We may not yet be in December, but with Halloween and Bonfire Night done and dusted, most people's thoughts have turned to Christmas.

That usually means planning a festive day out or two with the kids and there's so much to choose from this year.

Whether it's ice skating in Cathedral Gardens or at Trafford Centre's Tinseltown, a Santa's grotto visit, or a trip to one of region's many magical light trails, there are loads of family-friendly activities taking place in and around Greater Manchester.

Here's our round-up of things to do this festive season

Tinseltown, The Trafford Centre

The Trafford Centre's Tinseltown event is back for another year with a fairground, ice rink, a big top ice show and more.

It's the third year that the event has taken over the space outside the Great Hall and is expected to attract more families than ever.

Visitors will be able to book on a 45-minute ice skating session on the 25m x 20m covered ice rink, underneath a canopy of twinkling lights. There are new rides including a brand new attraction VOID, and a 'spectacular ice show' from Gandeys inside the heated big top.

Gandeys promises 'a spectacular ice show' with Snowstorm 3
Gandeys promises 'a spectacular ice show' with Snowstorm 3

As well as that, the Big Wheel is back with a host of festive food stalls and inside the shopping centre, at the far end of Lower Peel Avenue near the Dolphin Fountain, there's a new traditional-style grotto style. Plenty of magical touches are promised at the 'immersive wonderland' where kids will walk through an Enchanted Forest to meet Santa.

The Grotto will launch from Saturday, November 18 and then open daily up to and including Saturday, December 24. Tickets cost £25 for children, which includes entry to the experience, letter for Santa and pencil, as well as an age-appropriate gift. Entry for adults is £7.50.

Tinseltown will open from November 17 to January 1. Tickets for ice skating and the fairground must be purchased separately and are available on the website here. Ice skating tickets are £12.50 for adults and £10 for children off-peak / £15 for adults and £12.50 for children peak, for a 45-minute ice skating session.

Fairground entry is £2 if pre-booked online, or £2.50 on the day, with ride tokens available to purchase separately. Gandeys Snowstorm 3 tickets are available to purchase here, priced from £12.99 with deals to be had on family tickets.

Big Wheel tickets are £8 per adults, £6 per child (under 1.4m) and £24 for a family ticket, tickets can be purchased on the day at the Big Wheel. Find out more here.

The Trafford Centre, Trafford Park, M17 8EH

Tinseltown is returning to The Trafford Centre
Tinseltown is returning to The Trafford Centre

Skate Manchester

The giant ice rink has returned to Manchester city centre for the festive season.

Based at Cathedral Gardens, next to the Christmas Market stalls, it's become somewhat of a staple in Manchester’s celebrations, complete with a 'dazzling' seven-metre-tall Christmas tree for visitors to skate around.

Six-year-old Ashley Green, from Chorlton, at Skate Manchester
Six-year-old Ashley Green, from Chorlton, at Skate Manchester

Skate Manchester is open daily from now until January 2, 2024, except for Christmas Day and November 1, and anyone from the age of three can visit, although children under 10 must be supervised by an adult on the ice. There are penguin skate aids available to help little ones stay upright.

Tickets are available now, with prices starting at £15.50 for adults and £12.50 for children, with discounted family, group bookings and season tickets also available. For more information and to book tickets, visit the website.

Skate Manchester, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG

Skate Manchester is back at Cathedral Gardens
Skate Manchester is back at Cathedral Gardens

Manchester Christmas Parade, Toy Procession

If you are heading into the city centre this Christmas then you may as well time it with one of the many free events taking place.

As Manchester Christmas Markets celebrate their 25th year, the Christmas Parade which took place for the first time last year, will return on Sunday, December 3 and there'll be three more Festive Sundays bringing free family entertainment to the city centre.

Promising to capture the imaginations of youngsters and bring festive magic to all, shoppers and families will be able to spot a variety of charming visitors, from a giant snow globe and arctic fox puppet, to enchanted walking trees and living lampposts.

The fun kicks off on Sunday, November 26 with 'Magical Christmas Performances' across Manchester Arndale, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, Exchange Street, St Ann’s Square, King Street and Deansgate.

