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Best West Midlands Christmas days out 2020

Christmas days out in the West Midlands sell out fast! This is a comprehensive list of places to see Santa as well as other festive events. I will be updating each location as soon as they release details. Things are set to be a little different in 2020 due to Covid-19 but I will share all the information I can. Please do let me know if I’ve missed any brilliant events off the list, I’d be happy to add them in. Advance booking essential at all attractions unless otherwise stated. If you’re looking for a Christmas event in a particular part of the West Midlands, click the county below to jump to that section. For more days out around the area at any time of year, check out my list of things to do in the West Midlands. Alternatively, check out my up to date list of West Midlands family attractions reopening this summer as lockdown eases.

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Best Herefordshire Christmas days out 2020

Brockhampton Estate (National Trust) – Orchard Elves Trail

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at Brockhampton Estate National Trust have not yet been released.

Dates: Not yet released.

Website: Brockhampton National Trust

Review: Reviews of Brockhampton are available on Trip Advisor.

Brockhampton Manor House

Croft Castle (National Trust) – 1940’s Christmas

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at Croft Castle National Trust have not yet been released.

Dates: Not yet released.

Website: Croft Castle National Trust

Review: I can’t find a review of the Christmas event, but you can read my review of a dog friendly family day out at Croft Castle.

Croft Castle, Herefordshire in black and white

Eastnor Land Rover – Santa and Drive

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at Eastnor Land Rover have not yet been released.

Santa and drive dates: Not yet released.

Website: Eastnor Land Rover

Review: Plutonium Sox

Santa Drive Eastnor Land Rover mum and two girls toasting marshmallows
Toasting marsh mallows after the Eastnor Santa Safari in Herefordshire

Best Shropshire Christmas days out 2019

Blists Hill Victorian Town – Victorian Christmas

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at Blists Hill have not yet been released.

Dates: Not yet released.

Website: Ironbridge Museums

Review: Birmingham Mail

Hawkstone Park Follies – Santa Safari

At Hawkstone Park, Santa has a hillside grotto at the end of a network of festively decorated caves. On arrival at the Hawkstone Park Hotel, visitors can have a hot drink before climbing into a Land Rover to head across the park. You drive under a Wishing Arch and head up the hill to the caves. Santa’s elves provide the entertainment in the tunnels and caverns before reaching the grotto. Guests can also meet real reindeer and walk through a woodland fantasy that is lit up by illuminations.

Santa Safari dates: Multiple dates between 27th November and 23rd December 2020. Tickets are now available to book.

Website: Hawkstone Park Follies

Review: Team Stokey

Ray’s Farm, Bridgenorth – A traditional Christmas

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at have not yet been released.

Dates: Not yet released.

Website: Ray’s Farm

Review: Trip Advisor

Telford Steam Railway – The Polar Express

The Telford Steam Railway Polar Express has been cancelled for 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Polar Express dates: Not taking place in 2020.

Website: Polar Express

Review: Plutonium Sox

Polar Express Telford conductor stamping ticket
The conductor stamping a ticket on the Polar Express, Telford

Best Staffordshire Christmas days out 2019

Alton Towers – Santa’s sleepover

A sleepover at Alton Towers ticks every box for a magical Christmas. Stay in your choice of themed hotels and visit Santa with a gift for every child. All visitors will get entry tickets for both the water park and theme park. Only certain rides in the theme park are open, but this will include the CBeebies land attractions. Watch this year’s pantomime, Robin Hood, and enjoy a festive evening meal and breakfast. Evening entertainment will include a meet and greet, shows, festive cinema and farewell from Santa. 

Dates: This is planned to take place this year but Santa’s Sleepover 2020 dates have not yet been released.

Website: Alton Towers

Review: Mini Travellers

Drayton Manor, Tamworth – Drayton’s Magical Christmas

Whilst rides in the main theme park close for the Winter, 25 rides and attractions in Thomas Land open on selected dates for a festive day out. Favourite characters perform in singing and dancing shows and Father Christmas himself will be waiting in the Castle of Dreams to meet children with his elves and give them a gift. Stroll around the zoo, shop in themed gift shops and experience magical snowfall in Thomas Land. Each day ends with a little fireworks display by the lake.

