Best Christmassy things to do in Birmingham?

(13 Posts)
MNBirminghamLocalEd Mon 11-Nov-13 18:50:42

The city centre lights are shining and the German Market opens this what are the best Christmassy things on in Birmingham?

Our ambitions have been pretty humble so far (have been pregnant a lot over the last 7 years grin) - visiting the nodding reindeer at the Bournville garden centre/ quick go on the carousel at the German Market/ candlelit carols on the Green. But now we're not so sleep-deprived and the kids are really excited about it all, we're up for the whole shebang.

So what do your DCs love to do in the run-up to Christmas?

BillyBollyBrum Sat 16-Nov-13 19:35:44

The Severn Valley Santa Special is lovely, we are also doing the Pantomime. Not bothering with Thomasland this year as my two aren't bothered by the rides but that's a nice day out.

MNBirminghamLocalEd Sun 17-Nov-13 22:10:28

Your two aren't bothered about the rides?shock How did you manage that! I think mine would be beyond delighted, but I'm too strapped to take them all to Thomasland in December - made the mistake of getting my eldest to write a Christmas list (and practise his writing). It was very long!

Was looking at What the Ladybird Heard at the Town Hall, and love the idea of the Severn Valley Santa Special - have heard great things about it from a friend, and Polar Express has become a big favourite.

Am hoping to venture into town this week for the market...

BillyBollyBrum Mon 18-Nov-13 09:25:14

DD1 sobbed on the troublesome trucks and refused to go on anything else hmm DD2 would probably like to be tied to the front of the troublesome trucks but is only 2. They do like the zoo, but it's a very cold expensive day out for a trip to the zoo grin

The Alex usually has something Christmassy on, as does the Mac or the Crescent I think, all of which is cheaper than the Hippodrome.

Severn Valley is lovely, get on the old steam train, about 45mins to Arley I think to see Father Christmas and get a pressie, then you can get off at Bewdley on the way back if you want. They also do one where you sit on the train and Father Christmas comes round with the presents. You have to book on a specific train and it is hectic but very well organised.

Casta Mon 18-Nov-13 10:18:30

I'm not sure whether I'm hijacking this thread, but it seemed appropriate to put this message here. Has anyone been to Santa's Winter Wonderland at the Snowdome? If so would you recommend it or any other better suggestions for seeing the jolly fella this Christmas?

BillyBollyBrum Mon 18-Nov-13 16:55:31

I've heard very good things about it. DM has taken her other GC and they loved it

MNBirminghamLocalEd Tue 19-Nov-13 20:41:24

Not hijacking in the least, Casta. Hadn't thought of the Snowdome (duh!). DS1 would adore that, especially as we've just finished slogging our way through the 18th consecutive Famous Five book (18th, I tell you! Wish I'd never dug them out!) which features tobogganing quite heavily. Will have to prevent him from yelling inappropriately jolly 1950s Hurrahs, though....

MNBirminghamLocalEd Wed 27-Nov-13 22:02:42

Ooh, i've thought of one - finding a Christmas tree. We went to Woods Farm last year and it was fab - 100s of trees to choose from, and it was a really lovely morning out.

Christmas Market not such a success with DS3 this year - babies in buggies don't work so well in a crush of shoppers...

flumphall Fri 29-Nov-13 23:10:48

We have been Winter Wonderland at the snowdome for the last two years. It is wonderful!! Really special!! We first went when our eldest was 3 and youngest was a couple of months. It starts with about 20/30 mins on a kind of indoor forest snow track - festive lights etc, little snow tracks at the sides to slide down in blow up tubes and lots of wooden sledges to pull the little ones on. Then a bell sounds and everyone moves into the theatre area for a show involving santa. After the show you go into an animal area where there are donkeys, reindeer, etc. All very festive and well organised.

DoraTheUrbanExplorer Tue 10-Dec-13 10:50:44

Has anyone taken their kids to the Nature Centre in Cannon Hill Park? I like the idea of an outdoor Santa with a bit of space for the kids to let off steam. Have also seen that Moseley Park are having a Santa hunt just before Christmas (if I can make the kids wait that long!) Or have I left it all too late? fconfused

MNBirminghamLocalEd Wed 11-Dec-13 12:00:14

Santa at the Nature Centre is supposed to be v good for toddlers - no queues, outdoor space, animals to look at and a happy experience all round, according to one friend. You have to book your slot in advance though.

Casta Fri 20-Dec-13 12:19:17

Have to say Santa at the Nature Centre at Cannon Hill was pretty poor when we went. Santa's grotto was a smelly shed with polystyrene glued to the inside and Santa seemed very uncomfortable.

I'll never forget what my wife said as we were leaving 'They may as well have put a beard on a pig'...I lolled!

Casta Fri 20-Dec-13 12:40:31

Ok, a bit of feedback. Done both Santa Special at SVR and also the Snowdome. The Snowdome wins without question and we'll definitely be going there again next year.

Whilst my toddler enjoyed the train ride at SVR, thats all it was really, a train ride. No effort had been made to decorate the inside of the train, no entertainment provided for the kids along the journey, it was just the normal journey which you can do at any time of the year. Once we arrived at Arley we all disembarked to be ushered into a marquee with a 45 minute queue to see Santa for 5 minutes and receive a gift. The only entertainment in the queue was a brass band, who only occasionally played. your money, not at all magical.

The Snowdome in comparison was far superior. At the beginning you're greeted by a toy soldier on stilts who prepares the kids (and adults) for whats in store. From here the solider opens the doors to a beautifully decorated snow zone where the kids can sledge, ice skate have snowball fights and generally run around like lunatics. Next, at the sound of the trumpet, they all go into the theatre to be entertained by a 20 minute performance with Santa and his helpers. And then finally they're through to Santa's house where there are lots of immaculately clean and well groomed animals including donkeys, rabbits, goats, ducks, and of course Reindeer. Alas there is no sign of Santa again, which is something they could address in future years, perhaps they could have one, aherm..him wondering around handing out small gifts occasionally. But the kids do get a small gift when they leave, although I'm not sure if this matters as the kids have had such a magical time up until this point I doubt they're too bothered.

As already mentioned, the Snowdome provided the experience we were after and at roughly the same price as the SVR IMO is much better value for money. And no, I dont work for the Snowdome! smile


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