We’ve compiled a selection of some of the very best Christmas family events and activities taking place this festive season, so you’ll never be short of ideas for keeping children entertained – and ensuring cabin fever doesn’t set in!

Meet Father Christmas

Father Christmas has lots of stop-offs in Brighton and surrounding areas this year: he’ll be spending a day at Brighton Toy & Model Museum; or you could visit him at his cosy Christmas cottage at Drusilla’s Park; catch Volk’s Railway’s Santa Express to the workshop, where you’ll find him getting ready for Christmas; visit him at Preston Manor, Brighton Marina and Stanmer House; or take a flight on British Airways i360 with the man himself.

Photo of santa and child on BA i360

Admire Brighton’s Christmas lights

We might be biased, but we think Brighton’s Christmas lights are some of the very loveliest. A stroll around The Lanes and North Laine is sure to put everyone in a festive mood and you could also pop into The Grand to make a Christmas Wish, which raises money for their 3 chosen charities. If you time it right, you might spot Santa in the window!

Photo of the Brighton Christmas Lights

Take a trip to the theatre

There’s nothing more festive than seeing a show at the theatre at Christmas. We’re spoilt for choice this year: see Peter Pan at the Attenborough Centre or Jack and the Beanstalk at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, where there’s also a Magical Christmas Fayre. If you’d like something for in between Christmas and New Year, Brighton Dome welcomes back Ballet Theatre UK, who are this year performing Sleeping Beauty. Or for a very special Christmas Eve, little ones will love The Snowman and Peter & The Wolf, also showing at Brighton Dome, and complete with a live orchestra. Mischief and Mystery in Moomin Valley is back at The Old Market this year and at Komedia, Long Nose Puppets Presents: Out of the Hat is a spectacular experience for all, while Nellie Limelight and the Oysters of Time is a funny, surprising, seasonal adventure around Theatre Royal.

Photo of Theatre Royal Brighton lit up for Christmas

Visit Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museum

There’s so much festive fun to be had at the Pavilion Estate this year that you’ll easily be able to while away the day. The Royal Pavilion is beautifully decorated for Christmas and the Banqueting Room table is laid with traditional Georgian desserts. In the Music Room, you’ll even find a replica of Queen Victoria’s sleigh. Discover the magic of Raymond Briggs’ much loved picture book The Snowman at Brighton Museum’s exhibition of the original illustrations and afterwards, get your skates on for the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink – or simply visit the restaurant for a cosy hot chocolate!

Photo of children ice skating at the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink

Phileas Fogg’s Winter Wonderland

This Christmas, new attraction Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures has transformed into a Winter Wonderland: a magical, fun-packed, live pantomime adventure that takes visitors around the world. Start the journey by boarding a vintage train at Paris and experience an immersive whirlwind tour across five continents, before finally meeting Father Christmas himself at the North Pole.

Photo of an actor at the Phileas Fogg World of Adventures

Glow Wild

For a family day out further afield, Glow Wild at Wakehurst is a showstopper. Trees, ponds and forest floors are brought to life with hundreds of glowing lanterns and torches of fire. Visitors can become part of the living trail by picking up a lantern at the start and will also glimpse the tallest living Christmas tree in the UK and experience the evocative sounds of the nocturnal world.

Photo of Glow Wild event at Wakehurst

Burning the Clocks

A highlight on Brighton’s winter calendar, this wonderful community event is not to be missed. To mark the shortest day of the year, paper lanterns are made and paraded through the streets, before a blazing bonfire on the beach as a token of the year’s end. Burning the Clocks is a truly unique event for the whole family to enjoy.

Photo of people taking part in the Burning the Clocks parade





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