Holiday activities

There’s plenty to do, both for children and as a family. We live in an area of outstanding beauty, surrounded by wonderful parks, rivers and gardens. So, how about planning to get some fresh air by having a walk along the Thames to see the beautiful winter colours or feed some birds at Twickenham riverside. Or perhaps a walk through Bushy Park or a visit to Kew Gardens.

Here are some suggestions:

Painshill Park

Visit the beautiful landscaped garden and lake of Painshill Park, and look out for animals, Christmas trees and giant gingerbread men. Conveniently located just off the A3. Carers go free. Find out more at

On-line Pantomine

Don’t miss out on the festive pantomime experience. You can still boo, hiss and cheer from your own sitting room. Panto Online is streaming Jack and Beanstalk, starring Peter Duncan and filmed in his own ‘giant’ back garden. Tickets available at

Stick Man at the Rose Theatre in Kingston

Follow the adventures of Stick Man as he tries to get back to the family tree in time for Christmas. Stick Man is running at the Rose theatre Kingston until 3rd January. Book at

Ice skating

Get some outside exercise in historic surroundings at the Hampton Court ice rink. Tickets now available at

Kew Gardens

Take a wander down Holly Walk near the Temperate House and enjoy the winter greenery at Kew. Remember to book in advance (carers go free) at

BMX track

Bikes remain a popular choice of activity on the Christmas list. For your adventurous older children,  try the the Ham Lands BMX track, just over Teddington Lock bridge.

London Wetlands Centre

Get close to nature at the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes and watch out for the otters, ducks and geese as you explore the open spaces. There’s also contemporary art to enjoy as part of your visit.  Book at:

Horse-drawn carriage ride

For a very special occasion, you can take a magical horse-drawn carriage ride through Richmond Park. The 60-minute ride begins at Holly Lodge and will raise funds for conservation initiatives for the shire horses in the Royal Parks. Find out more at:

National Archives

Learn more about Christmas from the National Archives

Older children might enjoy finding out about a Victorian Christmas by exploring the museum’s world class collection. See their Youtube video on this topic at and look out for their free online talks next year.

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