We have been putting together our plans for things to do in Nottingham for Christmas and we soon realised there are lots of events to keep kids busy for the festive holidays.  We love this time of year and find that going to Christmas events form a huge part of our family traditions.  We have hand picked the best Christmas activities just for you to make sure you have a magical time during the season.

If you are looking for great Christmas days out and festive activities near Nottingham we’ve got you covered.  No matter what your budget, we will soon have you out and about enjoying the best of what Christmas has to offer in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the East & West Midlands.

Nottingham Christmas Events

Nottingham Winter Wonderland

The Nottingham Christmas market has over 70 stalls, 7 children’s rides and a real ice rink of 750m² making it the biggest Christmas market in the East Midlands (especially with there not being a Christmas Market in Derby and Leicester this winter). Wander among the themed market stalls selling Yuletide gifts, including locally produced cold foods and preserves, local handmade jewellery, glassware and framed comic art, overlooked by a twinkling Council House. Or entertain the little ones with a 30m long toboggan slide from our very own Brian Clough statue.

Prices: Nottingham Christmas market is to attend – charges apply for ice rink and children’s rides.

Open: Thursday 15 November – Monday 31 December. Christmas Light Switch On – Friday 16 November

Where: Old Market Square and Long Row

Things to do in Nottingham

Peter Pan at Theatre Royal Nottingham (Pantomime)

Take a fairy tale flight to Neverland this Christmas in the swashbuckling family adventure Peter Pan. Join our high-flying hero as he transports the Darlings on an adventure they will never forget full of evil pirates, the lost boys, a very hungry crocodile and the meanest man in Neverland, Captain Hook.  Featuring Joe Pasquale as Smee and John Challis the evil Captain Hook.  If you want to add a pre theatre meal to your pantomime why not read our Bar & Block restaurant review or if curry is more your thing, read about The Calcutta Club here.

Prices: Tickets vary – visit website for details.

Shows: Saturday 8 December – Sunday 13 January 2019 (Various Times)

Where: Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Theatre Square, Nottingham NG1 5ND

Little Red Riding Hood at Lakeside Arts

Once upon a time there was a young girl who went to spend the night at Grandma’s house… and her little brother came too. She just wanted to go to sleep but he was excited and wouldn’t settle down. To help lull him to sleep, the young girl promised to tell her brother a story. But when you start acting out your favourite fairytale, who knows what’s in store?! Join the intrepid twosome on a night to remember in Olivier award-winning Mike Kenny’s adaption of this classic children’s tale. With music and songs from Julian Butler (Charlie and Lola), Red Riding Hood promises to be a magical treat for families this Christmas.

Prices: From £8.50

Shows: Monday 10 December – Sunday 30 December. For specific show times and dates visit the website

Where: Djanogly Theatre, University Park, NottinghamNG7 2RD

Elf: A Christmas Spectacular at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham

ELF, the hit West End and Broadway musical based on the Hollywood blockbuster movie starring Will Ferrell, is to be supersized into a Christmas spectacular which will tour the UK in December 2018.

Starring pop legend David Essex as Buddy the Elf’s father, and Love Actually star and singer Martine McCutcheon as Buddy’s girlfriend, Jovie. Buddy the Elf will be played by comedy actor Tam Ryan, who counts Priscilla Presley amongst his past leading ladies. West End star Louise English will play Buddy’s stepmother. The cast also features Father Christmas and a line-up of 70 performers, including children from local Pauline Quirke Academy stage schools.

Prices: Ticket prices £25, £43.50, £52.50 and £57.50 – visit website for more information.

Open: Friday 28 December – Sunday 30 December

Where: Motorpoint Arena Nottingham, Bolero Square, The Lace Market, Nottingham NG1 1LA

National Ice Centre Nottingham

If you prefer indoor ice skating, then a visit to the National Ice Centre is a must this Christmas.  With festive tunes and lots of Christmas sparkle a family skating session here is bound to get you into the festive spirit.

child skating toddler zone national ice centre nottingham

Prices: Adults £8.50 Junior (5-15) £7.50 Under 5’s free (includes skate hire)

Open: For more details about Christmas themed skating sessions visit the website.

Where: National Ice Centre, Bolero Square, The Lace Market, Nottingham NG1 1LA

Christmas Events in Nottinghamshire

Breakfast With Santa at Rufford Abbey Country Park

Breakfast with Father Christmas is a brilliant treat for the kids this Christmas and Rufford Abbey Country Park makes for a very festive setting.  Choose from a Coach House Breakfast Fry Up, Veggie Garden Grill served with toast or for those with a sweet tooth the Belgian Waffles with chocolate sauce maybe.

This Christmas activity is suitable for children from 2 years old and all children must be accompanied by at least 1 paying adult. Every child will receive a special present from Santa during the morning.

