Whether you are 8 or 80, Staffordshire promises an unforgettable Christmas extravaganza - here are 10 great festive events to get you started.

Santa’s Winter Wonderland, SnowDome

The SnowDome is the only place in Staffordshire where you are sure to find real snow this Christmas, thanks to Santa’s Winter Wonderland.

There’s guaranteed Christmas cheer too, with the fun and frolics of the All New Santa Show, and the delights of the Christmas village – home of Santa’s furry friends and a traditional children’s carousel.

Slip and slide along the Christmas Snow Trail, packed with sledges, snow tubes, and no shortage of snowballs, and then drop your all-important letter into Santa’s talking postbox!

Great festive fun for all the family!

Tickets are available from https://www.snowdome.co.uk/santas-winter-wonderland/

Enchanted Weston, Weston Park

There’s a spectacular light show awaiting you at Weston Park this month.

Enchanted Weston features an illuminated, half-mile trail through the wonderful surroundings of Temple Wood, where the towering trees will be transformed with magical lights and projections.

Following your stroll, which is wheelchair and pushchair accessible, why not browse the Christmas Market, sample tasty treats at the Festive Fizz & Eats Courtyard, and enjoy the live carol singing – the perfect festive evening!

Alongside Enchanted Weston, which starts on 13th December, you could indulge in a Festive Dine & Stay experience, where guests are treated to a delicious five course tasting menu and an overnight stay in the magnificent Georgian house.

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

Christmas Artisan Market, World of Wedgwood

Head to World of Wedgwood for a festive treat – the Christmas Artisan Market.

Browse more than 50 stalls of gifts and delights from local producers and artisans, offering everything from unique hand-crafted presents, decorations and Christmas cards, to meats, cheeses, chutneys and more for your festive feast.

There’s plenty of gift inspiration in the flagship Wedgwood store too, alongside bargains galore in the factory shop, plus street food, live music, and, in the Wedgwood Museum, themed children’s trails.

Take a break from the hullabaloo in the creative studio, where you can paint or throw your own unique Christmas souvenir, or in the neighbouring Hem Heath Woods on a relaxing winter stroll.

Find out more at https://www.worldofwedgwood.com/blog/christmas-market-fine-food-and-artisan-crafts-monthly-market

New Year’s Eve Raceday, Uttoxeter Racecourse

Welcome in the New Year in style at Uttoxeter Racecourse, with an exhilarating day at the races.

The New Year’s Eve Raceday is an action-packed afternoon of seven live jump races, kicking off at 12.15, with prices starting at £9. Admission for under 18s is free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Also this month, the Christmas Jumper Raceday has prizes for the best knitwear up for grabs, while the Christmas Party Raceday is a great way to get into the spirit with workmates, friends and family.

And the Gold Soul & Motown Night features four decades of classic soul, Motown and disco hits, in the plush 1907 Suite.

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

Christmas Wishes, Museum of Cannock Chase

Wonder at the magic of Christmas on the festive story trail, Christmas Wishes at the Museum of Cannock Chase.

Bring the family to our Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and help the elves find the ingredients for Mrs Claus’ cake, write letters to Santa and hear seasonal stories in the North Pole Post.

Make toys in the elves workshop, play parlour games, and more, before finishing your two-hour experience with a free treat and drink.

A magical day out for children aged 3-8 and the whole family!

Book now at http://www.museumofcannockchase.org/events/christmas-wishes/986

Santa & Steam, Churnet Valley Railway

Ride the Santa Express on a magical Christmas journey at Churnet Valley Railway’s seasonal favourite Santa & Steam.

Meet Santa as he brings wonderful gifts to boys, girls, mums and dads, as the classic steam train works its way through spectacular Staffordshire countryside. There are treats for all the children, and mince pies and sherry for the mums and dads!

Snap up some festive fayre in the tea rooms, and finish off your Christmas shopping in the station gift shop, home of great stocking fillers for any train fan.

The Santa Express runs on selected dates throughout December, until Christmas Eve when Santa will have to rush off.

Book your Santa & Steam experience at https://santaandsteam.co.uk/

Illuminated Arboretum, National Memorial Arboretum

Enjoy spectacular projections onto the iconic Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum this December, courtesy of Illuminated Arboretum.

Running for 10 days, from 11th-20th December, this breath-taking light experience shows the wonder of the Arboretum at night, with a host of immersive activities to keep the winter chill at bay, including Semaphore Man, Votive Woods and Beacons of Light.

Walk the torch-lit avenue, contribute to the displays, experiment with the shadow wall, and more, on an unforgettable Christmas evening.

Also at the Arboretum this December, Carols by Candlelight (21st December), will fill you with festive spirit as you sing-along with seasonal favourites, surrounded by illuminated trees and hundreds of candles.

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

The Prince and the Pauper, New Vic Theatre

The award-winning New Vic Theatre has an enchanting tale for you to enjoy this Christmas – Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper.

A classic adventure story of a chance, life-changing meeting features all the imaginative story-telling you’d expect from the acclaimed New Vic production team, plus live music, humour and even puppetry!

Having already received rave reviews from The Guardian and The Stage, The Prince and the Pauper is bound to get plenty more before its run, which includes accessible and interpreted performances, ends on 25th January.

And the Tale Trail, specially written and directed for three to five-year-olds, is a lovely way to bring the story to a younger audience and introduce them to the magic of theatre.

Book your tickets at http://www.newvictheatre.org.uk/productions/the-prince-and-the-pauper/

Peter Pan, Gatehouse Theatre

Join Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and The Lost Boys as they take on Captain Hook in this swashbuckling adventure at the Gatehouse Theatre.

Starring Ian Reddington, of Coronation Street and EastEnders fame, the enduring tale of the boy who never grew up runs from Friday 13th December to Sunday 5th January 2020, transforming the Gatehouse stage into the island paradise of Neverland.

Also at the Gatehouse this month is Have a Bonnie Christmas, the annual concert of Christmas favourites, and Tres Tres Cabaret adding a ton of sparkle to your festive season.

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

New Year’s Eve, Alton Towers

See in the New Year with a bang at Alton Towers Resort by choosing one of their four amazing New Year’s Eve packages.

The CBeebies New Year’s Eve Party is the perfect way for younger visitors to join in, with the Hoppin New Year with Peter Rabbit giving them the chance to mark the occasion at 9pm with Peter himself!

Sir Algenon’s New Year Extravaganza features three-course meal, magic shows and a live band, while the Ultimate Caribbean Beach Bash will have you dancing with the Calypso Crew as the clock strikes 12.

And older guests will love the New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner in the magnificent State Room, combining fine dining with great live entertainment from the band and DJ until the early hours.

All this and a thrilling start to 2020 too – all packages include theme park and water park tickets for January 1st.

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

Things to do near me

There is a full rundown of December's top events in our What's On section, with plenty of festive fun throughout the month.

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National Memorial Arboretum
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