It’s almost impossible to fully tidy our house as it’s full to brim with STUFF!
And this Christmas we’re going travelling with the girls (so that is their Christmas gift along with a mummy-made travel pack) because my hubby and I, prefer experiences over presents.
So to make it easier for you, here are our tried & tested ideas for this year’s Christmas Gift List.
What’s more this list includes Independent businesses as we believe in going local where possible (as both my hubby and I run our own businesses).
Our Christmas experience gift list:
- The Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park
Enter a Winter Wonderland in Yorkshire, complete with a Santa’s Grotto.
We started our afternoon out by having lunch in the cafe next to the indoor play area.
We then thoroughly enjoyed Nordic Skiing through the Enchanted Forest which is decorated with fairies, unicorns and other Christmas scenes.
We were ready for a hot drink (Hot Chocolate, the works, try it) after completing the trail.
Next up was Ice Skating in the rink. The girls had little penguins to hold on to so that they could balance. It really got us into the Christmas spirit.
We were there for Stockeld’s fireworks night so the rest of the evening was spent watching fire breathers and fireworks.
But there was plenty left that we could’ve done such as playing in the outdoor adventure playground and getting lost in their maze. There were also smaller playgrounds within the enchanted forest that we didn’t have time to go in. It’s great to have such a magical place close by as I normally experience such purpose-built places when we travel around Italy at Christmas.
Make sure you give yourselves a full day at Stockeld Park as there is so much to do and see and it is quite pricey. But you can take your own picnic and flasks to cut any extra costs.
I highly recommend Stockeld Park & think it’s good value for money, especially, if you love Christmas as much as we do! They have a range of Christmas events such as a Santa’s Parade and Grotto, go to: http://stockeldpark.co.uk/
2. Painting Pottery
Visit your closest paint-your-own pottery-shop as it’s a great way to do something fun and creative with the kids whilst making a bespoke Christmas gift such as a large family plate.
We visited Crafty Owls pottery barn & cafe which is based in Ossett, near Wakefield and Leeds.
We had fun doing finger and hand prints to make a family tree.
We enjoyed sitting in the cafe area whilst all painting together and we ended up buying a butter dish and Mickey Mouse plate to paint as well.
We then left the plates to be glazed, which takes about a week so you can then pick them up.
They have a range of Christmas events, go to: http://www.craftyowlspottery.com/
3. Pop-Up restaurants & cafes
Rather than go to the same old restaurant/pub as you usually do for your Christmas get together. Why not try a pop-up restaurant, private dining or supper club?
They’re a great way to experience high-end cuisine at reasonable prices.
My husband Chris Hale, who was on this year’s MasterChef, runs Pop Up North which is hosting a number of Christmas party nights.
For more information, go to their Facebook page.
4. Baby Raves
There’s a wave of baby raves sweeping the country. In Yorkshire we have the fabulous BoomChikkaBoom who have a whole host of Christmas-themed events popping up all over the place including Cinema screenings, Santa meet & greets and story book themed events.
We went along to BoomChikkaBoom’s Room on the Broom event at the Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield.
And we loved it. There was story time, sensory play, games and of course dancing and bubbles.
I’m not really into art exhibitions but I really loved the latest sculptures and installations and so did little Arianna because they’re fun and interactive.
Also the Hepworth have lots of free family activities on so check them out.
I don’t usually have the patience for cooking complex dishes but in a bid to have a night-off the bedtime routine, I agreed to try out a cookery class. Plus the authentic Mexican recipes sounded right up my street.
I went along to the evening hosted by AbbyAbout which was held in a small and cosy cafe. It was nerve-wracking at first as I took my seat around the table, not knowing anyone. But everyone was so friendly and, interested to try something new.
Our warm and vivacious host Abby handed out the starters which included some hot and super tasty salsas.
Then it was up to us to copy Abby making some salsa together as well as mixing up some dough to make tacos.
We all went around and introduced ourselves and a couple of the women were chefs which made me feel better about the mess I’d made out of the dough which was supposed to form a taco.
It was a great intimate evening full of food, laughter and cooking tips.
We even got to take lots of food home (Yay! brownie points for me from the hubby!).
Even though I’m not a natural cook I really enjoyed myself and, when I got home the kids were fast asleep, hooray!
Such a gathering would be great for birthday parties, business networking or for eating out alone as I love shared dining.
Go to Abby’s Facebook page to find out more about her classes, supper clubs and gift vouchers.
6. Recommend a Christmas experience here… (as long as you’ve tried it) by commenting below…
Please note, we experienced numbers 1 to 5 free-of-charge (apart from extras such as refreshments and product purchases which we couldn’t resist!) . Thanks to the businesses for gifting their services.