Silent nights, Edinburgh
Edinburgh’s main new Christmas attraction is Silent Gentle, a silent social gathering on George Avenue. It takes place as much as 5 occasions a day underneath the Avenue of Gentle, an set up of archways lit by 60,000 lights synchronised to music that may be heard solely by headphones.
There are three soundtracks to select from: Santa’s Sparkles (for youngsters), Christmas Crackers or Disco Delights.
There’s additionally an ice rink within the metropolis, wrapped round a cider lodge in St Andrew Sq.; a fairground, market and whisky bothy bar in East Princes Avenue Gardens; a Christmas tree maze with an elves’ workshop within the center; and a Spiegeltent on Competition Sq. with grownup circus reveals and child discos.• Silent Gentle from £4.50, appropriate for teenagers 5+, till 1 Jan, edinburghschristmas.com
Immersive theatre

Enchanted Parks, Gateshead. {Photograph}: Richard Kenworthy
Enchanted Parks is an annual after-dark theatrical occasion in Saltwell Park in Gateshead (£9.50 adults, £4.50 kids, 4-9 Dec). This 12 months’s manufacturing is The Home of Misplaced and Discovered, telling the story of a travelling truthful by efficiency, gentle, sound, hearth – and some surprises. There may be additionally a hawker’s market, craft truthful and pop-up store by the Baltic Centre for Modern Artwork.
A Christmas Carol is an immersive eating expertise in Sheffield (from £37.24, till 16 Dec, theatredeli.co.uk). The manufacturing features a two-course meal, parlour video games and Christmas songs.
Winter wonderlands

Winter Wonderland, Cardiff. {Photograph}: Huw John
A number of UK cities now have winter wonderlands, together with Cardiff, the place this 12 months there’s a 90-metre tower for metropolis views and a Sur La Piste bar modelled on a ski lodge, subsequent to the rink (till 6 Jan, cardiffswinterwonderland.com).
At Bristol’s Winter Wonderland, the brand new attraction is Santa’s Enchanted Ice Fortress, a 3D grotto journey to the North Pole; there may be additionally an ice rink, helter skelter and a classic carousel (till 6 Jan).
Nottingham Winter Wonderland has a brand new 30ft toboggan trip and a brand new glass chalet bar, Bar Altitude, in addition to 70 Bavarian-style stalls, an ice rink and youngsters’s rides (till 31 Dec). Londoners are spoilt for alternative, with the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park (till 6 Jan); the choice Winterville on Clapham Frequent (till 23 Dec); and Winterland in Fulham, which transforms a Thames-side seashore into an alpine scene, with fondue and schnitzel, gondolas and chairlifts, bauble-filled igloos and curling (till 22 Dec).
Scenic ice rinks

Brighton Christmas skaters. {Photograph}: Getty Photos
This 12 months’s hottest ticket is for Caerphilly Fortress, the most important fortress in Wales, which has an ice rink contained in the grounds for the primary time (from £5, till 9 Dec).
Different spectacular skating areas embrace in entrance of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton (from £10 adults, £7 under-12s, till 13 Jan); Winchester Cathedral (from £11 adults, £6.95 kids, till 2 Jan); Hampton Court docket Palace in south-west London (£14.50 adults, from £10.50 kids, till 6 Jan); and in entrance of the Royal Crescent in Tub (£11 adults, £10 kids, till 6 Jan).
Pantomimes

Snow White on the London Palladium
The London Palladium panto invariably has the starriest solid – this 12 months’s Snow White boasts Daybreak French, Julian Clary and Nigel Havers. However celebs pop up all around the nation: on the Opera Home Manchester, Gareth Gates stars as Cinderella’s Prince Charming and Les Dennis performs one of many Ugly Sisters. Debbie McGee takes to the stage in Sleeping Magnificence on the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, whereas Lisa Riley heads the solid of Magnificence and the Beast on the New Theatre, Cardiff.
Within the battle of the Strictly judges, audiences can boo Depraved Stepmother Craig Revel Horwood in Cinderella on the New Victoria Theatre, Woking and cheer Shirley Ballas in Jack and the Beanstalk on the Liverpool Empire.
Deck the halls

