Experience the festive season Staffordshire-style at one of these fabulous events, offering great times for families, or something more grown-up if you prefer! 

1. Drayton’s Magical Christmas

Enjoy festive family fun on the rides and attractions of Thomas Land, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, at Drayton Manor Park in Tamworth.

Meet Father Christmas in the Castle of Dreams, where there is a free gift for every child!

Slide and Glide on the ice rink, before watching the fantastic live show featuring all your favourite Thomas characters.

And there’s guaranteed snow and fireworks every day too!

Open every day until December 31st, although Father Christmas won’t be there after the 24th as he has a well-earned break.

2. New for 2018: Enchanted Weston

Explore the wonders of Temple Wood on an illuminated, half-mile trail at Weston Park, South Staffordshire.

From December 14th-22nd, the towering trees will be transformed with magical lights, with plenty of landmarks and hidden delights to discover.

The trail is pushchair and wheelchair accessible so this is an evening the whole family can enjoy.

After your stroll, head for the Stables Courtyard and Festive Fizz & Eats, a winter pop-up festival with street food, live music, a warming fire pit, great shopping and loads more!

Tickets are available now at https://www.weston-park.com/event/enchanted-weston/

3. A Magical Wedgwood Christmas

An unforgettable Christmas experience awaits at World of Wedgwood, Stoke-on-Trent, until January 6th.

Admire the beautiful displays at the flagship store, transformed into a magical winter kingdom, before finding a festive bargain in the Wedgwood outlet or making a unique gift in the Creative Classroom, Master Craft Studio or Decorating Studio.

Savour a festive afternoon tea in the Wedgwood Tea Room, or a traditional treat in The Dining Hall, where there are themed menus to choose from, starting on December 1st.

And then walk it off on a winter stroll through Hem Heath Woods, or a guided tour of the factory or Wedgwood Museum.

The Museum Miniatures Trail will keep the younger visitors entertained, and there’s a prize for every completed activity sheet.

4. New Year’s Eve Raceday, Uttoxeter Racecourse

See out 2018 with a bang at Uttoxeter Racecourse, where there are seven thrilling jump races on the New Year’s Eve Raceday.

The Grandstand Package offers admission, racecard, access to the parade ring, and a glass of fizz, for just £20.19, while under 18s go free when accompanied by an adult.

Also in December, the Christmas Jumper Raceday (11th), including a competition for the best Christmas Jumper, and Christmas Party Raceday (21st) will definitely get you into the Christmas spirit.

And you can let your hair down at one of the Christmas Party Nights in the 1907 Suite, with the 70s Disco Fever evening on Friday 7th and Olly Meets Buble on Saturday 8th & Friday 14th.

Tickets are available from https://www.uttoxeter-racecourse.co.uk/whats-on/

5. New for 2018: Winter Wonderland, Waterworld

Staffordshire’s most unusual festive experience has to be the brand new Winter Wonderland at Waterworld, which opened on December 1st.

The Stoke-on-Trent aqua park will be home to woodland fairies and imps, the tunnel of lights, and the brand new Polar Bear Ice Cave Ride, featuring guaranteed snow, themed lighting and a seasonal greeting from the Ice Princess.

And there’s the chance to meet the king of the polar bears, and visit Santa in his grotto!

Winter Wonderland runs until December 23rd, while the Polar Bear Ice Cave Ride will be available until January 6th.

Book your tickets now at https://www.waterworld.co.uk/packages-events/special-events/

6. Cathedral Illuminated

This stunning light and sound show at Lichfield Cathedral is sure to attract thousands to Staffordshire’s original visitor attraction once again.

From December 17th to 22nd, this spectacular display on the theme of Peace on Earth, features 22,000 origami doves which have been created by Staffordshire schoolchildren, each inscribed with a peace message.

This popular event was a sell-out last year so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.

Aside from Cathedral Illuminated, there’s lots to see and do at the cathedral this festive season, from the annual Christmas Tree Festival (December 1st-January 6th) to an atmospheric showing of The Snowman with a live orchestra (December 19th)!

Find out more at https://www.lichfield-cathedral.org/whatson/whatson

Image shared with us on Instagram by @photographybyparvesh

7. New for 2018: Arboretum Illuminated

See the thought-provoking memorials in a brand new light at the National Memorial Arboretum this Christmas. for Arboretum Illuminated (December 12th to 21st).

Walk the torch-lit avenue, create Morse Code using LEDs, contribute to the display in Votive Woods, and experiment with the shadow wall, before rounding off your evening with the Beacons of Light tribute at the Armed Forces Memorial.

Arboretum Illuminated runs from December 12th to 21st.

There’s also great Christmas traditions at Carols by Candlelight (December 22nd), and 12 Days of Christmas Memorial Talks (December 25th-January 5th), which offer a fascinating insight into the background of some of the NMA's most-visited memorials, including the Armed Forces Memorial and The Christmas Truce Memorial (Football Remembers).

For more information visit http://www.thenma.org.uk/events-at-the-arboretum/forthcoming-events/

8. Wind in the Willows, New Vic Theatre

Follow the adventures of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Mr Toad at the New Vic Theatre, in their stage adaptation of The Wind in the Willows (December 1st-January 26th).

The endearing story of friendship, from Kenneth Grahame’s classic novel, is full of intrigue, courage and high octane thrills, as the group explores River Bank and encounters mysterious characters.

Will Toad’s obsession with fast cars lead his friends into danger? Will they escape the dark and unnerving Wild Wood?

Book your tickets at http://www.newvictheatre.org.uk/productions/wind-in-the-willows/

Accessible and interpreted performances are available.

9. Rock n Roll Panto, Stafford Gatehouse

The tale of Dick Whittington is given a rock n roll makeover by the Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford, this December!

From December 7th to January 6th, you can enjoy Dick’s adventure with Tabby the Cat, as they head to London in a bid for fame and fortune, picking up their guitar and sax and joining the live band along the way.

Join in with rock n roll classics like Dead Ringer for Love, Gimme Some Lovin and Eye of the Tiger.

There are late night, adults-only performances if you’re looking for something a little naughtier than most Christmas shows!

Tickets are available from https://www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk/

10. New Year’s Eve packages, Alton Towers

There are four amazing ways to welcome in 2019 at Alton Towers Resort!

The kids can see in the New Year at 9pm at the CBeebies New Year’s Eve Party, thanks to the special Kids Standard Time, which rolls the clocks forward three hours for one day only.

There’s fantastic entertainment, including amazing magic shows, at Sir Algenon’s New Year Extravaganza, and live music at Ma Garrita’s Caribbean Celebration, while the New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner offers a more grown-up introduction to 2019 in the spectacular State Room.

All packages include admission to the theme park and water park, and a free round at Extraordinary Golf.

Further information: https://www.altontowers.com/activities/events/new-years-eve/

Things to do near me

There are full listings on events in December in our What's On section, while our Things to Do section is packed with ideas for days out all year round in Staffordshire.

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