Festive Fun in Kent During the Christmas Holidays

Are you wondering what to do in Kent over the Christmas break? As well as keeping the kids amused during the school holidays, it’s also time to give yourself a well-earned break after the stress of Christmas shopping and ensuring everything is in place for the big day. So here is our round-up of some of the best festive fun taking place across Kent this December:  

1) Christmas at Bedgebury

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and where better to see the tree-tops glisten than at the National Pinetum at Bedgebury. For the first time, Bedgebury will be transformed into a winter wonderland with a magical after-dark experience, allowing you to wander beneath the shimmering canopies and along the sparkling paths that wind their way through the forest. You won’t be disappointed by this festive adventure through the spectacular light trail for all the family to enjoy.

2) Groombridge Place Christmas Circus

Is there anything more magical than visiting the circus? The festive Big Top circus is free with admission to Groombridge Place and is open between 20-23rd and 27-30th December, with four thrilling Christmas themed performances each day. The whole family can share in a truly magical festive experience, surrounded by incredible acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, contortionists and of course some hilarious Christmas clowning around.

As entry to the circus is included in your gate price, why not make the most of it and spend the day at Groombridge Place, enjoying the Christmas stalls and listening to the carol singers spreading festive cheer.

3) Ice Rinks

If you fancy getting your skates on at one of the many pop-up ice rinks in Kent this winter, then look no further. It doesn’t matter whether you are a skating novice, or you could give Torvill and Dean a run for their money, there is something for everyone.

If you are headed to Bluewater for some last minute Christmas shopping, don’t forget to visit their outdoor ice rink with the kids, located undercover by the lakes at The Village. The ice rink is open until 6th January, so there is still plenty of time for you to enjoy a skate with the family. There are also sessions set aside for school visits, parties and baby and toddler mornings so they really have catered for all.

For another year running, Calverley Grounds has been transformed into the ultimate winter hotspot with the open-air ice rink in Tunbridge Wells, which is open until 1st January 2019. By day or night, visitors can skate in the beautiful surroundings of Calverley Grounds’ amphitheatre as well as visiting Father Christmas in his cosy log cabin located next to the ice rink.

Remember to wrap up warm and get your skates on down to Eastwell Manor this Christmas, as in the grounds of the luxurious hotel, families can enjoy a magical skating experience, which is open until 2nd January 2019.

The Port of Dover welcomes you to their biggest White Christmas Ice-travaganza with the return of the ice rink located at the Old Marine Station, as well as the traditional Christmas markets and Santa’s grotto.

4) Magical Medieval Christmas

Want to experience something so much more interactive than the traditional grotto? The Canterbury Tales is hosting a very special time travelling adventure for children this December. Father Christmas has been transported back in time to the Middle Ages and it’s up to you to save him and bring him back to 2018 in time for Christmas! The experience is only open on the 15th and 16th December so make sure you book your tickets to avoid missing out!

5) Santa Special Train Service

All aboard the 'Santa Special' for the most magical train journey through Kent. Santa Claus will be appearing at a number of railways and on steam trains across Kent this Christmas, but tickets are selling fast. 

How about a magical steam train journey to meet Santa and his elves on the Kent and East Sussex Railway this Christmas? The one hour and 10 minute return journey promises to be a truly magical experience, with free rides on the beautiful Victoria carousel at Tenterden Station and elf helpers passing by the carriages with sacks of presents.

The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway will be running festive trains across the Christmas holidays, with Rudolph’s Romney Return, Dasher’s Dungeness Diners and Elf’s End of The Line services to choose from.

Christmas at the Spa Valley Railway starts at Eridge Station where visitors arrive to the smell of roasting chestnuts and a warming fire to get you into the festive spirit whilst you await the festive steam train. Face painters will be on hand to decorate those rosy cheeks and ensure you look your best to meet Santa once onboard the train.

6) Rare Breeds Centre

Combine farmyard fun with a magical adventure at the Rare Breeds Centre for another season of festive fun. A family Christmas isn’t complete without a visit to see some of the centre’s loveable animals to leave you feeling festive. The elves will welcome you into the magical grotto and along with Santa and the ‘naughty snowman’, you will experience 40 minutes of fun and entertainment. 

Nothing says Christmas like the opening of Kent’s best Christmas markets and of course all the magical Santa’s grottos dotted around the county, so don't forget to head over to more of our Christmas blogs for plenty of festive inspiration this December.

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