There'll be a 'magical takeover' across the city centre with giant roaming puppets, street performers, and live music from the Fat Cat Brass Band and Bloco Band. Children will be able to enjoy encounters with woodland creatures including larger-than-life robins, the meandering arctic fox, a giant snowy owl and Handmade Parade’s beautiful, illuminated reindeer.

Last year was the very first Manchester Christmas Parade
Last year was the very first Manchester Christmas Parade

A band of 'enchanted festive friends' will also bring magic to the city. Families can meet the living lampposts, talking Christmas trees, a giant roaming snow globe and extraordinary puppet duo, Hodman Dodmanott and Sally Forth – two Christmas elf adventurers with a lot on their minds.

On Sunday, December 3 the Christmas Parade runs from 1pm with 'processions of spectacular characters, magical performances and extraordinary acts' weaving their way through the city’s streets sprinkling pure festive magic. The full route and timings have yet to be announced.

The other two Festive Sundays take place on December 10 and 17 with the Toy Procession created by Walk the Plank. The events - at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm - will feature giant stilt-walking acts including Christmas Crackers, Sugar Plum Fairies, Toy Soldiers, Christmas Elves, and a sparkling Fairy Mouse.

Festive Sundays are brought to the public by Manchester’s Business Improvement District, Manchester City Council and Manchester Markets. Last year's events saw thousands of families line the streets for the magical performances.

Manchester city centre

Thousands of people lined the streets for last year's parade and toy processions
Thousands of people lined the streets for last year's parade and toy processions

Christmas at Dunham Massey

One of the most popular festive events for families is the spectacular magical lights trail at Dunham Massey.

The attraction is returning for a seventh year, transforming the historic National Trust venue - including its gardens and deer park - into a festive spectacle.

This family friendly, one-mile trail will be packed with captivating illuminations including light-covered tunnels as well as shimmering reflections that cast light on beautiful silhouettes of the trees, and is choreographed to a soundtrack of festive favourites. New installations this year include colour-changing batons of light, a huge silver star, shrouded in mist, and star-shaped arches, plus, there might also be a chance to grab a glimpse of Father Christmas.

The event runs from November 17 to December 31, except for November 20, 21, 27, 28 and December 4, 11 and 25. Tickets are available for time slots between 4.30pm and 8.30pm, except December, 24, 26 and 31 - and closes at 10pm.

Tickets, costing from £12 for children, from £19 for adults, or from £60 for a family of four, can be booked on the website here, or via the National Trust website. Parking costs £8 or is free for National Trust members.

Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 4SJ

Christmas at Dunham Massey is back
Christmas at Dunham Massey is back

Christmas at Heaton Park

New for this year from the same company behind the Dunham Massey event is Christmas at Heaton Park.

In recent years, the park hosted the Lightopia event, but the firm unexpectedly went into administration in January.

Now Sony Music/Raymond Gubbay Ltd promises to transform the place 'into a world of dazzling lights, seasonal music and festive cheer along an after-dark trail like no other'.

Families are invited to: "Discover colour-changing globes of light stretching out into the distance, larger-than-life flowers and neon strings that reach high into the sky. Wander through a laser garden filled with thousands of tiny beams of light and into a giant twinkling tunnel that surrounds you with sparkle."

There'll be a fairground village with seasonal snacks on offer from hand-picked street food vendors and refreshments such as spiced winter warmer, hot chocolate or toasted marshmallows. And for those who don't want to leave their dogs at home, the trail is dog-friendly too.

Tickets, costing from £10 for children, from £15 for adults, or from £47 for a family of four, can be booked on the website here. Relaxed sessions with fewer people and reduced volume are also available.

Heaton Park, Sheepfoot Lane, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 ODL

A new lights trail is coming to Heaton Park
A new lights trail is coming to Heaton Park

BeWILDerwood Presents Christmas

Due to the demand for spaces at last year's inaugural festive event at BeWILDerwood Cheshire, this year's tickets for BeWILDerwood Presents Christmas went on sale even earlier.

The sparkly light and panto trail has also just been awarded silver for ‘Best New Event’ at the UK Theme Park Awards, so it's likely to be even more popular with families.

