Get in the Christmas Spirit!
Christmas is next Sunday. AHH! We had that realisation quite suddenly yesterday afternoon, – it triggered some rather speedy last minute present shopping and prompted the consumption of a disgraceful amount of mince pies.
If you are still finding it hard to get in the mood (perhaps if you are anything like us, there is still a mountain of work to get through before the big day itself) take some time out and enjoy our festive entertainment suggestions with your kids.
Cinderella at The Palladium
What says Christmas more than the annual pantomime? We all treasure memories of visiting the theatre with our parents, and secretly join in when the crowd starts shouting ‘HE’S BEHIND YOU!’. This year, The Palladium is putting on Cinderella, and boasts a star studded cast, including Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary and Amanda Holden too.
Miraculously, or perhaps, with a little help from the fairy godmother, there are still tickets left to purchase before Christmas, and plenty available until January 15th. Visit the Palladium’s website to book your seats, and warm up your vocals. Audience participation is going to happen wether you like it or not.
The obvious choice is Winter Wonderland. With the magical Ice Kingdom filled to the brim with ice and snow sculptures, Zippo’s Christmas Circus and more fairground rides than you can shake a stick at, Winter Wonderland is a jam packed family day out. There are also plenty of opportunities for festive food including mulled wine, churros, and Bratwurst too in the themed Ski Chalets and Bavarian Villages.
Whilst Winter Wonderland is, without a doubt, a great day out, we have some top tips. The event can get incredibly busy, in our opinion, to the point where is actually makes the experience close to unbearable! To beat the mind blowing queues make sure to purchase pre booked attraction tickets (you can choose from many events) to ensure fast track entry through the gates. Don’t go on a weekend. Just don’t. Go during the week when the kids break up, and, if you can believe it, we have found the closer to Christmas you go, the quieter it gets (21st onwards). Good luck!!
Santa’s Christmas Grotto at Harrods
If your family are very organised indeed you will have managed to bag coveted tickets to the famous Christmas Grotto at Harrods. Each year, the luxury Knightsbridge store stages a stunning event, this year complete with a venture through a glistening ‘Ice Kingdom’ before meeting the big man himself in his frozen grotto. Each child visiting Father Christmas will receive a very special gift, and have the chance to share their toy wish lists.
Unfortunately, this year’s tickets are long sold out, so if you haven’t got them by now, you are far out of luck. Register here for next year, to make sure your children are on Santa’s list.
Hogwarts in the Snow
If your children are anything like us, they will love all things Harry Potter. Let’s face it, there is something very christmassy about the great hall, decked with it’s festive feast and lit candles, hovering high above the student’s heads. For your chance to experience the magic first hand visit the Harry Potter studios to see the great hall itself, snow drifts in Diagon Alley, and Hogwarts, carefully adorned with snow and ice, all applied by hand.
There will be a focus on special effects this year, with staff explaining how they create snow that never melts and flames without fire. Book your tickets on the Warner Brothers website, and don’t forget to try the Butter Beer! Your kids will have an incredible day out, and, let’s face it, you are going to enjoy yourself too.
The Christmas Forest
If you are still looking for the perfect Christmas tree, and if so, get your act together (!), The Christmas Forest is here to help you out. Every tree sold by The Christmas Forest will result in another tree being planted in the drylands of Africa, via the charity Tree Aid. The company have a fantastic range of trees, including Nordmann Firs, Fraser Firs and the traditional Norway Spruce.
The Christmas Forest will be hosting pop up forest events in several London locations, including Dulwich, Stoke Newington and Highbury, where visitors will be able to hand pick their trees, and also purchase wreaths, holly and mistletoe. If you have no time for that you can purchase your tree online, and have it delivered to your house. So you literally have no excuse. Go buy your tree, take the kids to help you pick it out, and donate money to charity. Done.
The Christmas Little School of Icing
If your children are little budding chefs, this is the event for you. Renowned cookie company Biscuiteers are responsible for some of the most delicious biscuits and gingerbread houses this city sees, and are experts in icing confectionary to perfection. This year, on the 19th of December, the fantastic company are hosting a special, one off class to teach children how to decorate their very own festive biscuits.
The class will run from 11 – 12.00 in Notting Hill, and at the end of the session, the kid’s biscuits will be packaged up for them to take home and enjoy. This event is recommended for children aged 6 and up, and there are still tickets available to purchase here.
It goes without saying that at pretty much all of these events there will be festive food and mulled wine readily available for you adults, so, if you haven’t yet had your Christmas fix, pull on your toasty cashmere socks and your winter boots, and get on your way!
Author: Hannah Coates