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Christmas fun for the family

From Christmas cooking for the kids to a Christmas murder mystery as well as an 'Adults only' panto, here's 22 fabulously festive things to do which will keep everyone in the family happy.

The Great Burleighs Express, 13 Dec

Jump onboard  for a feasting and drinking experience with a difference. Enjoy a unique fine dining and gin experience aboard a luxury steam train. There will also be entertainment in the form of a live jazz band as well as cocktails and canapes. Tickets £115.

Burleighs Gin

Candlelit Carolling, 1620s House & Garden at Donington le Heath, 13 Dec

Sing your way around the ancient house in the atmospheric dark of the evening. After a warming mulled wine or juice in the old barn, tour the house and enjoy a few tunes on a lute and then, to finish, those that wish to can don costumes, pick up props and scripts and take part in a short, traditional Leicestershire mummers play. Tickets are £6 per person (including a glass of mulled wine or apple juice) call 01455 290429 between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. This early session runs from 5.00 pm – 6.30pm.

Donington Le Heath

Family Festivities, Barnsdale Gardens, Rutland 15 Dec

Put on your Christmas jumpers and join in with a family festive day of Christmas crafts, cupcake decorating, festive activities and a delicious afternoon tea (optional) for you and the children. If you do not fancy an afternoon tea then why don’t you just join in with the crafts.

Barnsdale Gardens

Santa’s Grotto, Rutland Gates Garden Centre, until 24 Dec

Christmas isn’t complete without a trip to see Santa and his Elves. Stroll through a magical winter wonderland before visiting Santa in his Grotto, where all good girls and boys will be invited to meet the Elves and choose a special Christmas gift £12.99 from 10am.

Garden Gates Centre

Christmas Criminals Hunt, Bosworth Heritage Centre, until 30 Dec

Bah humbug! Seasonal fiends have hidden Around our site & are trying to ruin our Celebrations. Help us find them all and Save Christmas! Your efforts will be rewarded! Suitable for children of ages up to 12 years. £2.00 per hunt

Bosworth Heritage Centre

Fafunia: Snowy Stories, Attenborough Arts Centre, Leices, 22 Dec

Spend time in the magical land of Fafunia – an interactive puppetry and storytelling experience where anything is possible. Explore a forest of fairies during Autumn, or come and play in a Winter wonderland of snowflakes and stars.

Attenborough Arts Centre

Wizard of Oz Ballet, Y Theatre, 14 Dec and Concordia Theatre Hinckley 15 Dec

Follow the yellow brick road and discover all the wonders of Oz. This two act, full-length, ballet adaptation of the iconic tale by L. Frank Baum, told through the magic of classical dance. Set to a classical score which brings the story to life, this production is family friendly and is the perfect way to introduce children to the classical ballet. Tickets from £12.

Y Theatre and Concordia Theatre Hinckley

Christmas Cake Pops Cake Toppers, Sat 21 Dec

Get in the festive spirit and create some fabulous Christmas cake pops. Your budding star baker will learn how to make some fun Christmas cake pops… it might get messy. £25 and includes all materials and drinks from 2-4pm.

The Bakewell Tart

Dick Whittington, Coalville, 14- 15 Dec

Dick Whittington features an array of great songs, stunning choreography, sparkly scenery and fabulous costumes. An original, laugh-a-minute script filled with audience participation, goodies, baddies and singing and dancing but on Sat 14th Dec at 7.30pm there is a special ‘Adults Only’ version – expect a raunchy and naughty evening starring the notorious West End Dame, Jade Justine. There will be festive cocktails and nibbles and more.

Century Theatre

Christmas Tea with Santa, Manor Farm from 18 Dec

Enjoy afternoon tea with Santa this Christmas plus a visit to Santa’s Grotto. Children will receive a small gift from Santa’s sack. Children £9, including hot and cold buffet tea* and a cup of squash. Adults £7, also including hot and cold buffet*. Mulled wine will be available to purchase at an additional cost.

Manor Farm 

Santa’s Grotto, Hinckley, 18 – 22 Dec

Santa is flying all the way in from Lapland with his little helpers – they are flying all the way to to their amazing magical Grotto at Britannia Centre. £2 entry per child with free admission to under 3’s. No booking necessary so please just come along.

Santa’s Grotto

Take Off That, Haymarket Theatre, 20 Dec

Live music from ‘Take Off That’ followed by a chance to dance the night away to music from Funktion Junction party band. Featuring a host of your favourite Take That tracks and songs to get you on your feet are packed into an evening of festive entertainment. Doors open at 7pm, music from 8pm.

