Home Christmas 22 things to do during the Christmas holidays in Tunbridge Wells

22 things to do during the Christmas holidays in Tunbridge Wells

Are you looking for something to do with your kids during the Christmas holidays in Tunbridge Wells? There are twenty two events and activities included below, many of which are guaranteed to get you into the festive spirit ahead of Christmas Day on Sunday!! Have a wonderful week…

Please note, this blog post is from 2016. To read about things to do during the Christmas holidays in Tunbridge Wells in 2019 – click HERE!!!!!

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#1 Story Sock Christmas Parties – Weds 21st, Thurs 22nd & Fri 23rd December

To get everyone in the mood for the festive season, Story Sock will be holding three Christmas parties for 2-5 year olds. The sessions will be 45 minutes, £7 per child and will feature a festive story, an art activity, songs and games…VERY FESTIVE!

The first party is taking place in Langton Church Hall on Wednesday at 1.45pm, followed by Crowborough Community Centre at 10am on Thursday and 10am at Tunbridge Wells Masonic Hall on Friday. Spaces are limited so booking is essential. Just email katy@storysock.co.uk to book your place.

#2 Temper Temper Family and Kids Workshops – Tuesday 27th & Friday 30th December

There can often be a lack of things going on between Christmas and New Year and these Temper Temper workshops are a great opportunity to do something fun, regardless of the weather! There are just a few spaces left in the Temper Temper Chocolate family workshop (in Southborough) on 27th December from 1-3pm – spaces are £25 each and this honestly sounds like my ideal day! Family + chocolate must be a winner??

There are also some places left in the children’s workshop on Friday 30th December from 10am to 12 noon. Temper Temper offer gift vouchers so this could be the perfect present? To find out more, visit the Temper Temper Chocolate website at contact Alison on 01892 538758 / 07999058820.

#3 Cookies Kitchen Holiday Workshops – Thursday 22nd December

Cookies Kitchen is hosting several Christmas cookery workshops this Thursday. Spaces are filling up fast and the Tonbridge sessions are now sold out, however there are a few places left in the Underriver class and a couple left in Frant for children aged 4-10 years.

The sessions are from 10am to 3.30pm and are £68.50 for club members and £75 non-members. Places can be booked by emailing Carol on bookings@cookieskitchen.co.uk or calling her on 07786 271227.

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#4 The Tunbridge Wells Ice Rink – now until Monday 2 January 2017

Set within the beautiful Calverley Grounds, the Tunbridge Wells Ice Rink makes a perfect Christmas outing for friends and family. Seal skating aids are available to hire for children – we had a super time with the kids at the Parent & Toddler sessions which you can read about HERE.

Pre-booking for sessions is recommended and can be done through the Royal Tunbridge Wells at Christmas website. Don’t forget to pop into Basil while there – I can personally recommend the hot chocolate and chocolate brownies. Yum!

#5 Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs Panto – Now until Monday 2 January

We went to the panto at the Assembly Hall Theatre Tunbridge Wells the other night and oh my goodness it was brilliant! It was just a Mummy/Son date with my 5 year old and he was enthralled by it all – you can read the review HERE. Taking place until Monday 2 January, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is full of sparkling sets, beautiful costumes, hilarious antics, wonderful special effects and loads of sing-along, laugh-along fun.

TV & Panto legend Su Pollard stars as the Wicked Queen and Jamie Rickers, of Citv and Nickelodeon, as Muddles the Jester – both of which are fantastic! This is a spectacular production filled with music and dance, fun and laughter for the whole family!

#6 Freckles & Fire Christmas Bauble Making / Biscuit Decorating – Wednesday 21st & Friday 23rd December

Freckles & Fire is hosting a Christmas bauble making workshop this Wednesday from 4 to 5.30pm (age 5+). Choosing from different colours and gems, your little man or lady will take home a stunning decoration to hang on the Christmas tree! The cost is £13.00 per creator. And the best thing? Every year they will be able to hang their handmade delights.

It’s sugar and spice and all things nice on Friday 23rd December with two Biscuit Decoration sessions – 10 to 10.45am and 11 to 11.45am. Taking place in the beautiful basement of Fine Grind on The High Street, Tunbridge Wells, children will love getting stuck into decorating cookies galore with icing, toppings and the essential sugar decorations.

