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Festive Holiday Chaos – Five Ideas for Entertaining the Kids this Christmas

Festive Holiday Chaos – Five Ideas for Entertaining the Kids this Christmas

The kids are counting down the days until Christmas and you’re beginning to panic – how will I get my shopping done in time? How will I work when the kids break up for Christmas? How will the house stay tidy? And what about the big Christmas food shop? These are the worries currently going through many parents’ minds so here are a few ideas to get everyone in the festive mood without going crazy.

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Ice skating

This only for the brave but most towns have an ice ring of some description to entertain the whole family. If you are based in London or the South East, the best ones can be found at Hampton Court, where you can skate with a backdrop of one of the greatest historic palaces on earth. Or head to the Natural History Museum, which you will see equally as beautiful architecture – or you can combine Christmas shopping with some skating at London’s Westfield shopping centre. Most ice rinks have skating aids for kids such as penguins to help the under 10s stay stable.

 

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Garden centres

Do you have a child friendly garden centre close by? These are a key destination for any holiday period. Many are equipped with playgrounds or soft plays and have their own Santa’s grotto. Visit Santa, look at the animals and fish, browse through toys and books or even try out some holiday crafts. At my local garden centre, Squires, they have little treasure hunts around the store, pottery making and seasonal crafts. That combined with a child friendly cafe, makes it a winning formula for entertaining children and parents alike – even on a rainy day.

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Soft plays

There are amazing soft play centres all over the UK, some of them like Parents Paradise in Watford are a sure fire hit with go karting, play frames and even a child friendly mini shooting gallery on offer. Most towns have a big warehouse soft play and some even have luxury ones like Bramley’s Big Adventure in North Kensington, London which boasts a three level climbing frame. Many have a parent coffee area so if your child is old enough and well behaved then you can even go with a friend who will keep an eye whilst you send a few emails.

 

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Cinema trip

This is much more cost effective than you may think. Cineworld Junior and Odeon Kids have really cheap deals, especially over the school holidays. Some of the discounted movies may be a little old but there are still some great films on offer such as Minions, Frozen and The Greatest Showman. Treat your kids to a discounted screening or a big festive blockbuster such as The Grinch. Grab a bite to eat in a kid friendly restaurant, such as Pizza Express, afterwards and you have a winner day out on your hands.

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Pantomime

A Christmas staple for any family and most towns have a performance to really get your family in the Christmas spirit. ‘He’s Behind You’ – every child loves a Widow Twanky or the Ugly Sisters. Look in local newspapers for your closest performance – you’ll find everything from Cinderella and Aladdin to Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty. London’s Palladium this year is showcasing Snow White with Dawn French and Julian Clary – or you could try the brilliant Dick Whittington at Hammersmith’s Lyric theatre. However, tickets are not cheap so check out productions in your local area for more purse friendly deals.

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And what if you have to work?

Every town has Christmas workshops on to entertain the little ones and give you a little break to get festive ready. Stagecoach for example is running a Christmas popstar workshop in my area, for children aged 4-6 years. Or you could try Gymboree with franchises in lots of UK towns, many hold stage shows and activity classes for children over the festive period. Speak to your child’s school for more details on local workshops – there are tons available from swimming to ballet to cheerleading to rugby. Or look at online resources such as your local Families magazine to see listings and more information.



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