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Twycross Zoo, Leicestershire, Sun 2 Dec – Sat 24 Dec

This year, Santa is taking time out of his busy schedule and visiting the zoo so that children can spend as much time with him as they want. This year, there will be the chance to take a photo with Santa, as well as story-telling sessions with him, feed and meet animals with Santa and then watch festive films or take part in arts and craft sessions and more. Check the website for the available dates when Santa will be visiting. Some activities need to be booked in advance

Twycross Zoo, East Midland Zoological Society, Burton Rd, Atherstone CV9 3PX

Ice Skating, Jubilee  Square, until 8 Jan 2018

Get your skates on and head down to Jubilee Square for some festive fun on real ice. Whether you’re an amateur or fancy yourself as a Torville and Dean, it’s the perfect time to give skating a whirl and don’t worry about the weather as the ice rink sits under a clear roof. Skate hire and a 45-minute session is £8 for adults and £6.50 for children/concessions at off-peak times (11am-4pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays). Tickets for all other times will cost £9 for adults and £7.50 for children/concessions. Scroll down to see opening times. Special theme nights are also running.

Visit Leicester, Leicester, LE1 5LD.

Santa’s Grotto, Wistow Rural Centre, Sat 2 Dec – Sat 24 Dec

Come and visit Santa and his elves, and at the same time buy your Christmas Tree, do some Christmas shopping in all the lovely shops and then visit the Cafe for a nice cup of tea and delicious homemade cakes. The grotto is open weekends 2/3, 9/10, 16/11, and then daily from 18-24 Dec (11am-4pm), except Christmas Eve (10am-2pm). Children are £8 (which includes a present from Santa), and Adults go free. Head to the Ken Bailey Plant Centre.

Wistow Rural Centre, Wistow Rd, Leicester LE8 0QF.  0116 259 2009

Soak up the festive atmosphere in the run up to Christmas at Oakham Castle, with 10 days of Christmas themed activities for all the family to enjoy. Try ice skating in the castle grounds, enjoy music and entertainment. and Mrs Claus’s Pantry where you can pick up some last minute gifts and enjoy some time with your loved ones in these beautiful surroundings. Start a new family tradition with the Rutland Winter Wonderland. 11am to 9pm everyday, except the 24th when it closes at 3pm.
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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Leics & Rutland