Cinderella-themed fairytale decorations at Blenheim Palace. {Photograph}: Andrew Walmsley/Alamy
Stately houses adorned in fairytale themes this 12 months embrace Haddon Corridor in Derbyshire, with rooms representing completely different scenes from Sleeping Magnificence and Different Tales (£15.75, under-16s free). Group choirs carry out twice a day and there are candlelit excursions within the night. The decorations at Chatsworth Home, additionally in Derbyshire (£25/£15, £69 for household of 5), are impressed by a mixture of fairytales and more moderen tales, together with James and the Large Peach and Charlotte’s Internet, whereas a Pied Piper roams the halls. Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire (£27/£15.50, £65.50 household of 4) has been was Cinderella’s story; there may be additionally a lightweight path and Christmas market.
Cosy rooftops, London

Skating rink on roof of John Lewis, London
Rooftops are not only a summer season hangout – in London, they’ve gone all cosy for winter. The brand new wintry rooftop at John Lewis on Oxford Avenue is impressed by 17th-century frost gala’s, and has a mini ice-skating rink, sizzling gin cocktails and pies (till 6 Jan).
Skylight at Tobacco Dock has an even bigger ice rink with skating and ice hockey, plus igloos and huts, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and fondue (till 27 Jan).
The roof backyard at Fest Camden has been was a winter chalet, with blankets, hot-water bottles and firepits; a snow machine; movie screenings and buskers; and winter cocktails together with sloe negronis (till March). The Queen of Hoxton’s surrealist winter rooftop is themed round 1900s Montmartre, with a wigwam music corridor, absinthe fountains and a raclette menu (till April).
Miracles in ice

Reindeer in Manchester Ice Village. {Photograph}: Zac and Zac
Manchester has a brand new Ice Village in Cathedral Gardens, centred round an ice cavern with greater than 100 ice sculptures of polar bears, huskies, a yeti and even a frozen Rovers Return signal. Guests can sit in Santa’s ice armchair and take a selfie whereas “trapped” in an ice block. There may be an Arctic Bar serving frozen cocktails, an ice rink and video games equivalent to hook an iceberg (free entry, some ticketed points of interest, till 5 Jan)
In Liverpool, the Christmas Ice competition is again at Pier Head for a 3rd 12 months. It features a three-lane, 30-metre ice slide, the UK’s solely ice jet trip, a big lined ice rink and an après-skate cafe-bar (£6 for 3 slides, skating from £11 adults, £10 kids, till 6 Jan).
Winter heaters

Churro hut at Thor’s Tipi Bar, Leeds
Cosy winter pop-up bars at the moment are a Christmas fixture. This 12 months, Brighton will get its first Thor’s tipi bar. This Viking-themed pop-up appeared in York (appropriately) in 2015, and now has outposts in Leeds (pictured), Sheffield, Lincoln and London. The tipis have fairy lights, fake furs and firepits, and serve warming drinks equivalent to “sizzling choc-tails” – attempt the black forest sizzling chocolate with cherry liqueur.
Alternatively, Bar Hutte returns to Manchester, Liverpool and London – these alpine huts include “carol-oke” machines to good that Mariah warble (barhutte.co.uk). And final 12 months’s igloo development continues – the Coppa Membership’s pop-up igloos in Sonning on Thames, Berkshire, and Tower Bridge, London, now serve heat winter tipples, together with a sizzling G&T, sizzling and sloe wine (gin, sloe gin and shiraz) and a flat white russian.
Let it snow

Sliding at Chill Factore, Manchester. {Photograph}: Leah Holding
There isn’t any have to go overseas for winter sports activities – there are lots within the UK. At Stockeld Park, North Yorkshire, there may be a synthetic 1.2km Nordic ski path by an illuminated forest (from £12, age 6+, till 7 Jan). If there’s no white Christmas this 12 months youngsters can nonetheless go sledging and sliding at an indoor ski centre, together with the Snow Dome in Tamworth; the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead; Snow Consider Glasgow and Chill Factore in Manchester.
In London, the large development is curling. Probably the greatest locations to attempt it’s Roof East, which has a “Curl Runnings” theme, with neon-lit curling lanes, metal drum bands and hot-buttered rum.
Christmas competition, St Albans

