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.

Kingdom of the Elves, Bluestone

2 November 2020 – 3 January 2021. Enjoy an exciting adventure with the Bluestone Elves at Bluestone in Pembrokeshire. Enjoy magical moments with Santa and laugh at the Little Mermaid Panto. 

Cardiff Winter Wonderland

TBC Early November - Early January. The highlight of Christmas in the city – Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland returns to city hall lawn with more attractions for the family to enjoy including the ice rink. This has a brand new additional feature built on to keep skaters dry as the attraction becomes Cardiff's Winter Wundercoverland with a clear span roof and night sky lights.

Find out more about the Cardiff Winter Wonderland

Waterfront Wonderland

TBC Nov– January. If you're visiting Swansea during the Christmas period, in addition to some great shopping, why not take the family to Waterfront Wonderland? With not one but two ice rinks, festive and thrilling funfair and Santa's Grotto. 

Find out more about the Swansea Waterfront Wonderland

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway

TBC. 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! 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

steam train and people on platform including Santa.
steam train in the snow.

Santa trains, Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway

Christmas at Dyffryn Gardens

TBC. Enjoy festival events, including a Christmas concert, festive lights and meet Father Christmas at the National Trust's Dyffryn Gardens in South East Wales.

The illuminated Gardens, Powis Castle

TBC. Get into a festive mood with The illuminated Gardens at the National Trust's Powis Castle near Welshpool. The beautiful gardens and castle will be illuminated and some of the rooms will be decorated for Christmas.

Winter light

TBC. Winter Light – Golau Gaeaf’ spectacle takes place in Conwy, with a stunning parade and illuminated buildings.

Margam Park Christmas Walk

TBCTake a magical journey through the Margam Park Christmas Walk, is a mile long captivating light trail through the beautiful historical gardens of Margam County Park and Castle.

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 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

Chepstow Racecourse showing the circuit and spectator stands.

Chepstow Racecourse, which has been home to the Coral Welsh Grand National since 1949

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 virtually. Find out more about the Nos Galan Virtual Challenge .

Night photo of three men crouched at grave with wreath and flaming torch.
two males running at event with blurred audience and barriers.
statue of man running with multi coloured strings of lights in background.

Nos Galan Road 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

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

aerial photo of inner castle with fair.

Caerphilly Castle; the town hosts an annual Christmas market with over 100 stalls

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