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.
Cardiff Christmas Market, South Wales
09 November - 23 December 2023. 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.
Christmas in Swansea Bay, West Wales
TBC. Usually mid November - early January. 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.
Cardiff's Winter Wonderland, South Wales
TBC, usually mid November - early January. 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.
Luminate Wales, Margam Park, Port Talbot, West Wales
TBC. Usually mid November - early January. 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, Flintshire, North Wales
24 November - 24 December 2023. Early bird tickets are now available. 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, West Wales
TBC. Usually mid November - just before Christmas. 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, West Wales
Late November - around 21 December. Oxford Street hosts a Christmas Market, where you can find a selection of unique gifts, tempting treats and beautiful decorations.
The Garden of Wales Winter Light Trail, Carmarthenshire
TBC, usually throughout December. Luminate comes to the National Botanic Garden 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, Gwynedd, North Wales
01 - 03 December 2023. Enjoy the family friendly Portmeirion Food & Craft Fair, with great local food and drink, plus entertainment.
Llandudno 5K Santa Run, Conwy, North Wales
02 December 2023. 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.
Cardiff Santa & Elf Dash, Cardiff Bay, South Wales
TBC December. 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.
Tenby Boxing Day Swim, Pembrokeshire, West Wales
26 December. 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, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, South Wales
27 December 2023. 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, Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales
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, Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, Mid Wales
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
Ghost hunt, Gwrych Castle, near Abergele, Conwy, North Wales
31 December 2023. Enjoy a ghost hunt in Gwrych Castle, which you may remember from the TV Show I'm A Celebrity ...Get Me Out of Here. There's also one taking place each month throughout the year.