| Victoria Zurakowski
The Best Places To Get A Real Christmas Experience in 2021
For some families, Christmas is about the 25th. The Christmas gift exchange, family get-togethers, the turkey and all its trimmings, the tradition of watching Christmas films on TV. But for others, the lead-up to Christmas is just as exciting and festive with the shopping and the annual trips to the local Christmas market and other Christmas events nearby.
Gone are the days when “festive fun” meant a visit to run-down Winter Wonderlands. Instead, pre-Christmas events in 2021 are bigger, better, and more luxurious than ever.
If you’ve never attended a UK Christmas event near you, now is the time to indulge. Unapologetically Christmassy, here are some of the best Christmas events 2021 has to offer!
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
From exhilarating fairground rides and wrapping up warm to go ice-skating to the delightful Hyde Park Christmas markets to a plethora of festive family entertainment like live music and circus acts, the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is probably the best Christmas event in London. This London Winter Wonderland will surely get you into the festive spirit and there are plenty of fun Christmas activities for children and adults alike to fill the entire day.
An enchanting experience, this 2021 Christmas event for children will leave the entire family with lasting memories. Lapland UK (otherwise known as Lapland at Ascot) is one of country’s leading Christmas events for kids (and big kids). Providing an immersive and theatrical festive experience for young and old alike, you and your family will be able to experience a tailor-made journey that takes you through magical scenes that will eventually see you arriving at the enchanted home of Santa Claus and his elves. This unique family Christmas experience will begin with Father Christmas sending personal invites to the children, asking for their help in the toy factory. Upon arrival, all guests are issued with their Lapland UK passports and local currency (Elf Jingles) and they’re taken along a stunning snowy wooded route, stopping at the toy factory along the way. Not only this, you and your family will also have the once in a lifetime chance to give Mrs Claus a helping hand decorating Christmas cookies prior to gathering to hear a traditional Christmas story. From meeting the elves to skating in the Christmas ice rink to having a personal meeting with the big man himself in his woodland home, this is truly an unforgettable Christmas family event that everyone will love.
Christmas Pantomime at The London Palladium
Is it truly Christmas if you don’t go to a Christmas pantomime? If you live in one of the country’s major cities, be sure to check one out. 2021 sees Christmas pantomimes being even more spectacular than ever. A true Christmas family event, you’ll get the chance to see a number of celebrities showcase their talents on stage, but as always, the best Christmas panto plays at London’s Palladium. This year, the star-studded cast that features Julian Clary, Paul O’Grady and Nigel Havers will bring one of the world’s favourite fairytales to stage – Goldilocks – it’s not to be missed!
Leicester Square Christmas Markets
London locals and visitors to the nation’s capital will be happy to know that Father Christmas has set up shop right in the heart of Leicester Square. This annual London Christmas event pops up every year and adds even more life to one of London’s most popular areas. With traditional London Christmas markets, plenty of food and drinks stalls and tents, and a host of festive entertainment for the whole family, such as family circus acts, cabaret shows, and of course an iconic Santa’s grotto, it’s really no surprise that the Leicester Square Christmas Markets is one of the most popular Christmas events in the UK.
Christmas at Kew Gardens is something special. When dusk sets in, the magic begins to happen as the beautiful London botanic gardens light up and come to life. The spectacular Christmas lights in London’s southwest will leave everyone mesmerised with its Christmas light installations, lively laser projections, dazzling spiral trees, and even singing holly bushes. Cute Kew Garden Christmas stalls selling an inviting choice of street food and hot drinks, including spiced cider and mulled wine for the adults are dotted amongst the trails, and there’s even an impressive fire-pit where you and your family and friends can sit, enjoy and toast marshmallows – you can’t get more festive than this! The Kew Gardens gift shop is also the perfect place to buy small unique Christmas presents and mementoes.
