Wednesday 20 October 2021

The Best Family Friendly Festive Events Happening in the UK for 2021

 **Collaborative Post**

Can you believe we are almost in November already!? This year has been such a strange one with some parts feeling like they lasted forever and other parts (like now) feeling like they are zooming by. I am keeping everything crossed for a more "normal" Christmas for everyone this year, one where we can see loved ones and enjoy some festive events and activities too. And it seems I am not alone as many businesses and places across the UK are pushing ahead with their festive events, all with plenty of measures in place to keep us all safe. So below I am sharing some of our must visit events for 2021 to help us all get into the festive spirit this year. 

The events and attractions below are based across the UK and are all easily accessible either by car or public transport. If you are planning on visiting lots of attractions this festive season but don't drive regularly it might be worth looking into temporary insurance cover so you can keep costs down but also get to explore all the festive winter magic the UK has to offer! 

Christmas at Longleat - 

Perhaps best known for its amazing safari experience, but this Christmas Longleat are transforming their animal kingdom into a festive wonderland full of festive joy, cheer and magic to make your visit extra special. 

Christmas at Longleat will see you start your journey through a mesmerising tunnel of light and sound as you head to the front of the iconic Longleat house to take in the beautiful musical display, surrounded by over 100 lit Christmas trees. Then as the animals bed down for the night you will have the chance to experience a wonderland walk through the Jungle Kingdom and Monkey Temple. Here you can take in the illuminated trail of flower sculptures and snowy paths whilst in the sound of carols can be heard from the parks main square. 

Plus don't forget to visit Longleat's iconic 20 metre enchanted Christmas tree and The Longhouse for an extra sprinkle of seasonal spirit. Here the magic of storytelling and ariel ability of some beautiful birds including tawny, barn and eagle owls create an unforgettable viewing experience with "The Flight Before Christmas". 

Before you leave, don't forget to hop aboard the Longleat Santa train which will whisk you all off to a magical grotto and a chance to meet Father Christmas himself! 

Lapland UK - 

If you are looking for an experience that will totally immerse you into the spirit of Christmas and have even the adults coming away believing then LaplandUK is a must see. 

Lapland UK is a fully immersive experience and the experience begins before you even arrive with beautiful personalised invitations for the kids that are delivered via post, they even come sealed with a wax stamp! Every aspect has been thought about when it comes to your visit even down to the money you use with our usual money out and "Jingles" used instead (don't worry you can still use your card if you wish). 

The experience will take you on a journey as you are introduced to an ancient eleven civilisation who will transport you through a magical world of story telling. The journey will see you helping the elves make toys, decorating gingerbread and enjoying a story with mother Christmas before you are led into an elven town. Here you will find a range of shops including the most amazing sweet shop, elf post office where you can send letters to father Christmas and a magical ice skating rink where you can skate around the towering lit Christmas tree. 

To complete your experience you will get to meet the big man himself (the MOST realistic father Christmas we have ever met!). As your experience is personalised Father Christmas will know facts about your kids that will leave the kids amazed as he recalls their recent achievements and even mentions their friends and family. The whole experience will have everyone believing and counting down the days until Christmas day! 

Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt Arboretum is part of the National Forestry commission and is perfect for adults and kids of all ages. This year you can visit to follow a beautiful trail and help Father Christmas find his reindeer! 

Westonbirt need need your help to reunite Father Christmas with his Reindeer, recover lost presents and save Christmas! You will set out on an adventure through the illuminated trees of the arboretum, speak to the trees and tree elves for clues, but watch out for the storm and don’t get lost!  If you manage to locate all the Reindeer you may catch a glimpse of Father Christmas himself! The walk itself takes between 45 and 60 minutes so the perfect length even for little lets with plenty of stops on the way to take in all of the lights. 

There will also be a Christmas village both at the beginning and end of the trail with food and drink available as well as some traditional fair ground rides too. 