The event lets families follow a sparkly light trail, spotting silly snowmen, a giant Christmas pudding and interacting with favourite BeWILDerwood characters along the way.

They make their way to the Storytelling Stage for a mini BeWILDerwood pantomime.

This year’s event will run on selected dates from December 2 to 23. Tickets, costing £15.50 per person, can be booked for an arrival between 4pm and 6pm. The event lasts around 1 hour and 30 minutes and all children receive a small gift. They may even get a glimpse of Santa Claus too.

To book visit the website and click on 'Get your tickets' to find 'BeWILDerwood Presents Christmas'.

BeWILDerwood Cheshire, Malpas, Bickley Moss, Whitchurch, Cheshire, SY13 4JF

BeWILDerwood Presents Christmas
BeWILDerwood Presents Christmas

Chaos Karts

It's the UK's first live action video game karting experience that's like being inside a game of Mario Kart and things are getting a little bit festive on the tracks.

With brand-new festive projections, players can speed towards the finish line at this state-of-the-art experience as Father Christmas himself flies across the moon.

Chaos Karts combines real-life racing with augmented reality. In a digitally projected world, the speeding karts interact with the virtual track and in-game challenges, with players able to 'launch' everything from from hammers and bombs to laser guns.

Players need to be at least 150cm tall and 11 years old to play.

Tickets for the festive tracks are available now and cost from £23 per person. Book via the website here.

Chaos Karts, Lower Byrom St, Manchester, M3 4FP

Things are getting a little bit festive on the tracks at Chaos Karts
Things are getting a little bit festive on the tracks at Chaos Karts

Santa Specials, East Lancashire Railway

Another sought-after festive event is the Santa train at East Lancashire Railway and tickets are already flying out.

The magical Santa Specials give families the chance to enjoy a steam train journey through Lancashire's very own winter wonderland.

The seasonal event attracts more than 40,000 people each year and features decorated stations, brass bands, carol singers and costumed characters.

Santa Specials at East Lancs Railway
Santa Specials at East Lancs Railway

Little ones get to meet Father Christmas as he gives a present to each child and a glass of Sherry and mince pie to the adults.

The Santa Special journeys will kick off on the weekend of November 25 and 26 and will continue at weekends and select weekdays throughout December until Christmas Eve.

Tickets begin at £22.50 for children and £23 for adults - available here. People can also pre-book tickets for the Santa Shuttle Diesel Railcar (£3 per adult, £2 for children) to make their way from Heywood to Bury Bolton Street Station in true festive style.

East Lancashire Railway, Bury Bolton Street Station, Bolton Street, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 0EY

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Cockfields Christmas Experience

The 'best Christmas experience this side of the North Pole' is promised at Cockfields Farm this year.

The whole farm will be transformed into 'a magical winter wonderland' for what promises to be 'a Christmas experience you will never forget'. Little ones get to begin their journey at Passport Control before embarking on a host of activities.

They can visit Elf Village to see where the elves live and work, before learning how to be an Elf in the Elf Academy and building their own reindeer bear to take home.

They get to snuggle animals in Santa's cuddle corner, meet Prancer and Dancer at the Reindeer Stables, enjoy a private family visit to meet the big man himself and so much more.

The event is running from November 26 and tickets, from £18 for adults and £38 for children, (£10 for under ones) can be booked online.

Cockfields Farm, Lees Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 8AR

Cockfields Farm Christmas Experience
Cockfields Farm Christmas Experience

Newbank Garden Centre

The Santa's Grotto experience at Radcliffe's Newbank Garden Centre is one of the most popular around, with tickets selling out well before the big day.

Families get to meander through 'a magical forest', filled with mischievous elves, before approaching Santa's cosy house where he reads all the children a story before playing games with the elf and receiving a present and photo opportunity. Tickets, costing £12.99 a child, can be booked online.

Newbank Garden Centre, Bury Rd, Radcliffe, Bury, M26 2WW

Santa reads children a story at the grotto inside Newbank Garden Centre
Santa reads children a story at the grotto inside Newbank Garden Centre

Lanterns and Light, Chester Zoo

Animals of a different kind come out to play at Chester Zoo at Christmas time - glowing ones.