Haymarket Theatre

Small Space Santa Special, National Space Centre, 20 Dec

Santa will be making a scheduled stop at the National Space Centre for a special Small Space day for all our youngest astronauts. A Santa Session ticket includes a visit to the Grotto and an age appropriate gift. There will be crafts activities, sing-a-long sessions, a tiny planetarium and the chance to dance and play in the snow. 

National Space Centre

FESTIVE: Winter Wonderlights Steam Train, Loughborough, 29 Nov – 30 Dec

For the very first time the vintage vestibule has been specially decorated to the tee in fantastic lights and transformed into a moving spectacle of light which will illuminate the surrounding countryside as you enjoy it in the warmth of your carriage. Tickets cost £19 for adults and £12 for kids.

Great Central Railway  

Christmas at Tropical Birdland, Desford, Leicestershire

Lots of festive fun. Grab a lantern and take a magical stroll down to Santa’s Grotto visiting all of his fairy friends along the way, visit the amazing Snow Queen (from £3) in her Ice Cave plus much, much more. £2 each under 2’s free. Visit Santa £10 per child pre booking essential. Book here.

Visit Conkers, Waterside Winter Wonderland

Wrap up warm and get ready for an elf adventure as you go through the Enchanted Forest and the Valley of Christmas Lights to discover Santa’s Woodland Grotto. Mulled wine and mine pies will be served as well as freshly baked cookies for the kids.You’ll get the chance to watch, meet real Reindeers and take part in some festive activities. (18th, 19th – Reindeer Rest Days – Elsa & Olaf will be at the Grotto instead!). Adult – £11.95, child – £13.95, family – £50.00.

Visit Conkers

Festive Tea, Cattows Farm

Dive into a deliciously decadent festive afternoon tea and enjoy a selection of seasonal sandwiches inc turkey and cranberry, smoked salmon and cream cheese, mature cheddar with Christmas chutney then choose from either a savoury or sweet option. Yum, I’m leaning towards the sweet – raspberry and red velvet mousse cake, chocolate orange cookie dough brownie, mini lemon meringue pie and more. All topped off with homemade mince pies served with a rich Irish liqueur cream. Mon-Sat from 2:30pm Sunday from 3pm. £18 per person.

Cattows Farm

Comedy Night, Lyric Rooms, Ashy de la Zouch, 23 Dec

Ring in the festivities with a belly of laughs as Daliso Chaponda talks about everything and anything from politics and religion to romance, he amuses his audiences with his distinctive accent and unique outlook on the world. Also appearing will be comedian and script writer Sean Percival, Jack Topher and Tom Houghton.Tickets are £13 in advance, doors open at 7.30pm for a 8.15pm start.

The Lyric Rooms

I saw Mummy killing Santa Claus Christmas Murder Mystery Meal,  Beaumanor Hall, 19 and 21 Dec 

For the past two years the Charnwood Players have had their Christmas production interrupted by murder. Not wishing to risk it for a third time, this year they have decided instead, to enter the well renowned “Village Grotto of the Year” competition. Will it be plain sailing or will the ‘slay’-bells ring for them once again? Tickets £39.95 and include three course meal.  Call 01509 890 119 to book.

Beaumanor Hall

Walk Like A Man, Kilworth Hall Theatre, until 30 Dec

Start the festive season with a flourish. Winners of the National Tribute Awards 2016 for Best Four Seasons Tribute and pumping out classics such as ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Sherry’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ and many many more, ‘Walk Like A Man’ is the ultimate celebration of  Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons! 6:30pm (matinees 1.30pm). Dining: 7pm (matinees 2.00pm). Carriages: 11pm (matinees 5.30pm). Mulled wine on arrival.

Kilworth Hall 

Bolshoi Encore, The Nutcracker, Market Harborough, 22 Dec

Enjoy the Bolshoi Encore Showing of this production and follow the story of young Marie and her Nutcracker doll that turns into a prince at midnight. The doll finds himself in a battle against the Mouse king, determined to save Marie from him.  Tickets from Quinns Bookshop, Three Crowns Yard, The High Street, Market Harborough, or here.

Market Harborough Theatre

Festive Race Day, Leicester Racecourse, Oadby, 28 Dec

Afternoon racing followed by live music from not one but three tribute acts to Spice Girls, Pink & Bruno Mars. From £15.

Leicester Racecourse

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