Christmas comes but once a year, and when it does, those of us with kids in tow are forced to keep them entertained for two whole weeks whilst their teachers catch a fortnight of well-earned R&R. In years past, you could comfortably pop them down in the living room and let the TV take care of them. Today’s kids, however, spend their lives glued to various screens.
Whether it’s Snap-chatting their friends or blowing them to smithereens in Fortnite, today’s youth are owned by their devices. So, when the Christmas season rolls around, it might be nice to give them a reason to cast aside their gizmos and gadgets and spend some serious Christmas family time together. Here are five activities that might tempt them away from their phones for a few hours.
Whilst it might seem counterproductive to take the kids Christmas shopping (considering you’ll need to find an excuse to ditch them when you’re buying their presents), it can actually provide a remarkable boost of Christmas spirit. This is particularly true in town centres and shopping malls that really make an effort. Plus, if you’re worried about the kids getting bored, they can always bring a stunt scooter along to keep themselves entertained with 360 spins whilst you’re perusing the sales and figuring out what to put under the tree come December 25.
Whilst they might have their origins in Germany, every major UK city now appears to host an annual German Christmas Market. From Leeds to Birmingham, these markets are generally rather uniform in terms of what they offer. Expect beer, oompah music, quaint Christmas craft stalls and lots and lots of sausage. For a real treat, try a plate of currywurst (sausage diced up and cooked in a delectable curry sauce). One taste and you’ll almost certainly be hooked!
Whilst it will most likely happen before the big school holiday, there can be few more fitting excuses to get the family together than a good Christmas Lights switch on. Local councils always make a big deal out of a lights switch on, with live bands, food, drink and fun fairs commonly supplementing the main event. In smaller towns, you’ll also find them the perfect occasions to catch up with the community, whilst in larger towns and cities, you might even get a celebrity pushing the button. Everyone remembers the year Nicolas Cage turned on the Christmas lights in Bath!
An increasingly common trend in many UK towns and cities; as the cold sets in, many councils are repurposing town squares as makeshift ice rinks. Whilst it’s true that ice-skating is about as fun as dental surgery if you’re bad at it, you could always watch from the sidelines with a hot chocolate as the kids learn the ropes. With electric scooters very much the rage this season, ice-skating isn’t too far removed, so you might not find it as difficult to get the kids enthused as you’d think.
For Mum and Dad
Christmas is big business with kids and parents alike, of course. So, if you are able to pawn the kids off with the grandparents for an evening or two, there are even a number of Christmas activities for mum and dad. Winterville in London, for example, is a dazzling pop-up Xmas wonderland with woodland cinemas, immersive dining experiences and bespoke club nights. In Stratford-upon-Avon, meanwhile, “Illuminating Shakespeare” is a charming experience, whilst in Bristol, the Spiegeltent offers a magical circus tent hosting Christmas-themed craft beer nights, masquerade balls and more.
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