Lanterns and Light is a festive family event featuring animal-inspired illuminations, magical lanterns, twinkly costumed characters and Father Christmas himself, who visitors will pass by in his workshop with the elves.

The event promises to 'transform the zoo into a spectacular wonderland, full of sparkle, illumination and a sprinkling of snow' and tickets are already on sale for this year.

Lanterns and Light event is coming to Chester Zoo
Lanterns and Light event is coming to Chester Zoo

Expect colourful animal lanterns, spectacular Christmas scenes and festive characters delighting guests young and old.

New for 2023 there'll be fairground rides, marshmallow toasting, larger than life pea-lit animal statues, a sparkling forest of light and more. The event is running on selected dates from November 17 to December 31. Tickets are available online.

The zoo is also offering its new Dine With Santa experience this year where families can join him for breakfast or lunch inside The Oakfield pub at the heart of the zoo.

Dine With Santa is available Friday to Sunday from November 24 to December 17, excluding December 10 and then daily from December 19 to 23. Tickets cost £25 for adults and £35 for children and can be booked online. Zoo tickets need purchasing separately.

Chester Zoo, Upton-by-Chester, Chester, CH2 1EU

Dine With Santa at Chester Zoo
Dine With Santa at Chester Zoo

Reddish Vale Farm

The Farmer Christmas Experience is coming to Reddish Vale Farm featuring a Father Christmas Workshop, Elf Village, Mrs Claus's Kitchen and lots more.

Promising the 'most magical Christmas experience in the north west', your journey to North Pole Santa HQ starts at 'passport control' and there's lots of activities to do along the way - including building your own Christmas gift to take home, posting your letter to the big man, decorating gingerbread and meeting the reindeer in Santa's Stable.

The event runs on weekends from December 2 and daily from December 16 to Christmas Eve. Tickets, costing £45 for children and £16.50 for adults, can be booked online.

Reddish Vale Farm, Reddish Vale Country Park, Reddish Vale Rd, Stockport, SK5 7HE

The Farmer Christmas Experience is coming to Reddish Vale Farm
The Farmer Christmas Experience is coming to Reddish Vale Farm

Enchanted at Knowsley Safari

An illuminated animal trail, enchanted woodland and moving rainbow road will be among the magical features of the big Christmas event announced at Knowsley Safari.

Visitors will get chance to see the illuminated Enchanted event from Saturday, November 18 until Saturday, December 30.

Bosses say the 2023 event will be packed with brand new experiences as well as the return of old favourites. It will include a host of illuminated animals across the site where real-life giraffes, tigers and hippos are more usually to be spotted in the daytime.

Knowsley’s popular Foot Safari will be completely transformed into a cacophony of colour and festive fantasia for the event. This year it will include the new moving Rainbow Road, and a walk through the icy-blue Arctic Arcadia where families can converse with a Talking Tree.

Knowsley Safari's Enchanted event is back for 2023
Knowsley Safari's Enchanted event is back for 2023

Visitors can also spot illuminated hippos submerged in the Safari’s natural water features, explore an Enchanted Woodland, be amazed as they stroll through neon geometric-shaped walkways, as well as perform in their own shadow puppet show for everyone else to see.

Enchanted favourites will also return, including the Winter Village, marshmallow toasting, illuminated amusements and rides, light-up animals such as giraffes, penguins, zebras and polar bears – plus, of course, Santa’s Grotto.

Santa tickets are sold separately at £20 per child and include a Safari-themed toy as well as a goody bag full of treats.

Access to Enchanted at Knowsley Safari is from 4pm until 8pm, on dates between November 18 and December 30.

Tickets range from £8 to £15, dependent on peak periods and special discounts for members. Under threes and carers go free.

Guests are advised to book early due to demand via the official Knowsley Safari website here.

Knowsley Safari, Prescot, L34 4AN

You can book the Santa's Grotto alongside the Enchanted event at Knowsley Safari
You can book the Santa's Grotto alongside the Enchanted event at Knowsley Safari

Lancaster Park and Animal Farm

At Lancaster Park and Animal Farm its Christmas on the Farm experience promises to be bigger and better than ever.

