It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year and the festive fun comes hand in hand with plenty of wonderful Christmas family days out in Kent and East Sussex. So pop your Christmas jumper on and check out these wonderful activities in and around Tunbridge Wells…
Please note – this post is from 2018. The 2019 post about Christmas Family Days out in Kent & East Sussex is on its way very soon!!!!
As always, we have tried to be as accurate as possible with dates and times, but please also check the website or Facebook page of each venue / attraction before visiting. Hope you have fun over the coming weeks…
♥ Grab one of the last remaining tickets to the Baby Broadway Christmas Concert at The Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks. Sing along to festive tunes with West-End performers on Saturday 15th of December.
♥ Discover the magic of Kipling at Bateman’s Jacobean house, the former house fo Rudyard Kipling and enjoy a Christmas experience based on his ‘Just So’ stories. Storytelling will be taking place on Monday 31st of December, Tuesday 1st January, Wednesday 2nd January, Thursdays; 20th & 27th December, Fridays; 21st & 28th December, Saturdays; 2nd, 8th & 22nd December and 5th January, Sundays; 2nd, 16th, 23rd & 30th December
♥ Take a mile long after-dark walk to see the magical Christmas lights at Bedgebury Pinetum with their magical illuminated trail. On various dates between the 30th of November and the 30th of December.
♥ Get the full Christmas experience at Bewl Water this Christmas. There will be fairground rides, a fire pit for roasting marshmallows and a visit with the main man, Father Christmas. Open on the 1st and 2nd of December, the 8th and 9th, the 15th and 16th and then from the 21st to the 24th of December.
♥ Celebrate the start of the festive month by taking the family to help create some Christmas decorations for Bodiam castle – on the 1st and 2nd of December – or alternatively visit Bodium to hear some stories told by lantern light – all weekends in December and January.
♥ Take a detour from the high street and have a peek at Chartwell’s Christmas market instead. Chartwell are also hosting a Big Circus themed festive trail taking place daily from the 22nd November until the 6th January, 10am-4pm.
♥ Have a wander around the Christmas lights of Tunbridge Wells and see who has really gone to town this year. You can read a post about the most illuminated houses and places from last year here.
♥ Celebrate the works and the times of the world renowned Charles Dickens, in Rochester (his home for many years and inspiration for some of his books) at the Dickensian Christmas Weekend on the 1st and 2nd of December.
♥ Search for Christmas presents hidden under decorated trees at Emmetts Garden Christmas trail which promises to be fun for all the family. Starting Saturday 1st December until Sunday 6th January, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
♥ See the lanterns, many of which have been made by local children, at Glow Wild in Wakehurst. Follow the illuminated trail around the beautiful grounds. Open Thursdays to Sundays, 22nd of November to the 16th of December 2018.
♥ Celebrate the magic of the circus at Groombridge Place with their ‘Christmas Circus Spectacular’. Show Days are 20, 21, 22 & 23 December and 27, 28, 29 & 30 December and there are four shows a day
♥ Don’t forget to go and visit the man of the moment, Father Christmas, at one of his many Grotto’s around the area. There are so many magical places to meet him that it warrants it’s very own blogpost, which you can find here.
♥ Soak up the Christmas spirit with some Traditional Christmas Tales at Hever Castle. Log fires, Christmas decorations and a Dickens ‘Christmas Carol’ theme in the gardens. November 24th until December the 9th (Wednesdays until Sundays) and then daily from December 10th to December the 24th.
♥ Run, walk or skip your way to the finish of the family festive 5k called the ‘Ho Ho Hospice Rumble Santas vs Penguins’. Taking place on the 16th of December this event is all about raising funds for the wonderful Hospice in the Weald.
♥ Meet Father Christmas within the very civilised surroundings of the Hotel du Vin. Enjoy a three course festive lunch, followed by a gift, a photo and a chat with Father Christmas. Taking place on Sunday the 9th and Sunday the 16th of December.
♥ Channel your inner Torvill and Dean and do a spot of Ice Skating in Calverley grounds. Open every day from the 16th November to the 2nd of January (bar Christmas day).
♥ Visit Ightham Mote on the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of December as they unveil the house dressed for Christmas and host their annual Christmas mini-market.
♥ Expect giggles and gags aplenty and go and watch Jack and the Beanstalk at the EM Forster Theatre from the 15th December to the 6th of January.
♥ Catch a showing of The Jungle Book at The Oast Theatre in Tonbridge. Performances take place between the 13th and the 22nd of December.
♥ Get creative and make some natural Christmas decorations at a family workshop run by Kent Wildlife Trust on Saturday 8th December from 10am to 12 noon and 1pm to 3pm at Tyland Barn.
♥ Unleash your inner showman and sing along to hits from The Greatest Showman at Kidenza Children’s Concert at Sevenoaks school on the 15th of December.
♥ Be at one with nature and join in the morning feeding session of the Deer at Knole Park (children must be over 5). Taking place on the 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th of December.
♥ Get your last few Christmas gifts at Leeds Castle Christmas Markets and visit the Castle whilst you are there. On the 24th -25th November, 1st-2nd of December, 8th – 9th of December and 15th-16th of December.
♥ Get your Christmas frock on and head to the Mercure Hotel for their White Christmas Family Ball hosted by Once Upon a Wish Events. Includes a festive lunch and two hours of children’s entertainment on the 9th of December.
♥ Head to the cinema and watch a festive film with the family at The Odeon. At the moment they are showing The Grinch but listings change so keep your eyes peeled!
♥ Explore Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures which will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Starting on Saturday 24th November, the Experience runs every weekend up until Christmas (plus Thursday 20th and Monday 24th December).
♥ Get festive by watching a production of ‘Sammy the Sheep Saves Christmas’ at the Brook Theatre in Chatham. Performances take place daily from the 30th of November to the 24th of December.
♥ Go to Scotney Castle and complete their festive Noah’s ark trail in the garden, visit Father Christmas and Mrs Claus for storytelling in the old castle and wrap up warm for a visit to the children’s play area which will be open all winter. Storytelling takes place on the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th of December. Then from 15th – 23rd December at 9.30am & 12noon
♥ It’s peak time for Panto (oh no it isn’t!) so go and see Sleeping Beauty at The Assembly Hall from the 7th December to the 2nd January
♥ See Snow White, Tonbridge’s Community Panto at the Angel Centre on the 9th of December.
♥ Support your local businesses and buy some local Christmas goods with Support Local Pop-Up at Kingdom in Penshurst on the 1st of December.
♥ Indulge in some chocolate making at one of Temper Temper’s Christmas chocolate making workshops in Southborough. Workshops are taking place on Monday 24th December from 11am to 1pm, Thursday 27th December from 10am to 12 noon and Wednesday 2nd January from 10am to 12 noon.
♥ Take some time out from the build up to Christmas and get some tips to keep your mind and body healthy this winter at Thrive Winter Wellbeing. You can also make your own luxury wreath to take home in The Plough barn in Leigh, near Tonbridge. Taking place on Saturday the 1st of December.
♥ Have a festive day out with a difference with an interactive Narnia experience at Tilgate Park’s Magical Christmas Experience. Open every weekend in December.
♥ Watch classic family show, The Wind in the Willows at Trinity Theatre from the 13th December to the 2nd of January.