ice skating at christmas

On the Twelve Days of Christmas have some fun!

Everyone is familiar with the Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas with its intriguing cast of characters, drummers, pipers, leaping lords, dancing ladies and milking maids for starters. Not to mention various animals and, of course, the partridge in a pear tree! 

Traditionally, the twelve days begin on Christmas Day, December 25th, and continue through until January 6th – also known as Epiphany. And much of that time coincides with the period when many adults are fortunate enough to have time off work, and the children are on school holidays.

Christmas can be a stressful and busy time for everyone. It often feels just as chaotic as the song . . . . you can end up doing so much rushing around after everyone else that you feel exhausted and just can’t wait for it all to be over!

But this year, why not ensure that you make a conscious effort to include some fun things that you really want to do? Here are some ideas for fun things to do: one for each of the twelve days of Christmas.


Day 1: See a live show

Don’t panic, this doesn’t have to be a pantomime unless you particularly want to (oh yes you do!). But there are so many other shows that you could enjoy this festive season. A live show doesn’t have to be a big expensive performance either: there are many local shows that are just as worth seeing. 

So look around for any local plays, music events, ballets . . . . whatever takes your fancy. Many churches, local drama groups, local choirs and community venues have concerts or performances, so enjoy watching a live performance this festive season.


Day 2: Go ice skating

Ice skating has become increasingly popular in recent years, with seasonal ice skating rinks cropping up all across the country. Even if it’s something you have never done before, why not give it a try this year? Ok, you may be the one clinging onto the edge, but it will still be an unforgettable experience. 

Many major cities in the UK have ice rinks this Christmas, including:

  • Cardiff – Winter Wonderland.
  • London – Somerset House.
  • Brighton – Royal Pavilion Ice Rink.
  • Edinburgh – Edinburgh Winter Festival.
  • Bath – Bath on Ice.


But there are many many more, of all shapes and sizes. So check out what is available in your area and go enjoy!


Day 3: Visit a small town

If you have a bit of extra time over the festive season, why not make a day trip to a small town of your choice? There is bound to be somewhere, ideally not too far away, that you have always intended to visit but never got around to. Now is the ideal opportunity to do that.

So set aside a day, and head off either by car or train to the town of your choice. Perhaps also do a bit of research in advance about anything particular to see, or recommendations for good places to eat. Then head off and be a local tourist for the day.


Day 4: Go and see the lights

Many big towns and cities have amazing Christmas lighting displays, so if you are near somewhere that does, why not head out there late afternoon or early evening to enjoy the atmosphere. 

If this is not going to work for you then make sure you check out what is happening in your own area. Just an early evening walk or drive to see the local lights is a simple and fun way to spend time over the festive season. Some areas have whole streets with displays raising money for charity. 

And why not combine your trip to the lights with a few refreshments for a magical festive evening. 


Day 5: Take a steam train ride

Many parts of the UK have steam trains, and at Christmas there is usually some kind of Santa special. But if you intended to go before Christmas but missed it, it could still happen.

Several steam train operators continue running up to the end of December or even into the New Year. These include:

  • Paignton, Devon: Dartmouth Steam Railway’s Train of Lights runs to 30 December;
  • Grosmont, North Yorkshire: North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s Christmas Moorlander runs to 7 January;
  • Swanage, Dorset: The Polar Express Train Ride runs to 30 December 2023.


So if you have a steam train operator near you, it’s definitely worth checking out if they are running services between Christmas and New year, and perhaps even into January.


Day 6: Get out in the snow!

Whether a White Christmas is your idea of a dream or nightmare, if we do get snow over the festive season why not make the most of it?

If there is a hilly area nearby, find a sled and go sledding. Or for fun on your doorstep how about a snowman building competition or a snowball fight?

All of these activities can be great fun if you throw yourself into them. They are also a great way to get everyone out into the fresh air to burn off some of the Christmas calories and cabin fever.

