Getting Ready for Christmas

Pines & Needles Christmas Tree

So now October Half Term is finished and Halloween is over and done with for another year, it is time to start thinking about Christmas – I don’t specifically mean buying gifts per se – but I know some of you super organised people are actually doing that too.

What I mean is booking some Christmas Day trips and organising any other early Christmas related activities that might need a bit of thought.

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After Half Term these are the things I tend to get sorted.

  1. Book at least one Christmas Grotto Visit

Some of my favourites are on at National Trust properties. They combine seeing Santa with usually a walk in crisp Winter grounds of a beautiful property. Last year we visited Speke Hall at Christmas and also Lyme Park at Christmas.  This year we are planning on visiting Erddig and hopefully visiting Tatton Park’s Mansion which has been transformed into Roald Dahl’s greatest stories. On Friday 25th November the Mansion will open up to welcome guests into a world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Inside the yellow drawing room, The Witches take over – with a large bubbling cauldron and a broomstick tree. Listen out and you might hear a very special witchey Christmas carol.

National Trust Christmas Activities

2. Plan a Christmas/Winter themed show

This year we are lucky enough to be going to see Disney on Ice presents Frozen at the Echo Arena right at the end of November (practically Christmas) and to see The Best Ever Christmas Show on the 20th December! Both look brilliant and the girl are going to love them! We haven’t actually booked a pantomime in yet, but having done Sleeping Beauty at the Floral Pavilion last year and Cinderella at the Epstein, we know we will have to do at least one (ok maybe two!).

We also have the chance for you to WIN a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for Monday, 12th December to

LHK Productions  Christmas Pantomime– Aladdin at the Epstein Theatre

LHK Productions present Aladdin featuring an all-star cast including Natasha Hamilton who plays the beautiful Princess Jasmine, Magaluf Weekender’s gorgeous Jordan Davies will be granting everyone’s wishes as Genie of the Lamp, one half of hit X Factor duo Same Difference, Sean Smith arrives into Liverpool with his boyish charm and amazing voice to play the title role of Aladdin, whilst Liverpool’s own Big Brother star Mark Byron brings the bling as Slave of the Ring.

Full T&C’s and Rafflecopter Entry Box below!

Disney on Ice presents Frozen

3. Identify what is going to be the Christmas viewing

Last year’s top hit was Stick Man which was on Christmas Day. What a wonderful moment of calm that was during a busy Christmas Day.  We will be eagerly looking out for what’s coming this year, as The Highway Rat isn’t going to be ready until Christmas 2017!


4. Order our Tree

This year we are getting our tree from Pines and Needles.  Pines and Needles will take your order, you can specify the type of tree you want and when it arrives if you don’t like the look of it you can send it back and get another without argument- this is just the type of service I need at such a hectic time of year 😉 Also if you are thinking of going away for Christmas, perhaps staying in a cottage, you shouldn’t feel like you can’t have a tree, as Pines and Needles will even deliver to your Holiday destination cottage if it within their reach.

Alternatively you could think about Gifting A Tree?  It’s like sending flowers but A MILLION TIMES BETTER. Just think how amazing it would be to get a giant package landing on your doorstep, sent from a well-wishing friend or family member, which then is the centrepiece of your entire Christmas celebrations.

It ticks so many boxes – eco-friendly, family-friendly, original – so why not play at being Santa this year and gift a tree to your nearest and dearest. Or Gift a tree to those that need it – Christmas is a time for giving after all!

Pines & Needles Christmas Tree

5. Pre-Order Christmas Letters and Messages from Santa

I absolutely love these Christmas letters by the International Elf Service – they actually come straight from the North Pole – all you have to do is order them! I also love watching the kids watch their message from Santa on the computer – we usually use Portable North Pole.

International Elf Service

Portable North Pole

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Family Ticket is for a Maximum of 4 people and is for 30th November 2016 at the Echo Arena, Liverpool.
• All information detailing how to enter this competition forms part of these terms and conditions.
• Supplying an email address within the Rafflecopter widget means that the entrant is willing to be added to the Promoter’s mailing list. Upon receipt of any correspondence from these companies, the entrant will be free to unsubscribe at any time.
• All entries must be received by the advertised closing time date.
• All prizes are non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives.
• Winners will be chosen at random through Rafflecopter and the winners will be notified as soon as possible after the draw.
• The winner will be contacted by e-mail, if they do not reply within 7 days another winner may be chosen.
• Events may occur that render the competition itself or the awarding of the prizes impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Promoter, and accordingly the Promoter may at its absolute discretion vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the Promoter as a result thereof.
• English law applies and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts shall prevail.
• By submitting an entry through Rafflecopter, all entrants are acknowledging and accept the terms and conditions for the giveaway
• Each winning entry will be validated, and if the instructions for entry have not been followed for that Rafflecopter entry, a new winner will be chosen
• Each Rafflecopter entry is a single entry into the giveaway and stands alone as such. Any incorrect entries from the winner only make these entry methods invalid, not all the winners’ entries. The winning entry method from them will still be valid as long as it complies with our other terms and conditions.
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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

1 thought on “Getting Ready for Christmas”

  1. Great post! I completely agree with seeing Father Christmas at a National Trust property. We’ve been several times to Arlington Court in North Devon. It is completely amazing and looks so authentic instead of the tacky grottos in a shopping mall (!). Their Father Christmas is always in his green suit (?) but he looks fantastic in a beautiful room in the manor house with a tree as tall at the ceiling covered with lashings of decorations. We’re soon to set off to the Alps to do a family ski season so we’ll in be France for Noel this year but I am being one of those Mum’s being ridiculously organised before leaving, getting relatives presents ready and sent and buying stocking fillers here (so much cheaper!!) and then a few token french fillers there. Enjoy Christmas!


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