11 Places To Visit This Festive Period In Central, South, Se And Sw England And Wales

It’s that time of year once again when the Christmas jumpers get dusted off and we head out to embrace the spirit of Christmas.  Here are some fantastic ideas of places to visit – and you may learn a thing or two.

Cadbury World, Birmingham

Enjoy a scrumptious day out that’s choc-full of festive fun this Christmas at Cadbury World!  Discover chocolatey zones and whole host of seasonal activities for all the family, every Saturday and Sunday from 16th November till 15th December… PLUS 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December! Tickets include entry to the pantomime and a visit to see Santa in his exclusive stage show! PRE-BOOK TICKETS NOW –  Pre-book your tickets for the Christmas Celebration dates to guarantee entry online here or over the phone on +44 121 393 6004.

SEE SANTA IN HIS EXCLUSIVE STAGE SHOW! –  A festive day out wouldn’t be complete without seeing the jolly man himself!  Now the star of his very own stage show, the Santa experience is packed full of festive fun and music the whole family can enjoy.  Laden with Christmas gifts for his elves to hand out to visiting children, the exclusive Cadbury World Santa Show is not to be missed. Please book your Santa Show slot at least 30 minutes prior to or 2 hours after your Cadbury World exhibition tour time.

DON’T MISS THE EXCLUSIVE PANTOMIME –  Each year there is a brand new magnificent pantomime and this year visitors are invited to watch the enchanting pantomime Snow White & the Chuckle Beans.  With seven performances per day you will have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the show – oh yes you will!  Show Times: 12pm, 12:30pm, 1pm, 2pm, 2:30pm, 3pm & 4pm.   A world of interactive fun with a chocolatey twist awaits!

SPECIAL FESTIVE MENU – Enjoy traditional festive fayre with a Christmas menu at the Cadbury Café.

HANDMADE CHOCOLATE NOVELTIES – Shop for all your favourite festive chocolates, courtesy of The World’s Biggest Cadbury Shop.

A WHOLE WORLD CHOC-FULL OF FUN! –  Learn how your favourite confectionery is made, play in chocolate rain and add your favourite treat to a pot of delicious warm liquid Cadbury Dairy Milk. Discover the origins or the cocoa bean amidst trees and waterfalls in the Aztec Jungle, before riding the Crunchie rollercoaster in the unique cinema experience, the 4D Chocolate Adventure.

Black Country Living Museum,  Dudley

Christmas Through Time (23 Nov – 24  Dec Weds – Sun, 10am – 4pm) – Starting with Victoria’s reign through to a 1930s Christmas, bring the whole family for a day out with a difference!   Step back in time to discover the brand new immersive experience and take in the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas through time.   Enjoy a classic film in the 1920s Limelight Cinema – watch a Christmas with Mickey Mouse and have a giggle with Laurel & Hardy.  To end your day, relax by the fireside in the Bottle & Glass Inn with a nice warm brew or make a toast to the festive season with a mulled wine.  See plum-puddings being made the traditional way, and help the children pen a Christmas card as you take in the wonderful aroma of fresh wreaths and fragrant pomanders.  What’s more… Visit any day from 23 Nov – 24 Dec and get an UnChained Annual Pass for the same price as a regular ticket* 

British Motor Museum, Warwick

Unique gift ideas from the British Motor Museum! – The British Motor Museum has everything all wrapped up for Christmas whether it’s a day out admiring over 300 British classic cars or a thoughtful and unique gift.  The Museums gift voucher includes 2 admission tickets and a souvenir guidebook as a memento. The gift, which is attractively presented in a red envelope, costs just £25+p&p, a saving of £6.

Treat someone by signing them up to one of the motoring related workshops which run in the spring and autumn. These include ‘Is a Classic Car for you’ and ‘Living with a Classic Part 1 & 2’ all of which are aimed at those who wish to buy or own a classic car.  There’s also a range of motoring photography workshops for beginner’s right up to lighting and home studio workshops. 

Heritage Certificates are an ideal gift for anyone who owns a cherished classic car and are available from just £43 plus P&P.  The Certificate is an official ‘Certified Copy of a Factory Record’ showing the car’s specification as it left the production line.  Details are taken from the original production records created by many of the leading British motor manufacturers.  Dates, in order to get delivery before Christmas, are 1 December for UK first class or 24 November for the USA, Canada, and EU & Western Europe.