Christmas market St Albans. {Photograph}: Stephanie Belton
St Albans is holding its first Christmas competition this 12 months, in Verulamium Park that includes a virtual-reality Father Christmas expertise, an igloo with a silent disco, a cosy exhibiting Christmas movies, a fairground and ice rink, a market, a champagne bus and a tipi bar with music from choirs, acoustic singers and DJs. The town additionally has its first “residing creation calendar” – with a special festive store window revealed each day in December – and a family-friendly exhibition on board video games on the new St Albans Museum + Gallery. There are carols on the hour on the cathedral on 15 Dec, and carols till closing at a number of pubs (10, 13, 17, 18 and 20 Dec). The town hopes to equal the success of York’s vastly standard Christmas competition (till 23 Dec,).• Free entry, some ticketed actions, enjoystalbans.com
Lights improbable

Kew Gardens Christmas illuminated path. {Photograph}: Man Bell/REX/Shutterstock
Fairy lights don’t lower it any extra – as of late, Christmas gentle shows are full-blown illuminated extravaganzas. New ones this 12 months embrace one-mile gentle trails by Beaulieu home and grounds in Hampshire, Bedgebury Pinetum in Kent and London Zoo.
They be part of returning gentle reveals equivalent to Lightwaves, a free digital gentle competition in Salford Quays; the Competition of Gentle at Longleat safari park in Wiltshire; and backyard points of interest together with the Eden Challenge in Cornwall, Wakehurst in West Sussex and Kew Gardens in London.
Festive screenings

The Snowman screening at Chester cathedral. {Photograph}: Tom Bangbala
Festive movies are being proven in spectacular areas throughout the nation this month – one of many highlights is household favorite The Snowman, with the soundtrack performed by a dwell orchestra in cathedrals from Durham to Winchester. The Luna Winter Cinema is exhibiting Christmas classics at St George’s Corridor in Liverpool and Kensington Palace in London. The Bristol movie competition has festive screenings on the Passenger Shed. The Neighbourhood Cinema has turned a church in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, into an ice palace exhibiting singalong Frozen and different movies (additionally in Covent Backyard, London). Different occasions in London embrace a floating movie competition at St Katharine Docks and a cinema within the snow in Hackney.
Puddings and pies, Padstow

The Christmas market at Padstow Christmas competition. {Photograph}: Adam Sargent
This Christmas competition is a superb occasion for festive foodies. There are cookery demonstrations from greater than 60 cooks, together with “Padstein’s” personal Rick Stein, plus Nathan Outlaw, Angela Hartnett, Mitch Tonks and Phil Vickery. This 12 months, a brand new wine theatre is operating pace tastings and masterclasses. The market has 100-plus stalls, promoting regional meals, equivalent to Christmas pudding steeped in Somerset cider brandy and Devon port stout; native drinks together with Cornish pastis; and merchandise – blankets, ceramics, jewelry – by craftspeople from the south-west. Occasions embrace a Santa cycle and enjoyable run, dwell music, carols, a lantern parade and fireworks over the harbour.• Free entry, 6-9 Dec, padstowchristmasfestival.co.uk
Meet Santa

An viewers with Santa. {Photograph}: Getty Photos
A go to to a grotto within the native purchasing centre not passes muster. This Christmas, kids can sail with Santa round Poole harbour, (£16.50pp); discover him underground at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset (with day ticket, grownup £16.95), or the Nationwide Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield, West Yorkshire (grownup £5.50/little one £7.50 incl reward); and journey with him on a Santa prepare, such because the all-singing, all-dancing Practice to Christmas City in Dartmoor or Weardale, County Durham (from £18.75).
And on the Black Nation Museum within the West Midlands, youngsters should earn their viewers with the person in purple by fixing clues on Santa Hunt (grownup £16.50, little one £10.50).
Carol concert events

