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Best Christmas Days out for the Family

Monday 14 November 2022

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With new Christmas activities popping up each year, there are an endless choice of fantastic festive days out that are tailor-made for all age groups - making a tough choice for parents. With dazzling grottos, enchanting lights, and visits from Santa Claus, you can enjoy some much-needed special time with your loved ones and the little ones.

With Christmas just around the corner, are you stuck on ideas for making this year extra special for the family? Whether you're discovering a new city, heading to a theme park, or exploring a Winter Wonderland, here are the best Christmas days out in the UK.

York’s Winter Wonderland We travel here

York town centre with Christmas decorations

With an outdoor Christmas ice rink, Santa's grotto, and an Alpine café, you'll get the full North Pole experience without flying. When we say ice rink, we don't mean any old ice rink, with 975 square metres of real ice; the Ice Factor is the largest ice rink in the whole of the North of England. Once you've finished up on the ice, the whole family can have hours of fun chasing around on the vintage dodgems and riding along on the golden-era rides. If you're looking to warm yourself up and watch the skaters, you may find yourself tucking into some delicious food and drink in The Chalet, a cosy alpine-themed, après-skate café.

Trains to York’s Winter Wonderland:

York Station is easily accessible from various routes; CrossCountry's most popular routes include Edinburgh to York, Birmingham to York, and Newcastle to York. The Wonderland is situated at the rear of York Designer Outlet, which can be reached via a short journey on the No.7 bus from York city centre.

LEGOLAND at Christmas

LEGO and Christmas are the dream combination for many children in the UK, and LEGOLAND has made their dreams come true. Enjoy a magical day of amazing rides, attractions, and entertainment as soon as you set foot in the park – making it a fun, festive day out for all the family! With Christmas-themed shows, an elf workshop, and a very special guest who has travelled all the way from the North Pole to meet your little elves, this will be a day they'll never forget. Of course, LEGOLAND has gone all out and built a jaw-dropping 8m high LEGO Christmas tree if you weren't impressed already.

Trains to LEGOLAND:

To take the stress of travelling, why not travel to LEGOLAND Windsor by train? The nearest train stations to LEGOLAND Windsor are Windsor & Eton Central and Windsor & Eton Riverside, where there are paid shuttle buses straight to the park. It's worth noting these shuttle bus services are not operated by the park, so please check when planning your day.

Christmas in Edinburgh We travel here

Couple watching a carousel in Edinburgh

Despite Hogmanay stealing all the attention in Edinburgh over the season, as one of the best cities to Christmas in the UK, the Scottish capital is well worth visiting. From mid-November right up until the big day, there are a whole host of Christmas activities that are great for all age groups. With activities dotted across the city including an ice rink, elves workshops, Santa's grotto, and some of the best food and drinks markets – the kids will be zonked by the end of the day. The city looks even more magical this time of year, with the streets and famous castle displaying some of the best Christmas lights in the UK. If you’re really interested, why not consider turning the trip into a family Christmas break?

Trains to Edinburgh:

To remove the stress of driving, explore travelling to Edinburgh by train. Edinburgh Waverley is easily accessible from a variety of routes; some of CrossCountry's most popular routes include Newcastle to Edinburgh, Birmingham to Edinburgh, Bristol to Edinburgh, and more.

Christmas at Chester Zoo

Transforming a zoo into a winter wonderland, Chester Zoo is offering something a little unique and extra magical over the Christmas period. Enjoy the Christmas trail in the zoo, where you'll venture through colour lanterns, see spectacular illuminations, and meet costumed characters along the way; some of the characters may include orangutans, butterflies, or baboons, making this day an enchanting experience for kids and parents alike. For even more reason to go, the Christmas event is supporting crucial work as a wildlife conservation charity, helping to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Trains to Chester Zoo:

To spend some real quality family time for the entire day, discover getting to Chester Zoo by train. Only a couple miles away from the zoo is Chester station which has excellent direct connections from Crewe Station, Manchester Piccadilly, and more.


If you’re planning a trip to one of the best Christmas days out for the family, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.

The UK is bursting with fun activities. Whether you’re visiting one of the best castles in the UK, the best theme parks in the UK, or the best waterparks in the UK, you can always travel by train. CrossCountry has services running up and down the country to ensure you can get to the places you need to be.

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