Ding dong the bells are ringing… it really isn’t very long until Christmas now peeps 🙂
We love all the festive excitment and build up over here at Country Mummy so we have put together a list for you sharing of some of the best Christmas events happening this year in the South West.
Take a look at our selection and plan your day out to create some super festive memories.
Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Bruton
Festive Family Saturday and Christmas Market – Saturday 5th December
As the festive season approaches, Hauser & Wirth Somerset welcomes adults and children into the gallery for a very special family Saturday event.
Join in making a collection of festive bird feeders to adorn the gallery Christmas tree, in collaboration with World Soil Day and forthcoming exhibition, ‘Soil Culture: Young Shoots’. Children and their families will learn how to use moulds to create Christmas themed decorations as well as other holiday inspired activities.
In addition to the Family Saturday, Hauser & Wirth Somerset will host The Anonymous Travelling Market, celebrating regional produce and quality craftmanship across the South West. The market will feature a diverse collection of unique products and creative Christmas gifts from a wide range of independent stallholders, including West Dorset’s Chesil Smokery, Matt Waite Pottery, John Julian’s handcrafted kitchenware and Plum Duff & Stuff’s traditional Christmas puddings and marmalade, amongst many others.
In addition to the Roth Bar & Grill’s December menu, the restaurant will be serving hot celeriac and chestnut soup on the terrace along with warm mulled wine and spiced Somerset cider. St Mary’s church choir will be joining them throughout the afternoon with carol singing at 12.30 pm and 1 pm.
The Family Saturday activities will take place between 10 am – 3 pm.
This is a free drop-in event, however advanced booking is recommended. To book a place please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 1749 81 4060.
The Christmas Market will also run until 3 pm.
Pay a visit to the Rotary Reindeer Parade 2015 🙂
The 2015 parade takes place on Sunday 6th December. The programme of events starts at 10.50am and continues until 2.30pm. The actual parade of the reindeer starts in the market place at 12.00 noon but there are plenty of other things going on for all the family to enjoy through the day.
Also in Wells, the Best Western Plus Swan Hotel in Sadler Street is the place to celebrate the season of cold feet and good cheer. On Sunday 6th December 2015, the hotel will be filled with twinkling Christmas trees, magical sparkle and its very own Winter Wonderland. A visit to the Swan Hotel is not to be missed as Santa has set aside time to be in his grotto from 11.00 – 3.00pm. Tickets are £5. Children will receive a present from Santa while adults can enjoy mulled wine, burgers and other refreshments.
Nothe Fort, Weymouth
Victorian Christmas Craft & Food Fayre: Sunday 6th December 2015 from 11.am to 4.30pm
Calling all Santa’s little helpers, young angels, reindeer keepers and old humbugs to the Christmas event of traditional festive fun.
Father Christmas will be there in his Grotto deep in the Fort basement. There will also be a Reindeer Hunt to keep the children occupied while the adults have a chance to visit the many craft stalls and explore the Fort itself.
Activities on offer include: • Rudolf’s Treasure Hunt • Santa’s Grotto • Christmas Craft Workshops • Face Painting • Local Craft & Seasonal Stalls selling all kinds of interesting products.
The restaurant will be open for seasonal festive treats and don’t forget to look in the Fort shop for some special Christmas gifts.
Normal entry charges apply (under 5’s FREE & children only £1 – what super value!).
Immerse yourself in all things festive at Hestercombe this Christmas with a packed programme of events including ice skating, shopping, theatre and a festive walk of lights.
Ensure you don’t leave your shopping until the last minute with the Hestercombe Christmas Market (Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd November) offering more than 60 inspiring stalls with beautiful Christmas gifts, delicious treats and hand-crafted treasures. With something for everyone you’ll have your presents wrapped up in no time.
The Hestercombe covered ice-rink will transport you into a magical winter-wonderland as you spin across its glassy surface in a stunning Christmas marquee. Whether you take your friends, family, or your colleagues Festive Skating (from December 5th), you’ll enjoy every minute.
