Put the fun into the festive season with these fabulous family days out…

There is plenty going on in North Wales this month to keep the kids entertained and to help you count down just how many sleeps are left to go!

You may as well start the month as you mean to go on with a visit to Father Christmas. We’ve heard a rumour that Santa’s reindeers are already waiting at Anglesey Sea Zoo for the big man to make an appearance – which begs the question how will he get there? Well by boat of course, this is the Sea Zoo after all!

Season ticket holders and under two’s get free admission, for everyone else the price is £9.95, and includes a mince pie or a festive cupcake and a drink, the chance to meet the reindeer and, of course, the opportunity to tell Father Christmas just what it is that you are hoping to get under the tree this year! The event takes place on the 1st and 2nd of December.

Keeping with the transport theme, another place to meet Santa is on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway. Trains leave from Caernarfon and Porthmadog stations offering fun for all the family. There are refreshments for grown ups while the children enjoy a present and a chat with Father Christmas as the train chugs through the stunning Snowdonia countryside.

In addition, the brand new station at Caernarfon is nearly ready and visitors to the Welsh Highland Railway this winter holiday will also be treated to a peek into this innovative and boldly designed building.

Santa is also taking some time out from his busy schedule to make an extra special visit to Gypsy Wood Park, so why not take a ride on Woody’s Train and then head to the magical Grotto and meet Santa himself before joining in with some fun Christmas games.

The park will be open for you on selected dates throughout the month for families to enjoy all the activities other than the top animal enclosures and the go kart area. The entry fee is the same as the normal admission price, with the train ride and visit to Santa included in entry fee. Booking is not required, you can either pay at the shop on arrival or book online and save 10%, and the Dragon Café will be open serving hot drinks, burgers and hot dogs. Don’t forget to wrap up warm though, it can get a little chilly!

Meanwhile Greenwood is hosting a magical Christmas adventure to remember. Imagine a 2-hour Twilight adventure full of Elves, crafts, and magical surroundings bringing Christmas to life for every child. Receive your magical passport, along with your tickets, and get ready for your two-hour twilight adventure!

Firstly join the elves in the gingerbread workshop and have a go at decorating your very own gingerbread man before seeing the Enchanted Forest come to life! Let one of Santa’s elves guide you through a magical walkway, with a spectacle of lights, while a warming hot chocolate will be waiting for you while you take in the sights.Enjoy the festive music as you eagerly await your trip over to see Father Christmas.

Just make sure that you leave time to take an ‘Elfie! Enter Santa’s home for a photograph with the man himself, and receive a golden ticket for Santa’s Toy Factory! Finally, exchange your golden ticket for a Christmas toy – or even pick up a gift for someone else…

If you fancy trying your luck at spotting Santa in action, then the Astronomy Club at Techniquest Glyndŵr on Saturday 8th December gives you the opportunity to travel into space within the amazing StarDome Planetarium, listen to enlightening talks on stargazing and, weather permitting, a chance for some live stargazing with their telescopes. Everyone is welcome who loves Astronomy.

And don’t forget Techniquest’s onsite shop this Christmas which includes some really unique Christmas gifts which are ideal for inquisitive minds.

If you’re running low on inspiration on how to keep the kids entertained once Christmas is all over, then look no further than Zip World.

Zip World is offering its Winter Membership again, helping families save money during the Christmas holidays.

Treat the kids to a fun-filled day at Fforest time and time again, where Zip World has plenty of activities, including its famous Fforest Coaster – which is great fun for both children and adults. Alternatively, give Slate Caverns a go, where bigger kids and families can head underground to the UK’s only subterranean bouncy net adventure, Bounce Below, and shelter from the typical Welsh winter weather. 

It’s panto time!

(Oh yes it is…)

You can’t get a more festive family day out than a trip to the pantomime. Come rain or shine, snow or sleet, the show always goes on and is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face…

  • Venue Cymru
    Cinderella is coming to Venue Cymru this month, starring Tom Parker from The Wanted as Prince Charming, Herbie Adams as Buttons and Natalie Winsor as the Fairy Godmother. Cinderella will feature all of the ingredients of the perfect Llandudno pantomime; a fabulous cast and orchestra, laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery and special effects, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses for all the family to enjoy.
  • Theatr Colwyn
    Theatr Colwyn invites you to see Dick Whittington from 22nd December. Join Dick and his trusty feline side-kick in an adventure full of hilarity and pantomime magic. Produced by Magic Light Productions who brought you the fantastic 17/18 panto ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
  • Rhyl Pavilion
    Fasten your seat belts for a magical ride of mystery, sparkling romance and dazzling adventure as Aladdin comes to Rhyl Pavilion. The wicked Abanazer is seeking the magic lamp that contains the all-powerful Genie, so that he can rule the world. Will he succeed? Throw in a magic carpet, a mystical Spirit of the Ring, the Emperor of China, a beautiful princess and a couple of inept policemen and you have all the ingredients for a fantastic tale, great entertainment, packed with songs, slapstick, silliness and audience participation for the whole family.
  • Ucheldre Centre
    Anvil Productions presents Pinocchio at the Ucheldre Centre, bringing the traditional story alive to delight families on selected dates throughout the month. There’s Pinocchio, his father Gipetto, his conscience Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy along with his friends including Harlequin the jester, his girlfriend Columbina and Punch and Judy. Principle Boy Helen Green leads in this traditional pantomime.
  • William Aston Hall 
    Joseph Purdy Productions, in association with William Aston Hall, presents the most spellbinding pantomime of them all – Sleeping Beauty. As the kingdom of Wrextonia rejoices in the birth of the new Princess Aurora, the evil Carabosse is in despair when she finds out that King David and Queenie Jeanie haven’t invited her to the christening. She places a curse upon the child that on her 18th birthday she’ll prick her finger and die. Upon Aurora’s 18th Birthday she does prick her finger but merely falls asleep. With the help of Fairy Fabulous and Chester the Jester, will Prince Charles of Chirk be able to awaken Princess Aurora and break the curse with true love’s kiss?
  • Theatr Clwyd
    The cult panto returns to Theatr Clwyd with disco frocks, sparkling sets, slapstick galore and the panto puppets. Take a trip with Dick Whittington down streets paved with Welsh gold as actor-musicians play your favourite rock and soul songs live! Don’t miss this Christmas cracker that’s guaranteed to be filled with funky cat-titude.
  • Betws-y-Coed Memorial Hall
    Supporting the Ty Gobaith Children’s Hospice, this small theatre group from Betws-y-Coed promises to bring laughter to the community with their performance of Cinderella on the 7th and 8th. Tickets are £6 for adults and £3 for children – have a look on Facebook for further information