2024-02-22T17:35:00Z By Keeley Rodgers
Tis’ nearly the season for groups to be getting into the Yuletide spirit, and for those who have yet to finalise their plans, these experiences are sure to inspire.
Don’t forget to tell us what you’re up to over the festive period by clicking here and commenting below. In the meantime, take a look at these eight fantastic outings:
1. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
Fans of the Harry Potter film series will not want to miss out on this festive extravaganza, offering visitors the chance to explore the tour with additional festive features. Running from 12th November until 15th January 2023, Christmas trees will line the Great Hall for its festive makeover, as well as the long tables laden with a special Christmas feast. A blanket of film-making snow will cover the giant Hogwarts castle model, the spooky Forbidden Forest and shop fronts of Diagon Alley as part of the wintry transformation too.
2. Tulleys Farm Christmas Experience, Sussex
Younger members of the group will adore a visit to Tulleys Christmas Experience. Not only is there all your usual favourites like an ice skating rink, Storytime with Father Christmas and a seasonal market, but visitors can also enjoy a gingerbread decorating session, a 3D cinema and even a Christmas circus providing top entertainment. In addition, Tulleys Tea Room serves up a range of hot and cold food, cakes and drinks.
3. Winter Wonderland, London
No visit to London throughout the season is complete without a stop off at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. Located in the heart of the city and running from 18th November to 2nd January, groups can immerse themselves in all things festive. The site has more than 100 rides and attractions, thrilling shows, London’s biggest Christmas market plus Santa Land – a whole area dedicated to little ones, where you’ll also find Santa in his grotto.
4. Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire
The hall and gardens at Renishaw near Sheffield will be open to take visitors on a fascinating journey across the traditions and stories of how Christmas has been celebrated through food, drink and entertainment for almost 400 years, with exclusive Christmas Hall Tours available. A winter menu in the café will also feature homemade dishes and Christmas afternoon teas to complement the experience. Dates and times are yet to be confirmed but usually run throughout December.
Need more Christmas inspiration?
Make sure you read our 2022 Christmas Guide in the August edition of the Group Leisure & Travel magazine, featuring getaways, shopping trips, days out and amazing light trails.
5. Dunham Massey, Greater Manchester
The after-dark illuminated festive trail will return to the historic National Trust venue between 18th November and 2nd January. The one-mile trail will be packed with illuminations for the season, and this year will include giant lilies, multi-coloured laser gardens and the dandelion-inspired ‘Light a Wish’, a huge glowing structure that reaches high into the night sky.
6. Craft your Christmas with Sara Davies, UK Tour
Dragon’s Den star Sara Davies will be sharing crafting tips and solutions across the UK on tour, so groups can learn from the ‘queen of crafting’. From gifts to garlands, cards to crackers, wrapping paper to mantelpiece decorations, Sara will show audiences how to craft their own Christmas with a range of practical demonstrations and top tips. Beginning in Reading on 19th November, Sara will share her wisdom throughout an extensive run which sees her finishing up in Edinburgh on 11th December.
7. Harewood House, Yorkshire
From 13th November to 2nd January, Harewood’s Winter Festival will showcase a stunning display of unconventional Christmas trees across its rooms. Harewood has commissioned ten designers, artists, creative studios and makers to create their own tree, taking inspiration from Harewood’s history, surroundings and environment to create something different. Groups can enjoy discounted admission rates to the historic site near Leeds, festive food and drink, plus opportunities for gift shopping and the illuminated gardens. Prior to the winter festival, Harewood will also be hosting a Winter Artisan Market with more than 100 local makers on 3rd to 6th November.
8. Festive shows with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will throw a matinee and evening Christmas Cracker show, conducted by Stephen Bell at Cadogan Hall in London on 10th December. Audiences are encouraged to sing along to all hits and carols such as: O Come, All Ye Faithful, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, Sleigh Ride, Let it Snow, Winter Wonderland, I’ll Be Home for Christmas and many more. Groups as small as six can save money on tickets.