Christmassy things to do in the North West

(36 Posts)
DesperatelySeekingSedatives Sat 07-Sep-13 09:41:27

Saw a thread already about christmassy things to do in the North East but as I live over on The Wirral doesn't apply to me so thought I'd start this one grin

Took DCs to Chavasse Park last christmas to see Santa and it was a bit... shit tbh. The year before was pretty good and there was lots of expensive stuff to do, rides etc but last year there was only the grotto, ice skating and a hill thing to slide down on while sitting in giant rubber rings. the queues for all 3 were horrendous and it was all very overpriced. Both toys they got from Santa were shit and there was tears all round when one had to be binned because it broke within an hour hmm

So! anyway was hoping people could share any alternatives? Want to do one or 2 (whatever we can afford!) with DCs. Dont have any family round here really so having to forge our own christmassy family traditions- most of mine from being a little girl involved extended family.

TIA smile

Greydog Sat 07-Sep-13 09:48:55

Probably best to avoid Chester as well. Their Christmas efforts have got worse and worse over the years, and have been jaw droppingly shit. However, this year I believe the racecourse may be involved - so it might be better - or just more expensive. The local Roman group usually do a march through town to celebrate Saturnalia

TeaAndCakeOrDeath Sat 07-Sep-13 09:52:18

Manchester Christmas market? Lots of stalls with interesting xmassy bits and yummy food/drink ones? Think theres an ice rink too and some snow slides...

We go most years and its a lovely festive day out

Thevelveteenrabbit Sat 07-Sep-13 09:57:01

Possibly a bit far from the Wirral but East Lancs railway santa specials is a good day out and the presents from Santa were pretty good - haven't been for a couple of years but last time we went my girls had a good day.

jamtoast12 Sat 07-Sep-13 12:48:11

Oooh im north west too so marking place. We are planning on the Manchester markets too although I do love the liverpool ones are they ar closer. I had hoped they'd do the ice festival again like last year but doesn't look like they are.

We are going to see a panto at the empire. Guillivers worlds do an ok Santa day out. Its a bit tatty and the decs are a biT cheap looking but young kids enjoy it! The alton towers sleepover is great! though but both only good for under 8s as the rides open at both are for younger kids.

SoonToBeSix Sat 07-Sep-13 14:53:27

Dobbies grottos are really good , they toy my 2 year old dd receive cost £12 to buy inside Dobbies and the grotto was £5. It was a horse farm set and she still plays with it now.

SoonToBeSix Sat 07-Sep-13 14:54:19

Forgot to add it is near Liverpool airport , there is also a retail park nearby with free parking great for Xmas shopping.

Chill factore do a snow play with seeing Santa session. Not been as we were in Australia last year but plan to this year smile

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Sun 08-Sep-13 08:13:38

thank you for all the suggestions smile bummer that Chester is apparently so shit though. We've lived up here 2 years so this will be our third christmas here. Still finding out what places are good to take the kids to smile

Sirzy Sun 08-Sep-13 08:17:49

The Santa at the trafford centre was great last year.

OldRoan Sun 08-Sep-13 08:27:48

Rufford Old Hall is lovely at Christmas and they do traditional events - can't find the list yet though. Croxteth Hall also has lots of lovely stuff, including a Christmas market.

Give it a month or two and then check out any National Trust type places near you, there's bound to be lots on.

Greydog Sun 08-Sep-13 14:24:15

Chester Zoo always used to be good at Christmas - we always took our son there - however, it was some time ago. Still worth looking to see what's on there at Christmas! I don't know what the Blue Planet do, but they're hellish expensive at the best of times.

raisah Sun 08-Sep-13 16:17:52

Have a look at the Liverpool museum websites as they always have things going on over the Christmas holidays.

www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/

www.liverpool-360.co.uk/whats-on/december

raisah Sun 08-Sep-13 16:20:06

Also Try Liverpool Bluecoat

www.thebluecoat.org.uk/

OctoberMoon Sun 08-Sep-13 22:41:50

I second Dobbie's Grotto, the most genuine santa you'll meet! You have to book in advance though. Just over the road is a retail park with a pizza hut for dinner afterwards, or there is now a toby carvery next door to Dobbie's if you fancy a Christmas dinner.

