Get Festive in Kent – Our Top Picks of Things to Do
With only three weekends before Christmas, getting the festive feeling is a must. To help you get into the Christmas spirit, here at Clarendon we have found five of the best Christmas activities to do in Kent! From the beautiful Christmas lights at Leeds Castle to ice skating at Bluewater – there is something for everyone!
A popular activity to do this December with your family or loved ones is to visit the Christmas light display at either Bedgebury or Leeds Castle. Commonly seen on social media feeds through the festive season, the lights are both beautiful and popular. The Bedgebury lights have been a popular attraction for a few years now, their initial success inspiring the company to curate a display on the Leeds Castle grounds in 2022. Coming back for its second year in 2023, it’s safe to say the launch was a Christmas success.
Limited tickets are available for both Leeds Castle and Bedgebury closer to Christmas, so if you want to catch these lights, be quick!
As far as traditional Christmas plans go, watching a Panto is a classic activity to do with your family. In Kent this year there are more than 17 productions happening over the festive period. The Marlowe are putting on a production of Aladdin, Churchill Theatre Studio will be playing Cinderella, and the Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks will be performing Jack & The Beanstalk.
Visiting the theatre over Christmas is always magical and exciting, and with the interactive nature of the Panto even younger kids will feel invested.
Another traditional way to celebrate Christmas is with a walk through a festive market. Kent hosts an increasing number of markets, the popular events letting small businesses and food stalls take the centre stage. The return of the Marketplace at Folkestone Harbour Arm has caused much excitement, as well as the established Canterbury market.
Facebook and community pages are usually the best places to keep informed of smaller, local, village events. However, publications like InsideKent often have a comprehensive list of locations a few months in advance.
The three best locations for ice skating this Christmas season are Bluewater, Gillingham, and Tunbridge Wells. This cold weather activity is popular through the festive season, and good fun to those with, and without, co-ordination. If not just for a photo-op with a penguin.
The Bluewater and Tunbridge Wells rinks are temporary outdoor fixtures, open to the air and dressed specifically for the season for a limited time. However, Planet Ice in Gillingham is open all year round to those who are interested in the sport.
A bit less of a relaxed holiday activity, ice skating is a perfect family activity for those with kids who love the cold, and those who just want to get out and try something new.
‘Friends’giving and Food
If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale and ‘adult’ this Christmas, there are several local restaurants doing seasonal deals, menus, and events. Whether you go to a wreath making workshop and dinner at Chapel Down Vineyard, or a Winter Wine Fayre at Macknade in Faversham.
If not out at a restaurant, a good way to bring friends and family together is to follow American tradition and have a belated Thanksgiving celebration. Or ‘friends’giving, as many people have adopted.
Food is the perfect way to bring friends and family together in the festive period and by having a potluck of sorts it can be a really fun and intimate was to enjoy Christmas.
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