Prices: £11.50 per person

Open: Saturdays 1, 8 & 15 December 2018 | 8.30am – 10am

Where: Rufford Abbey Country Park, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, NG22 9DF

The Christmas Expereince at Wheelgate Park

Join Wheelgate Park for the their Magical Christmas Experience this festive season! Discover a truly incredible experience as the park is magically transformed into an enchanted wonderland. Visit the Elves in animal farm and help feed Santa’s Reindeer. They also have stunning illuminated  lights and twinkling snow scenes for a truly magical family experience.

Prices: Ticket prices vary for weekdays and weekends.  Visit the website for more information.

Open: Between November 17 & December 24 10:00 am –  5:00 pm Daily. Closes 3pm Christmas Eve.

Where: White Post, Farnsfield, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG22 8HX

Santa at Cresswell Crags

Santa returns to Creswell Crags on the 24th November and every weekend thereafter until the 16th December! Children will receive an age appropriate gift and get to meet the man himself before the big day!  Parents will also be pleased to hear photos and videos welcomed.

Prices: £4.50 per child

Open: Every weekend between 24 November and 16 December 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: Crags Road, Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire S80 3LH

White Post Farm Christmas Event

The White Post Christmas will keep you extra busy this winter, as well as getting you in the festive spirit!  Head along to the Christmas barn where you can explore the Winter Wonderland Walk through, build a snowman, do some Christmas Crafts and, of course, meet Santa in his grotto.

Prices: Adults – £9.95 Children/Seniors – £9.75 Under 2’s – FREE

Open: 24th November – 24th December 10am – 5pm Daily

Where: White Post Farm, Mansfield Road, Farnsfield, Nottinghamshire, NG22 8HL

Sundown Adventureland – The Night Before Christmas

When it comes to a Christmas Event in Nottinghamshire, no-one does it better than Sundown Adventureland. As Christmas draws near, the park is converted into a Winter Wonderland with Christmas theming throughout and the annual opening of the wonderful ‘Night before Christmas’ ride. Climb aboard one of Santa’s sleighs and take a magical journey through the enchanted forest.

During the Christmas Spectacular Weekend, there’s an even more Christmassy feel with the opening of the Christmas marquee where you can meet the dancing bears, laugh your socks off with Andy and Lewis and get up close to the real reindeers and meet the Snow Queen.

Santa will be in his home every day from the 17th of November until Christmas Eve. All indoor play areas, cafes and rides will remain open until closing but some areas of the park will close at 4pm on festivity evenings.

Prices: Adults £16.50 Children from £18.50 (entrance + gift) Children under 90cm + gift £3.00

Open:  17th November 2018 – 24th December 2018

Where: Sundown Adventureland, Treswell Road, Rampton, Near Retford, Nottinghamshire DN22 0HX

Christmas Events in Derbyshire

Christmas at Chatsworth

Immerse yourself in a world of make-believe this Christmas at Chatsworth, with enchanting fairy tale scenes woven throughout the house. Soak up the Christmas market atmosphere as you browse more than 100 stalls offering a wide range of Christmas gifts and decorations – you’ll be sure to find perfect presents for all the family. Visit between –  Prices: Vary depending on activities – visit website for more information.

Open: – Where: Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP. If you are visiting by car use postcode DE45 1PN in your sat nav.

Winter Wonderland at Conkers

Wrap up warm and get ready for a silly Elf adventure as you arrive at Waterside Winter Wonderland, where Santa’s Chief Elf and his team will lead you through the Enchanted Forest and the Valley of Christmas lights to discover Santa’s Woodland Grotto. This is your chance to tell Santa that you have been good, and fingers crossed, he may share some pre-Chrismas presents!

There’s also a chance to take a trip on Head Elf’s Twinkle Toes Train through the tunnel of discovery, meet the Balloon Modeller (1:00pm – 5:00pm) and watch the Christmas shows & films. It’s sure to raise your Christmas spirits when you find the Snow Cave for storytime or activities!

Prices: Adult £11.95 Children 2- 15 years £13.95 (includes gift)

Open: 1st December – 24th December 10.30am till 8.00pm (5.00pm Christmas Eve)

Where: Rawdon Road (B586), Moira, Nr Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Derbyshire DE12 6GA

Things to do in the East Midlands for Christmas (Near Nottingham)

Winter Wonderland at Twinlakes

Twinlakes Winter Wonderland is the Twinlakes usual theme Park fun with rides, attractions and farm park with a special Christmassy twist with thousands of twinkly lights and real Christmas trees.

This Christmas Santa will be with visiting Twinlakes everyday during Winter Wonderland with the best family Christmas Grotto in The East Midlands. Join in the festive fun with festive workshops, Christmas hunts, reindeer feeding, Christmas entertainment, letters to Santa, giant snow globe and gingerbread decorating.