Christmas at Kew Gardens
A Festive Wonderland at Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace is one of Oxfordshire’s key tourist attractions throughout the year, but it's lesser-known for its Christmas event status. This 2021, this Christmas event is a must, as it's even more elaborate and festive than ever with its 2021 Christmas market stalls selling anything from hot wintery street food snacks and drinks to quirky Christmas gifts, fairground rides, an interactive Alice and Wonderland experience, and of course one of the most spectacular and best Christmas light trails in the UK that will lead you through the palaces illuminated formal gardens.
Bath Christmas Markets
The best 2021 Christmas events list would not be complete without mentioning the award-winning Christmas Markets in Bath. Possibly the UK’s most famous Christmas market, this favourite annual Christmas event that takes over the Georgian streets of Bath features an extraordinary range of prettily lit-up chalets selling their wares from unique Christmas presents and Christmas decorations to winter-inspired hot food stands to specialist spiced mulled wine stalls. With over an impressive 150 Christmas market stalls to choose from, you’re guaranteed that you’ll find something special for your nearest and dearest. There are also several fun Christmas experiences you can indulge in such as Christmas wreath making and glass-blowing workshops.
German Christmas Markets in Birmingham
The Frankfurt German Christmas market in Birmingham is not only the largest German Christmas market in the UK it’s also the most traditional. In fact, it’s said to be the biggest German Christmas market outside of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Every year, including 2021, Birmingham's German Christmas market attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from near and far. When the annual German markets in Birmingham's city centre open, you know that the festive period has begun. With well over 80 Christmas market stalls, there’s something for everyone. But the one highlight would have to be the mouth-watering choice of enticing German foods and drinks on offer, which includes schnitzels, bratwursts, pretzels, and roasted almonds and chestnuts. You’ll also find Victoria Square awash with live music performances, making it the perfect place to meet up with family and friends this Christmas.
Christmas at Beamish
Head north for some more yuletide celebrations and join in on the historic Christmas event at Beamish. Christmas at Beamish is the perfect place to start a new family Christmas tradition because no Christmas is ever a real Christmas without visiting Santa Claus. This yearly Christmas event for families is unique in the fact that it takes you through a historical Christmas journey from a Georgian Christmas to a 50s ones to right up until now. There are plenty of Christmas daytime events in Beamish, which includes going for a spin on the ice rink. Enjoy the scrumptious home-baked Christmas goods on offer, shop for unique wooden Christmas gifts and crafts, and enjoy the merry music that envelops the streets.
Ice Village in Manchester
There’s a smorgasbord of Christmas events in Manchester in 2021. Amongst Santa’s grotto, ice-skating and Manchester’s Ice Tiki Bar in Cathedral Gardens, there’s also the perfect Christmas event for children – Ice Village, an interactive ice cavern that’s home to more than 100 ice sculptures. 2021’s Manchester Christmas experience is set to be bigger and better than its previous years with an ice-carved unicorn and a regal carriage made of ice included in the exhibition.
Winchester Christmas Markets
When it comes to having it all, the award-winning Winchester Christmas Market ticks all the right boxes. Spicy fragrant mulled wine, mouth-watering homemade mince pies, delicious stollen, a traditional Nativity scene, and an endearing Christmas craft village made up of cute wooden chalets where you can scour the stalls for unique Christmas presents are just a few of the things that this well-known Christmas market has to offer.
Glasgow Christmas Markets
If you’re looking for a family day out this Christmas, the Glasgow Christmas Markets will not disappoint. Located in St. Enoch Square and George Square, these famous UK Christmas markets have something for all ages from festive gifts and crafts to traditional Christmas street food vendors to belly-warming drinks, as well as round the clock live entertainment, Christmas carol services, and an impressive amount of family fairground rides and activities.
Final Thoughts on Christmas Events in 2021
Like every year, there are many Christmas events for children, adults, and the entire family. From German Christmas markets in Nottingham to Christmas at Hyde Park to going back in time for a historical Christmas experience at Beamish, there’s so much to see and do this Christmas.
Whether you’re trying to find unique Christmas presents for loved ones or looking for child-friendly Christmas events this 2021, there really is something for everyone. And if you still can’t find the perfect Christmas gift for your loved one, visit Sand Dollar UK for some unique Christmas presents and stocking stuffer ideas for the entire family