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Sooooo, it’s definitely December, so I can officially talk about Christmas without anyone rolling their eyes and getting all Grinch about it..right?The GrinchAs a child Christmas is about as exciting as it gets, chocolate advent calendars, elves that run riot on various shelves and a fat dude in a red suit who brings you presents if you can just manage to

 listen to Mummy first time god dammit!

for a whole month.For adults, well me, it goes more like this: Holy Sh!t!!! It’s nearly Christmas. I’ve got so much to do… aghhhhh * guzzles Baileys, inhales Christmas Celebrations supplies and binge buys plastic crap on Amazon. *

Please, please don’t let me be alone here? I’ll promise to be Pinterest mum next year ok!?It’s such a busy time of year what with present buying, Christmas concert costumes to make (Make?! Hello again Amazon, please don’t ever leave me) and screenshots of Pinterest decorations lurking in your camera roll guilting you into shoving your toddler’s hands in some salt dough in the name of #makingmemories.ElfWith all this going, on it can get a bit overwhelming and busy so lucky for you Gef has the lowdown on Seasonal activities to keep you feeling festive and joyous all December long!So, stick on Fairy-tale of New York (pause reading to yell ‘you scumbag you maggot’) and have a gander at what’s on for the kids this yuletide.

Groudle train

We love love love this. Yes, there can sometimes be a bit of a wait but it’s so worth it to meet Santa and enjoy a mulled wine and mince pie after! This is one of my family’s favourite activities over Christmas and always gets us feeling very festive. Even the grinchiest of grinches will feel like donning a reindeer jumper and decking the halls with boughs of holly after a visit to Groudle!Tickets available here.

Groudle Train

Tynwald Mills

No list of Manx Christmas activities would be complete without giving a shout out to the Tynwald Mills Father Christmas.Rumour has it he is the actual real-life Santa and all the others are imposters?!That’s got to be worth checking out!If your little cherub decides to grab his beard to check for authenticity, I declare it your right to be treated to cake in the Cat That café and /or something shiny from the many gorgeous shops!

Elf - Santa

Niarbyl Lunch with Santa

New for this year and looks set to be wonderful! Dine with Santa and enjoy some craft activities. I have heard that spaces are limited so get booking to avoid disappointment. Niarbyl café always serve the most delicious food and are a very family orientated restaurant so I’m really looking forward to visiting for this activity.

Milntown Lunch with Santa

Milntown afternoon tea with Santa is just magical. Milntown is such a beautiful place and feels really festive at this time of year. I especially love meeting Santa at Milntown because as well as the children enjoying the fun, you know you are guaranteed quality food and friendly service during your visit. Kids meet Santa, you demolish a scone and cream, everyone’s a winner!

Panto

Dreamstar IOM productions are proud to present Aladdin as this year’s pantomime. So, get ready to boo and hiss at the villains, enjoy the innuendoes that sneak in every year, and hope you won’t have to explain them in the car on the way home!Grab your tickets from the Villa Gaiety.

Light switch on (held – it was amazing!)

The light switch on in Douglas will be held on the 23rd November which is the perfect time to start feeling festive.Douglas StreetYes, I know it’s not December yet but if the Christmas lights being switched on doesn’t bring out your festive side then there’s no hope, you old Scrooge. Also in Douglas this Christmas there will be ice sculptures, a Christmas market and a Christmas stage! Keep a lookout for dates on the Facebook page.Ramsey light switch on is to be held on the 25th November, for more information check out the Ramsey town commissioners page.And last but not least…

Santa in the forest

Picture the scene. Parent desperately hurrying bedtime along so they can get to the computer.They have to have those tickets.Anyone who’s anyone is going!Cool band?West end theatre tickets?Nope. Way cooler. Tickets to Santa in the forest.If you’re a parent then you know how in demand these tickets were. They sold out super-fast. I know. I was that mother hovering over her computer, refreshing my page in earnest. Fear not. There is a glimmer of hope.Here is a link to their page where you will find a cancellation list.Fingers crossed because it really is a magical experience!


So, there you have it, Gef’s lowdown on how to keep your sparkle this Christmas.So, put down the wrapping paper, untangle your toddler from the fairy lights (again) and go and see what our wonderful island has to offer your little elves this festive season.Just make sure that Baileys is chilling for your return, because despite it being the season of goodwill you’ll probably still have a mountain of Amazon plastic to wrap, a festive sugar high to deal with and a mountain of Christmas cards to attempt to write before giving up and posting a general ‘Happy Xmas’ status on Facebook … (I’d really like to know this isn’t just me!?)Good luck with all that and Happy Christmas to you and yours!

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