See Santa in his magical grotto, travel through the fairy tale forest, ride The Polar Express train and meet the big man himself in his cosy log cabin, all children’s grotto tickets receive a special token from Santa which can be taken to the gift shop to choose their own gift.

Prices: Grotto tickets are charged at £7.00 per child (this does not include entry to the park). Entrance ticket prices vary – see website for more information

Open: 17th November – 24th December 10am – 5pm daily

Where: Melton Spinney Rd, Melton MowbrayLeicestershire LE13 1SQ

Christmas at Manor Farm Park

Join Manor Farm Park this Christmas for festive fun on the farm and join in with songs and stories in the festive winter marquee.  There will be Christmas crafts, festive woodland activities and if you stop by the woodland cabin, Santa is sure to give you a pre Christmas gift (£3 per child)

Prices: Prices vary – discounts available online. Visit website for more information

Open: From 8th December – 23rd December. Weekdays 10am to 4pm. Weekends & Bank Holidays 10am to 5pm

Where: Castle Hill, East Leake, Nr Loughbourough, Leicestershire, LE12 6LU

Christmas at Belvoir Castle

The ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland and current residence of the 11th Duke of Rutland promises to be a regal setting for a very festive Christmas indeed.  Enjoy the wonderful decorations and pay Santa  a visit in his very special Grotto.  There are also wreath making workshops (3rd Dec), the outdoor Christmas market (6th – 10th Dec) and Christmas musical extravaganza (7th-9th Dec).

Prices: Vary depending on entrance type and activities.

Open: 11:00am – 5:30pm Dates vary and are subject to change.

Where: Belvoir Castle Grantham, Leicestershire NG32 1PE

National Space Centre Small Space Santa Special

Combining stories, songs and trails, this is a fun and interactive way for young children to continue their early educational development.  NORAD are getting ready to track Santa as he heads off, delivering gifts to all the children around the world.  He will be making a scheduled stop at the National Space Centre for a special Small Space day for all our youngest astronauts and bringing a very special guest with him… Mrs Claus!  A great festive experience for under 5’s.

Prices: £10 + Standard Entry Fee. Adult £15.00 Child (5-16) £12.00 Concessions £12.00 Under 5 FREE Parking (all day ) £3.00

Open: Friday 21st December Timed Entry For Santa Special

Where: National Space Centre, Exploration Drive, Leicester, LE4 5NS

Things to do in the West Midlands for Christmas (Near Nottingham)

Drayton’s Magical Christmas

Drayton’s Magical Christmas is top of the list for lots of families looking for things to do near Nottingham this festive season.  Perfect for young families, you will have access to over 25 rides and attractions in Thomas Land, live character shows and the 15 acre zoo. You can also visit Santa in the Castle of Dreams and each magical day ends with a wonderful fireworks display. You can read our review of Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas 2018 now.

Christmas At Drayton Manor Theme Park

Prices: Ticket prices vary – visit website for more information

Open: 17th November – 31st December

Where: Drayton Manor, Drayton Manor Drive Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 3TW

Christmas Celebration Weekends at Cadbury World

A festive day out wouldn’t be complete without seeing the jolly man himself! Now the star of his very own stage show, the Santa experience is packed full of festive fun and music the whole family can enjoy. Armed with a sack full of Christmas gifts for his elves to hand out to visiting children, the exclusive Cadbury World Santa Show is not to be missed.
Please book your Santa Show slot at least 30 minutes prior or 2 hours after your Cadbury World tour time.
Each year we are delighted to be able to include a brand new pantomime in our festive lineup. As well as a visit to see the jolly man himself, your family will be able to enjoy our very own panto Jack and the Cocoa Beanstalk. A world of interactive fun with a chocolatey twist awaits!

Prices: Adult £17.00 Child (4-15) £12.50 Under 4’s Free.  Discounts are available if you book online.  Free car parking available.

Open: Every Saturday and Sunday from 17th November till 16th December… PLUS 21st, 22nd and 23rd December

Where: Cadbury World, Linden Road, Bournville, Birmingham. For Sat Nav users, use postcode B30 1JR

Thing to do in (and around) Nottingham for Christmas. The best Christmas days out, activities and events for Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire for the festive days out. Plan your family fun in the East and West Midlands now #Christmas #ThingsToDo #FestiveSeasonDid you want to know where to visit Santa this Christmas? We can help with that too with our list of places to visit Father Christmas in Nottinghamshire.

Are you loving these things to do in (and around) Nottingham for Christmas with kids this festive season?  If you answered yes, please do share this post with your friends and followers or ‘Pin It’ to your things to do board.  It would literally make my day!

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