Father Christmas at Hestercombe (12th – 25th December) means you can meet the man himself and step into Santa’s grotto as he keeps warm in front of a roaring fire. Tell him your Christmas wishes, and he’ll make sure you receive a special early Christmas gift, before he dashes off to deliver the rest of his presents in time for the big day.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without watching A Christmas Carol (12th & 13th December) and Folksy Theatre brings this Dickens classic to life in a brand new adaptation which the whole family can enjoy. Other Christmas traditions are celebrated in Hestercombe’s very own Christmas Traditions Trail (from 5th December) which includes carols, crackers, mince pies and mistletoe. Follow our festive trail and discover the stories behind some of our oldest Christmas traditions. Enjoy a winter warmer in the cafe while you write your wish list or thank you letter to Father Christmas and drop it in the post box to get to the North Pole.
The Hestercombe Winter Walk of Lights (from Saturday 5th December) takes in the Victorian Shrubbery after dark. With beautiful coloured up-lit trees and shrubs you’ll see a new side of the garden, illuminating and beautiful, which will ensure you’re filled with warmth and Christmas cheer this festive season.
For Hestercombe’s full Christmas programme, prices and booking, visit www.hestercombe.com
The Helicopter Museum, Weston-Super-Mare
The staff and volunteers of The Helicopter Museum are busy preparing their Helipad for a very special VIP visitor this coming month.
Santa Claus himself will be flying down from the North Pole with a couple of his elves on Sunday 13th December to host a special Charity Fundraising KIDS GO FREE event at the museum.
“We are really looking forward to hosting Santa on the day and we have built an extra special Heli-grotto in which he can meet all the visiting children, As part of the day’s activities there will be Christmas Carols performed live in the aircraft hangar by The Berrow Music Group, a winter weather helicopter flight simulator complete with snow blizzard, several charity stalls and a large walk through Winter Wonderland display including heli-penguins and Santa’s iconic sleigh”
Santa is due to land at the heliport at 11am on the day (dependant on weather both there and at the North Pole) and the museum opens at 10am. All visiting children to the museum will receive free admission on the day and there will be a host of family themed things to do including a Christmas quiz trail, Open Cockpits, a birds of prey display and children’s games.
The Helicopter Museum is a registered charity and houses the World’s largest collection of helicopters including the current World Speed Record Holder and 2 aircraft of The Queen’s Royal Flight.
Crealey Great Adventure Park, Devon
Join Santa in his warm, cosy grotto for Santa’s Interactive Story Time and hear magical tales of his festive adventures. Find out how he gets ready for the big day, reading all the special letters and working out who has been naughty or nice! Get the chance to meet Santa himself and receive a free gift to take home.
At the weekends the whole of the park will be open – however some water rides may be closed depending on the weather.
Santa, Rudolph and his helpers will be appearing at Devon’s Crealy Great Adventure Park at 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30am, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on the dates below and on Saturday 5th December, Sunday 6th December, Saturday 12th December, Sunday 13th December, Saturday 19th December, Sunday 20th December and 21st, 22nd and 23rd December.
The Big Sheep, Devon
The BIG Sheep, in Bideford is set to wow visitors this Christmas with their stunning Woolly’s Winter Wonderland which opens on Saturday 5th December and remains open every weekend in December until 19th December when it opens every day until Christmas Eve.
Woolly’s flock of elves will be beavering away day and night and won’t stop in their efforts to bring visitors to this award winning attraction a truly magical Christmas experience.
The elves have been sprinkling glitter and spreading their dreamlike charm in readiness for the grand opening. Children to Woolly’s Wonderland will first take a walk through Santa enchanted forest in search of snowmen, reindeer and sheep before they catch a glimpse of Santa’s welcoming log cabin where he will be waiting along with his elves to distribute the magic of Christmas. Presents will be given to all the children who’ve been good – and remember that Santa knows who has been naughty and who has been nice!
A unique and magical Christmas light display which will set the scene for the festive season and visitors will be amazed as thousands of magical lights illuminate in tune to popular festive tunes. The Christmas display which was designed in the USA combines 20 kilometres of cable and thousands of lights which will be linked to a computer generated display and will synchronise with some great Christmas songs.
As well as Woolly’s Winter Wonderland the popular ‘Breakfasts with Santa’ will take place on Sunday 20th and Monday 20th December, but do book in advance as these popular festive breakfasts have limited spaces.
Breakfast with Santa is priced from £10.00 per person which includes a hot breakfast and an exclusive meeting with Santa between 8:30am and 10am before a full day out at the BIG Sheep from 10am until 5pm. Each child will receive a gift in a festive sock from Santa, and “I’ve met Santa” certificate plus a Christmas helium balloon to take home. An optional professional family picture will be taken and posted to the BIG Sheep’s facebook page to share the perfect family picture with friends and family.
