Christmas actually is all around: live out your favourite Christmas film with these festive events near you

Data Thistle
4 min readNov 23, 2022


Experience moments from the best-loved Christmas films (and no, we’re not talking about Emma Thompson crying in her bedroom)

Why are Christmas movies so special? Maybe it’s the power they have to transport us from reality to another world that’s filled with magic, nostalgia and joy. Ever wondered what it would be like to live as Buddy the Elf, Kevin McCallister, Billy Mack or Mr Poppy for a day? Look no further, we’ve put together a list of Christmas events happening around the UK to help you live out your winter wonderland fantasy. From parades, workshops, nativities and concerts, read on to discover how you can experience scenes from your favourite festive film.

Miracle On 34th Street — Christmas Santa Parade, Edinburgh

While it’s not quite the hustle and bustle of a New York City Thanksgiving parade, this Christmas Santa Parade from Saunders Street to Inverleith Park in Edinburgh will capture more than enough Christmas spirit and a sight for the whole family to enjoy. An adorable team of Cairngorm Reindeers will pull Santa’s sleigh through Stockbridge, led by a pipe band and their trusty Shetland Pony mascot.

Check out details for the Edinburgh Santa Parade.

Elf — Creative Workshop with Santa’s Head Elf, Cheltenham

Just like the elves working hard to prepare for Christmas day in the hit Will Ferrell film, kids can experience a typical day in Santa’s North Pole workshop and create all kinds of festive crafts with his head elf. After creating wooden bauble decorations, flying reindeers and their own Christmas cards, they’ll get to enjoy a warming cup of hot chocolate and a cookie at the end of their visit to thank them for all their hard work.

Book tickets for the Creative Workshop with Santa’s Head Elf now.

Home Alone — Santa Flight Experience at Brighton i360

As the McCallister family flew through the skies on their way to Paris for their Christmas vacation, you can have your very own festive flight experience on the i360 in Brighton this December. While Kevin’s family might have forgotten him, you can give the whole family a unique Christmas experience to remember with a festive breakfast in the sea view West Beach restaurant before boarding the i360 pod and taking to the sky with unique views of Brighton below.

Book tickets for the Brighton i360 Breakfast and Santa Flight Experience now.

Polar Express — The Polar Express Train Ride, Devon

This enchanting Polar Express train ride along the South Devon Railway will turn the beloved film into a reality, replicating all the details and characters like the conductor, singing chefs and of course, Father Christmas. Enjoy this unique Christmas adventure as the Polar Express whisks you away to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus with magical fun along the way. From caribou to cookies, this experience will have you feeling like you’ve stepped right inside the film.

Book tickets for the Polar Express Train Ride now.

The Holiday — Film With Live Orchestra, London and Glasgow

Just as Jack Black and Kate Winslet immerse themselves in the magic of Hollywood, experience the joy of The Holiday’s beloved musical score like never before, presented live in concert by a full orchestra. Watch the classic Christmas film come alive within the iconic venues of London’s Hammersmith Apollo and Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall this December.

Book tickets to The Holiday Film With Live Orchestra now.

Nativity! — Cotely Farm Christmas Nativity, Exeter

Get the kids involved in the fabled Christmas story at Cotely Farm, hopefully without the chaos of St Bernadettes! Although Mr Poppy won’t be there to share his musical wisdom, this interactive show won’t be short of festive joy and the opportunity to dress up and take part.

Book tickets for Cotely Farm Christmas Nativity now.

Love Actually — Christmas Boat Party, London

Look ‘quite pretty’ like Keira Knightley on her wedding day as you earnestly wave to the on-shore crowd from a winter wonderland boat on the chilly River Thames. This Christmas boat party boasts tinsel, sequins and sparkle and invites you to dance the night away with London’s top DJs, festive drinks and high spirits.

Book tickets for the Westminster Pier Christmas Boat Party now.

14 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1TE

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