Things to do with the family over the festive break

There will undoubtedly be a moment over the holidays when everyone starts to get restless and bored. It is worth having something in mind to keep the family occupied. Here we’ve put together our top 10 ideas of activities:

1. Ice skating

Take a spin around one of the UK’s ice skating rinks. Somerset House has one of the most well-known in the country but there a many pop-up rinks that appear at this time of year. Try the UK’s first ever “green rink” at Brighton Royal Pavilion gardens or Manchester’s London Road Fire Station. It’s worth pre-booking a slot online as they tend to get busy and don’t forget to wrap up warm.

2. Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is worth a visit if you live within reach of London but there are alternatives Christmas-themed parks around the country such as the Frost Village in Sunderland, Drusillas Winter Wonderland in Alfriston or Lapland UK in Berkshire

3. Work up an appetite or walk off the excesses

From a guided amble through Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon to a bracing stroll by the sea, there are plenty of ways to get you and the family out walking over the Christmas period. Visit National Trust Winter Walks or Ramblers Festival of Winter Walks for inspiration.

4. Carols by candlelight

If you have time before Christmas, there is nothing more festive than a carol concert by candlelight. The epitome has to be the festival of nine lessons and carols at King’s College Chapel in Cambridge but you will need to queue to get a seat. York Minster, St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Manchester Cathedral are also popular venues. However, you probably will enjoy the service at your local church just as much.

5. Underground Christmas Grotto

Visit Santa in an underground grotto and get your Christmas off to a magical start. Some places to try include The National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield, Wookey Hole Caves, Clearwell Caves and Kents Cavern near Torquay.

6. Enchanted Christmas

Westonbirt Arboretum, Sudeley Castle, Kew Gardens and Brodsworth Hall all open their grounds and gardens over the Christmas period, illuminating them with a wonderful spectacle of light. An ideal thing to with the family when the hours of daylight are short.

7. Panto

This combination of musical and slapstick comedy is quintessentially British and great family entertainment! There are many to choose from around the country so there’s sure to be one close to home…”Oh no there isn’t!”

8. Visit a stately home

Experience Christmas as it would have been in years gone by, including historically-accurate decorations and festive food at Waddesdon Manor, Blenheim Palace and Tyntesfield. There are many others to choose from – try the National Trust for some ideas.

9. Play a board game in a coffee shop – meet up with friends

Playing a board game is a good way to get the family together but here’s a twist. This is a growing trend to take your board game to a café to play, so why not arrange to meet some friends there? Some cafes specialise in offering this as an activity and have the games available in house. For example, Thirsty Meeples in Oxford is very popular

10. Treasure hunt

Another great way to get the family outdoors is to plan your own treasure hunt. It could just even be in your own garden. There are lots of ideas online to organise your own or if you prefer someone else to do the work for you, there are a few in London to choose from.