Christmas survival guide

  • Published 18 December 2012

Found yourself in a Christmas catastrophe? Our survival guide's full of great days out to fix your festive woes, whether you've burnt the turkey or need a last-minute gift.

1. Treat your grandparents: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
50% off entry with National Art Pass

Kew may be home to some of Britain's most beautiful gardens and one of the world's most important plant research centres, but sometimes the most important things are the simplest. With two cafes and two restaurants, the Royal Botanic Gardens are a magnificent spot for afternoon tea amid beautiful surroundings.

2. Somewhere for the children to play: Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire
Free entry to all

Sometimes the best way to deal with fidgety kids is to let them loose, and the rolling hills of the Bretton Estate are an ideal playground for troublesome tykes to tire themselves out. The 60 open air sculptures on display give parents something to enjoy while the children are playing hide and seek.

3. Disastrous dinner: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
50% off exhibitions with National Art Pass

Fallen asleep after too many sherries, and woken up to the smell of scorched sprouts and charred turkey? Head to the Ashmolean, home of Manet's recently acquired portrait of Mademoiselle Claus – the museum's dining room will be serving delicious dinners throughout the Christmas period.

4. Moody teenagers: British Music Experience, London
50% off entry with National Art Pass

If your angsty adolescents need to let off some steam, take them to Greenwich's interactive museum of popular music in The O2. With a range of real instruments to play and record on, the British Music Experience is a great day out for carol singers and aspiring guitar gods alike. Even better, you can save a third off travelling on the Thames Clipper when you show your National Art Pass.

5. Escape the Christmas crush: Wallace Collection, London
Free entry to all

Hidden away near Bond Street and Oxford Circus, the Wallace Collection is a sublime shelter from the storm of Christmas shopping in central London. Enjoy the world class art on display, or simply save 20% dining at the Wallace Restaurant with your National Art Pass.

6. Romantic escape: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Warwickshire
Free entry with National Art Pass

If you need a break from the in-laws, escape to the home of one of the world's greatest romantic writers. From the farm on which his mother grew up to the home in which he died, the houses help illuminate both the man behind the plays and the world in which he lived.

7. Last-minute shopping: V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum), London
10% off purchases in the shop with National Art Pass

The Art Fund shop sells great gifts, but what if you've missed the last Christmas post? Fear not – the shops at the V&A are galleries in their own right, hung with perfect presents ranging from beautifully designed baubles to children's outfits, and you can save 10% on everything you buy with your National Art Pass.