Try something new this winter

20 April 2017 by
First published: 6 December 2016

Stop that cabin fever in its tracks and try something new this winter with these five picks.

With winter festivities well under way, you can easily find yourself stuck doing the same routine you did last year. And the year before. And the year before that… Christmas is a time for excitement, and it’s one of the only times of the year when you can get away with being a little kid again. So make the most of it. Here’s a handful of new things to do this seasonal holiday. Go out and have fun. Ready. Set. Snow.

Christmas at Kew 2016 

From Wednesday 23 November to Monday 2 January, be entranced on a mile-long sparkling path that winds its way through the Gardens in a magical after-dark experience. Prepare for a botanical wonderland, featuring brightly coloured laser beams dancing over water, a Tunnel of Lights, scented Fire Garden and fairy-tale avenues of flora. And the festivities don’t stop there: Santa and his elves will be in the North Pole village to welcome the little ones, plus there’s favourite vintage rides, Christmas gifts and traditional festive fare.

Santa Run

What better way to mix up your training than jogging dressed as Santa along with 2,000 others in Battersea Park? If that sounds just up your street, head down on 3 December for an annual ‘Red & White’ bearded charge around a 6K route.  This year, the funding is going towards Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK)and you will be invited to make a donation to support the excellent work DSUK does to help disabled participants enjoy winter sports.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this year’s Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park is going to be more magical than ever. Once inside, you will be welcomed by the UK’s largest open-air ice rink, the Magical Ice Kingdom, a circus spectacle, ‘The Nutcracker’ on Ice and see stunning views across London from the Giant Observation Wheel. There are more than 100 spectacular festive rides and attractions, London’s largest German-style Christmas Markets, and let’s not forget the array of delicious food and mulled wine fit for an ice queen herself!

Christmas in Leicester Square 2016

Transforming the London’s West End into a wonderland, the square in Leicester Square will be packed full of festive fun until 8 January. You’ll find Santa’s Grotto, traditional Christmas markets and a vintage Spiegeltent – a cosy venue bringing you an impressive amount of Christmas shows from the Underbelly team, including the world-famous theatre phenomenon that is La Soirée circus.

Hogwarts in the Snow

Make your way down to Warner Bros Studio Tour, London, to celebrate a very magical festive season with Hogwarts in the Snow. Walk through the Great Hall lined with glittering Christmas trees into a grand banquette, a replica festive feast including flaming Christmas puddings will be laid out on the long tables – just like the film. Potter fans, expect nothing less than special-effect fires roaring in the fireplaces, a Gryffindor common room exploding with Christmas treats and the detailed castle model covered in a blanket of snow. It’s pretty unlikely you’re going to turn a corner without seeing something you recognise from the movie, not least Harry’s Invisibility Cloak and Molly Weasley’s hand-knitted jumpers that are also put out on display.