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#7 Christmas Elfxtravaganza at Groombridge Place –Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th December

Groombridge Place is open to visitors until 23rd December for an exciting fun filled Christmas Elfxtravaganza, followed by festive fun from 27th to 30th December and a New Years Eve Family Fun Day on 31st December. Enjoy a day full of festive entertainment during the Elfxtravaganza including joining the elves on a Treasure Hunt to find Jack Frost, running through falling snow, writing letters to Santa and making reindeer food ready for Santa’s visit on Christmas Eve.

Visitors can also go along to the Elves Craft Workshop and decorate gingerbread to take home. Festive stalls will be selling mulled wine, candy floss, popcorn and Christmas gifts. For a small additional charge, children can have their face painted too. There are a few slots still available to see Father Christmas from 19th to 23rd December.

#8 A ride on the Santa Express – Daily until Saturday 24th December

The Santa Express and Markerstudy is continuing to bring festive fun to Tunbridge Wells with their Christmas land train running from 10am to 4pm daily until Christmas Eve.

Passengers can board the train at The Pantiles or Assembly Hall Theatre – we really enjoyed going on it! It’s free to go on, with donations welcome for local charity, the Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre.

#9 Late Night Shopping at Royal Victoria Place – from Monday 19th December

Royal Victoria Place will be open until 8pm daily from Monday 19th until Friday 23rd December and parking is free after 4pm. The shopping centre will also be open until 5pm on Christmas Eve in case you have some last minute presents to buy. The winter sales start on Boxing Day when the centre opens from 10am to 6pm. Check out the soft play and hire a push-along car (for free) or enjoy some me-time – that’s what I’m hoping for! More details on opening hours can be found HERE.

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#10 Last minute visits to Father Christmas 

If you haven’t had the chance to take the kids to see Father Christmas, there are still some options to choose from, including the Santa Experience at Sussex Country Gardener, Royal Victoria Place (where you don’t need to book ahead for) and Groombridge Place (which can be booked HERE). Check out this blog post on the Best Father Christmas Grottos.

#11 St John’s Christmas Window Wonderland – Now until 3rd January

Children are invited to follow a quiz trail leading them around the participating businesses at St John’s to find the Christmas bears and collect stickers as they go. This is a FREE activity which can be done Monday to Saturday, with donations for Tristan’s Fund at Tree of Hope. Quiz sheets can be downloaded HERE.

#12 ‘Deck Your Halls’ at Grosvenor & Hilbert Park – Tuesday 20th December

Embrace the creativity of Christmas and make your own Christmas decorations at Grosvenor & Hilbert Park this Tuesday. From Christmas trees, to reindeers and baubles, there will be something to do for all ages at this free event in the Hub. Drop in from 3.30 to 5.30pm – no booking is required.

children's Christmas events in Tunbridge Wells

#13 Christmas Wild Child with Kent & High Weald Partnership – Thursday 22nd December

Kick start your Christmas holiday fun with a day in the woods at Grosvenor & Hilbert Park. Hosted by Kent & High Weald Partnership, there’ll be free festive fun with woodland craft, games and a campfire! All ages welcome and children must be accompanied by an adult. The event is taking place from 11am to 1pm in the woods near the Skate Park. Please dress for the outdoors!

#14 PUP Cafe & Story Sock Christmas Party – Tuesday 20th December

Story Sock will be getting pre-schoolers in the festive mood at the special PUP Cafe & Story Sick Christmas Party this Tuesday at PUP Cafe! The session is at 2.30pm for 2-5 year olds and costs £12.50 per child. This includes free entry to PUP, a child’s lunch and a 30 minute Story Sock session featuring a festive tale and an art & craft activity. Get there early to enjoy the soft play and lunch beforehand! Email katy@storysock.co.uk to book your place.

#15 Winter Wonderland Illuminations at Drusillas – Now until Monday 2nd January

Be dazzled by the beautiful Winter Wonderland Illuminations at Drusillas. Look out for the daily light show synchronised to music which brings to life a host of magical creatures in an ice-capped kingdom. And don’t forget to meet the real life Reindeers or Hug a Husky (up until 23rd December) in the Ice Cave!

Visitors can purchase entry tickets to Drusillas through the website HERE anytime up to midnight of the night before their visit to benefit from an online discount. Alternatively they can also pay at the gate on the day. Tickets to see Father Christmas who will be there until Friday 23rd December (daily) are available at the Park on the day.