As well as all the favourites like joining Mrs Claus for a Christmas story in her cosy cottage and meeting Santa himself, there are some new additions this year.

Families will be able to meet Mr Grinch in his lair and have a photo in his lifesize sleigh. Little ones will also be able to visit the toy shop this year and exchange their golden coin from Santa for a gift of their choice.

The event is running on weekends from December 2 and then daily from December 20 to Christmas Eve. Tickets, costing £14 for children, £11 for adults and £6.50 for under 12 months, can be booked online.

Lancaster Park and Animal Farm, Middleton Road, Chadderton, Oldham, OL1 2TG

Families will be able to meet Mr Grinch at Lancaster Park and Animal Farm
Families will be able to meet Mr Grinch at Lancaster Park and Animal Farm

Winter Funland

Winter Funland is returning to Manchester this Christmas promising the region's biggest indoor event.

Billed as a 'festive extravaganza' it will feature a funfair, a roller rink, a traditional circus and a food and drink market.

The event takes place at the BEC Arena in Trafford and runs from December 17 to January 1 with two three-and-a-half hour sessions taking place on most dates.

Organisers say it is geared more towards younger children, up to approximately age nine, and does not feature any rides for thrill-seekers.

Tickets, costing £23.50 each, or £89 for a family of four, plus booking fees, are available online.

A thousand free tickets are currently up for grabs for local charities to give to families to attend the exclusive opening event on December 17.

Tickets are only available to registered charities. To apply email max@winterfunland.com

Winter Funland, BEC Arena, Trafford Park, M17 1SN

Winter Funland is returning for Christmas 2023
Winter Funland is returning for Christmas 2023

Winter Solstice Season, Jodrell Bank

A 'unique, inspiring week of fun for the whole family' is promised at Jodrell Bank this December, giving visitors the chance to see it 'as you’ve never seen it before'.

The Winter Solstice event runs over eight nights this December, featuring exhibitions, dome shows, crafts and 'incredible' projections illuminating the front of the First Light Pavilion.

Each night will feature a special add-on event, from poetry readings, astronomical lectures and a Pink Floyd Dome Show. Families can enjoy hot chocolate, mulled wine, festive treats and some last-minute gifts in the shop.

Each evening is divided into an early and a late session – with the early session programmed with families in mind and the late a more adult feel. Tickets cost from £14, with carers and under fours free. Add-on events are £7 each and can only be purchased with a late entry ticket for the relevant day.

Jodrell Bank, Bomish Lane, Macclesfield, SK11 9DW

Winter Solstice Season, Jodrell Bank
Winter Solstice Season, Jodrell Bank

Christmas Classics at King Street Townhouse

Manchester's hidden cinema is showing a host of festive classics this Christmas. Tucked away in the underground cellar of the city centre's historic King Street Townhouse, the mini cinema seats 20 people at a time, so offers a cosy setting to watch family favourites including Elf, Home Alone, How The Grinch Stole Christmas and more.

Screenings take place on weekends in December, starting from December 9, and then December 22, 23 and 26. There are three films shown each day, except for one of the days, and include something for all ages, with ratings from U to 15. You can buy tickets either just for the film or to include snacks, afternoon tea and cocktails. More details and the full schedule of films here. Tickets are priced from £16.54 and can booked via Eventbrite.

The cinema inside King Street Townhouse to show festive films throughout December
The cinema inside King Street Townhouse to show festive films throughout December

Santa at Bents

There are lots of ways for little ones to see Santa at Bents this Christmas. The big man made his grand arrival at the Glazebury store on Thursday, November 9 when he met families who were waiting to greet him.

He'll now be meeting customers as he wanders the store daily from noon to 4pm until Christmas Eve and there are also special events you can book including Santa's Tea Party and a Tiny Tots Christmas Party. See the website to book.

Bents Garden and Home, Warrington Rd, Leigh End, Glazebury, Warrington WA3 5NT

Santa at Bents
Santa at Bents

Twilight Trail at Mayfield Park

Manchester's Mayfield Park is hosting a festive Twilight Trail this Christmas. The event will feature an immersive light and sound show and promises to transform the park into 'a dazzling city-centre winter escape'.