The Museum’s online shop also stocks a range of motoring gifts from DVDs featuring marque specific archive footage including Triumph, Austin Healey, BMC, Mini and many more – to novelty motoring themed items.  If pictures are a more suitable gift then choose from thousands of British Motor Industry Heritage Trust archive photos using the online picture library – www.motorgraphs.com.  Available as a framed print, canvas or collage, you will find a wide variety of attractive historical images featuring famous marques  such as Austin Healey, Triumph, MG, Rover, Land Rover, Austin, Morris, Riley and Wolseley.  There are also attractive advertising posters and colourful scenic pictures from the 1950s to the 1980s.

To find out more about the British Motor Museum and gift ideas please visit www.shop.britishmotormuseum.co.uk. For more details on the Heritage Certificates including a full list and date range of cars that can be provided visit www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/archive/heritage-certificates.

Twitter @BMMuseum,  Facebook www.facebook.com/BritishMotorMuseum,  Instagram www.instagram.com/britishmotormuseum

Birmingham Botanical Gardens 

Love chocolate? – Visit Birmingham Botanical Gardens to find out all about its history, from the bitter Mayan drink to the sweet treat of today.  Engage your senses by experiencing the tropical environment where cocoa thrives, and tasting and smelling our different samples.  `Chocolate Fun` teaching sessions are available for educational groups during December 2019 only.  

Call 0121 450 5093 or see education@birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk for more information or to book an exciting and educational visit. Alternatively, see what else is on offer for your educational visit at www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk

Roves Farm, Swindon

Christmas Visits for Schools & Groups –  Bookings are now open for school and pre-school Christmas visits this December.  Visits include a Nativity play with real animals and a visit to Santa in is grotto, Christmassy paper crafts or music and activities in the Elves Workshop, as well as time to meet and feed the animals and make use of our extensive indoor play areas. *all paying children will receive a voucher for a free return visit, valid in January and February for term time weekdays, including after school*

See https://rovesfarm.co.uk/christmas-school-preschool-booking-form/

Beaulieu, Hampshire

Victorian Christmas –  Experience the atmosphere of Christmas celebrations in this role-play activity day based in Palace House.  Invited as guests by Henry, Lord Montagu, ‘meet’ some of the people who lived and worked here during the Victorian era. Discover something of their home, family, life and work.  Perform your own entertainment for Lord Henry.  Minimum number of children: 20.  Available late November and December 2019. (https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/groups/education/).

Travel back in time and visit the Victorian Montagu family home this festive season – Visit on 7 &8 December, 14 & 15 December and 21 December – 1 January* to see what the Montagu family members would have been doing during the festive season of 1889.

Sip a glass of warming mulled punch while you soak in the festive atmosphere of Palace House, with stunning decorations, welcoming log fires and a Christmas tree in each room – including a 20ft tree at the foot of the main staircase!

*Please note the Beaulieu attraction will be closed on Christmas Day.

Godstone Farm, Surrey

Godstone Farm is a fantastic place to spend time with family and friends.   They pride themselves on being interactive with an array of animals including llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, cows, pigs, horses, ponies, donkeys, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks and reptiles.   They have indoor soft play and outdoor play areas including a huge adventure playground, tractor rides, a dinosaur trail, tea room for hot and cold food, animal holding and more!

CHRISTMAS – Enjoy the magic of Christmas at Godstone Farm with Wiglet’s Christmas Adventure and a visit to Father Christmas!  This year Wiglet’s Christmas Adventure returns with all the usual farmyard fun and a truly festive visit to see Father Christmas.  Celebrate this wonderful time of the year and let the little ones wander through the magical tunnel with friendly elves and be guided to meet the man himself!  Watch small eyes light up as each child receives a marvellous present from the toyshop and then the adventures continue around the rest of the farm.  There will be interactive fun in Wiglet’s Workshop plus Christmas crafts and cookie decorating.  Visits to Father Christmas are strictly by timed tickets and bookable only in advance.  Availability is limited so book now via Godstone Farm’s  website to avoid disappointment!  Wiglet’s Christmas Adventure runs on selected dates, 23rd, 24th and 3oth November, 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December 2019.  Dusk visits (until 7.30pm) are available on selected dates.

SEN visits will also be running on the afternoon/evening of 11th December, please telephone 01883 742546 to book one of these slots.

Castell Henllys iron Age Village, Pembrokeshire

Naturally Creative Christmas   23 Nov 19 – Get festive, get creative and make something special and natural to decorate your home this Christmas including willow stars, wreaths and yule logs.  There will be storytelling and crafts in Santa’s Grotto to entertain the little ones. Adult- £8 – Includes entry to site and all workshop,  Concession- £7 -Includes entry to site and all workshops, Child – £3 Includes entry to site, Santa’s Grotto and a craft activity.

