December, as we all know, is about family and the magic of Christmas. Here are some great ways to fill up your stocking with fun, festive activities in Wales for all the family.
Christmas in Swansea Bay
08 November 2022 - 08 January 2023.Swansea’s Waterfront Winterland returns to Museum Park, with an extended Alpine Village. There’s a host of funfair attractions and a range of festive food and drink, providing a perfect setting for socialising. Book ice skating online. Accessible sessions for skating are available during the first hour of skate sessions every Tuesday. New for 2022 are super saver tickets, offering substantial savings for families and students on skating, food and drink.
Cardiff Christmas Market
10 November - 23 December 2022. Cardiff Christmas Market takes place on St John Street, Working Street, the Hayes, Hills Street and Trinity Street and includes 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.
Cardiff's Winter Wonderland
15 November 2022 - 08 January 2023. Head to the city centre for funfair rides, an all-weather covered ice rink plus an ice walk and popular Sur La Piste bar. Cardiff Winter Wonderland takes place at Cardiff Castle and the City Hall lawn.
17 November 2022 - 02 January 2023. A spectacular, illuminated trail, full of wonder and intrigue, to delight and enthral your senses at the historic gardens of Margam Country Park and Castle. Tickets must be pre-booked, online in advance. See Luminate Wales website for more information nearer the time.
Reindeer safari, Mold
19 November - 24 December 2022. Reindeer Lodge offer 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.
Swansea Winter Wonderland
19 November - 24 December 2022. Gower Fresh Christmas Trees, Three Crosses, Swansea, is home to Swansea Winter Wonderland and Grotto. Enter the snowy kingdom, see the animatronics and meet Santa. There's a gift for the children and mulled wine and a mince pie for the parents.
Christmas shopping in Swansea
25 November - 21 December 2022. Oxford Street hosts a Christmas Market, where you can find a selection of unique gifts, tempting treats and beautiful decorations.
Believe experience at St David’s Cardiff
25 November - 24 December 2022. Believe, the enchanted Christmas grotto experience, returns to St David’s, Cardiff. Meet McJingles, one of Santa’s most trusted elves and along Norbert, his magical reindeer friend. There's festive crafting for children, where they can make their own magical bag of reindeer food before meeting Santa, who will give them a gift and they will have a photo taken. Booking is essential.
FFABL: Light & Lantern Trail, Cardigan
Various dates from 01 - 31 December 2022. Enjoy a magical self-led trail throughout December around the grounds of Cardigan Castle and gardens. FFABL: Light & Lantern Trail features some of the characters from the Mabinogion. Ffabl is the Welsh word for fable. The trail ends in the Pavilion, where there will be a small makers' market, plus festive food and drink.
The Garden of Wales Winter Light Trail
01 December 2022 - 02 January 2023. Luminate comes to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales this winter. Enjoy the Garden of Wales Winter Light Trail, a spectacular mile long illuminated trail, with fabulous interactive light play, all set to ambient music.
Portmeirion Food & Craft Fair
02 - 04 December 2022. Enjoy the family friendly Portmeirion Food & Craft Fair, with great local food and drink, plus entertainment.
Llandudno 5K Santa Run
03 December 2022. The Llandudno 5K Santa Run is a real family event where even the family pet is welcome to come along and join in the festivities. The 5km route takes you along the beautiful sea front of Llandudno North Shore. The entry fee includes a Santa Suit and your finisher’s medal.
A Big Waterfront Christmas
Seasonal Scents: Medieval Christmas Decoration Workshop, Chepstow Castle
03 - 04 December 2022. Seasonal Scents: Medieval Christmas Decoration Workshop takes place at Chepstow Castle. See how people celebrated Christmas in Medieval times. Learn about the role that scents played and make a scented decoration to take home. This is a drop-in activity that is suitable for all ages.
Christmas Willow Wreaths, St Fagans
03 - 04 December 2022. Make a Christmas Willow Wreath using tradition weaving methods at St Fagans National Museum of History.
Christmas Fair, Llys-y-Frân Visitor Centre and Lake, Pembrokeshire
03 - 04 December 2022. The award winning Llys-y-Frân Visitor Centre and Lake welcomes visitors to its second Christmas Fair. There'll be 24 stalls selling gifts and homemade crafts for the perfect Christmas present, with a range of jewellery stalls, pottery, artisan soap, candles and local blacksmith goods available. The Visitor Centre gift shop has locally sourced food and drink and the Lakeside Café will have festive refreshments and meals.
