December as we all know is about family and the magic of Christmas. Here's some great ways to fill up your stocking with fun, festive activities in Wales for all the family.
The Christmasland Chronicles, Bluestone
9 November 2020 – 3 January 2021. Enjoy an exciting adventure with the Bluestone Elves at Bluestone in Pembrokeshire. Enjoy the magical Christmasland festival, which this year is The Christmasland Chronicles.
Cardiff Christmas Market
12 November – 23 December. Cardiff Christmas Market will take place on St John Street, Working Street, the Hayes, Hills Street and Trinity Street and will include an exciting and eclectic mix of both new and returning exhibitors to tempt you as their original, hand made work is the essence of what makes our market so different and special every year.
Christmas in Swansea Bay
14 November – 3 January. If you're visiting Swansea during the Christmas period, there's plenty to keep you busy. From 14 November until 3 January, Museum Park will once again be transformed into the Alpine Village, including seated and takeaway food and a rides and games area. From 27 November to 21 December, Oxford Street will host the Christmas Market - where you can find a selection of unique gifts, tempting treats and beautiful decorations.
Royal Welsh Virtual Winter Fair
30 November - 1 December 2020. For 2020 the Royal Welsh Winter Fair will take place online over two days.
The online shopping experience will launch from 6 November and will be open until the 23 December.
Find out more about the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.
Sherman Theatre's Advent Calendar, online
Santa's Tea party, Celtic Manor, Newport, South Wales
28 November - 24 December. Enjoy a magical festive experience for grown-ups and children alike. With things a little different this year, afternoon tea with Santa has a special virtual twist. Children can enjoy their own afternoon tea and a chance to see, hear and interact with the big man himself when he dials in from ho-ho-home for a fun group video call from the North Pole!
Reindeer safari, Mold
2 - 29 December. Reindeer Lodge are offering up a drive-through reindeer safari experience and theatre show that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own car. You can choose a day ticket to enjoy the stunning scenery or a night ticket to see the woodland illuminated. There's also a hidden Elf village and a drive-thru Santa's Grotto and Toy Workshop.
Becoming Richard Burton exhibition, Cardiff and online
21 November 2020 - 11 April 2021. National Museum Cardiff will host the Becoming Richard Burton exhibition - explore his diaries, papers and personal objects which will guide you through the remarkable story of how Richard Jenkins, the boy from Pontrhydyfen and Taibach, Port Talbot, became Richard Burton, the international star of stage and screen.
While the museum is currently closed, the Becoming Richard Burton digital exhibition allows you to enjoy elements of the exhibition at home.
New York Metropolitan Opera’s Met Stars Live
12 December: Opera superstar Bryn Terfel is teaming up with a top film and television director who worked on the hit TV series Friends and an old school mate for a Christmas concert from Wales that’s being streamed worldwide by the New York Metropolitan Opera.
The concert with a distinctively Welsh flavour will be taking place at Brecon Cathedral at 6pm on Saturday, December 12, with Gary Halvorson, who directed 55 episodes of Friends between 1997 and 2004, masterminding the lavish production remotely from the Big Apple.
Father Christmas and Friends: At Home, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, online
13 December. Join Father Christmas, Mother Christmas and the mischievous Elves for a feast of festive fun from the comfort of your own home! Aimed at children aged 3-8 years old, there's a packed afternoon with plenty of Christmas sparkle including, making decorations with Mother Christmas, learning about Welsh Christmas traditions, a Christmas quiz and a sing-along to get you in the mood for the festive season.
Winter adventure activity trail, Dyffryn Gardens and Powis Castle
5 December to 10 January. Peter Rabbit’s friends need some help finding items to see them through the colder winter months. Lend a hand to some of Beatrix Potter’s well-loved characters such as Squirrel Nutkin, Mr. Jeremy Fisher and Jemima Puddle-Duck, and solve the clues to earn a special trail badge and certificate.
Tenby Boxing Day Swim
26 December. Postponed in 2020. Want a novel way to freshen up after the Christmas over-indulgence? How about taking part in this charity fundraising event? Nearly 600 participants run into the inviting sea in their best fancy dress. You can of course opt to simply spectate from the shore staying warm and dry.
The 2020 50th anniversary swim has been postponed to May Day 2021, a day that coincides with another Tenby legend: Dunking Day, when sea swimming restarts and locals once upon a time would find themselves in the sea after a friendly nudge off the harbour.
Find out more about the Tenby Boxing Day Swim.
Coral Welsh Grand National
27 December 2020. Watch the action and place a few bets at one of the biggest horse races of the year. There's something for all the family to ensure you have a fun post-Christmas day out, including a Christmas choir, human statues and face painters for the children.
The 2020 race will take place behind closed doors but can be watched on Sky Sports Racing.
Find out more about the Coral Welsh Grand National
Nos Galan Virtual Challenge
31 December. Celebrate the achievements of Guto Nyth Brân (Griffith Morgan) on New Year's Eve in the South Wales Valleys with the Nos Galan Road Races. There are numerous tales of Guto, including one that he could run so fast he could catch a bird in flight. Each year a famous sports personality takes part, so come along and find out who it is this year!
For 2020 the race takes place virtually. Find out more about the Nos Galan Virtual Challenge.
Mari Lwyd and New Year Walk In
31 December. The ancient Welsh New Year custom of parading the skull of a horse around the parish to bring luck for the year ahead has been revived in many places. The Mari's party try to gain access by singing, and those inside barter back, also in song.
Find out more about Mari Lwyd and New Year Walk In
Caerphilly Christmas Market
2020 event cancelled. TBC December 2021. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of Caerphilly town and castle and prepare for Christmas with delicious food, the smell of mulled wine, exciting street theatre and over 100 food, craft & gift stalls. Find the perfect gifts at Caerphilly Christmas Market… whether it's wine, liqueurs, chocolates, jewellery or something a little more unusual. Feel festive as you browse the Christmas decorations and seasonal stalls (while sampling some tasty food and drink of course!)
Find out more about Caerphilly Christmas Market