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Christmas for Toddler

(15 Posts)
GothicRainbow Wed 07-Oct-15 14:25:31

I'm beginning to think about Christmas for my DS who will be just over 2.5years in December.

Does anyone have any ideas on activities they have done with their toddlers?

My DS does have a speech delay and can become frustrated with too much structure in activities. We tried taking him to the In The Night Garden stage show in June and he cried the whole way through - was not a success!!

We are about an hour from London and half an hour from Portsmouth and the coast.

I have been looking at trips to visit Father Christmas but most seem to have lots of other activities alongside that I wonder whether he'll cope with.

I love Christmas and have always done pantos, Christmas markets & events but last year these all became pretty much impossible with an 18 month old!!

I would love to introduce my DS to the festive season and how much fun it can be but worry he's maybe too young and we may need to wait another year??

He doesn't attend a pre-school/nursery so everything is on me to organise!

dinkystinky Wed 07-Oct-15 14:28:33

Does he like trains? If so a trip to London to see the lights, wander along the xmas market on the southbank and maybe go to a matinee show (Peppa Pigs Surprise is on as is I want my hat back at the National Theatre and some Julia Donaldson ones - no longer than 45 minutes max) may be an idea for a day trip. My older boys at 2 (and my current toddler) are ok with trips like that as is plenty of variety.

GothicRainbow Wed 07-Oct-15 14:30:50

That's a good idea dinky he totally love trains and shamefully we have yet to take him on a proper one blush

I'll check out the national theatre, it would all be nice and local for Waterloo too.

d270r0 Wed 07-Oct-15 15:08:29

He's very young yet for anything you have to sit and watch or long activities. Next year he'll be able to cope much better. I would stick to short activities- a trip into town to see the lights, if you go to a toddler group with him there may be a christmas party. Do you have a wetlands centre near you eg. Slimbridge? They often have father christmas there near christmas and he'd probably love feeding the ducks and running round.

IssyStark Wed 07-Oct-15 15:41:53

At that age mine loved the Christmas shop at our local Haskins (West End, Southampton), in fact they still do! The lights and displays were, to their eyes, completely magical.

We did FC at Peppa Pig World last year when ds2 was just 3 (he's a December baby), and although FC was okay, ds2 was far more entranced by Peppa Pig World which was all lit up with twinkly lights and going on the rides. This year we're going on the Watercress Line for FC which ds1 had loved when he was just three (also a December baby - how did I manage that?).

The Christmas Market at Winchester is just too crowded at the weekends although might be better on weekdays during the day.

Not sure about a 'big' play/panto at that age (unless he's used to theatre) - it might be just too long a day. With ds1 we didn't do a play in London until he was a bit older (did the Snowman at Sadlers' Wells which was fine except we hadn't told him about intervals and he was upset as he thought it had finished!) If you're on facebook, the following group Theatre for Children (UK South and London) might be useful (it's a closed group but you should be able to request to join, if not PM me). Looking on it the following are on in December nearby:
Santa's Little Helper (Ages 3 - 7), Hanger Lane Arts Centre and The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, Winchester Discovery Centre

IssyStark Wed 07-Oct-15 15:45:49

Also, if you want a sing-a-long etc:

Thurs 3 Dec - Baby Proms: Choral for Christmas,
St Luke's Church, Hedge End, SO30 2US

LovelyWeatherForDucks Wed 07-Oct-15 15:53:58

I live in the same area (guessing you are in/near one of the commuter towns on the train line!). I have a nearly 3 year old and thinking of doing the Legoland Christmas experience. G Live in Guildford has some festive shows for children I think. We did the Watercress line Xmas train once which was good. Southbank nr Waterloo supposed to be good at Xmas time - market, street performers etc.

GothicRainbow Wed 07-Oct-15 16:10:50

Thanks all unfortunately we don't have a wetland centre near by but Winkworth Arboretum is about half hours drive and a few other national trust properties are near.

I think you're right about him sitting through anything of length, even 45mins would likely be a push.

We went to the Winchester Christmas market when DS was a baby and I could have him in a sling and you're right it would be way too crowded. We didn't go last year but I might ask if my DM would babysit so me & DH could go this year.

Baby proms looks great Southampton is a good hour and half drive for us so will look and see if they do anything closer. Thanks!

Snausage Wed 07-Oct-15 17:21:50

I would definitely recommend finding your most local steam train and checking to see if they do a Santa Special (most do) if he's a train fan!

Treats Wed 07-Oct-15 17:32:48

The Watercress Line Santa Special would be close to you I think. We're taking DS (2.9 at Christmas) this year, as we have done with him and his elder sister for the last two years. If he loves trains, it will be a great day. The trip from Alresford to Alton lasts about 45 minutes there and back, and Santa comes to visit them in their seats twice.

I haven't taken DS to the theatre or cinema yet - still too early I think.

Apart from that, just try to keep it simple. Our local garden centre always has an amazing display of Christmas decorations which is worth taking a trip to see (with a mince pie in the cafe!). Or I try to take mine along to see the lights in the town centre.

AnyoneButAndre Wed 07-Oct-15 17:42:09

Lights and trees will be wildly exciting for a 3 year old.

kiwidreamer Wed 07-Oct-15 17:51:40

There are Thomas the tank engine Christmas experiences around too, I know they do them local to me in Didcot.

GloGirl Wed 07-Oct-15 23:22:57

I still think mine is a little young for pantos etc. I figure I just need to wait one more Christmas and next year we can catch up.

We've been working all year reading Stick Man so he is getting an idea who Santa is, last year I bought a Christmas Happyland set to play with in December so that will come back out when the decorations do.

I've got one 'meet Santa' booked, mainly so I can get some photos.

Other than that it will be simple, nice walks, hot chocolate, Christmas music at home, looking at the lights on a drive around, a Christmas market trip - day off work so it's quiet! Go lunch time and leave early evening so it's not too busy either.

We have a big Christmas party planned too, and I will throw a mini craft party for his friends.

GloGirl Wed 07-Oct-15 23:24:07

Oh yes and I guess we will have a trip to a garden centre or two which will be Christmassy for us.

MNWestminsterCityEd Mon 09-Nov-15 14:34:37

You could try our MN Local site for Westminster & City, which has thousands of listings including attractions, restaurants and a What's On guide that covers Christmas in central London:

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