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10 family things to do this festive season

From light displays and ice skating, to festive shows and the big man himself - discover the top 10 festive things to do in Surrey this Christmas.

Visit Father Christmas at Godstone Farm

Wiglet’s Christmas Adventure returns to Godstone Farm bringing a whole load of festive activities and a meeting with the big bearded fellow. Little ones will be guided down a magical tunnel by the farm’s friendly elves to meet Santa Claus and receive their gifts. The farm is decked out for Christmas and there will be crafts and cookie decorating. Tickets sell fast, so get in quick.

It’s on every Saturday and Sunday from Sat 23 Nov until Christmas eve, as well as the week from Wed 18 Dec to Tues 24 Dec. Ticket prices vary from £16 to £24.50 for children over 2 (depending on time and day); adults £9.90. Book here 

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Go back in time at Polesden Lacey

The National Trust venue at Great Bookham near Dorking has pulled out all the stops this Christmas – bringing the Edwardian country house to life with festive sparkle. There will be a Christmas Artisan Fair on the weekends from 22 Nov to 1 Dec complete with traditional wooden chalets, Christmas craft workshops, a Festive High Tea and horse-drawn carriage rides. And of course Father Christmas is setting up inn his sparkling grotto to meet kids and hand out gifts.

Click here for to read our full feature: A Polesden Lacey Christmas

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Experience the Magic of Christmas at Chobham Adventure Farm

This one’s a truly magical 2.5 hour interactive experience designed to make kids believe in the magic of Christmas. They’ll take on the role of official elf helpers, learning the tricks of the elf trade via five beautifully festive rooms. Along the way they’ll help Mrs Claus decorate gingerbread men, make their own build-a-bear in Santa’s workshop, meet real live reindeer and be given a special elf name. Every child will meet the big old pot-bellied guy and get a special gift. Happily for the grown-ups, there are gifts for us too.

The experience is on from Sat 30 Nov until Tues 24 Dec. Tickets during peak periods are £42.50 for adults and children over 1; and £32.50 during off-peak times. Children under 1 are free when they’re coming with siblings or £15 when they’re not with siblings. Tickets also include entry into the Adventure Farm for the day.

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Go to Santa’s Raceday at Lingfield Races

It’s a festive day of horse racing for the whole family at Lingfield Park on Sat 21 Dec. After riding down the track, with his trusty elves following along, Santa will hand out free gifts to children in his grotto. Lots of other festive entertainment is also planned. Gates open at 10.15am with the first of six or seven races at 11.45am.

Santa’s Raceday is at Lingfield Park Resort on Sat 21 Dec. General admission £22, free entry for children.

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Visit the Santa’s Snow Train and Crystal Grotto at Painshill

Santa is setting up in the Grade II listed Crystal Grotto in the beautiful Painshill gardens. The Christmas land train will transport you to the bright and twinkly grotto. Families can visit Santa and his elves in the crystal covered cave, and every child will receive a gift.

Santa’s Snow Train and Crystal Grotto runs from Wed 1 – Wed 22 Dec. Cost is £18.50 for children 0-15 and £10 for adults. Bookings are essential.

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Visit Father Christmas at Bocketts Farm

Meet Father Christmas in his traditional workshop at Bocketts Farm Park. You’ll start the journey with one of the head elves aboard the Santa express and travel to the magical workshop. Father Christmas will give each child a golden coin to spend in his toy shop. As well as a visit to Santa, ther’s a fun Christmas trail, reindeer food to make, baby lambs to meet, a giant snow globe to explore, a heated soft play barn and other activities.

Bookings for Father Christmas are a must.  Click here for times and availability. Prices from £17.50 – £24.95 per child.

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See a Pantomime

With everything from Snow White to Cinderella, there’s plenty of panto to choose from – so dig out your stripy tights, winkle pickers, false eyelashes and wiggery, and book in for one of these panto productions or festive plays in Surrey and beyond.

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Go ice skating at Hampton Court Palace

Whether you’re more Bambi on ice than Torvill and Dean, there’s no doubting the beauty of the ice rink at the historic Tudor palace. Open to the air and overlooking the Thames River, it’s pretty ideal for families, couples or groups of friends looking for a magical skating experience. Sessions start on the hour and last 45 minutes.

The ice rink is open from Fri 22 Nov – Sun 5 Jan. Booking essential. Family tickets are £45-£47, children 3-12 are £10.50-£11 and teenagers are  £15-£16.50.

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See the lights at Wisley Glow

The RHS gardens at Wisley are lit up like Christmas. Follow the paths on a fantastical adventure lit up by giant flowers. This year’s trail is themed around the four seasons and follows a brand new route, which starts at the newly-opened building.

It’s on from Sat 7 Dec to Sun 5 Jan, 4pm-8pm. Booking is essential. Adults £11, child aged 5-16 £7, under fives are £1.

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Christmas at Kew

Now in its seventh year, the 2019 winter trail at Kew Gardens in Richmond takes a magical new route and includes a host of all-new installations. Framed by glittering spiral trees, dynamic laser projections will illuminate the iconic Temperate House.

Wed 20 Nov to Sun 5 Jan,  5pm-10pm. Advance bookings only: adults from £18, family tickets from £52, children 4-16 from £11.

Find more ideas here

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