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Little GCG: Family Festivities

‘Tis officially the season to be jolly – not just because Father Christmas is on his way, but because of the feast of festive family activities across Cornwall. Beyond grottos galore follow winter fairy-trails, be enchanted by woodland theatre, make your own decorations and curl up for Christmas storytelling.

Fairytale Christmas, Trelissick Garden

Fairy princesses and woodland kings come hither: make crowns and wings in craft workshops, then hunt for fairytale characters along a garden trail that leads to a magical dell. Come inside for storytelling sessions and heart-warming winter treats, and visit Father Christmas and his reindeer in the stables.

7–23 December; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/Trelissick/

Mousehole Christmas Lights

Wrap up warm for a night under the twinkling lights of Mousehole harbour. The spectacular floating display includes a whale and a sea serpent, and is accompanied by open-air carols. Visit on 23December to tuck into traditional Star Gazey pie, served to celebrate the day a local fisherman saved the village from famine.

15 Dec–4 Jan; www.mouseholelights.org.uk

Rogue Theatre in Tehidy Woods
Do you believe in magic? Then follow the faeries on an enchanting Winter Wood adventure. Snake through the trees to a theatre tent, for a festive extravaganza including live music, Christmas stories, sparkly face painting, decoration-making and heart-warming hot chocolate.

8–30 Dec; www.roguetheatre.co.uk/winter-wood/

Ice Skating, Truro

The Christmas spirit has swept through Truro, sprinkling its magic with street markets, carol services and a visit from Father Christmas and his reindeer. And this year ice queens and their little followers can skate their way into the heart of this winter wonderland at the open-air ice rink under the spire of Truro cathedral.

28 Nov­–6 Jan; www.iceskatetruro.co.uk

Time of Gifts, Eden Project

Father Christmas is just one of the highlights at Eden’s winter festival, where you’ll be greeted by elves, hear stories about Sami reindeer herders, meet the reindeer and hunt for ingredients that make them fly. Then there’s the lantern parade, decoration workshops, ice skating, live music, festive food…

23 Nov–6 Jan; www.edenproject.com

Christmas Crafts and The Mousehole Cat, NMMC

As well as all the usual interactive exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum, you can listen to the tale of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Christmas, make cards, angels and wreaths, follow Santa’s trail, hop on his sleigh and watch the tale of The Mousehole Cat on the big screen.

15–16 Dec & 22-24 Dec; www.nmmc.co.uk

Festive Weekend, Newquay Zoo

Follow the elves on a tour of Newquay zoo, feed the animals and meet Father Christmas in his grotto. Festive fun amongst the animals culminates in a Sunday carol service that will leave the whole family in high seasonal spirits.

8–9 Dec; www.newquayzoo.org.uk

Padstow Christmas Festival

Fine food is at the heart of Padstow’s Christmas festival, but this delightful weekender won’t fail to keep kids wide-eyed with wonder. There’ll be fireworks, live music, a Santa Fun Run, carol singing, craft-making, face painting, cookie decorating and puppet shows.

7–9 Dec; www.padstowchristmasfestival.co.uk

Aladdin at Hall for Cornwall

Marvel at the magic, cackle at the comedy and feast on the fun of Aladdin. With a sparkly cave of jewels, flights on a magic carpet and a young boy making wishes, it’s no wonder that this is one of the country’s most popular Christmas pantomimes.

14 Dec–6 Jan; www.hallforcornwall.co.uk

Heartlands Winter Festival

Cornwall’s vibrant cultural playground will be laying on Christmas markets, carol concerts, lantern parades, present making, fairground rides and Santa in his grotto. But it’s Swamp Circus that steals the magical show, with its display of aerial dancers, indoor kites, toy soldiers and giant butterflies in The Angel.

1–24 Dec (circus 16–23 Dec); www.heartlandscornwall.com

Note: not all activities are available everyday in the range specified. See websites for times and dates.

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Little GCG: Family Festivities

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