There’s no doubt that Christmas is looking a little different this year but there are still many activities taking place locally to keep you and your family entertained over the festive break. There is limited availability at ticketed events and these should be booked in advance online. Here’s a round-up of some attractions in and around Surrey:
Guildford Christmas Farmers Market – Sat 19th Dec, 9:30am-4pm
This is a National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association accredited market with some of the finest producers within a 50mile radius of Guildford. The market takes place at the Portsmouth Road car park (Sat Nav: GU1 4XB). A Christmas Craft Market will be taking place in the same location on Sunday, 20th December between 10am-5pm.
Snowfari Christmas animal trail at Painshill – Sat 19th Dec, 9:30am-4pm
A fun and festive trail for all the family that takes visitors through a magical land filled with models of winter safari animals, including polar bears, reindeer, penguins and the elusive snow leopard. The walk is about 1 mile long and dogs are welcome on leads. Activity books are available for £3 (£2.50 online in advance) with facts about the animals and games to play. Entry is free for members and is included in general admission for day ticket holders. Numbers are limited to allow for social distancing. There are a few spaces still showing as available. Opening hours are 10am-4pm, last entry at 3pm.
Walk around Reigate Heath with a take away from The Skimmington Castle
The perfect socially distanced activity! There are many routes around Reigate Heath for a breath of fresh air and some exercise. The fabulous Skimmington Castle is open for take-aways and their menu includes moules, ‘build a breakfast bap’, alongside festive drinks a-plenty! Food and drinks can be pre-ordered via their website.
Reigate Hill & Gatton Park with a coffee from Junction 8
Another beautiful countryside walk around Gatton Park and/or across Colley Hill with some of the best views of Reigate. Take in the historic fort dating back to 1898 and the commemorative site of the World War 2 B17 plane crash. A take away coffee or delicious Belgian hot chocolate and a selection of snacks are available from Junction 8 to help warm you up! Junction 8 can be found in the car park at the top of Wray Lane. The National Trust website gives details and maps of the different walking routes on offer.
Tulleys Drive-In Christmas Movie
Tulley’s Farm still have some availability for their Drive In Christmas experience which includes a Drive Thru Santa’s foyer, see Santa and his friends, a family size bucket of popcorn to enjoy whilst watching the film, make a bear, Mother Christmas Ginger Bread and a letter to Santa. The films showing are Frozen 2 at 10am or Elf at 1pm and 4pm. Book tickets in advance via their website.
Box Hill – 8 mile hike or woodland fun with the kids
Another stunning location to take in some of Surrey’s finest views. Take a stroll across the hilltop or challenge yourself to a more demanding 8 mile circular route on The Box Hill Hike. There’s a fun woodland trail to entertain the kids and dogs alike! The café is open for take aways and walking routes are all detailed on the website. The National Trust have stated that they are experiencing high numbers of visitors and are asking guests to observe social distancing, park considerately, take your litter and be mindful of neighbours during your visit.
The Old Vic – A Christmas Carol - until 24th December
Laurence Olivier Award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Jack Thorne has adapted Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. The production will be performed lived on stage and streamed to homes around the world as part of the ‘Old Vic: In camera’ series supporting the live theatre community. Tickets can be bought via the website.
There are many theatre productions being streamed online across Christmas for all ages. The Guardian have put together some more options in this article, including The Gruffalo, The Legend of Moby Dick Whittington, and Christmas at the (Snow) Globe hosted by Sandi Toksvig.
We hope this round up gives you a few ideas of activities to entertain you and loved ones over the coming weeks. If you aren’t able to meet with friends and family this year, perhaps a shared online streaming of one of the many theatre, film and music productions can go some way to help recreate the togetherness and festive cheer of the holidays.