It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so get in the festive spirit with one of these family-friendly days out...

Christmas in the UK...

There are so many great places around the UK to visit over the Christmas period. If you're already overexcited about this year's festivities, then head down to one of these wonderful winter events to really build anticipation for that visit from Father Christmas...

Manchester Christmas Market

The Manchester Christmas Market is a great place to get you in the Christmas spirit, with beautiful outdoor stalls selling a fantastic mix of European food, Christmas treats and mulled wine. Put on your warmest woolly jumpers and have a wander whilst listening to the lovely festive music! Manchester Christmas Market is open 10am - 8pm 15th November 2013 - 22nd December 2013

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Why not celebrate winter this year in London at the magical Hyde Park Winter Wonderland? It's an extremely enjoyable event for all the family with a vast choice of activities: think ice-skating, markets, fairground rides, an impressive ice palace and the chance to meet Santa himself. We can't wait! Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is open 10am-10pm 23rd November 2013 - 5th January 2014 (Excluding Christmas Day).

Ice Skating at the Tower of London

Keeping the kids occupied in the run-up to Christmas can be a challenge. Take your children to visit one of the most famous monuments in London, the Tower of London. They'll have the chance to skate around a rink located in the historical site's moat. Vaguely educational and, more importantly, extremely good fun, it's the perfect way to begin Christmas. The Tower of London Ice Rink is open 10am-10pm 16th November 2013 - 5th January 2014 (Excluding Christmas Day)

The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House

See dancer and choreographer Peter Wright's masterpiece for the Royal Ballet come to life this Christmas at the Royal Opera House. A classic seasonal ballet, The Nutcracker tells the story of a young girl who creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to find a magician named Drosselmeyer waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure. A must-see for all the family, though tickets go fast - so book now! The Nutcracker is showing from 4th December 2013 - 16th January 2014.

UK Christmas Shopping

We imagine that most of you (especially the men) dread having to do the Christmas shopping. So perhaps visiting one of the UK's best shopping city centres will help you get it all done in one fell swoop? York is a real treat at Christmas, with independent boutiques, high street stores and masses of antique shops. If you're lucky, you'll get all your gifts sorted with time left at the end of the day for a drink in a cosy Yorkshire pub! Liverpool is also home to world class shopping, with the newly built Liverpool ONE shopping centre hosting more than 160 famous brands. This lively and welcoming city has something for everyone. The UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath is also a special Christmas shopping destination. It's beautiful at any time of year, but wandering down Bath's charming streets and browsing in tastefully decorated high end shops when they're all decked out for the festive season makes for a far more enjoyable shopping experience than battling it out on London's Oxford Street. Contact Original Travel