Santa’s Christmas Light Trail & Festive Supper, Llyn Brenig
03 - 04 December 2022. Have a very special family treat with Santa’s Christmas Light Trail & Festive Supper at Llyn Brenig, North Wales. Enjoy a magical trail of lights that lead up to Santa's Grotto. Children can talk to Santa and will receive a gift. Round up the evening with a festive two-course meal in Caffi Brenig.
Brunch with Santa, Llandegfedd Lake
03,04, 10,11, 17 and 18 December 2022. Enjoy Brunch with Santa at Llandegfedd Lake. Early booking is required. Santa will meet young guests and give them a high quality gift.
The Big Museum Winter Trail, National Museums
03 - 23 December 2022. Pop into one of the seven National Museums and take part in The Big Museum Winter Trail. Find the Museum Elves and there's a festive reward to take home. The trail is available for small fee, is bilingual and suitable for children aged 4+.
Please note that the National Museum Cardiff is closed on Mondays and the trail in the National Slate Museum ends on 22 December.
Santa's Enchanted Grotto and Elf Academy, Gwrych Castle
03, 04, 10, 11, 17, 18 – 23 December 2022. Santa Claus and his Elves are running behind schedule and they need your help to save Christmas! Head to Gwrych Castle, North Wales for Santa's Enchanted Grotto and Elf Academy. Learn how to become one of Santa’s little helpers. After graduation, join the Elf Academy and find clues and items on the to-do list. Begin the journey to meet Santa Claus in his Grotto and collect your gift. The ticket also includes writing a letter to Santa, decorating your own gingerbread man, a scavenger hunt and storytelling. There will be food and drink stalls too. On weekends only there's a special guest which I’m A Celebrity fans won’t want to miss!
Cardiff Santa & Elf Dash, Cardiff Bay
04 December 2022. Walk, run or simply support those raising money for charity in the Cardiff Santa & Elf Dash. You are bound to see lots of people in festive outfits. All ticket money goes to charity. Children, pushchairs and dogs are welcome.
Little Mice Club - Christmas, National Waterfront Museum
09 December 2022. Children under five are invited to join in the fun at The Little Mice Club - Christmas, with free Christmas crafts. There's also Storytime and Welsh songs plus a chance to meet Father Christmas.
Lates: Big Museum Quiz, National Waterfront Museum
09 December 2022. Enjoy an evening of festive and quirky quiz questions with Lates: Big Museum Quiz in the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. Take part in teams of up to six, with prizes and a bar. Christmas jumpers are optional.
Winter Vintage and Makers Market, National Waterfront Museum
09 - 11 December 2022. Find that unique Christmas gift or treat at the Winter Vintage and Makers Market, National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. Entry is free, with a range of local makers plus vintage delights.
Santa's Grotto, Tretower Court and Castle
10 - 11 December 2022. Visit Santa’s Grotto at Tretower Court and Castle and get a gift. Adults will be able to enjoy mulled wine and a mince pie. Booking in advance is essential.
Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society Christmas Fair
11 December 2022. Get your Christmas gifts, food and drink, with local Pembrokeshire companies. There's festive music, plus the chance to see Santa in his grotto at the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society Christmas Fair. Admission is free.
The Nutcracker Brecon Festival Ballet
16 - 18 December 2022. Brecon Festival Ballet, a charity Ballet company, presents The Nutcracker in the newly refurbished Theatr Brycheiniog. Tickets are available from the theatre for this production, which features the wonderful Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Welsh and British based dancers and is supported by the local community and volunteers.
Carols in the Chapel, St Fagans
17 - 18 December 2022. Enjoy festival sing-a-long with Carols in the Chapel at St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff. Taking place in Pen-rhiw Chapel, there'll be contemporary classics and traditional tunes.
Tenby Boxing Day Swim
26 December 2022. 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 North beach in their best fancy dress. You can of course opt to simply spectate from the shore staying warm and dry.
Find out more about the Tenby Boxing Day Swim
Coral Welsh Grand National
27 December 2022. Watch live action at one of the biggest horse races of the year. All the family can have a fun post-Christmas day out at Chepstow Racecourse, including a Christmas choir, human statues and face painters for the children.
Find out more about the Coral Welsh Grand National
Nos Galan Races
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!
Find out more about the Nos Galan Races
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
The Great Gatsby New Year's Eve Soiree
31 December 2022. See in the New Year in style at The Great Gatsby New Year's Eve Soiree takes place in The Grand Ballroom in the Coal Exchange, Cardiff Bay. Entertainment includes Mark Hill (The original Artful Dodger) and Mista Trick Live, a seven-piece big band. Enjoy a cocktail and authentic Jamaican street food. VIP tickets guarantee your table for the night.