Bristol Zoo

20% discount on education sessions at Wild Place Project this winter! –  Join the Wild Place Project for an education session in November and December for only £7 per child!  The fun, hands-on learning sessions support the National Curriculum, deepen understanding of the natural world and encourage engagement with the diverse environment at Wild Place Project.  The sessions have a strong focus on learning activities in the great outdoors, and take place in close proximity to animal enclosures to provide a truly immersive experience that brings the topic to life.  Contact the bookings team on 0117 428 5602 or email info@wildplace.org.uk to book your session today! 

See Santa at Bristol Zoo Gardens this winter! –  Book an education session at Bristol Zoo Gardens between the 30th November – 23rd December and add on a trip to our Grotto for your group to meet Santa himself!  Be transported into a glittering winter wonderland, where your group will be guided by our elves through the magical grotto, marvel at the twinkling lights, take part in our Christmas arts & crafts and spend some quality one-to-one time with Santa!  For group prices and to book your group visit to the Grotto call 0117 428 5300. 

Noahs Ark, Zoo Farm,  Bristol

Christmas at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm –  Get that Christmassy feeling at the zoo with music, twinkly lights and nativities.  At Noah’s, they are hard at work creating magical scenes across the zoo, made completely from recyclable materials.  Building on the success of last year’s Green Christmas, they are going all out with our Green efforts to show that Christmas needn’t cost the Earth. 

Pop into Christmas Corner to meet the Reindeers,  drop by the Christmas hut for a warm drink or get involved with some free recycled crafty fun. The zoo will be decorated with elaborate recycled Christmas decorations made by talented staff members. Take part in an educational festive trail on your journey around the zoo and get a selfie with the artistic animals! There will be FREE reindeer feeding every Saturday from the 30th November until Saturday 21st December,  from 3pm-3:30pm in Christmas Corner. 

As Christmas approaches, we all think of loved ones.   According to Age UK, 1.7 million older people in England haven’t met up with a friend in a month,  so Noah’s thought they would give free entry to over 80’s throughout the whole of December.  Why not contact a friend and bring them to the Zoo this Christmas.    **EDUCATIONAL VISITS UK THUMBS UP GUYS**

Special Christmas Performance Saturdays:- Saturday 30th November – Sixth Portishead Brownies will be performing carols and poems at 1:30pm in the Ark Arena. 

Saturday 7th December – Christmas Classics with the Salvation Army Band at 12:45pm in Christmas Corner and Carols and Festive Music with Cadbury Wind Band at 1:30pm.

Saturday 14th December – The Hawthorne Trio will be continuing the festivities with more Christmas Carols. 

Saturday 21st December – For the final Saturday before Christmas, we are putting on a DIY Nativity and inviting our visitors to get involved. There’s no need to rehearse! We provide the story, the costumes, the songs and the animals!

 Winter Wildlife Walk Trail – Take part in the green Christmas recycled animal trail this winter.  Explore the zoo and discover varied animal scenes that have been created using unwanted recycled items such as plastic bags and old materials.

History and Mystery of Christmas trail – Come and learn all about the Christmas story by being in the story yourself!  Get involved with  interactive pictorial boards alongside the story and become a Shepherd or an Angel yourself.

Christmas lights around the Zoo – Winter is a notoriously cold and dark time of year but don’t let this put you off a visit to the zoo.  The zoo will be illuminated with some magical lights.  Don’t worry they’re eco-friendly too, these LED bulbs are energy efficient.

For full times and dates, please see the website. 

Tudor World, Stratford

Back by popular demand! Hear Dickens’ story told in his own inimitable words on an hour-long lantern-lit journey through a haunted house! Meet Scrooge, Jacob Marley, the entire Cratchit family, Mr and Mrs Fezziwig and a whole host of memorable characters (not forgetting the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-To-Come) all brought magically to life by your genial ghost guide, Ebenezer Crouch.

Ebenezer’s Christmas Carol can be seen at Tudor World on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 6.00pm from December 11th until December 20th with another showing on Christmas Eve December 24th at 6pm and 7.30pm. Because of the spooky atmosphere of the place, and the content of the story it may not be suitable for children under 10 – and some stair-climbing will be necessary. There is a limit of 12 guests per show so it is advisable to book at Tudor World well in advance, especially if you are coming as a group or family. 

Price per person is a modest £7.50! Special family ticket price (2+2) is £25!

For further info contact Janet Ford or Paul Norton at Tudor World 01789 298070

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