The time between Christmas and New Year can be a strange one, things calm down after the rush of Christmas Day and although as parents we’d love to put our feet up we still have little ones to occupy so, what to do…
Here are some ideas of activities locally for my readers in Surrey…
What to do between Christmas and New Year in Surrey
1. Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink is open until the 5th January for festive fun. Situated in the gardens of Henry VIII’s historic home this open-air ice rink has spectacular views of the historic Tudor palace.
2. Reigate on Ice
You could also try Reigate on Ice, situated in Priory Park. It’s an undercover rink which is perfect with the weather we’re having at the moment! It’s open until 4th January.
3. Guildford Spectrum
The Olympic-sized ice rink is used by thousands of people each week and with festive penguins and snowmen on hand it’s perfect for little ones.
4. RHS Wisley
The Enchanted Botanical Christmas Garden at the Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley is open until the 5th January. You can find festive plants and magical animals.
Garden Admission: £15.95 adults, Children (5-16) £8
Also at Wisley this festive season is Wisley Glow. For another year RHS Garden Wisley has transformed into a winter wonderland and is open until the 5th.
You can also enjoy food and drink at Wisley…
Food Hall – open until 7.30pm – Enjoy hearty British favourites like fish pie or vegan shepherd’s pie, while the kids can munch on pigs in blankets, mac ‘n’ cheese or tomato pasta. Enjoy hot chocolate, mulled wine and festive bakery treats too.
Terrace Restaurant – open until 8pm on selected dates
Book a table for the Terrace Restaurant between 27–31 December and try their ‘Glow Candlelight Supper’ evening menu. Come along earlier in the day and enjoy a festive lunch or afternoon tea before Glow begins.
Wisley Café – open until 8.30pm
Open late for Glow, pop in for delicious soup, toasties, sandwiches and bakery treats, as well as festive drinks, including mulled wine, spiced warm apple juice and hot chocolate.
5. National Trust properties in Surrey with activities
Claremont Landscape Gardens
Winter woollies trail – Pull on your warm winter woollies and see what you can find at Claremont as the season’s change.
Twixmas at Polesden Lacey – There is lots to do at Polesden Lacey between Christmas and New Year. Try a Boxing Day walk, a wellness walk or Polesdenopoly!
Children’s trail at Hatchlands park – The trail is still running until Sunday 5 January (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), 10am-4pm. The trail sheets can be picked up at reception and families can follow a musical Christmas story through parklands and woodland. The sheet music to ‘Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas tree’ has been blown away by the wind and has got stuck up in the trees, you need to find it…
Guided walks at Runnymede
Boxing Day history walk – Christmas is a magical time of history and tradition. Keep that spirit alive with a traditional Boxing Day walk in a setting that resonates with history. Warm-up afterward with a cup of tea and a mince pie.
11am-12.30pm, £10 per person – booking essential
New Year’s Day guided walk – Enjoy a refreshing walk with the family here at Runnymede and learn all about the history of the site.
11am-12.30pm, £10 per person – booking essential
6. New year’s fun at Godstone Farm
How about a New Year’s Eve party with a difference? The one at Godstone Farm lasts for five days giving you complete freedom over the day you party! On Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th, Monday 30th December, Tuesday 31st January AND New Year’s Day 1st January 2020 for games, dancing, face painting and special guest characters. You’ll find the party as well as their usual wonderful array of animals, play areas and fun!
7. Piglets Hersham soft play
Head to a soft play like Piglets in Hersham. They are open on the:
27th between 9.30-2
28th between 9.30-12
29th between 9.30-12
30th between 9.30-2
31st between 9.30-2
2nd between 9.30-5
8. Chessington Garden Centre grotto
If you missed the grotto at Chessington Garden Centre before Christmas you’re in luck as they keep the magical walk around experience open from the 27th – 31st December for a £2 donation to charity.
9. Winter walks at Hever Castle
Wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with winter walks in the stunning Hever Castle gardens. The Castle and Gardens are open daily from 27 December – 1 January for those looking to recharge their batteries after the hustle and bustle of Christmas.
During Winter Walks you only have to pay for Garden entry and you’ll get Castle entry free, making it a great value day out for all the family.
And if you want to stay at home…
Organise a play date – your children’s friends might still be at home. It’s worth asking what their friends are doing, it can be a good opportunity to keep them occupied for a few hours.
Don’t throw away the paper and cardboard – make a puppet show with some socks, a cardboard box and their imaginations. Or why not try making festive scenes in shoe boxes.
Get in the kitchen – with leftovers galore get the kids in the kitchen to use up leftovers. For sweet leftovers why not try this easy rocky road:
125g unsalted butter
300g dark chocolate
2tbsp golden syrup
200g rich tea biscuits
100g big marshmallows cut up
Add optional honeycomb, nuts, cherries etc.
Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a pan over a gentle heat. While that’s melting chop up the marshmallows and smash the biscuits into small pieces in a freezer bag.
Transfer the melted chocolate into a bowl so little hands don’t get burned.
Let them add the biscuits and marshmallows into the chocolate. Try and fold them in.
Pour the mixture into a 9in square tin or let the little ones spoon in – warning this can be messy!
Pop in the fridge for a couple of hours then enjoy.