With Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire all subject to Tier 2 COVID restrictions, it is obvious that this is going to be one very unusual Christmas and many family traditions may have to go amiss. Luckily, some of our local communities and independent businesses have gone above and beyond to provide us with some COVID friendly Christmas activities and events to bring us some festive cheer this December.
From make your own gingerbread men and Christmas lanterns to virtual storytelling and workshops, here is PMP’s top ten Christmas activities and events to keep your children in the festive spirit during this unusual year
Virtual call with Santa
You might not be able to visit Santa personally this year, but luckily you can still make it magical for your little ones with a virtual call with Santa – all the way from the North Pole! There are lots of virtual Christmas experiences to choose from, which enable your child to have a live or pre-recorded personalised message from Father Christmas himself. Make it a Christmas they won’t forget!
Decorate your own gingerbread
Keep your little ones busy with a decorate your own gingerbread box! Beeziebakes.co.uk offer small or large DIY Gingerbread Kits which include a range of different shaped gingerbread cookies, four different types of Christmas sprinkles and icing pens in three colours. The company specialises in delicious homemade goods, so you can guarantee top quality gingerbread without having to bake your own – win win!
Click here to order your DIY gingerbread kit today.
Virtual Lantern Making Workshop and annual Maidenhead Lantern trail
Norden Farm in Maidenhead are still hosting their annual Lantern Making Workshop, but this year it will be online and on demand! Simply collect your festive lantern making set from Norden Farm and follow the pre-recorded tutorial from home, whenever it suits you. You can even transform your lantern into an animal of your choice by following their artist inspiration! Book a time slot to pick up you lantern making kit and let the fun begin!
Norden farm will also be putting on a Lantern Trail to replace their annual Lantern Parade that has taken place over the past 10 years. Maidenhead High Street will be covered in colourful animal lanterns for you to find! Find out more about this community project here.
Visit the Reading Twilight Trail
Reading is putting on its first ever Twilight Trail this year, with a 1km long outdoor lighting and sound installation running through the Abbey Ruins and Forbury Gardens. From 8th December to 3rd January, visitors will be able to create their own light shows, wander through beautifully illuminated trees, and discover dazzling light orbs, floating mirror balls, kaleidoscope patterns, interactive displays and more. There’s even a festive pop up bar!
In line with COVID restrictions, tickets will be limited and must be pre-booked. For more information, on the Reading Twilight Trail, click here.
Paint some Christmas pottery
From mini snowmen to paint-your-own baubles and novelty mugs to light up ginger bread houses, there is so much for the kids (and parents!) to paint at The Ugly Duckling Pottery House in Newbury. With their to-go boxes, the whole family can paint glorious creations from the safety of your own home – but if you are suffering from cabin fever and need a change of scenery, the store will be open from 2nd December for households and support bubbles to paint their pottery in-house.
Click here to browse The Ugly Duckling’s selection of ceramic pottery to paint at home.
Visit the Gruffalo Grotto, Sandhurst
Some lovely locals in Sandhurst have set up a ‘Gruffalo Grotto’ in Owlsmoor, Sandhurst! The grotto, which includes fairies, teddies and snowmen elves, is located in the nature reserve between Cambridge Road and Magdalena Road. Lit up until 5pm every day, children are welcome to bring something to add to the grotto or a painted Christmas pebble to be hung in the ‘fairy garden’.
Discover the Lexicon Elf Trail
The QR codes are back in the Lexicon shopping centre Bracknell, ready for you to discover ten mischievous elves hiding in shop windows! Scan the codes to learn more about all the characters and find all ten to receive a free ebook about the elves’ hilarious shopping adventure! If you complete the trail, you will also be entered for a chance to win one of ten limited edition Lexicon elves!
Click here to find out more about the Lexicon Elf Trail.
Watch a virtual story telling performance
Puppetry and storytelling company Theatre of Widdleshins is coming to Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead to bring us a live performance of ‘The Magic porridge Pot and Other Tasty Tales’. Running from 10th to 12th December, the show tells much-loved tales with a twist and a concoction of puppets, pop up sets and original music!
Whilst social distancing and limited capacities will be in place to allow guests to enjoy the performance in person, the show will also be livestreamed so children can enjoy it from the safety of their own home. For more information and to book your tickets for ‘The Magic porridge Pot and Other Tasty Tales’, click here.
Attend a virtual Christmas drama workshop
Let your little characters use their creative energy in this virtual Christmas drama workshop by Sideways drama school. Children can practise their acting abilities with games, dancing and role play activities that allow them to transform into elves helping Santa prepare for Christmas day.
The class is open to all children aged 5-9 years. More information about the Sideways drama workshop can be found by clicking here.
Do the Windsor Great Park Family Trail
Windsor Great Park and The Savill Garden are always beautiful at this time of year, but they are getting especially festive over the twelve days of Christmas with a family trail! Running from 19th December to 3rd January, the hour long trail, which is wheelchair and buggy friendly, starts at The Savill Building and leads through to Windsor great park. Along the way, you’ll be spotting the difference between gingerbread men and filling in the gaps for The 12 Days of Christmas!
Tickets are £3 per person including a treat or £1.50 without the treat. For more information about the Windsor Great Park Family Trail, click here.
The Property Maintenance People are a local, independently run business, working with PMP Approved independent contractors across Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire. We love our local community and want to celebrate the other great independent businesses in the surrounding area! Check out our Facebook page for more news about our favourite local events and businesses – and be sure to send us any we may have missed!