Summer’s gone, but don’t fret – use our guide to find some of the best family activities to get you through the colder months
It’s time to start planning winter adventures. Here are 10 family-friendly activities to look forward to...
1. Disney on Ice, London
Disney on Ice, a two-hour celebration of some of the Mouse House’s most famous characters and movies, is coming to the O2. The show is a glorious mash-up of so many Disney favourites, with classic characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse rubbing shoulders with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, Ariel, Flounder and Sebastian and Anna, Elsa and Olaf, among others. Kids will love it and even most cynical of adults might find themselves beaming their way through it.
2. The Snowman, London
Since its first TV broadcast in 1982, The Snowman has become as synonymous with the British Christmas as pigs in blankets, Band Aid and repeats of the Two Ronnies. And for the last 20 years a stage version of Raymond Briggs’ festive classic has been a regular fixture at the Peacock Theatre in the heart of London.
Promising a “a magical mix of exquisite dancing, storytelling, splendid sets and music performed by a live orchestra” the Snowman is twinkling with festive spirit.
3. Star Trek: The Exhibition, Blackpool
With the newest Star Trek TV series, Star Trek: Discovery, currently airing on Netflix, what better time than to get yourselves to Blackpool’s Promenade to get up close to props and costumes from the various TV shows and films, many of which have never been seen in the UK before.
You and your mini trekkies can indulge your inner Starfleet officer by posing on an eerily accurate recreation of the original USS Enterprise set and transporter room. You’ll also be able to see props actually used in the shows themselves including communicators used in Deep Space Nine to the isolinear chips from Captain Picard's desk. That’s not to mention some of the scorchingly iconic costumes as worn by Captain Kirk, Mr Spock and Lieutenant Worf, among others.
4. OVO – Cirque du Soleil, London
Over 4.5 million have witnessed the acrobatic marvels of the Cirque du Soleil since its latest show OVO premiered in Montreal in 2009. Now OVO is making its European debut with a highly anticipated run at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
OVO promises a trip into the insect kingdom, through dazzling displays of acrobatics and dance. Involving 50 performers from 12 countries, one of its highlights is a stunning 14m high flying trapeze act – the biggest of its kind.
5. The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales, Bristol
Inspired not only by the poignant Hans Christian Andersen classic The Little Matchgirl, but also many of the storytelling master’s other fairytales, including The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor’s New Clothes and Thumbelina, this magical production comes to the Bristol Old Vic from its acclaimed premiere at Shakespeare’s Globe.
The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales offers something for both children and adults, with its dizzying mixture of music, comedy, puppetry and magic.
6. The Victorian Festival at Christmas, Portsmouth
Get your family down to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in Hampshire’s famous port city for one of the most Christmassy festivals in the country. Carol singers, chimney sweeps, market stalls and street performers help create the illusion of an authentically Victorian Christmas.
7. School of Rock, London
Richard Linklater’s PG indie movie hit of 2003 was turned into a box office-busting stage musical in 2015 with music by West End maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by the Tony Award-winning Glenn Slater.
The story follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who finds himself earning a bit of extra dosh as a supply teacher at a prestigious prep school, where he proceeds to turn the pupils of his classroom into a fully-fledged rock band.
Now housed at the New London Theatre, it boasts a barnstorming soundtrack. As well as classics from the big screen version, Andrew Lloyd Webber composed 14 new songs for the musical. As the Daily Telegraph said, it’s “the most enjoyable few hours money can buy."
8. Dinosaurs in the Wild, Manchester
Following its successful stint in Birmingham, Dinosaurs in the Wild arrived in Manchester in October for a three-month run at EventCity and has already been attracting rave reviews.
This illuminating and pulse-quickening exhibition will take you back 65 million years and more to the time when dinosaurs roamed Earth. Using modern 3D technology to take you in the heart of dino-land, it feels at times like you’re actually inside a Jurassic Park film. Trust us, your kids – and you – will LOVE IT.
9. Slava’s Snow Show, Edinburgh
1–5 November 2017
“Theatrical brilliance,” said The Sunday Times about this admirably ambitious stage show that has been wowing audiences in over 80 cities globally.
Promising a “breath-taking multisensory delight” and soundtracked to the rousing orchestral music of Carmina Burana, Slava’s Snow Show is a multi-sensory production that culminates in an all-encompassing man-made blizzard.
10. Peppa Pig's Adventure, Birmingham
4 November–5 November 2017
A children’s favourite since she first graced TV screens in 2004, Peppa Pig and friends return in a brand new live show that will captivate younger audiences.