Just around the corner from Dobbie's is Speke Hall which is a national trust place, they have some great festive events for kids in the first couple of weekends in December. They have details on the website already. You can make a day of it doing all 3, and all together it's not too expensive.

raisah Mon 09-Sep-13 05:52:14

The National Wildflower Centre in knowsley is really good with child centred events through the year. It is about a 5 minute drive from.Broadgreen hospital so quite close to the motorway.
24th November is their Mini Winter Festival
Also craft stalls are available for people to book.

www.nwc.org.uk/events&page=3

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Tue 10-Sep-13 18:05:02

Thanks for all the suggestions! smile plenty of options too choose from x

excited99 Tue 10-Sep-13 22:39:59

The Christmas Market in Manchester is very good, though maybe a bit busy for young children. I believe that Gullivers World do some events during December.

raisah Wed 11-Sep-13 02:29:57

Drawing attention to the National Trust's Free Heritage Day out this Sat 14 Sept.

Click on link for information in the selected properties taking part:

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/article-1356392530547/

raisah Wed 11-Sep-13 10:18:37

Try Gordale Garden Centre in Burton in South Wirral for their Santa Grotto. This is closer to you then Dobbies which is near Liverpool airport.

www.gordale.co.uk/events

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Wed 11-Sep-13 12:25:10

Ooh that is pretty close to us thank you raisah smile

DearPrudence Thu 12-Sep-13 09:47:45

Chester's effort at a Christmas Market in 2012 was pretty poor, but I'm not sure what the plan is this year. There's usually a parade with Father Christmas and reindeer (free), and there's a production of The Snow Queen at St Mary's Centre. Tatton Park usually does nice events at Christmas time, as does the Grosvenor Garden Centre outside Chester.

Bramblesinforrin Thu 12-Sep-13 10:34:01

Theatr Clwyd in Mold do a cracking panto, it's been really good every year and we've been for the last five.

Agree re the Chester Christmas market, really poor.

jamtoast12 Thu 12-Sep-13 18:20:10

Chester is planning a winter wonderland this year...

http://www.winterwonderlandchester.co.uk/

jamtoast12 Thu 12-Sep-13 18:20:23
MacNCheese Thu 12-Sep-13 18:23:11

Shameless marking <looks sheepish>

raisah Thu 12-Sep-13 19:06:52

Ness Botanical Gardens in Neston, Wirral has a free open day on the 14th of Sept 13 from 10-4pm.
Go along and check it out as it's free entry this weekend.

Their Christmas weekend is 14 - 15 December from 10-4pm.

www.nessgardens.org.uk/whats-on/calendar/#tabs-dec13

raisah Fri 13-Sep-13 08:28:07
DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 13-Sep-13 14:28:54

Ooh I am intrigued by the Chester Winter Wonderland! Thank you for the links jamtoast and raisah smile

Fizzyknickers Fri 13-Sep-13 15:05:19

Chester is normally lame at Xmas tho I am optimistic about the winter wonderland thing this year. I can also second the theatre clywd panto. We have tickets for 23/12 already. They sell out fast so best book ASAP. smile

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 13-Sep-13 15:37:15

Really want to take DD to a panto this year but need to guarantee someone could have DS. he'll be 2 and a half and just dont see him sitting still for that long. he wont/cant sit through a movie at home for longer than about half and hour. until DP and his parents decide whats being done about christmas visits this year its all up in the air sad definately taking them both to one next year though!

btw anyone know what the one at the floral pavillion in new brighton is normally like? will remember the Clwyd one tho. that looks fun!

tinierclanger Fri 13-Sep-13 15:54:11

Lantern magic at chester zoo is really nice.

Fizzyknickers Fri 13-Sep-13 16:43:37

Desperate my dd is 2.5. We took her to theatre clywd last yr, got seat at the end of the row so she could stand up and dance on the steps and she LOVED it!

Fizzyknickers Fri 13-Sep-13 16:44:37

It's not a 'sit back and watch' performance at TC, it's a stand up, sing, join in and have a brilliant time show smile

raisah Fri 13-Sep-13 19:42:50

Drawing attention to the heritage open weekend 14 - 15 September at the recently refurbished Liverpool Central Library.

There is a brilliant new childrens library on the ground floorwith lots of activities for kids particularly over the holidays.

https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/liverpool-central-library2%20%20

Greydog Sat 30-Nov-13 17:56:34

Just to update you on the efforts in Chester. The Winter Wonderland at the racecourse is daylight robbery with violence. You pay for everything - including parking! I have friends who have been and were appalled by it - and just read the Trip Advisor remarks!

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