The days are cold and the evenings are dark. Get a little bit of sparkle and festive fun into your life in the run up to Christmas with these five festive ideas.

5 fun ways to kickstart the festive season and get some Christmas spirit

Shopping, the fun way

Christmas shopping can be a bit of a challenge but it’s good to get it out of the way in advance, leaving you time to enjoy the build up to the big day. More and more Christmas markets are popping up all over the UK now. Try one of the bigger ones to get all your shopping polished off in one go, and then give yourself a pat on the back at a mulled wine stall. Birmingham’s Frankfurt style market is the largest of its kind held outside of Germany and Manchester’s market has a truly international flavour. Or, if they’re not continental enough for you then slip away for a few days to one of the original European markets.


Photo credit to BirminghamFCM

Have a Christmas day out

You may love nothing more than a pantomime to start off the festive period, or getting rosy-cheeked outdoors at the local pop-up skating rink. If you have Harry Potter fans in your house then the Warner Bros. Studio Tour’s Hogwarts in the Snow event will give the ultimate Christmas glow. It displays props and effects actually used in the Harry Potter movies to create magical festive scenes on the famous sets. Running from now until the end of January, you can visit it alongside the other tours, such as Platform 9 ¾, where it’s All Aboard The Hogwart’s Express!


Hogwarts in the snow


It’s time to deck the halls and a perfect opportunity to get the kids involved in trimming the tree or making some paper chains. Why not get crafty with some of these free ideas from Activity Village. If you don’t put your tree up until later, or you just don’t like your house to look like a grotto, then check when the Christmas lights are switched on near you.


Photo credit to Activity Village

Festive baking

Some say you need to make your Christmas cake three months in advance and lovingly baste with brandy until Christmas. Paul Hollywood has said that you can make a good Christmas cake three weeks before the big day. Or you might like a simple life and just buy one to decorate yourself. Either way, it’s never too early to bake some easy mince pie or gingerbread to fill your home with festive scent. If you know some foodies you will be gifting this year, then why not get some kilner jars, fill with homemade mincemeat or spiced chutney and decorate with a red bow.


Photo credit to Valeria Bozhkova

Get some Santa in your life

This one is for the kids! The excitement on their faces as they write their list to Father Christmas will give you a grin and it’s nice to keep the charm alive with a visit to Santa’s grotto. Just beware of multiple Santas as, if your child is old enough, they may ask “Why is that a different Santa to the one at school?” You can even make his present delivery official by helping your little one complete a visit application, available for young and older children.


Picture credit to Netmums