1.     Read a Christmas story together 

Get in the Christmas spirit with a Christmas story (or two!). Whether it’s the beginning of December or Christmas Eve, fantastic festive stories like A Christmas CarolThe Chronicles of Narnia or Christmas with the Savages will help you spread a little festive cheer and spend some quality time together. 

Read a Christmas story together

2.     Send some Christmas cards 

Send some season’s greetings to your friends and families - nothing says Christmas quite like an intergalactic Dr. Tenth card from the Whoniverse, or a Christmas wishes from a Christmas dinosaur.  Send to your nearest and dearest using our printable cards, just make sure you don’t miss the last post!

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3.     Watch a Christmas movie at home 

Nothing says Christmas like a good ol’ Christmas movie. Grab a hot chocolate and a sweet treat from a selection box and pick a spot on the sofa. Look out for the latest listings – there’s always some well-loved Puffin classics on like The SnowmanLittle Women or even some festive hi-jinks with Dr Who (if TV is more your thing!).

 Watch a Christmas movie at home

4.     Or at the cinema 

If you’d like to see something festive on the big screen, Picturehouse Cinemas have some fantastic screenings of The Nightmare before Christmas this December. They’re showing at 22 of their cinemas nationwide; perfect for a family pit stop after some Christmas shopping. 

Picturehouse Cinemas nationwide (various dates)

Or at the cinema

5.     Craft some Christmas decorations for your tree 

Get crafty and make some homemade decorations for your tree with a little help from some of our favourite characters. We’ve got tips, tricks and plenty of printables: make some comic-like baubles with Wimpy Kid, create some simple snowflakes to hang, or craft some Victorian-style Hetty Feather tree decorations to make your Christmas extra special.

Craft some Christmas decorations for your tree

6.     Bake some Christmassy food 

Nothing says Christmas like some brilliant bakes. So get your pinny on and flour those work surfaces, because it’s time to get messy! Make some delicious Chelsea buns, some fun Snowman cookies or some Christmas tree-shaped biscuits using our easy-to-follow recipes - just try not to eat them all at once! 

Bake some Christmassy food

7.     Celebrate a classic Christmas story

It wouldn’t be Christmas without The Snowman! And old and young fans will find there are lots of magical family events happening up and down the UK this season to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Raymond Brigg’s beloved character. From The Snowman live in concert to a reading by children’s author Michael Morpurgo, don’t miss fitting these fun outings into your calendar.

Backyard Cinema presents: The Snowman Experience – Hyde Park, London (22 November 201-6 January 2019)

The Snowman at the Royal Albert Hall – London (20 December 2018)

Extract reading by Michael Morpurgo and draw-along with Robin Shaw - Bath Pavilion, North Parade Road, Bath BA2 4EU (9 December 2018)

A walk with The Snowman – MediaCityUK, Salford (22 November 2018-6 January 2019)

festive things to do at christmas

8.     Talk murder mysteries with Robin Stevens

Fans of detective duo Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong can be the ones asking the questions this season. Robin Stevens, author of the Murder Most Unladylike series, will be appearing at the Kinross-shire Winter Festival to talk mysteries, what makes a top detective and how you can create your very own whodunit. Plus, Robin will also be signing books in a selection of Waterstones in northern England.

Kinross-shire Winter Festival, Loch Leven Community Library at 6pm (30 November 2018)

Waterstones Durham – 10am-12pm (1 December 2018)

Waterstones Carlisle – 3.30pm (1 December 2018)

Waterstones Harrogate – 10.30am (2 December 2018)

festive things to do at christmas

9.     Explore Peter Rabbit’s Christmas grotto    

Stop by the intu Trafford Centre and experience your very own Beatrix Potter Christmas adventure with Peter Rabbit and his friends. Hunt for Squirrel Nutkin’s golden acorns, decorate Christmas cookies with Jemima Puddleduck, watch out for the crafty Mr. Tod, and finally, meet Father Christmas and receive a beautiful gift.

intu Trafford Centre, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AA (14 November-24 December 2018)

festive things to do at christmas

10.     Build a snowman

If you’re lucky enough to get some snow over the Christmas period, make sure you take a trip outdoors to make a magical snowman together. Grab those mittens, pull on those wellies, wrap up warm and get building! Make sure you take a carrot for a nose and an extra scarf to keep your wintery creation nice and warm. Brrr! 

Build a snowman

11.     Or see one live on stage

Based on Raymond Brigg’s much-loved book and featuring the classic song Walking in the Air, this enchanting live show has thrilled audiences throughout the world since first appearing on stage over twenty years ago. Be a part of the magic as it goes to Sadler's Wells in London (22 November 2018-6 January 2019) and Birmingham Repertory Theatre (16-26 January 2019).

Or see one live on stage

12.     Join the Jolly Christmas Postman on his rounds at The Postal Museum

Little ones can channel their inner Jolly Postman at the Postal Museum’s play-space in London. Perfect for children aged eight and under, discover an immersive mini-town with streets, buildings, trolleys, pulleys and slides – it will keep mini-postmen happily occupied, as they sort through their Christmas post!

The Postal Museum, 5-20 Phoenix Pl, London WC1X 0DA

Join the Jolly Christmas Postman on his rounds at The Postal Museum

13.     Then watch Santa read the classic story

Snuggle up and watch Santa reading The Nightmare Before Christmas as he makes his Christmas deliveries at Seven Stories in Newcastle. The classic story follows Halloweenland’s leader Jack Skellington as he sets out to deliver his own version of Christmas to the world. Packed with song, activities and laughter, tots will love watching Santa. 

Seven Stories, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 2PQ  - 2pm-3pm (23 December 2018)

Then watch Santa read the classic story

14.     Hang up your stocking like Peter Rabbit  

On Christmas Eve, it’s time to hang stockings up, ready for Father Christmas.  Make like Peter, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail in Peter Rabbit: A Christmas Wish and spend some time choosing the perfect spot to hang them. As Mrs Rabbit says: “Father Christmas only comes when every little bunny is fast asleep!”.

Hang up your stocking like Peter Rabbit

15.     Celebrate Matilda at 30 – get tickets for Matilda the Musical!

Roald Dahl’s beloved bookworm Matilda recently turned 30 this October – and what better way to celebrate the mischievous rebel than by going to see Matilda the Musical! It’s a fun, tune-filled show that will have you hooked from start to end. If you’re not in London, don’t worry, the musical is going on tour!

Click here for all tour dates over the UK

festive things to do at christmas

16.     Make a Christmas Eve box  

Follow our step-by-step guide and make Christmas Eve extra special by handcrafting a box of treats for everyone to enjoy together. This favourite holiday tradition is a great way to get everyone excited for the big day, pack in some new PJs, a Christmas story and some homemade goodies to get everyone giggling with joy as you get ready for the next morning. 

Make a Christmas Eve box

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