It comes as Freight Island is once again being transformed into Winter Island - billed as 'the UK’s largest heated outdoor and indoor winter festival'.

Visitors will be encouraged to enjoy the trail, taking in the lighting installations spread across the 6.5-acre park, before finishing at Freight Island, where they'll be encouraged to stay for further festive experiences – from Christmas food and drink to the chance to see Father Christmas.

Winter Island opens from November 9 until Christmas Eve, with the Twilight Trail running from November 17 to December 31. Trail tickets cost from £7 for November dates and from £8 for December dates. Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) available at £28 for November dates and £32 for December dates. Under twos go free.

You can read more about the event here.

Mayfield Park, Baring Street, Manchester, M1 2PY

Manchester's Mayfield Park is hosting a festive Twilight Trail this Christmas
Manchester's Mayfield Park is hosting a festive Twilight Trail this Christmas

Yuletide at Tatton Park

A new festive family experience is coming to Tatton Park in the form of Yuletide.

The event is billed as 'a unique blend of an outdoor Christmas festival and winter light trail, and is based on festive folklore, ridiculous rituals and forgotten traditions'.

It has been created by award-winning outdoor arts organisation Wild Rumpus, who run the popular Just So family festival and have also produced Lanterns at Cheshire Zoo for the past six years.

At the heart of Yuletide is the Yuletide Gathering, a unique take on a family festival at Christmastime.

Families can wrap up warm round a glowing campfire to watch live musicians, listen to campfire stories, toast marshmallows and even watch impressive fire jugglers. There will also be food vendors serving up tasty festive treats and mulled wine.

On one of the final days of the event - December 22 - there will be a special celebration to mark the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. It will include a torchlit procession, music and storytelling.

Yuletide will run on selected dates from Friday, November 24 until Saturday, December 23, with time slots between 3pm and 7.30pm. Tickets, costing £12 for children, £20 for adults and free for under 2s, can be booked online.

Read more about the event here.

Tatton Park, Knutsford, WA16 6SG

Yuletide is coming to Tatton Park
Yuletide is coming to Tatton Park

Smithills Open Farm

The popular grotto at Smithills Open Farm is returning this Christmas. Families can meet Santa, his elves and snowman at the farm every weekend in December and then daily from December 21 to Christmas Eve.

Normal Farm admission tickets are to be purchased online then add ‘Santa’s Grotto’ tickets to your visit. Santa tickets, costing £7 each, include a special gift too.

Smithills Open Farm, Smithills Dean Rd, Bolton, BL1 7NS

Kids can visit Santa at Smithills Open Farm
Kids can visit Santa at Smithills Open Farm

Glow at RHS Bridgewater

The enchanting festive illuminations return to RHS Bridgewater this Christmas.

RHS Glow returns on selected dates from November 15 to December 30.

This year for the first time, the RHS is working with lighting experts SLX on reimagined routes that will 'give visitors the chance to experience the RHS Bridgewater in a totally new light'.

Families are invited along to enjoy 'a magical evening stroll with stunning new light displays along the way'. Weave your way through yew domes festooned with fairy lights, dance to Manchester anthems under the rainbow lights at Garden Cottage, and be entranced by the twinkling magic of the Chinese Streamside Garden.

Jago Juggling Arts will also return for 2023 with their popular halo light show, performing every night of Glow. With double the number of performances this year, visitors are promised 'mind-blowing effects the whole family will love'.

Tickets cost £7.95 for children and £14.95 for adults. For RHS members it's £4.45 and £8.95 respectively. Visit the website to book.

RHS Bridgewater, Occupation Road, Worsley, Salford, M28 2LJ

Glow at RHS
Glow at RHS

Totally Christmas

Families can choose from one of two 'magical' trails at Totally Christmas in Walkden this year, which sees visitors make their way through festive themed rooms, before meeting Santa at the end.

.Trail one features the likes of A Christmas Carol, Land of the Nutcrackers, Marvel and Polar Bears, while trail two includes Narnia, Andy's Bedroom from Toy Story and more. The idea is they find the answer to a different puzzle in each room, before moving on to the next.