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 

London may seem like it is all hustle and bustle (and traffic!) but located in the heart of London in Hyde Park is the spectacular Winter Wonderland where you can get into the festive spirit and immerse yourself in all things Christmas. 

From thrilling rides and fairground stalls to twinkling lights and acrobatic displays, winter wonderland has something for the whole family. You could grab a drink in the ice bar, warm up with a hot chocolate, pull on your skates and hit the ice or visit Father Christmas so the kids can update him on their Christmas lists. You could even sneak in a big of Christmas shopping with a wide range of market style stalls and shops on site with some amazing gift ideas. 

Due to restrictions, tickets must be purchased this year, so if you are hoping to visit it is best to plan ahead so you can make the most of your experience. 

Lap of Lights at Silverstone

If traditional events are not your thing or perhaps you are still a bit wary of heading into busy spaces this year, Silverstone's lap of lights may tick all the festive boxes for you. 

Situated on the actual Silverstone circuit, prepare to warm up your tyres as you make your way onto the track to follow over 3.5 miles of festive light displays, just remember to stick to the 5mph speed limit and not get to carried away! With over 400,000 individual light pixels used and a aw dropping displays of lights and over 440 laser beams used, this display really does light up the night sky. 

Lap of Lights at Silverstone even has its own radio station playing non stop festive tunes that you will be advised to tune into on arrival and as you reach the end of the display don't forget to keep an eye out and a big wave for Santa who will be waiting to greet everyone from his giant snow globe at the end of the track! 

But that's not all, if you want to experience even more of the fun on foot, you can pay a visit to "The Lodge" for festive fun at their apres inspired winter hangout. Here you can listen to music grab a drink and take in the experience with friends and family. You can also hire some skates and hit the pit lane ice rink as you glide down the pit lane and into the garages for the ultimate Silverstone fully lit ice rink experience. . 

The Polar Express Train Ride

The polar express may be a popular Christmas film, but did you know that this Christmas you can climb aboard the Polar Express yourself for a festive train experience to remember. 

Taking their inspiration from the 2004 Polar Express movie, South Devon Railway offer the ultimate Christmas experience as they pick you up from the South Devon Railway platform and transport you to the North Pole. During your train journey you will get the chance to meet numerous characters from the film including the conductor, singing chefs, the hobo and of course the main man himself, Father Christmas! 

During the Polar Express experience you are actually encouraged to arrive wearing pyjamas to really immerse yourself into the fun. You will get to hear the original The Polar Express story told to you by the singing chefs as well as plenty of magical happenings during your time aboard. Passengers will also receive a cookie and authentic hot chocolate before you arrive at the North Pole here Father Christmas himself with board and (for those on the nice list!) he will hand you your first gift of Christmas, a silver sleigh bell. 

Once you head back after your experience is finished, kids will have the opportunity to write a letter to Santa. Or you could head over to buy a number of different souvenirs from soft toys and pyjamas to train whistles and authentic mugs, its a great place to pick up some last minute gifts. 

Do any of these events sound like something you and your family would love? Or do you have your own favourite festive events or attractions you like to visit? Let me know in the comments below.



  1. My parents took my daughter to Lapland UK and had the most amazing time and they all still talk about it now, definitely would recommend it to anyone

  2. We really want to do more Xmas stuff this year as we didn’t do anything last year and it was such a shame

  3. Ohhhh the Lights at Silverstone look AMAZING! I doubt I could stick to the 5mph speed limit though! ;) Heard some good things about Lapland UK, would have loved to have visited actual Lapland when my daughter was younger... you're never too old to get mixed up in the magic of Christmas though! :( Sim

  4. My kids tell me they are too old for most of these kind of things now, but we are going to one of the big outdorr lights spectaculars at Bedgebury Pineatum, I'm looking forward to that.

  5. The polar Express has looked amazing over the years on every photo I have seen x

  6. We would love to do Lapland and hopefully will do something festive this had as it’s our favourite time

  7. These all sound great. I have always wanted to visit Lapland UK. and the Silverstone one looks great.