Santa is a busy man preparing for Christmas Day so spaces are limited. This event is expected to sell out fast.
Little ones can also enjoy some pre-festive fun at the Toddler Take Over Christmas Special on Thursday 10th December.
Every parent and grandparent knows just how much energy a young toddler can burn up, leaving you feeling exhausted at the end of a day. So if you want your toddler to enjoy something stimulating, imaginative and energetic go along to the Toddler Takeover Day!
Pre Book Online for Discounted Tickets
Toddlers – £5 each (£6 each on the door)
Toddlers under the height of 3ft will be given a Little Shepherds Card which entitles them to Free entry on future visits when under 3ft.
Adults – £5 each – a special discounted rate for our Toddler Takeover Days when pre-booked.
For all your festive fun this year you won’t be disappointed with a visit to the BIG Sheep
Wookey Hole, Somerset 21st November – 24th December
Be sure to book your day out at Santaland at Wookey Hole this year for a jam packed day to really treat the whole family! With so much going on you will be totally spoiled.
Where to begin, with over 20 attractions included in your visit. As well as a fantastic Santa’s Grotto with a wrapped present for each child, do not miss the superb Christmas Circus show and new for 2015 experience the cave illuminations with over 100,000 festive lights! Plus a 4D sleigh ride festive adventure! You can also meet real reindeer and take the new cave tour to spot the festive characters. A great festive day out for all the family!
To book tickets and reserve your visit with Santa visit
The Eden Project, Cornwall
A blizzard of festive fun at the Eden Project this Christmas!
An enchanting encounter with Father Christmas, a memorable journey through a festive rainforest sprinkled with snow and a sparkling ice rink are among the treats in store for Eden Project visitors this Christmas.
From November 28th, Eden is joining up with renowned Cornish theatre company WildWorks to create the magical and unique Enchanted Rainforest experience. Eden’s Rainforest Biome will be transformed into a festive wonderland, celebrating Christmas through live performance, music and unexpected moments of loveliness.
The Enchanted Rainforest is the scene for the Yule-tide Ark-ive where a band of intrepid time travellers from a museum of the future have made a journey back in time to Eden to try to rediscover the true spirit of Christmas. The Yule-tide Ark-ive will take place from 4pm on specific dates between November 28 and January 4. The Rainforest Biome will close for one hour before each performance.
Beyond the Biomes, inside a cosy dome tent, Father Christmas and his elves have set up camp and are keen to meet visitors. Father Christmas needs help finding the essential ingredients for his reindeer cubes. All the instructions will be in a special letter upon arrival – with a map guiding visitors to the reindeer, as well as around the gardens and Biomes.
Children can meet Father Christmas and the elves, who are running things like clockwork, getting ready for the big day.
Everyone is welcome to explore the delightful tent before settling down for a story beside the open fire, and then each child can enjoy a special moment with the man in red. There are also relaxed performances available, which are designed to welcome audience members who may benefit from a more informal experience, such as those with autism and sensory or communication needs.
Eden’s ice rink is open throughout winter until February 28. There is also an ice rink café to grab a hot drink or snack and watch from the side-lines.
Father Christmas shows are hourly and approximately 45 minutes long and cost £5 per child (aged 1 and over) and £3 per adult. They run from November 28 until Christmas Eve.
The West Somerset Railway
The West Somerset Railway runs a mixture of Santa Express (with Santa and his helpers travelling on the steam train) and Santa Specials (a steam train trip to see Santa in a station grotto) each year and in 2015 the dates of operation are November 29th and December 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th from Bishops Lydeard ( 4 miles from Taunton) and on the 19th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th from Minehead.
Adult passengers are served a mince pie and a sherry (or non-alcoholic alternative) on the outward journey and of course Santa will have a present ready in his sack for all the children travelling, geared to their age and gender. The trains are made up of steam heated 1950’s carriages and there is a licensed buffet car.
Advanced booking is very strongly advised, especially for the dates closest to Christmas.
Paignton Zoo, Devon
Christmas at Paignton Zoo runs from 12th – 24th December. Meet Santa and his Festive Friends! Go on a festive adventure this Christmas at Paignton Zoo, meet Santa in his grotto and receive a great present, then ride the Jungle Polar Express and make sure you spot all Santa’s friends to a special Christmas goody bag.