Carols by candlelight. {Photograph}: Ian Forsyth/Getty Photos
Quite a few cathedrals and church buildings host carols by candlelight, and lift cash for charity, equivalent to Sheffield Cathedral’s service in help of Breast Most cancers Care (from £5, 5 Dec). Battersea Canine & Cats Residence’s live performance at St Luke’s church in Chelsea, London, even consists of an look by among the rescue canine (£20). There are out of doors carol concert events at some Nationwide Belief properties, for instance Ightham Mote in Kent (£9.50, 14 and 21 Dec).
Different spectacular environment for a singsong embrace English Heritage’s Stokesay Fortress in Shropshire (from £7.50, Eight Dec), and Winterbourne Medieval Barn in Gloucestershire, in-built 1342 and nonetheless serving mulled wine and mince pies at this time (£2, 15 Dec).
Museums

The Museum of Structure’s Gingerbread Metropolis on the V&A. {Photograph}: Zaha Hadid Architects
The V&A in London is internet hosting the Museum of Structure’s third annual Gingerbread Metropolis exhibition. Architects design buildings, parks and public areas, then bake them out of gingerbread – this 12 months the theme is “imagining the long run metropolis”. There are gingerbread house-making workshops every weekend (£6 entry, £30 workshops, till 6 Jan).
At Beamish, the Residing Museum of the North in County Durham, youngsters can expertise Georgian, Edwardian and 1940s Christmas celebrations. There’s a winter funfair, ice rink, purchasing bazaar and grotto; Twelfth Evening celebrations take over the festivities from 27 Dec (from £19 adults, £11 kids for a 12 months’s go, till 6 Jan). The Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth transports you even additional again in time to a Tudor Christmas and the merrymaking of Henry VIII’s court docket (from £13.60 adults, £6.40 kids for a 12 months’s go, 8&9, 15&16 and 29&30 Dec).
Tree path, Bournemouth,

Bournemouth Christmas tree path
Bournemouth has a brand new Christmas Tree Wonderland: a path by the city, that includes greater than 100 bushes. They embrace replicas of Christmas bushes world wide, together with St Petersburg’s and Seattle’s; a Bethlehem tree with a nativity scene; a cover of lights by the pine bushes; and a 60ft Wonderland Tree with 30,000 LEDs.
Kids can look out for gingerbread folks, big teddy bears and a tree with huge baubles on the path. One spotlight is the Upside Down home, a zero-gravity phantasm the place guests can stroll on the ceiling. There may be additionally a grotto, an alpine market and ice skating – this 12 months with a brand new skate path off the primary rink.• Free, some ticketed actions, till 2 Jan, christmastreewonderland.co.uk
Away in a manger

Husky cave at Drusillas Park, Sussex
Animals aren’t only for Christmas – but it surely’s time to go to them. Stroke huskies within the ice cave at Drusillas Park in East Sussex (park entry £71.80 household of 4, huskies at weekends, then day by day from 13-23 Dec).
Participate in a nativity play with actual animals at Pennywell Farm in Devon, together with their well-known miniature pigs (not conventional, however very cute, £12.95pp, till 24 Dec). Meet tons of of donkeys on the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, additionally in Devon. They’ve been identified to hitch within the annual carols by candlelight service (free, 14 Dec). Hand-feed Britain’s solely free-ranging reindeer within the Cairngorms, Highland (£4pp, cairngormreindeer.co.uk).
Or go to turkeys that received’t find yourself as Christmas dinner at a sanctuary, equivalent to Hen Heaven in West Sussex (name forward on 07754 550193).
Spirit of Scrooge, Peterborough

Bah Humbug! Fest, Peterborough
Sick of turkey, tinsel and all of the trimmings? The Bah Humbug! Fest on the East of England Enviornment in Peterborough is a family-friendly day trip with the Christmassy bits eliminated. There are 4 hours of limitless fairground rides and inflatables, however no decorations, no annoying Christmas tunes and undoubtedly no Santa. Different points of interest embrace a curler rink, dwell music from a Little Combine tribute band and appearances from kids’s TV characters equivalent to Paw Patrol’s Chase and Peppa Pig.• £20pp, £70 household of 4/under-threes free, 20-30 Dec, besides Christmas Day).
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