Make Christmas really special this year by taking your family on one of these unforgettable days out.

There’s a lot more to the festive season than harried shopping trips, endless to-do lists and perpetual dread of the work Christmas party. This time of year should be twinkly and magical and full of wide-eyed children who are flushed with joy.

Luckily, the entertainment and tourism industries are extremely good at helping us to pull that off. And we don’t just mean with pantomimes and grottos. From enchanted forests, to illuminated woodlands, to a full re-imagining of Lapland, there are some unbelievably imaginative experiences waiting out there for you and your children.

Here are five brilliant examples.

Lapland UK

At this award-winning festive fantasia in Ascot, Berkshire, the secret world of Father Christmas and his elves is brought to life through a four-hour immersive experience of unimaginable scale and quality. Elton John has called it “the best pre-Christmas day out ever”. Magic like this doesn’t come cheap, unfortunately.

Christmas at Kew

Now in its sixth year, Kew’s sparkling winter trail makes for an unforgettable evening. Over a million twinkling lights and thousands of laser beams illuminate Kew’s trees and buildings; glowing boats bob on the Lake’s surface; a sculptural fire garden flickers and crackles. Book. It. Now.

Christmas at Hever Castle

Drop in on Father Christmas, meet a pack of huskies, take a ride in a vintage fairground, wander the ancient, festively decorated rooms, with their roaring fires and twinkling trees. Hever Castle gives good Christmas. This year’s theme is traditional Christmas tales; think Dickens galore.

Hogwarts in the Snow

Harry Potter fans will love you forever if you book tickets to the Warner Brother Studio Tour at Christmastime. With fire, ice and snow that never melts, the regular tour undergoes a magical makeover from November until January. Special effects, props and serious flair make this a seasonal delight.

The Snowman Experience at Winter Wonderland

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic story, this brand new production is a multi-sensory, cinematic, walk-through experience. Watch in wonder as The Snowman film is split up into different sections across separate rooms. Little minds will surely be blown.

October 2018