December, we all know its all about family and the magic of Christmas. But this year, set It's a Wonderful Life to record. Put that second (or is it third?) box of chocolates down and, as a certain TV programme used to say, 'switch off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead'. Here's some great ways to do just that in Wales.

Caerphilly Christmas Market

7- 8 December. 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

A large old castle next to some water
Caerphilly Castle; the town hosts an annual Christmas market with over 100 stalls

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway

7 - 8, 14-15, 21-22 December: Welsh Highland Railway - Santa Trains.
Santa certainly comes to town when he and his elves aboard the festive trains from Caernarfon. These trains are as good as going to the pantomime! 

7-8, 14-15, 21-23 December: Ffestiniog Railway - Victorian Santa Trains.
A traditional Victorian family Christmas with carol singing on the platform, sherry and mince pies and, of course, Santa will be handing out presents to all the kids.

Find out more about Ffestiniog Railway and Welsh Highland Railway


19- 31 December. Enjoy one of three ballets at St David's Hall in Cardiff, Coppélia on 19 December, The Nutcracker 21-24 December or Swan Lake 27 - 31 December.

Tenby Boxing Day Swim

26 December. Want a novel way to freshen up after the Christmas over-indulgence? How about taking part in this charity fundraising event? Join nearly 600 others and run into the inviting sea with your best fancy dress on. Or simply spectate from within the warmth of the crowd.

Find out more about the Tenby Boxing Day Swim

Swimmers jumping in Santa Claus / Father Christmas costumes
Boxing Day swimmers in festive costume about to brave the winter sea in Tenby!

Coral Welsh Grand National

27 December. 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.

Find out more about the Coral Welsh Grand National

Chepstow Racecourse showing the circuit and spectator stands
Chepstow Racecourse, which has been home to the Coral Welsh Grand National since 1949

Nos Galan Road 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 Road Races

Mari Llwyd 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 Llwyd and New Year Walk In

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