Paid collaboration with National Museum Wales
From traditional Welsh festivities at St Fagans’ Christmas Nights and breakfast with Mother Christmas at Big Pit to free festive films at Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum and a star-themed weekend at National Museum Cardiff to celebrate the arrival of the Tim Peake Soyuz space capsule there’s plenty going on this festive season at our National Museums of Wales.
Some of them are paid-for ticketed events but most of them are free or low cost. Get them in your calendar now!
Main photo is Father Christmas at St Fagans. Copyright St Fagans.
(My full Christmas listings featuring more than 100 family-friendly festive events in and around Cardiff will be published soon. Watch this space!)
National Museum Cardiff
Thursday 13 December, 3.30pm
Celebrate Christmas with a traditional carol concert performed by the Museum choir in the beautiful surroundings of the Main Hall. Buy a glass of mulled wine and a minced pie to give that warm festive glow as you listen. Readings and carols in this event will be bilingual – Welsh and English.
Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 December, 11am-4pm
This Christmas the museum is celebrating hosting the Tim Peake Soyuz space capsule with a star-themed Christmas event. There will crafts, activities and music all with a little sprinkling of stardust.
Father Christmas/Sion Corn will also be bringing his reindeer into land at the museum. Come and meet the man himself in his grotto for a special Christmas treat from 11am-12.30pm and 2pm-3.30pm both days and costs £3 per child.
St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff
Thursday 6-Saturday 8 December, 6pm-9pm
£15 adults, £8 children (under 16), under 2s free
Must be booked in advance and likely to sell out quickly
An evening of traditional Welsh Christmas celebrations including the Mari Llwyd and the Hunting of the Wren. Also expect carols in the chapel, traditional Welsh Plygain singing in the church and a brass band on Gwalia Green. Little ones can meet Father Christmas. You can write your Christmas list at the Victorian Schoolhouse then pop it in the box at our post office. Ride the Christmas land train down to the Llwyn Yr Eos Farm to meet Mother Christmas in her kitchen. Be sure to check the stables while you’re there for some special four legged guests. Get creative at craft workshops, including family friendly gingerbread decorating and more. The evening will end with carols in the Atrium. All included in entry price. Charges apply for traditional funfair and Christmas markets.
Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon
Saturday 8 Sunday 9 and Saturday 15 December 10am or 1pm.
£10 children £5 for adults; must be pre-booked on 029 2057 3650
Dine with Mother Christmas at an extra special festive breakfast or brunch. Her helpers will be serving up a delicious menu of pancakes, crumpets, mini Danish selection and maple syrup, fruit bowl served with a regular filter coffee or Welsh brew tea for adults and unlimited squash for children. Children can visit the elves workshop to make a Christmas decoration or a toy to take home as well as having a photo with Mother Christmas be posing for photographs with children as well as giving them each a present.
Sunday 16 December, 10.30am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm
£5 per child to include a gift; no need to book
Be amazed as Father Christmas arrives at Pit Top at 10.30am, travelling 300ft UP from underground on his way to Lapland. Once he’s arrived (and found his elves!) there’ll be an opportunity to visit him in his cottage, from 11am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm, and tell him what’s on your Christmas list. Music will also be provided by Blaenavon Town Band. No booking necessary.
National Waterfront Museum, Swansea
Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 December, 11:30am, 2pm and 3:30pm
£3.50 per person
Turn a jam jar into a beautiful, glittery winter scene to treasure.
Saturday 1 December-Sunday 6 January 2019, 10am-4pm
Eight of Santa’s reindeers have taken off without their sleigh and have got lost in the Museum. Search the galleries to track them down in time for Christmas Eve.
Saturday 8 December, 12pm-4pm
Enjoy the perfect festive afternoon, sprinkled with seasonal magic and the chance to meet real reindeers in the museum’s main hall!
Sunday 2 December, 2pm
A traditional reindeer sleigh with a fixed camera for a magical journey across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Immerse yourself in this atmospheric, breath-taking and hypnotic journey, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Wednesday 5 December, 10:30am
A free fun movie screening each month exclusively for preschool children and their parents or carers. A little Gruffalo ignores her father’s warnings and tiptoes out into the snow in search of the Big Bad Mouse…
FREE Festive Films: Stickman (U, 2015)
Saturday 8 December, 1:30pm and 3:00pm
Stick Man lives in the family tree with his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three, and he’s heading on an epic adventure across the seasons. Will he get back to his family in time for Christmas?
FREE Festive Films: It’s a Wonderful Life (U, 1946)
Sunday 16 December, 2pm
Including an introduction from film historian Anthea Symonds. Set on Christmas eve, James Stewart stars as George Bailey, a small town man, dreaming of adventure and travel, but frustrated when circumstances conspire to keep him from his dreams. When an impending scandal sends him to despair, he is visited by an angel who helps him see what life would have been like if he never existed.
Friday 21 December, 6:30pm
£7.50 per person (under 2s free); must be booked in advance
A festive film night with an extra sprinkle of seasonal magic including a special trail, gift-box making and a sing-a-long with Santa. Hunt for the giant gifts nestled in the galleries to complete a magical trail; make a festive gift box; sing a long with Santa; enjoy a hot chocolate on the house with a choice of special extras from the toppings station; aGallery screening of The Polar Express. Plus a gift for each child.
National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, Carmarthenshire
FREE Christmas Craft Fair
Saturday 24 November, 10am-3pm
Browse a selection of unique seasonal gifts to fill stockings on the big day.
Saturday 1 December, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm
£1.50; book in advance
Turn a jam jar into a beautiful, glittery winter scene to treasure.
FREE Festive Storytime
Saturday 1 December, 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm
FREE Spot the Elf Trail
Saturday 1 December-5 January 2019
Find the elves cwtched up in the galleries to win a treat
Tuesday 18 December, 6.30pm
A seasonal get together for carol singing, with Santa. Tickets are free but must be picke dup in advance from the Welcome Desk during December.
National Slate Museum, Llanberis, Gwynedd
Sunday 2 December, 11am-3.45pm
£3.50 charge to see Santa / £1 for craft-making
Get set for Christmas in a special festive fun day for all the family. Enjoy story-telling, face painting, puppet shows, Deiniolen Silver Band and make a Christmas craft to take home. Visit Santa in his warm and toasty grotto in the Quarrymen’s Houses and enjoy the traditional decorations in the terrace. Santa visits run every five minutes between 11am and 3.45pm. Limited spaces – pre-booking recommended. Remember your letter to Santa and post it in the Christmas postbox – every letter gets an answer from Santa himself!