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 is open daily until 31 December 2019. Please note that the market stalls and some attractions (not including the ice rink) will be removed on December 26th.


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 5th January. 

Newstead Abbey is open daily from 10am—4pm, with the last admission at 3pm. It is closed on Christmas Day, with reduced openin hours of 11am-4pm on 24th (Christmas Eve) and 26th (Boxing Day) of December and 1st January (New Years Day).  


3. The Snow Dragon at Lakeside Arts

Treat the kids to a memorable afternoon at the theatre with a trip to Lakeside Arts’ delightful production of The Snow Dragon. The charming show from Tall Stories, who's previous shows include The Gruffalo and The Snail and the Whale, is packed full of silly jokes and catchy songs. With a one hour running time, it’s perfect for younger audiences aged 3 and up. The show runs until Tuesday 31 December, please click here for more information about performance times. 


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. Have a ball at the godmother of all pantomimes, Cinderella, boo, hiss, laugh and cheer to your heart's content at Sleeping Beauty or take a trip to the gorgeous Thoresby Park on Sunday 29th December for an afternoon of fun and laughter at Aladdin


5. Thoresby Park

The extensive grounds of Thoresby Park cover over 1000 acres of rich unspoilt English countryside, with a range of facilities and attractions open to the public all year round. Admission is free and there's plenty of free car parking, making it a great value day out. Until the 29 December you can take part in their fun 12 Doors of Christmas trail around the grounds hunting for clues to complete the traditional poem and learn some interesting things about the estate. 

Thoresby Park is Closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, they are open Boxing Day and New Year’s Day 10am – 2pm.


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 to blow away the cobwebs and get some fresh air. 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. Over the Christmas period you can enjoy a trail around the formal gardens, where the trees and bushes will be adorned with lights and decorations.

Wollaton Hall and Deer Park is closed on Christmas Day only and operates normal opening hours on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Years Day. 


7. Sherwood Forest

Immerse yourself in the world of Robin Hood with a visit to the legendary Sherwood Forest. Start the day at the 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 the exciting Robin Hood play area before you begin your forest adventure.

The visitor centre is open daily 10am - 4.30pm, and is closed on Christmas Day only.


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.

Greens windmill is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. 


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. As well as exploring their exciting Bauhaus exhibition, you can also enjot free drop-in family activities every weekend and throughout school holidays. This Christmas kids can get stuck in creating buildings that explore colour with light. Available Saturday 21 - Sunday 5 January, 11am–5pm.  

Nottingham Contemporary is closed between 23 – 27 December and 30 December – 1 January.


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.

Escapologic is 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. 

The National Ice Centre is closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. 


12. 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. 

The gorge is a public bridleway and so is open to walk around all year, however please note that midweek in December and January the carpark and Visitor's centre are closed, with no facilities provided. Parking is avilable in Creswell Village. The visitors centre, museum and cafe are open on weekends and bank holidays, 10.00am - 4.30pm, and are closed Christmas Eve and Christmas 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.

Rufford Abbey is closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and New Years 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. 

Lost City Adventure Golf is closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. 


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.

Reduced hours on Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and New Years Day. Closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. 


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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