Looking for some festive inspiration for Christmas outing ideas?
It’s never too early to start figuring out what activities you will be doing over the Christmas season. Each year my husband and I like to plan in some Christmas outings. We have some traditions that we enjoy every year, plus we are always on the lookout for special one off events too. I’m planning on breaking these down into three types of Christmas activities; music, food and shopping.
In this post I’m going to share some of the different Christmas music activities to hopefully give you some ideas for this year.
Musical Christmas Outing Ideas
Christmas Carol Services
This is a lovely Christmas outing idea. Seek out the Christmas Carol service at your local church. We always go to Carols by Candlelight each year. We have been to three different local churches for this over the years but it is always a wonderful and joyous occasion. Never has the phrase “all is calm, all is bright” been so apt. Churches usually have a couple of services for this and they are always busy, so get there early and make sure to take some change for the collection to support the church.
For the past five or so years I have also attended my sisters local church with her family on Christmas Eve to see the Nativity or Christingle service. There is definitely something special about celebrating the reason for the season.
Local Christmas Carol / Tree Lighting Evening
This is another completely free Christmas outing idea. If going to church really isn’t for you, there is still a way to get a fix of traditional Christmas carols.
Nearly every town and village parish will have a Christmas carol evening; ours already has this year’s date planned in. Seek out these events on your local parish council website or Facebook page and get them into your calendar.
Quite often a local Salvation Army band will be in attendance and all the words to the carols will be provided. There is usually tea, coffee, mulled wine and mince pies to buy. The Christmas lights will be on and if you are really lucky a sprinkling of snow will be in the air. There is something special about being bundled against the cold and walking down to the local village green or square. You see all the Christmas lights on the way, to then be surrounded by neighbours and locals singing carols. A traditional, simple, fun and beautiful Christmas outing.
If your local village doesn’t have a carol service. If you are in the UK you should be able to find a suitably festive activity at a local National Trust location. The National Trust has a truly excellent selection of Christmas events on every year and that includes an extensive programme of carol services and concerts.
A search of my local area brought up nine locations that specifically has Christmas carols in one form or another this year. Most with the required mince pies and mulled wine on offer, one even had cocktails. Plus they have a whole range of other Christmas activities from craft workshops to Christmas afternoon teas and lunches, with something on offer in nearly every property they manage. Click the link here to search your area.
Please note that the prices for the activities do vary wildly! Some are free with just admission to the property needed. Some require an extra fee; sometimes just a few pounds, sometimes quite a fee. Also some are ticketed events that you need to book in advance. The National Trust is a charity though so the money is going to a good cause.
Special event Christmas Outing Ideas to seek out:
In December 2015 we went to see the BBC Singers perform Dylan Thomas: A Child’s Christmas in Wales. A narrator read Dylan Thomas’s heart-warming poem of preparations for a traditional welsh Christmas. It was interspersed with a selection of Christmas carols from around the world sung by the BBC Singers. It was a joyful Christmas outing.
I don’t recall having ever seen a professional choir perform before this, needless to say, they were amazing. Such beautiful voices, harmonies and arrangements. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the season.
The BBC singers do different festive concerts each year. This year they are at Milton Court Concert Hall, part of the Barbican in London: A Big Band Christmas with the BBC Singers and Clare Teal on the 13th December.
I’m sure that more events will appear in their Christmas schedule over the coming weeks too. You can find their website with their concert diary here.
BBC Big Band
Last Christmas we went to see A Swinging Christmas with the BBC Big Band. Again, although I have been to many concerts, I had never been to see a professional band play and again it was just remarkable.
A brilliant evening featuring big band performances of favourite Christmas songs. Such as Let It Snow, Santa Claus is coming to town and The Christmas song. Another perfect Christmas outing choice, they had guest singers along with them too.
I cannot see any upcoming Christmas diary dates for this year, but definitely worth keeping an eye out for them.
Ideas from my Christmas Outing Bucket List
Here’s a few that I have my eye on for the future.
Carols at the Albert Hall
I would love to go to the Christmas carol sing along events at the Royal Albert Hall one year. This year they are on from 21st – 24th December. There are 8 performances and there are still tickets at time of writing. If you fancy it, they also have lots of other Christmas treats on, so check out the full calendar for December; I have got the link for you here.
Note: Not specifically Christmas, but I noticed that they are doing a performance of the movie E.T. at the Royal Albert Hall with live symphony orchestra on December 8th, which would be a pretty magical Christmas treat.
This is a Christmas outing for another show that I have wanted to go and see for a few years now but have not got to yet. If you read my Christmas animation post you will know that I love The Snowman, catch up here. The Snowman stage show has been running for 22 years. Like the animation it is wordless and tells the story through dance, storytelling and the songs and music from the hit animation.
This year, as every year, it’s on at the Peacock Theatre in London between November 21st and January 5th, link here. There is a special offer if you book before 27th October. I told you it was time to start planning!
So there you have it, my guide to some Christmas outing ideas for your holiday season planning. I hope it has given you a few things to look into and get in the calendar now. Try a few out and add them to your list of Christmas traditions that you look forward to every year.
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