Tuesday 11 December 2018

20 free things to do in the Christmas holidays in Gloucestershire

Find 20 free ways to keep the kids entertained in and around Gloucestershire during the Christmas holidays.

Save money with SoGlos’s handpicked selection of 20 free things to do in and around Gloucestershire during the Christmas holidays.

From seeing Santa Claus to taking on a fun run, there’s something for everyone to help you get in the festive spirit – and all without costing a penny!


1. Meet Father Christmas


Nothing says Christmas more than meeting the big man himself. Take a trip to see Santa Claus for free at Regent Arcade in Cheltenham, where you can sit in his magical sleigh without spending a penny. There's also a chance to see Santa for free at King's Walk Gloucester too.


2. Sing along to some carols


Sing along to classic carols and festive favourites at one of the many free carol concerts in Gloucestershire. Wrap the kids up warm and get ready to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells under the stars.


3. Look out for Christmas lights


Perfect for something free and festive, see how many Christmas lights you can spot around the county. Take a look at SoGlos’s handy Christmas lights guide or walk around your local area to see whose house has the most Christmas lights.


4. Visit the donkey at Over Farm


Get up close to the animals at Over Farm in Gloucester, where families can visit for free. With a selection of animals ranging from pigs, donkeys, ponies and even ostrich chicks, it’s a great free activity for children.


5. Visit a Christmas market


With Christmas tunes playing and plenty of stalls stocking gifts and treats, head to one of Gloucestershire's fabulously festive Christmas markets. With carol singing and plenty to see, a Christmas market will get the whole family feeling festive.


6. Take a dip on Christmas Day


Daredevils can brave the chilly waters at Sandford Park Lido's Christmas Day Swim once again this year. The exciting event is free to enter and to watch, with charity donations encouraged on the day too.


7. Watch free festive films at Evesham Vale


Just across the border, The Valley Evesham is putting on a pop-up cinema and screening films for the whole family to enjoy. From Arthur Christmas on Thursday 13 December 2018 to Elf and Home Alone on Thursday 20 December 2018, there’s something for all ages to enjoy.


8. Head to the glorious Gloucester Cathedral


With Christmas Day just a matter of hours away, Gloucester Cathedral will host two Family Crib Services which will finish up with a lighting of the Christmas Trees on Sunday 23 and Monday 24 December 2018.


9. Go to the Bibury Duck Race


If you’re looking for something to do this Boxing Day, the Bibury Duck Race is a must-visit. Watch 150 decoy ducks float down the river in the first race, before a huge 2,000 yellow ducks are released in a race to cross the line.


10. Take the new bikes for a spin


Let the little ones ride their new bikes or scooters around some of the county’s best trails and parks. Take your pick from SoGlos’s selection of places to get on your bike in Gloucestershire.


11. Whip up some Christmas cookies


Christmas cooking doesn’t have to be expensive. Have a look in your cupboards and get your aprons on for some seasonal baking. Iced Christmas cookies make a great festive treat, while a gingerbread house will add a delicious decoration to your home.


12. Go to the races


Whilst adults do have to pay, children get free entry to New Year's Day racing at Cheltenham Racecourse. With visits from Paw Patrol's Chase and Marshall, there are also children’s activities and a Family Fun Zone to keep the kids entertained.


13. Visit the WOW gallery at The Wilson


Great for a rainy day or a break from the madness of Christmas, don’t miss the World of Wonders (WOW) gallery at The Wilson in Cheltenham. Kids can get involved with chances to play, dance, sing in the fully-interactive space.


14. Sit inside a plane at Jet Age Museum


Free entry means families can enjoy a great day out at Jet Age Museum in Gloucester. Sit inside a real plane and see some of the most impressive fighter planes in all their glory. What’s more, there’s a fantastic family day on Tuesday 1 January 2019, which will feature games, quizzes and fun for children and grown-ups.


15. Hunt for all the sculptures in the Forest of Dean


Under a canopy of trees in the Forest of Dean, start your way around the sculpture trail from Beechenhurst. Wrap up warm, pack a picnic and enjoy a magical walk through the enchanting forest without breaking the bank at all.


16. Stroke the animals at the farm


A free gem in the heart of Gloucester, St James City Farm has a whole host of animals to visit. From sheep to pigs, guinea pigs to goats, there’s lots of furry friends to stroke – and all without an admission charge.


17. Visit the Tailor of Gloucester Museum


Beatrix Potter fans will love visiting The House of the Tailor of Gloucester, where entry is free of charge. Offering the chance to see where Beatrix Potter got her inspiration from, the museum promises the chance to see where Simpkin kept watch over his mice.


18. Run off some steam at a playground


Get outside and run off some steam with a trip to one of Gloucestershire’s best parks around. Whether little ones want to zoom down the slides, swoop on the swings or whizz down the zip wire, there’s plenty of fun to be had at 12 of the best children's playgrounds in Gloucestershire.


19. Get stuck into a good book


Enjoy some quiet time with a trip to one of Gloucestershire’s libraries. Perfect for some downtime over the hectic season, kids can find a cosy corner and bury their heads in a story.


20. Go wildlife watching at Cotswold Water Park


Watch the wintering birds and head out on a wildlife hunt around the impressive lakes at Cotswold Water Park. With so many species to spot, it’s a great place to pull on some wellies and enjoy a day with nature.


By Sophie Bird

© SoGlos
Thursday 06 December 2018

More hot lists you might like...

Discover the best Cotswold pub walks with SoGlos’s hot list, sponsored by The Royal Oak Tetbury

29 of the best Cotswold pub walks

SoGlos selects 29 of the best Cotswold pub with walks, combining picture perfect routes with cosy rest stops for a quintessential...

11 of the best experience days

Encompassing everything from off-road adventures and brewery tours, to clay pigeon shooting and water sports, SoGlos rounds...

From at home spa treatments to hampers, discover top ways to treat new mums in Cheltenham.

8 ways to treat new mums in Cheltenham

While you can’t give the gift of sleep, there are plenty of ways to treat new mums in Cheltenham, with our round up offering...

Feeling festive? Here’s where to head this Christmas.

9 fabulously festive Christmas markets in Gloucestershire

From festive food to carol singers belting out the Christmas classics, there’s nothing better than heading to one of...

Discover where to shop for Christmas trees across Gloucestershire this festive season.

18 places to buy your Christmas tree in Gloucestershire

The season of goodwill is officially upon us and with just a few more weekends until Christmas Day, SoGlos has rounded up 18...

Unmissable highlights