Charming Christmas events even the Grinch will love


Every family has one. That one person who refuses to embrace the magic of Christmas, moans about it until the season has passed, and then reflects upon the commercialism of it all whilst quaffing the chocolates that nobody else will eat. While everybody is entitled to their opinion, there is no room for the Grinch in OUR Christmas story. We’ve rustled up a selection of the most charming Christmas events to be found anywhere in the UK, filled with enough cheer to enchant even your most Grinch-like uncle.

Santa’s Grotto? Perhaps another day…

Let’s face it, every shopping precinct, garden centre, and school has their own Santa’s Grotto these days and – while they’re all magical in their own way – isn’t it about time your family creates a tradition of its own? Imagine, an enchanting event that you look forward to enjoying every year, sandwiched in between as many festive grottos as you wish. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. This year, try something a little different. For example, if you’ve ever watched festive classic, ‘The Snowman’ and wished that you could be a part of the story now’s your chance; across the East Midlands and North-West this year you can experience this original feel good movie accompanied by a live orchestra. Be prepared to get chills all over again. Alternatively, for a slice of a different kind of tradition, take a trip to Henley-on-Thames for the town’s own living advent calendar. Inspired by an idea from Sweden, the month-long event sees a different building’s door or window opened each evening, with a performance of poetry, dance, drama, or song taking place for the assembled crowd. Be sure to get there early as showings can get busy, and remember it’s worth researching what’s on offer and dressing appropriately as you may be treated to an outdoors event. If embracing the chilly weather and immersing yourself in Christmas is your thing try the Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury.

close up of the sign at Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station

Hogwarts in the Snow

For something completely different, and amazingly magical, every family should visit Hogwarts. There’s nothing quite like paying a trip to the Warner Bros Studio Tour, particularly during its enchanting Christmas event, ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’. In fact, you needn’t be the biggest Harry Potter fan to fall in love with the studio’s sheer attention to detail. While the tour is magical at any time of year, there’s something about Christmas that really brings it to life; imagine the Great Hall lined with magnificent trees and decorations, a blanket of snow lying atop the world famous Hogwarts model, and the beloved film series’ sets adorned with festive trinkets and accessories. There is no buzz like the one that emanates from the Warner Bros Studio Tour from the end of November until the end of January, and your family will come away with so much more than memories. A commemorative family portrait of you all riding broom sticks? Yours. All manner of film memorabilia or unique Christmas gifts? All in once place.

Whether you enjoy going to see a local pantomime, trawling grottos, or immersing yourself in any number of festive events, ensure that you’re making the most of everything that’s on offer. Go on, even the family’s Grinch will thank you once you get there!

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