It opens in Walkden Town Centre shopping centre, in Salford, from Saturday, December 2 and runs until Christmas Eve. Tickets cost £18.95 for children, including a gift from Santa, and £12.95 for adults, with a £2.50 booking fee. Under twos and carers go free. To book, visit the website here.

Walkden Town Centre, Bolton Road, Walkden, Salford, M28 3ZH

Totally Christmas is back in Walkden
Totally Christmas is back in Walkden

Lands of Lights at Gulliver's World

Giant animal lanterns will make the Gulliver's World theme park glow this Christmas as a new lights festival arrives.

There will be 12 'Dreamworlds' for families to explore at the Warrington attraction, inspired by animals, mega monuments and wonders of the natural world.

Lanterns include everything from a mythical dragon and unicorn, to an elephant, snail and snake and each 'Dreamworld' promises to be 'bursting with colour, energy, and illumination'. There's a special treat for the dinosaur lovers too as the Jurassic zone will feature some glowing dinosaurs too.

Of course there'll be drinks and treats to buy too, with festive offerings of mulled wine, hot chocolate, waffles and crepes.

Land of Lights is a 90-minute experience and will be at Gulliver’s World theme park from November 11 until February 25, 2024. To book tickets, costing £19 each (£15 advance off-peak), visit the website. Under twos go free, concessionary tickets £9.50 (or £7.50 advance off-peak).

On November 17 there's a special Land of Lights Glow Walk for Children In Need, with families encouraged to dress up for the occasion. Tickets cost £12, with £5 of each one going direct to the charity. Everyone who takes part will receive a free ticket for the theme park to use at any Gulliver's site next year. Sponsorship forms for the walk can be downloaded here, although it's not essential.

Land of Lights is one of a number of light and lantern trails coming to the region this Christmas. You can see the full list of events here.

Land of Lights coming to Gulliver's World, Warrington this Christmas
Land of Lights coming to Gulliver's World, Warrington this Christmas

Magical Woodland at Blakemere Village

An enchanted, interactive forest walk is taking place at Blakemere Village in Cheshire this Christmas as it launches its Magical Woodland event.

Billed as 'the North West’s biggest and best Christmas light trail', it is set in 15 acres of stunning countryside and features all of your favourite Christmas characters along the journey.

Meet the Grumpy Grinch at Whoville, pop by and check out the 'amazing' house from ‘Deck the Halls’ and then make your way across the high seas and visit Tinkerbell in Neverland. There's also the ‘Frozen Woodland’ and the chance to meet Santa Claus, Mrs Claus and their trusty Elves.

Tickets are already selling fast for the event, which features more than a million fairy lights, multiple laser displays, digital animation, dazzling tunnels, and 'captivating' canopies of lights.

Guests get an allocated 90-minute time slot from the time of entry and the interactive sound and light experience can be looped as many times as you wish, with plenty of opportunities to refuel and warm up with snacks and hot drinks at the food court.

The event runs from November 24 to December 24 and tickets, costing £16.50 for children, £23.95 for adults or £75 for a family of two adults and two children, can be booked online.

Magical Woodland, Blakemere Village, Chester Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 2EB

Magical Woodland at Blakemere Village
Magical Woodland at Blakemere Village

Santa Cruise, Manchester River Cruises

If you're wanting something a little different this year then you can hop aboard the Santa Cruise on the Manchester Ship Canal. There's a grotto on board Isabella, which departs from Salford Quays down the historic ship canal where guests will have the chance to meet Santa while taking in the views along Manchester’s main waterway.

It's an hour-long trip with Santa and his elves and includes a cookie and juice for kids and mulled wine and mince pies for adults. Activities and gifts are aimed at children age two to 10, but 'big kids are welcome'.

The event is running on the last weekend of November, the first two weekends of December and then daily from December 11 to 23. Tickets, costing £14 for adults and £12 for kids, can be booked online.

Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ

Manchester River Cruises
Manchester River Cruises

Enchanted Winter Walk, Quarry Bank

Quarry Bank is set to sparkle this Christmas with an Enchanted Winter Walk.

Visitors are invited to wrap up warm with family and friends to 'enjoy the magic of Quarry Bank at twilight'.