You can meet Santa on the following dates in December Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th, Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th, Monday 21st, Tuesday 22nd & Wednesday 23rd and the morning of Thursday 24th December.
Booking is essential. Visit http://www.paigntonzoo.org.uk/ for information on booking.
Bath Christmas Markets, Somerset
Set in the picturesque streets surrounding Bath Abbey there couldn’t be a more perfect, magical setting for a Christmas Market.
Opening times for the 2015 Bath Christmas Market are:
- Monday to Wednesday – 10am to 7pm
- Thursday, Friday and Saturday – 10am to 8:30pm
- Sunday – 10am to 6pm
Months have been spent carefully hand picking this year’s selection of stallholders, so you can look forward to finding a wonderful variety of handmade and locally sourced gifts. To keep stallholder offer fresh and exciting, 25% will be new to the market this year. 82% of the stallholders will be from Bath or the surrounding region and 76% of these stallholder’s products will be handmade.
Bath Christmas Market is complemented by a full programme of entertainment including carol singers, children’s entertainers and musicians that all add to the fantastic festive ambience.
There’s so much to see and do outside of the Bath Christmas Market. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the magic of Bath at Christmas with a visit to other events and attractions in the city over the festive period.
Bath on Ice returns with the open air ice rink at Victoria Park. New for this year is a glow in the dark mini golf course right next to the rink, another excuse to get competitive with family and friends!
Take a break from your shopping in the new Christmas Lodge on Stall Street, which will be offering delicious festive food and drink. Or, head to one of the coolest places in Bath this Christmas, the pop-up Après Ski Bar – a little slice of the Alps, perfect for steamy mulled wine and hearty warming cuisine.
What could make Christmas more magical than an encounter with Father Christmas? Visit him in his wonderful Christmas Grotto in SouthGate this year.
The Garden Group Garden Centres, Somerset & Dorset
As well as the breath-taking Christmas displays that you will find at all of The Garden Group centres, you will find lots of other treats in store as well.
Brimsmore Gardens in Yeovil – Every Friday before Christmas in December there will be a festive story time at 4pm. Join Mary by the Christmas displays for a Christmas story and a free hot chocolate. From November there will be a Gingerbread Treasure Hunt, where you will find all you need to make a gingerbread and receive a free gingerbread cutter and recipe. Oasis wreath workshops take place on Thursday 3rd and Thursday 10th December 2pm – 4pm.
Poundbury Gardens, Dorchester – They are also running Festive storytime every Friday at 4pm before Christmas in December.
Castle Gardens, Sherborne – As well as the other two Garden Group Centres there is an opportunity to visit Father Christmas in his Grotto. Please check the website for times and dates for each centre.
Brewery Square, Dorchester
Christmas Ilumination/lights switch on – 28.11.15 from 5pm
Christmas is fast approaching and the Brewery Square Christmas Illumination / Light switch on is happening on Saturday 28th November this year. The Anonymous Travelling Market have been confirmed for the event and will be open from 5pm. We also have live music in the Square with a line up of other exciting events and Skating in The Square.
The lights switch on will take place at 5:30pm however it’s highly recommended you should start arriving prior to the event to make sure you’re guaranteed a good view, so why not coincide it with a bit of Christmas shopping!
Skating in the square – 28.11.15
Skating in the Square is back for another year & open from 28th November at Midday until the end of December.
There will be a hot drink stall selling teas, hot chocolate, coffees, mince pies and ginger bread men for the whole of Christmas.
Why not make a day of it and treat the family to dinner at one of the fabulous restaurants and even a trip to the Oden Cinema to see one of the latest family blockbusters.
The Brewery Square Ice Queen afternoon – O5.12.15
This is a great event that the kids will love. Ice Queen characters will be in the Square so take the children for a meet and greet and remember to your camera. There will be an arts and crafts tent for the kids too.
Opening times are 2pm until 6pm. Prices are £2 per child per entry into the crafts tent.
The Brewery Square Mince Pie and Music event – 19.12.15 from 12pm
The Sweet Hut will be serving tables from 12pm until 3pm accompanied by live music from The Two Fat Santa’s from 12pm. Get down to Brewery Square and get in the Christmas spirit!
