1. Winter Wonderland

There’s a magical atmosphere in Nottingham’s Old Market Square, and plenty to keep children entertained for a great day out. Browse the quaint market stalls to take in the festive sights, sounds and scents or warm up with a non-alcoholic mulled cider, hot Vimto or tasty hot chocolate. Glide around on the outdoor skating rink, have a spin on the traditional carousel, whizz down King’s Street on the toboggan slide and more. Winter Wonderland runs until 31 December 2019. 


2. Newstead AbbeyNewstead Abbey

The grand Newstead Abbey looks especially majestic at Christmas decked out with twinkling lights, pretty trees and seasonal floral arrangements; this year it's extra enchanting, with rooms in Lord Byron’s ancestral home decorated with a special storybook theme. The expansive grounds are worth a visit in themselves, with winding paths, stepping stones and secret hideouts to explore in the Japanese Gardens. Follow the trail of stars, keeping an eye out for the special red star to claim your prize on the Stars trail, available until 31st December. For Christmas opening times, please click here.

 


3. Red Reding Hood at Lakeside Arts

Treat the kids to an afternoon at the theatre with a trip to Lakeside Arts’ delightful production of Red Riding Hood, an imaginative retelling of the classic fairy-tale. The charming show is packed full of silly jokes and catchy songs, and with a one hour running time, it’s perfect for younger audiences.  Tickets start at just £8.50, making it a great value day out. The show runs until Sun 30 December. For more information, please click here, or read our review here.


4. Panto

A trip to the panto is always a highlight of the festive season, and in Nottingham you’re spoilt for choice of brilliant productions to get your festive fix of slapstick and all-round silliness. Set sail on a swashbuckling adventure with Peter Pan, boo, hiss and cheer to your heart's content at  Robin Hood & The Babes In The Wood, or take a trip to the gorgeous Thoresby Park on 30th December for an afternoon of fun and laughter with their Sleeping Beauty Pantomime.  


5. Creswell Crags Creswel Cragsl

Walk in the footsteps of ice age man with a wander around the ancient limestone gorge of Creswell Crags. The scenic central lake is great for a stroll, surrounded by high rugged cliffs full of fissures and caves. A 30 minute walk will take you through the crags and around the lake, where you can admire an array of flora and fauna as you go. There's much more to this unique attraction than its natural splendour; the visitor centre and museum is a real hive of activity, with exceptionally informative exhibitions explaining the history of the Ice Age. Explore deeper with an Ice Age cave tour of the largest cave on site, or book onto the Rock Art Tour for the chance to see Britain's only known Ice Age Rock Art. Open Weekends and Bank Holidays 10.00am - 4.30pm, excluding Christmas Day. 
 


6. Wollaton Hall and Deer Park

Set in five hundred acres of spectacular gardens and parkland, Elizabethan mansion Wollaton Hall is great for a wintery wander in the grounds. Batman fans might recognise the historic hall as the setting for Wayne Manor in the 2012 film, The Dark Knight Rises, and though there may not be any bats, there’s plenty of critters to discover in the Natural History Museum at Wollaton Hall, from birds, bugs and beetles to a gorilla and giraffe. For Christmas opening times, please click here.


7. Sherwood Forest

Immerse yourself in the world of Robin Hood with a visit to the legendary Sherwood Forest. Start the day at the brand-new visitor centre, full of ideas and inspiration for your visit, with trail guides and information about our elusive outlaw, or let the children explore our exciting Robin Hood play area before you begin your forest adventure. The visitor centre is open daily 11am - 3pm, excluding Christmas Day.


8. Green's Windmill & Science Park Green's Windmill

This fantastic, historic site in Nottingham is not just a picturesque mill on a hill – it also boasts a brilliant science centre detailing the life and works of local mathematical genius George Green, full of educational, hands-on experiments which explore electricity, magnetism and light. On Thursday 3 January children can enjoy learning how to bake delicious bread using flour stoneground in the mill, with workshops running throughout the day. For Christmas opening times, please click here.
 


9. Nottingham Contemporary

One of the largest galleries of contemporary art in the UK, Nottingham Contemporary hosts regular changing exhibitions of international art, alongside a diverse programme of events, including talks, film screenings, music and performances. Free drop-in family activities take place every weekend and throughout school holidays. This Christmas kids can get stuck in making prints using natural materials to create a giant landscape of patterned people to fill their enormous activity room. Available Saturday 29 - Sunday 30 December and Wednesday 2  – Sun 6 January, 11am–3pm.  


10. Escapologic

Gather your tribe together and put your skills to the test at the brilliant Escapologic. Their imaginative and immaculately staged escape rooms are great for bringing together the family - or a gang of mates - working as a team to find the clues, solve the puzzles and make good your escape. Recommended for ages 12 and above. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years day, with reduced opening hours on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.  


11. National Ice Centre National Ice centre

Glide into the exciting world of ice skating at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham. Children under the age of 5 can skate for free in a dedicated Tots Zone to help them grow confidence on the ice at their own pace, with cute ice equipment characters available if they need a little support. Choose from a variety of fun sessions throughout week including family skate and club sessions in the evenings where the lights are turned low and the music up high - great for teenagers. 


 


12. Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre

Encounter the exotic and discover a wild family day out. Meet lemurs, meerkats, owls and a host of other amazing animals. Explore the indoor rainforest; home to butterflies, birds, bats, crocodiles and creepy-crawlies from around the world and meet and feed the friendly residents of the Farm Barn. Open daily, excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day.


13. Rufford Abbey

Rufford Abbey is a great place to get some fresh air and walk off some of those extra mince pies. Admission is free, with just a small charge of £3.50 for parking, making it a great value day out. Explore what remains of the 12 century Monastery, take a stroll round the lake or let loose on the adventure playground. Open every day except Christmas Day.


14. The Lost City Adventure Golf 

If the weather outside is frightful head to Lost City for an indoor tropical rainforest experience at this incredible state-of-the-art adventure golf complex, full of interactive features and surprises. 


15. i-Jump Trampoline Park

If the kids are bouncing off the walls at home, take them somewhere that they can really let loose! With over 55 interconnected trampolines, cargo nets to scale, monkey bars to swing on and battle beams to unleash their inner gladiator, they’re guaranteed a rip-roaring adventure. Open 10am – 4pm Christmas Eve, 10am – 8pm between 27 – 29, 10am – 6pm on the 30th and 10am – 4pm 31 December and 1 January. 


Please note: whilst every effort has been made to ensure Christmas opening times are correct where provided, we would advise checking with individual attractions before your visit, especially on bank holidays.  

This blog was written by Claire Jones, Marketing Assistant at Visit Nottinghamshire. 

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