Magical Christmas dates: Drayton’s Magical Christmas dates have not been officially released for 2020 but there are dates from 20th November to 31st December on their calendar marked as Drayton’s Magical Christmas.

Website: Drayton Manor

Review: Plutonium Sox

Drayton's Magical Christmas | Drayton Manor Theme Park and Zoo in Tamworth, West Midlands, UK becomes a festive Winter Wonderland at Christmas. Children can meet Santa in the Castle of dreams and families can enjoy the usual rides and attractions along with extra shows, snowstorms, ice skating and beautiful Christmas decorations. The day is rounded off with a Thomas Land parade and a fireworks display. #Christmas #WestMidlands #ThemePark #DraytonManor
Festive Thomas the Tank Engine at Drayton’s Magical Christmas

National Forest Adventure Farm – North Pole Adventure

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at the National Forest Adventure Farm have not yet been released. 

Dates: Not yet released.

Website: National Forest Adventure Farm

Review: The Ladybirds’ adventures

Snowdome, Tamworth – Santa’s Winter Wonderland

2020 will be Santa’s 16th year at the SnowDome in Tamworth and he’s back with a brand new Winter Wonderland stage show. Visitors can also explore the real snow trail with slides, an enchanted forest and snow tubes for sledging down ramps. Animals are waiting to meet you beside Santa’s House in the Christmas village. This year, there’s a traditional carousel and you can post your letter to Santa in his talking post box.

Winter Wonderland dates: 14th and 15th November and then every day from 20th November to 31st December 2020 excluding Christmas day.

Website: SnowDome

Independent review: Plutonium Sox

Little girl on a sledge at the SnowDome festive event

Best Warwickshire Christmas days out 2019

Kenilworth Castle (English Heritage) – Christmas at the Castle

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at Kenilworth Castle have not yet been released. 

Dates: Not yet released.

Website: Kenilworth Castle

Review: I can’t find a review of this Christmas experience but you can read our review of a dog friendly family day out at Kenilworth Castle.

Magic Alley, Stratford Upon Avon – A Candy Cane Christmas

In the heart of Stratford Upon Avon, Magic Alley is a Santa experience with a little more to offer older children. As their buy-in to Santa starts to wane, Magic Alley is there to start it back up again. A 45 to 60 minute visit includes a Christmas Quest to guide you around the event. Every family will spend some time with Father Christmas and he has a gift of a specially written Christmas story and a candy cane for each visitor. This is due to the Magical Alley ethos of encouraging reading and family bonding over a book on Christmas eve. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Magic Alley are planning a socially distanced Christmas event. One family will be admitted at a time and entry times will be staggered.

Dates: Multiple dates from 2nd to 24th December 2020.

Website: Magic Alley

Review: Birmingham Mail

Warwick Castle, Warwickshire – Christmas at the castle

A 20 foot tall Christmas tree in the great hall sets the scene for the festivities at Warwick Castle. Children can listen to Santa and Mrs Claus telling stories or attend a winter wedding in the Princess Tower. A winter birds of prey show is fascinating for visitors of all ages. Last year, a Horrible Histories scavenger hunt took place for the first time. For the ultimate Christmas in the Castle experience, breakfast with Santa in the state dining room is a real treat. Full details of 2020 Christmas events at Warwick Castle are not yet live but the planned dates for festivities are below.

Christmas at the castle dates: When I first looked, the website was showing multiple dates between 28th November and 31st December 2020. The dates and information have since been removed from the website so it is unclear when or if this will be taking place this year. I will update when any information becomes available.

Website: Warwick Castle

Review: Plutonium Sox

Santa at Warwick Castle

Best West Midlands (county) Christmas days out 2019

Birmingham city centre – Frankfurt Christmas Market

Covid permitting, The Frankfurt Christmas Market and Christmas craft market combine in Birmingham city centre will be on every day during the festive season as usual. When I worked in Birmingham, the market’s arrival signalled the beginning of Christmas. With the exception of Germany and Austria, this is the biggest German Christmas market around. Stalls sell traditional food like bratwurst, candied nuts and schnitzels. Quirky and unusual gifts are sold alongside popular pop-up bars stocked up with weissbeer and gluhwein. I always enjoy the mulled cider and the girls would highly recommend the hot chocolate. The organisers ask that anybody thinking of visiting checks the website and guidance before travelling. The event is subject to change due to Covid restrictions.