The Brewery Square Christmas Eve Event – – 24.12.15 from 12pm
Get down to Brewery Square to hear some beautiful Christmas Carols, visit the shops, take part in Skating In The Square and meet Santa.
Our Pick Of Local National Trust Festive Events
Barrington Court – 5th & 6th December, 12th & 13th December, 19th & 20th December.
Jolly Mid Winter Merriment with Music, dance, story telling, games and activities for all. The court house will be wonderfully decorated and brimming with festive atmosphere with lots to see and do. Join in with a dance, listen to a choir singing, play a game in the library, or maybe decorate some edible Christmas tree decorations.
There is also a chance to have a few minutes with Father Christmas all to yourself, and enjoy the beautifully decorated court house. This is a very special opportunity to personally meet Father Christmas in his cosy den in the court house at Barrington, and he will have a quality gift for each child that books in to see him. Catch him while you can he will be in residence during three weekends in December from 12pm until 3pm. Booking in essential. Tickets cost £9.00. Call 01935 823289.
Montacute House, Yeovil
Lantern of Light Weekends.
See the house and gardens in a new light, with the ‘lantern of light’ from Saturday 28 November to Sunday 3 January, 11am until 7pm. The house and garden will come alive with light. Watch as Montacute begins to transform as night falls, lights will gradually be turned
House opens at 12pm, closes at 2pm. Re-opens at 3pm until 7pm.Please note last entry into the house at 6.30pm.
The Courtyard Cafe will be full of light and seasonal fare. The café will be serving a variety of festive dishes, which can be eaten inside or out, or why not takeaway and enjoy whilst you explore the garden.
The shop will be open for those special gifts, and tempting foody treats for your Christmas tables. There is something for everyone, whether you are looking for presents for him, her or maybe something special for yourself.
Knightshayes by Night
See the house and gardens after dark, decorated for traditional Victorian Christmas. Discover some of stories behind the best loved festive traditions, with each room telling a different story, from crackers to mistletoe. Drop in and see Father Christmas, and enjoy some delicious feasting meals – perfect for the whole family to enjoy.
Meet Father Christmas at Knightshayes
No Christmas is complete without a visit to Knightshayes to see Father Christmas and do some craft with one of his elves in his busy workshop. See the house decorated for a traditional Victorian Christmas, enjoy a Christmas story, stretch your legs with a winter walk and warm yourself up after in the Stables Café.
Call 0844 249 1895 for booking.
Join the Gibbs family from 28 Nov to 3 Jan and step back in time to a very Victorian Christmas.
Experience what life was like for the Gibbs family and their servants as they prepare for, and enjoy, the festive period. Peek into their lives, help the servants prepare the house and hear them talk of a mysterious chap from Baker Street, who is visiting this Christmas.
During some of the evenings you will be able to see the house aglow and peek through the windows to see the family waltz the night away. See gentleman playing billiards, ladies escaping the hullaballoo, and the servants busy scurrying around, making sure everything is just right at the social event of the year.
Evening visitors will also hear the sound of carols spilling from the chapel with a programme of seven different choirs performing throughout December.
The family will also be joined by Victorian super sleuth Sherlock Holmes for ‘The Adventure of the Tyntesfield Carbuncle’. Visitors will be able join the famous detective in solving the mystery alongside the Gibbs family on Fri 11, Sat 12, Fri 18 and Sat 20 Dec from 5-8pm. This is inspired by the forthcoming BBC Sherlock Special, which was filmed at Tyntesfield and which will air on 1 Jan 2016.
You can also join them for a winter star gazing party, visit the Festive food and craft market, and have an indulgent Victorian Christmas feast. Beat the crowds for some late night opening in the shop to stock up on sparkling decorations and local gifts and also take part in the winter trail for all those young Victorian super sleuths.
For more details see here: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfieldchristmas
Castle Drogo, Devon
Every day from Tuesday 1-Wednesday 23 December there will be something new to see or do at Castle Drogo to get you in the festive spirit. Father Christmas will be making a very special visit on Saturday and Sunday 12, 13, 19 & 20 December (11am-4pm, £2) and there is a festive Christmas lunch every day from Tuesday 15 to Thursday 17 December (booking essential on 01647 433306.)
We hope that you enjoy planning your Christmas days out, and don’t forget to look on our special offers page with lots of great deals saving you extra pennies this Christmas 🙂