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10 lovely things to do this week

Dex up, presents bought, food sorted (yeah, right), so what are you going to do with the rest of your time this week? Read on...

From illuminated Christmas trails (there are plenty) to celebrating the dawn of the winter solstice at Stonehenge (there’s only the one), take your pick from our list of things to do.

#1 TRIP (BUT TRY NOT TO) THE LIGHT FANTASTIC

things to do

The best illuminated Christmas lights trail near you? Pay a visit and then let us know. Spectacular displays amongst the trees, follies and by the lake at Christmas at Stourhead near Mere. Lights and lanterns, stars and spheres, fiery fish, fairies and giant sculpted willow wildlife at Ignite at Kingston Lacy near Wimborne. An illuminated sub-tropical garden at Abbotsbury. Flowers, fountains, storms and peacocks, an ice maze and lasers at Longleat’s Land of Light. Meet some reindeer along the way at Nutley Farm near Dorchester’s illuminated trail. Bath’s city centre is all lit up too.

#2 PLAY GLOW IN THE DARK GOLF

things to do

The Victoria Park ice rink is closed this year because of you-know-what but you can still let your kids thrash you at the 18-hole illuminated mini golf at the Royal Pavilion in Bath’s Victoria Park.

#3 SAY HELLO TO RUDOLPH

things to do

Santa is visiting Somerset Reindeer Ranch in Yeovil to check on his herd before the Big Night. Due to the pandemic he can’t stay and tell Christmas stories in person but he will be making a special virtual appearance, via Santa-Vision no less. And the reindeers are cute.

#4 RUN AWAY (If ONLY) TO THE CIRCUS

things to do

Motorbikes inside the Globe of Death’ aerialists, acrobats, the high wire and yes, clowns too (f you dare), in the Circus Berlin‘s socially distanced Big Top tent in King’s Park in Bournemouth until Sun 3 Jan.

#5 NOSH ON MICHELIN LEVEL SUSHI

things to do

Myra’s Kaiseki in Dorchester uses West Country ingredients (I’m guessing not Cheddar or scrumpy) to create authentic sushi and other Japanese dishes that are good enough to feature in this year’s Michelin Guide.

#6 TAKE IN A SHOW

things to do
Nurse Nellie Saves Panto at The Octagon in Yeovil

Let down your hair at Rapunzel, a real live panto at the Weymouth Pavilion. Relaxed performance on Tues 29 Dec and adults-only show (pha-naar, pha-naar) Weds 30 Dec, Fri 1, Sat 2 and Sun 3 Jan. Over at The Octagon in Yeovil, Nurse Nellie Saves Panto (phew). Bea and the Winter Winds, a magical musical play about a little girl’s journey of discovery, deceit and adventure (welcome to my life), is on at the Merlin Theatre, Frome, from Weds 16 – Sat 19 Dec. Prefer online? Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas is streamed from Tobacco Factory Theatres in Bristol, until Thurs 24 Dec.

#7 MEET SANTA ON A TRAIN

things to do

All aboard the Santa Express to meet Father Christmas on a West Somerset Railway’s steam train running between Bishops Lydeard to Williton. Food, gifts and photo ops abound.

#8 TREAT YOURSELF TO A FESTIVE AFTERNOON TEA

things to do

What tier are you in? On the cake stand that is. Fancy cake, finger sarnies or do you dive straight into the scones? See the Muddy guide to the best Christmas afternoon teas in Somerset and Dorset.

#9 EXPERIENCE THE WINTER SOLSTICE

Druid cape on! Celebrate the winter solstice live from Stonehenge in your living room for free this year on Sun 20 Dec.

#10 DRIVE UP AND TUNE OUT (I MEAN IN)

Head over to Adventure Wonderland car park in Christchurch for Cinderella and Christmas films, a combo of pre-recorded panto on screen and stand-up comedy, karaoke carol singing, car bingo for Cinderella – and a list of seasonal and blockbuster films almost as long as this sentence. Until Sun 3 Jan.

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