Frankfurt Christmas Market dates: Open daily from 5th November to 23rd December 2020 from 10am to 9pm. Except 8th November, Remembrance Sunday, when the market will be open from 1pm to 9pm.

Website: German Market

Independent review: Birmingham Mail

Birmingham Christmas Market

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – Santa’s Grotto

In the heart of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery lies a glittery Santa’s grotto. Snow and sparkly lights get everyone in the festive spirit before meeting Santa who has a gift for all the children. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Santa’s Grotto dates: When I first looked on the website, the dates for this event were showing as 5th, 6th, 12, 13th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December 2020. However, the event has now been removed from the website so it is unclear when or if it will be taking place this year. I will update when more information is available.

Website: Birmingham Museums

Review: Mama Geek

Black Country Living Museum, Dudley – Santa Hunts

The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley usually has several different Christmas events running. They haven’t yet released details of any of their festive activities for 2020. They are planning to reopen the museum on 1st August 2020 after Covid-19 restrictions forced them to close for several months.

Dates: Not yet released.

Website: BCLM

Review: There are Trip Advisor reviews of visiting at Christmas and you can read my review of a family day out at the Black Country Living Museum.

Cadbury World, Birmingham – Christmas Celebration Weekends

Christmas weekends have been running at Cadbury world for a long time now and seem to follow a similar format each year. Santa’s stage show is full of music and festive fun for all the family. His elves even come laden with gifts to give out to visiting children. There’s a festive menu in the Cadbury cafe, handmade festive chocolates to buy in the shop and the annual Cadbury pantomime. This year it’s Snow White. Expect a chocolatey twist on the traditional panto. Tickets include both pantomime and Santa’s stage show but you will need to prebook slots for each to fit around the tour.

Christmas celebration weekends dates: Every Saturday and Sunday from 21st November to 20th December, plus 21st to 23rd December. Additional Christmas entertainment from 27th to 30th December, entertainment not yet confirmed.

Website: Cadbury World

Review: Mama Geek

A family day out at Cadbury World Birmingham festive area in Cadavra ride
Festive area at Cadbury World

Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust – A Fairy Tale Christmas

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust have not yet been released. They are set to reopen early in July following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Fairy Tale Christmas dates: Not yet released.

Website: Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust

Review: Trip Advisor

Dudley Zoo, Dudley – Santa’s Grotto

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at Dudley Zoo have not yet been released but they have now reopened following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Santa’s Grotto dates: Not yet released.

Website: Dudley Zoo

Review: Trip Advisor

National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham – Meet Santa

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at the National Sea Life Centre have not yet been released.

Meet Santa dates: Not yet released.

Website: National Sea Life Centre

Review: Plutonium Sox

Santa in sleigh with two little girls, Christmas trees in the background
Children with Santa at National Sea Life Centre Birmingham

The Polar Express Birmingham

Booking is not yet available for the 2020 Birmingham Polar Express ride.

Polar Express Birmingham dates: The dates on the website are 22nd November to 22nd December but it is not clear whether this relates to 2020 or whether it is a throwback to the 2019 dates.

Website: Polar Express Birmingham

Review: Real Mum Reviews

Best Worcestershire Christmas days out 2019

Severn Valley Railway – Santa Specials

Details of the 2020 Christmas event on the Severn Valley Railway have not yet been released. However, the website says that the details will be available soon.

Santa steam specials dates: Not yet released.

Website: Severn Valley Railway.

Review: Trip advisor

West Midlands Safari Park – Santa Safari

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at the West Midlands Safari Park have not yet been released.  

Dates: Not yet released.

Website: West Midlands Safari Park

Review: DIY Daddy

Witley Court – Enchanted Witley

Details of the 2020 Christmas event at Witley Court have not yet been released.

Enchanted Witley dates: Not yet released.

Website: Witley Court

Review: Plutonium Sox

Magical fairy houses at the Enchanted Witley Christmas event in Worcestershire

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