Steph Smith, who manages the Hale, Altrincham and Sale area for Mums in the Know, chooses five great things to do with the kids over the next week.
1. Breakfast & Tea with Father Christmas at Wyevale Garden Centre (until 24th December)
Don’t miss this very special chance to meet Father Christmas! It’s a delight for children of all ages and grown-ups too. You enjoy a delicious, freshly-prepared breakfast or tea and then join his elves to welcome him as he arrives from the North Pole. But the fun doesn’t stop there! Little ones meet Father Christmas and get to choose their very own present. And afterwards, they’re given a Christmas tree cookie to decorate. Book tickets online – click here for details.
Wyevale Garden Centre, Green Ln, Timperley, Altrincham WA15 8QP.
2. Raglan Rd Preschool & Playgroup Christmas Fair (Sunday 7th December)
A magical experience as Father Christmas will be arriving via the mini train in Walton Park to open the fair and will greet children in his Grotto. There will also be games, crafts, stalls and of course our fantastic raffle. 50p entrance includes a drink and mince pie. Bring the whole family!
Open: 1pm to 3pm. The Scout Hut, Raglan Rd, Sale, M33 4AW.
3. A Victorian Christmas at Quarry Bank Mill (Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th December)
Get into the old-fashioned festive spirit at Quarry Bank’s traditional Victorian Christmas. Dress up as a Victorian character, make a decoration for your tree and head over to the Apprentice House to find out what Christmas was like for the apprentice children.
What Christmas celebration would be complete without a visit from Father Christmas? Meet him over these festive weekends and tell him what is on your list. On Sundays, Father Christmas will also bring some of his reindeer with him. Father Christmas is very busy so there will be limited availability, be sure to book on arrival, £4 per child. Normal admission charges apply.
Open: 11am to 3pm. Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 4LA.
4. Follow the Reindeer Trail in Altrincham (Saturday 6th December to Saturday 20th December)
Families can enjoy some free festive fun while shopping in Altrincham this Christmas by following a Reindeer Trail, sponsored by Fostering Solutions, around the town centre, with a treat to pick up at every stop. Children should collect their trail sheets and Christmas bags from Altrincham Library, and follow the route around the town centre to find all the hidden reindeer (and receive a little chocolate goody at each shop).
All those to complete the trail will be entered into a draw to win a fantastic family prize, to be announced on 23rd December at a festive storytelling session at Altrincham Library.
5. Santa Specials At East Lancashire Railway (until 24th December)
Kick off your Christmas holiday in style with the East Lancashire Railway’s incredibly popular Santa Specials! Soak up the magical atmosphere at this event which has become an annual tradition for many families in the North West. Let the steam train take you on a journey through a winter wonderland along, passing through beautifully decorated stations. Santa and his helpers will be onboard handing out gifts to children and a mince pie and festive tipple to the grownups. To book tickets, visit the website or call 0161 764 7790 for more information.
Open 9am to 5pm. Bolton Street Station, Bolton St, Bury BL9 0EY.