Local Christmas Trips With The Family

Christmas is coming and there are many places close to home I would like to take the family. This is my list of top five days out for the Christmas season.

Firstly, I live in North Wales, just 15 minutes from England which is really convenient as we can access beaches, cities, and scenic countryside pretty easily. This means there are plenty of places to visit during Christmas.

Number 1 – Chester Christmas Markets

Christmas markets always get me in the mood for this wonderful time of year. I would like to go further afield but as this is the closest one to me I will be going into Chester.

This is a quaint market that can get quite packed so I plan to go as early as possible as my son doesn’t like too many people around. When visiting any market you need an empty stomach to indulge on hog roast, sweets, and roasted chestnuts. There is also a gin bar which I will be visiting along with a quick stop for a hot chocolate.

The markets are great places for all of the family but take a moment to find out the best time to visit based on what type of atmosphere you like most.

Number 2 – Chester Zoo

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The Lanterns at Chester Zoo are fantastic for little ones, we went last year had a lovely time. The atmosphere is joyful, although it is usually very cold so a scarf and gloves are on the cards.

When you arrive just take the trail indicated and enjoy many animals, and flowers all lite up guiding you along the path. This is a fun place to explore especially for the children as they discover animals in a whole new light!

We went to the canteen for a hot dog and hot drink to warm us up before leaving, and this was okay although I would probably grab something on the way home next time.

Number 3 – Garden Centres

This may seem boring but even if you have no interest in gardening then this is the time to take a trip here. The garden centres near me have amazing trees decorated to perfection, which provide the best inspiration for your tree at home. I do find the price of many of the baubles high but you can always look and recreate within your budget.

Children, especially small ones, love seeing the lights and decorations surrounding them and the many Santa’s and Snowmen bring a smile to their faces.

It’s also nice to visit the onsite cafe and have a hot drink, cake or lunch surrounded by the festive decorations, this is a great time to think about what you might buy.

Number 4 – Ice Rink

I live quite close to an ice skating rink and don’t seem to visit it much and Christmas is the perfect opportunity to take a trip. I am not great at ice skating but I can stay up (well from what I remember I can), but it is great to give it a go.

It can be pricey but it is Christmas after all. The main expense is hiring the skates as I don’t go often even to purchase my own. Again, once the skating is done food is a must!

Number 5 – Chirk Castle

It’s time to learn about Christmas history at Chirk Castle. This year the castle are doing a make-believe Christmas that follows the stories of former children who lived in the castle.

As well as learning there are also glorious decorations in the State Rooms and a fairy-tale trail that tell stories of dragons and fairies. This is an amazing time to let your children discover and enjoy Christmas in a totally new way.

I will be visiting this castle during the festive season and will be sure to create a post all about our discoveries.

There we have it my little list of Christmas activities for 2018.

Thanks

 

Sophie

What’s On Your Doorstep?

Travelling is sometimes a dream, a list of places I wish to visit before I am too old. But sometimes, especially on snowy days like today, I think about how lucky I am to live somewhere that actually has some lovely sights to explore.

As I sit here listening to my son begging to go outdoors and play in the snow, I started to think about a time when I’d be eager to get outside to just simply be outside. So, once I have written this post I will grab my warm boots, hat and gloves and take to the snow.

It’s not just the snow that makes me want to be outdoors but the sun too, and occasionally the rain. Near my home is a park that I think many locals take for granted. The park is big has a wood, stream, pond, swings, visitors centre and a lot of wildlife. Local schools visit and discover the natural habitats of badgers and foxes but when it comes to taking a walk for some reason we choose to head to the shops.

This weekend I will be taking my son to the park and exploring some of the places it has to offer. This isn’t the only area on my doorstep, when I take the time to stop and think about it there are several of places we could go.

Just a half an hour drive away is a beach, many complain “it’s not the best beach”, but who cares it’s there. This summer the aim is to take to the beach after work for fish and chips, or a picnic because we should be making the most of this area.

On rainy days, for some crazy reason I like to go for a walk and the mountains that wall the county I live in are perfect for this. Although, if it is windy it’s probably best to stick to a park or garden but if it’s just rain, well that never hurt anyone.

It may seem ridiculous that a plan has to be in place to visit these places, but these days it’s far too easy to stay indoors.

Domestic tourism is just as good as outbound, we just take it for granted sometimes or focus on the things we can’t do or can’t afford. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of caravan holidays at Greenacres, Black Rock Sands, Porthmadog. Located an hour and a half from my home and located on the Llyn Peninsula this area of North Wales has a lot to offer.

The beaches here are beautiful and the towns full of heritage, myths, and legends. It is a great part of the world to explore but is often lost by the idea of an exotic beach break. Of course, the chance of sun is touch and go, but if you’re lucky enough to get some it’s an ideal location.