Five festive days out this Christmas

  • 7 December 2016

We pick some of the best days out to enjoy at museums and galleries around the country this Christmas.

Royal Pavilion, Brighton © James Pike / Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

Royal Pavilion, Brighton


Christmas Past

The annual Christmas Past exhibition at the Geffrye Museum has become something of a seasonal staple. Exploring the ways in which Christmas has been celebrated in British homes over the last 400 years, the exhibition traces the origins of such festive traditions as kissing under the mistletoe and decorating trees. With ongoing research, each year adds a new dimension to this rich history. The exhibition features the posset pot which was acquired with support from the Art Fund in 2014.


Winter lights

From 6-18 December, this year’s seasonal celebrations will see the historic building and grounds of Dulwich Picture Gallery transformed with a dazzling installation of Christmas illuminations. Visitors can follow a trail along winding paths and explore explosions of colour and light. There will also be pop-up carollers, children’s storytelling, mulled wine, and, at the weekends, a festive artisan market selling handmade crafts, jewellery and local produce. And of course some great art too.


Biscuiteers: Waddesdon Manor in gingerbread

There’s a host of events taking place at Buckinghamshire’s beautiful neo-renaissance manor house this year. First up, there’s an incredible recreation of Waddesdon made out of gingerbread, that features detailed replicas of the manor’s paintings, furniture, porcelain and textiles. Using more than 30kg of butter and sugar, 240 eggs and 216kg of icing, it took 500 hours to make. There’s also a Christmas Fair (until 11 Dec) selling a range of unique gifts, decorations, crafts and festive foods. Finally, Bruce Munro’s stunning installation Field of Light returns to celebrate 25 years since its creation.


Georgian Christmas

This Christmas, the Salisbury Museum is celebrating all things Georgian in honour of one of Britain’s favourite painters, John Constable, whose celebrated picture of Salisbury Cathedral is currently on show there. The 10 December will see a day of family fun with Father Christmas and real reindeer, festive food, live comedy with the Festive Footmen, seasonal storytelling, music from members of Salisbury Baroque, the city’s only period instrument ensemble, and unusual gifts and cards in the museum shop.


Christmas at the Royal Pavilion

George IV’s oriental pleasure palace on the south coast is transformed this year with festive decorations and glittering Christmas trees - a perfect complement to the astonishing colours and superb craftsmanship of the original interiors. There are also a variety of drop-in activities and themed trails for children, as well as the return of the festive ice rink and rink-side bar and kitchen.

Tags: Great days outWhat to see