The local national trust park have a few activities that are usually good and not expensive.
We also visit the local farm, they usually have some kind of activity morning on.
I have always wanted to do a butlins or centre parks weekend but never book in time so that's one I'm going to book in January for next Christmas maybe even new year!
I also take the DC shopping! I give them some money and they make a list of people to buy for and they go and choose presents. Usually give around £2 per person and go to pound shops/primark etc. They love doing this! They then wrap them all and put them under the tree.
I'm taking DS (3) on the Santa train and to a beautiful grotto near to us. Both in the week before Christmas. I'm on annual leave for a couple of weeks over Christmas, so will also take him to London for the day. He wants to go on every type of public transport, and we'll go to the Christmas market by London Bridge, and see some pretty lights.
I'm on a training course in York the last week of November and first week of December so will take advantage of some child-free time and go to the Christmas market there and try and get to the York Christmas gardens.
We are going to Longleat Festival of Light at the end of November. Then a Christmas train ride at Okehampton (I think) on Dec 22nd and the local Christmas Spectacular show on xmas eve. Other stuff tends to be free - looking at the displays in the local garden centre, that sort of thing. As your son is only 5 I’d be wary of overwhelming him - they get pretty tired at that time of year which is no fun for anyone.
Just been to a Christmas show - my mother booked. Far too early for me but hey ho. Father Christmas comes up trumps / not exactly high brow but the children enjoyed it. Then there is shopping for daddy's present. Note to FC Local Christmas festival / lights on Buy Christmas tree - just the garden centre but they love it Ice skating Then Christmas itself Panto for new year - local am dram
Also I have picked up some cheap Christmas craft things.
Basically something for every weekend! Which is more than enough!!!!