christmas at Dunham Massey.