12 Days of Christmas!

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Unfortunately we don’t have partridges in a pear tree to give out this year but what we do have is a whole host of festive fun you get involved in!

As we get closer and closer to the big day we know people are starting to feel thoroughly in the Christmassy mood. So we’ve compiled a list of 12 must-do things in Newark & Sherwood this festive season so you can have the best Christmas ever!

1. Reindeer Rescue Christmas Trail at Rufford Abbey

30th November – 5th January | Sherwood Forest | £2 per trail sheet

This Christmas Rudolph and his fellow reindeer need some help! They’ve crash landed at Rufford Abbey and need your help to save Christmas. Kids young and old will love the trail at Rufford Abbey this December as you explore the park and find Rudolph’s reindeer friends and save Christmas. There is also a special treat at the end!

2. St Mary Magdalene’s Christmas Tree Festival

6th – 15th December | Newark | £2 adults | 50p for under 16s

Get in the festive mood with one of the most enchanting highlights of Newark’s Christmas calendar. Every year St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Newark becomes full to the brim with beautiful Christmas trees decorated by local schools, charities, organisations and businesses. In its 12 year it’s a must for anyone looking for that Christmas spirit – which one will be your favourite?

3. Sleeping Beauty at the Palace Theatre

10th December – 4th January | Newark

What is Christmas without a pantomime! This year the Palace Theatre is bringing some sparkle to the Christmas calendar with a brilliant production of the classic Sleeping Beauty. This year the star will be none other than Coronation Street’s Nick Cochrane as King Hugo. There are still some tickets available so don’t miss out on this brilliant performance that promises hilarious slapstick and bags of panto magic.

4. 12 Doors of Christmas Trail at Thoresby Park

Every Weekend in December & during the holidays | Sherwood Forest

Explore Thoresby Park in a unique and different way with their 12 doors of Christmas trail! Explore the grounds hunting for clues to complete the traditional poem. On the way you might learn some intriguing and interesting facts about Thoresby as well!

5. Rufford Abbey’s Christmas Grotto

Every weekend in December & 23rd December | Sherwood Forest | £5 per person

Meet the big man himself at Rufford Abbey this December and check whether you have been naughty or nice! Create some beautiful Christmas memories with your little angels with Rufford Abbey’s Christmas Grotto. Please pre book your time slot now, via their website.

6. The Yule Log at RSPB Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

14th – 15th December | Sherwood Forest | Small charge to make a Bug Log

The RSPB Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre have gone with an exciting non-traditional and medieval Christmas calendar this year! On the 14th & 15th December explore the tradition of giving a Yule Log. Help the Sheriff of Nottingham decorate RSPB Sherwood Forest’s Yule Log and make your own Bug Log to gift to creepy crawlies in your garden! The Sunday will also see their third Advent Sunday celebrations.

7. Sherwood Forest Christmas Trail

14th December – 5th January | Sherwood Forest | £2 per trail

Explore the home of Robin Hood this December with RSPB Sherwood Forest’s family friendly Christmas trail! Start at the Visitor Centre and wind your way through the stunning winter woodland, cracking the code words to find the final answer!

8. Southwell Music Festival Christmas Concert

20th December | Southwell | Tickets start from £12

Southwell Minster is a beautiful building but it is made even more beautiful with the Southwell Music Festival Christmas concert. Listen to absolutely stunning festive music in this gorgeous setting – the perfect event to get you in the Christmas spirit. Tickets are available now.

9. Old Father Christmas Trail at the National Civil War Centre

21st December – 5th January | Newark

This Christmas head to the National Civil War Centre to discover the 17th century origins of Father Christmas! Make and take home some spectacular Santa decorations and follow the festive trail around the museum.

10. Winter Solstice at RSPB Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre

21st – 22nd December | Sherwood Forest | Small charge to make a mask

Celebrate the Winter Solstice with RSPB Sherwood Forest with a parade to the Major Oak! Join in with their rough band and make as much noise as possible as you sing and dance your way down to the Major Oak. Additionally, as an act of goodwill the Sheriff of Nottingham will proclaim an amnesty for the outlaws of Sherwood – can you bring Robin Hood out of hiding? Sunday will also be their fourth and final Advent Sunday celebration.

11. Newark Christmas Cracker

22nd December | Newark | FREE

Enjoy a charming Christmas Market in the Newark Market Place. Held under the town’s glittering canopy of Christmas lights, there’ll be a fantastic array of last minute gifts, artisan crafts and Christmas decorations on offer.

12. The Cathedral Carol Service

23rd December | Southwell | FREE

On the Sunday before Christmas enjoy a beautiful Carol Service in the stunning Southwell Minster. As well as hearing choral music sung by the Cathedral Choir, there will also be a chance to sing well-known Christmas carols – an utterly joyful and uplifting evening. Entry is not ticketed, however early arrival is advised.