Get ready for Christmas

Xmas, christmas, presents, winter, december


Christmas is just around the corner. To help you make sure that you are prepared and ready for the weeks ahead, here are a few tips to make this as stress-free a Christmas as possible. 

1. Childcare: many nurseries close over the Christmas period and childminders may not be around. Make sure to plan ahead. At Christmas time a lot of relatives may be around and one or two of them may be able to give you a hand. Other parents, particularly working parents who know what it’s like, might be willing to do you a favour if you return it at a later date. 

2. School events: it’s the dreaded time of year that all the schools organise their Christmas plays. Find out when the play is and what your child is going to be as early as you can. The earlier the better. This gives you time to create their costume and book a babysitter or book time off work [or ask if you can work from home that day so you lose less time commuting and can make it up later]. Make sure to keep costumes simple; don’t make it a competition with other parents. 

3. Remember Christmas is a time for you to rest too. So try and get all the Christmas preparations done early so you can enjoy it.

If you have time off with your family over Christmas, there are a host of events you can attend around the country. Here are our top picks:

Winter wonderland – free to enter, Hyde Park, London W2 2UH – featuring ice skating, a magical ice kingdom, circus, a giant wheel and many other rides and attractions. For more information:

Tatton Park, entry: £6, Cheshire. Meet the reindeer Prancer & Dancer, Watch Aunty Mary making Christmas decorations in her cottage and take one home to decorate, find the missing two reindeer on the Reindeer Trail, live music, festive food and drink, meet the farm animals including the donkeys, pigs & horses in the Nativity scene, Outdoor play trail and a den-building area. From Saturday 28 November 2015 to Sunday 20 December 2015. For more information, click here.

Princes Street Gardens Ice Rink – from £5, Edinburgh. For more information:

The Polar Express Tram Ride – Seaton Tramway, Riverside Depot, Harbour Road, Seaton, Devon. Listen to and sing along with all the songs, be served hot chocolate and cookies by the dancing chefs and meet Santa and his happy bunch of elves. Adults £19.95; Children (3-15) £15.95; under 3s FREE; 2+2 Family Ticket (including one child free) £55.85 when booked online. For more information

Shrewsbury Christmas Festival – The Quarry Park SY1 1R – ice skating rink, live music, free entertainment for the kids and festive story time. Tickets cost £5 for adults; £1.00 for children or £10 for a family ticket. Tickets give entry for ONE day only. Families will consist of 2 adults and up to 3 children aged 3-14 years old. Admission for children two and under is free. Saturday 12th December 2015, 10:00am until 5:00pm Sunday 13th December 2015, 10:00am until 5:00pm. For more information: 

The Falcon Manor, North Yorkshire, Wednesday, 16 December 2015 – 7:00pm, meet Father Christmas (children will receive a free gift) and enjoy winter tales and festive stories. Adults £7.00; Under 16s £5.00; Family (2 adults, 2 children); £20.00. For more information-

St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff, CF5 6XB. Tea Party With Father Christmas – £14.00 each child (this includes one adult). You have to book online. For more information, click here.

Mousehole Christmas lights Cornwall, free admission, December 12, 2015- January 2, 2016. The Christmas lights in Mousehole have floating displays of lights in the harbour and around the town. For more information-

Santa’s Grotto, Victoria Square, Belfast. Open Daily until Christmas Eve. For more information-

Cbeebies Christmas igloo, MediaCityUK, Manchester. Free to enter. Arts and crafts, storytelling and you can see some of the Cbeebies stars. For more information –

Family Christmas at Albert Dock, Liverpool. Free. Outdoor live music, street theatre and dance. See schedule online to see the wide range of entertainment – 

*By Chloe Smith


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