With festive lighting, giant sparkling presents and illuminated walkways, guests can wander through the Upper Garden at the National Trust property.

Families are urged to keep an eye out for Mrs Claus preparing the sleigh for Christmas Eve, and little ones can pick up some reindeer food ready for the big day.

The experience lasts around half an hour with some time with Mrs Claus and a warming drink to finish. It runs on selected dates between Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 23.

It's the second year the event has taken place and tickets are on sale now costing £7 per person. The price includes entry and a hot drink and children will also get the reindeer food, as well as a child size hot drink. It's suitable for all ages and babies under 12 months go free of charge.

The Enchanted Winter Walk is one of many events running at the Styal venue between now and Christmas. For more details see here.

Quarry Bank,Styal, Wilmslow, SK9 4HP

Enchanted Winter Walk and other festive events taking place at Quarry Bank this Christmas
Enchanted Winter Walk and other festive events taking place at Quarry Bank this Christmas

Sail with Santa, Hollingworth Lake

There's another chance to set sail with Santa with a floating grotto at Hollingworth Lake this Christmas. Families can jump on board the Lady Katherine for what promises to be a 'unique grotto experience'.

All children will get to meet Santa and receive a gift during the experience, which lasts approximately 20 minutes. There are a maximum of 10 places available per trip and each group of 10 people will all visit Santa together.

The event runs on weekends from November 25 and then daily from December 19 to 22. Tickets cost £5 each and can be booked online.

Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough, OL15 0DQ

Sail with Santa, Hollingworth Lake
Sail with Santa, Hollingworth Lake

Legoland Discovery Centre

Legoland's festive event is back this Christmas and promising more fun than ever.

Youngsters can take part in a scavenger hunt in the winter wonderland-themed Miniland, build a cool Lego decoration and rock around the Lego Christmas tree at the pop-up dance parties with the centre's mascots.

You can also upgrade tickets to meet Lego Santa in his grotto while you're there. For an extra £5 per person on selected dates, you can head into his grotto to have a souvenir photo taken with the brick man himself and get an 'awesome gift'.

Christmas Bricktacular is running on weekends and in school holidays from November 25 to January 3. Tickets, starting from £15, can be booked online.

Legoland Discovery Centre, Trafford Palazzo, Trafford, M17 8AS

LEGO Santa is coming to Legoland Discovery Centre
LEGO Santa is coming to Legoland Discovery Centre

Luminate at Walton Gardens

'Spectacular, illuminated trails full of wonder and intrigue' are promised at the Luminate event at Warrington's Walton Hall and Gardens.

The trail will run every night between Thursday, November 30 and Sunday, December 24.

The event features 'a captivating light trail' through the stunning grounds. 'Incredible lighting elements, fabulous light play and ambient music' promises an experience to 'enthral your senses'.

Entry slots are every 15 minutes between 4.30pm and 8pm and the trail takes 60 to 90 minutes.

Tickets, starting from £12.25 for children, £15 for adults and £48 for families, can be booked on the website here.

Walton Hall and Gardens, Walton Lea Road, Warrington, WA4 6SN

Luminate at Walton Gardens
Luminate at Walton Gardens

Santa in the Sky, Cheshire Oaks

As meet and greets with Santa go, they don't get much more exciting than a big wheel experience.

Little ones can hop on board a Ferris wheel for a chat with the big man and his elves at Santa in the Sky at Cheshire Oaks.

The wheel will form part of this year's Winter Village at the site, where there'll be a 'spectacular' 90ft Christmas tree and 'iconic' festive decorations.

As well as taking flight with Santa for the 10-minute trip, children will receive a complimentary hot chocolate, festive cookie, personalised lanyard and reindeer food to take home.

Santa in the Sky at Cheshire Oaks
Santa in the Sky at Cheshire Oaks

Tickets for Santa in the Sky will go on sale from Monday, November 13 at 10am and are likely to sell out so don't hang around if you're wanting to book.

Prices have yet to be released, but there's one price to do the wheel and you upgrade to have Santa inside the pod with you.

Santa in the Sky runs Friday to Sunday from December 1 to 10 and then daily from December 16 to 21. See more details on the website.

Cheshire Oaks, Kinsey Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 9JJ