Christmas Fairs in Tunbridge Wells

#16 Hever Castle’s ‘Once Upon a Castle’ – Daily until Saturday 24th December

Hever Castle celebrates the history of pantomime this Christmas in ‘Once Upon A Castle’. Walk through the rooms of the Castle, adorned with beautiful decorations and welcoming log fires and learn about the evolution of pantomime.

Follow the snowy Christmas trail and discover the story of Jack and the Beanstalk as you wander through the illuminated gardens as dusk falls. Read about our visit last year HERE.

#17 Ice Skating at Port Lympne – Now until Monday 9th January

Get your skates on for festive fun with a wild twist this winter at Port Lympne Reserve. The open air rink is open daily until 9th January, with the exception of Christmas Day. Visitors can dance and glide or pirouette and slide to their favourite Christmas songs under the twinkling lights and later, warm up with a hot drink and seasonal snack at Pinewood café.

Starting at 11am and finishing at 7.15pm, the 45 minute sessions are available to book online. Skating sessions before 2.30pm every day are included in the entry cost to the Reserve.  After last entry time of 2.30pm, skating sessions are priced at £5.00 per person and entry to the Reserve is not included.  Skate hire is priced at £3.00 per person. Read about our recent visit to Port Lympne HERE.

#18 Leeds Castle Christmas Market – Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd December

The annual Christmas Market at Leeds Castle is on again on 22 and 23 December from 10am to 5pm. Taking place on the Cedar Lawn overlooking the Castle,  discover an awesome array of seasonal gifts, toys, festive decorations, specialist food and drink and meet the reindeer and birds of prey.

In the centre of the market, enjoy nostalgic fairground attractions, children’s rides and a daily programme of live musical entertainment. Take a ride on the Victorian carousel and the high flying ‘chair-o-planes’ or take a leisurely trip on the big wheel for a spectacular view of the Castle.

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#19 Christmas Carol Services – Various!

Several of the churches around Tunbridge Wells have already had their Christmas Carol Concerts but there are still some taking place in the lead up to Christmas Day. St John’s Church is hosting a Christmas Carols event on Christmas Eve at 2.30pm and 4pm – Children are welcome to come dressed as angels, shepherds, wise men or animals!

There’s a crib service at St James Church on Christmas Eve at 4pm and a Christingle service at St Peter’s Church in Southborough at 3.30pm. Carols around the Christmas Tree are taking place at St Mary’s Church in Speldhurst at 5pm on Friday 23rd December. Most of the churches’ websites have up-to-date information about their services coming up over the next days.

#20 Christmas Farmer’s Market – Thursday 22nd December

The Tunbridge Wells Farmer’s Market is hosting a Christmas edition this Thursday outside the Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery on Civic Way from 9am to 2pm. There promises to be lots of festive food on offer which would make the perfect gift or something for you to enjoy at home. PUP Cafe is open from 9.30am to 3pm so you could always pop in there too if you have kids under 5 (though bigger kids are welcome to use the cafe area too).

Christmas holidays in Tunbridge Wells

#21 Spot the Christmas lights in Hawkenbury

If you fancy going to see some Christmas illuminations locally, there are a couple of houses up in Hawkenbury which I’m told have a fantastic light display. Just opposite Hawkenbury rec (after you pass the turning to Maryland Road), these families make an amazing effort each year and any donations are given to a charity of their choice – this year it’s Hospice in the Weald.

I have also heard that there are some super illuminations at some of the houses on Framley Road in Tonbridge! Worth checking out…

#22 Finding Dory / Kubo And The Two Strings / The BFG at Odeon Kids 

Finding Dory is showing as part of Odeon Kids from Monday to Thursday at 10.30am.  Kubo And The Two Strings is on from Monday 19th to Thursday 29th December at 10.30am and the BFG is being screened at 10am from Friday 23rd to Thursday 29th December and then 10.30am on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st December.   Tickets are just £2.50 even when booked online. Visit the Odeon to double check the times (in case they have changed) and to book your tickets.


Have you seen the My Tunbridge Wells Directory? Check out the newly launched ‘Classes for Adults’ section. Even more additions coming soon! If you are are interested in having your business included, please contact clare@mytunbridgewells.com

adults classes in Tunbridge Wells