Or if all these sound a bit too energetic, then a leisurely stroll through the snow to the pub could be a good alternative!


Day 7: Binge watch Christmas movies

Sometime over the festive season you’ve just got to have a day when you do absolutely nothing. So why not plan a day when you stay in your pyjamas and binge watch a load of Christmas movies? You need time to relax and unwind, and this is a great way to do so.

Even better is if you combine your binge watch with a mammoth effort to finish all the Christmas leftovers. Any combination of food is allowed, and you will all be making sure that no food is wasted.

Ideally give everyone a choice as to a movie they want to watch, so you should end up with a complete variety of movies to enjoy.


Day 8: Go and see the sea

There is always something energising about seeing the sea. And, wherever you live in the UK, you are never more than 70 miles away from the coast, which means most people are nearer than that. So most of us should be able to get to the sea within around an hour or so.

Whether you have a day trip and lunch in a seaside town, plan an invigorating walk along the beach or cliffs, or perhaps go to watch a seasonal coastal event such as a Boxing Day or New Years Day dip, you will all feel better after a blast of sea air.


Day 9: Visit a Christmas market

Many Christmas markets are not just for Christmas! Some continue into the New Year. And in a way it’s nicer to go after Christmas because you can then enjoy the experience for what it is, rather than trying to tick off presents on your Christmas list.

Markets that are open into the New Year include:

  • London: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is open until 1st January and The Southbank Winter Festival until 8th January.
  • Portsmouth: Victorian Christmas Festival open until 6th January.
  • Nottingham: Winter Wonderland open until 31st December.
  • Edinburgh: Christmas market open till 3rd January.
  • Glasgow: George Square Christmas Market open until 8th January and St. Enoch Square Christmas Market until 3rd January.


So check out your local Christmas markets to see if you may be able to enjoy them at a more leisurely pace after Christmas itself.


Day 10: Get away from it all at a spa day

Sometimes you just feel the need to get away from it all, especially over Christmas. So another lovely option would be to treat yourself to a spa day (or ask Santa to!).

There are hundreds of spas in the UK, from the big names to smaller local ones. Many hotels also have spas. Most spas will do packages for day visitors, and if the spa is in a hotel then the period between Christmas and New Year could potentially be quiet enough to accommodate a last minute booking.

So if you fancy doing this, have a quick search around to see what’s available near you. Also check out voucher sites to see if they have special offers going. Then if you manage to find somewhere suitable, just go and enjoy a day of blissful chilling out where you can forget about everything and everyone else and concentrate on yourself just for a few hours.


Day 11: Organise some fun and games

If you feel like some company to enjoy a bit of fun with, a games afternoon or evening can work well. Decide which family or friends to invite, and plan a variety of games to suit the participants. For example:

  • Sporty games, particularly for younger children;
  • Board games;
  • Traditional party games;
  • Treasure hunts;
  • Video games;
  • Karaoke.


You can also add to these awards or spot prizes for things like the best Christmas jumper, the person who can drink a pint of water the fastest, or tell the funniest Christmas joke.

Just gather your favourite people and relax and have fun together.


Day 12: Give something back

Christmas is traditionally a time of giving, so why not consider taking a bit of time to give something back? This not only benefits the recipient of your generosity but will lift your spirits too. 

Examples include:

  • Volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter;
  • Visiting an elderly person who lives on their own;
  • Cooking a meal for a local family in need;
  • Paying forward a coffee or lunch;
  • Giving someone an unexpected gift, perhaps anonymously;
  • Donating money or items to a charity of your choice.


Any of these gestures only take a little time, effort or money on your part, but can make a huge difference to others during the Twelve Days of Christmas.


We hope that the ideas in this article help to inspire you to enjoy this festive season and have fun during the Twelve Days of Christmas. And if at any stage you need some extra funds, remember that Munzee Loans offer online loans that may be able to help.

Check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Munzee Loans.