Festive days out that won’t break the bank this Christmas

Although Christmas can be the most expensive time of year for many, it simply isn’t Christmas without the magic and spirit of festive days out. The best bit? You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy them!

Now that the kids are off school, and entry to some events is free, there is no excuse not to dabble in the world of sparkly lights, mulled wine and mince pies.

Entrance to many London events is free and here are some of the most popular and affordable attractions to visit this year.

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park

One of the most well-known and loved events is Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park. Last year visitor numbers reached a record high of over 2.5 million and, with an array of attractions to suit all ages, this trend is set to continue.

The festive fairground boasts a giant observation wheel, bumper cars, children’s rides, games and much more. Entrance is free, although if you wish to attend some of the main attractions you will need to book and pay in advance. The attractions include a Magical Ice Kingdom, Zippos Circus, Santa Land and an illuminated ice rink.

There are food stalls and rustic bars aplenty where you can choose from mouth-watering hot dogs, crêpes, mulled wine, cider and other festive treats. Live music also features in some of the pop-up bars and creates a great atmosphere.

The festivities at Winter Wonderland run until January 3rd 2016. For more information visit hydeparkwinterwonderland.com.

Winter Festival, Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre, a world-famous arts institution, is hosting a variety of events from cabaret shows and choir performances to roller discos and Southbank’s biggest ever Christmas market.

The little ones are sure to love the Early Years Dance Workshop for under-5s taking place at the Royal Festival Hall, and at just £5 for one adult and two toddlers it’s a must!

If you want to make a day of it why not wander around the market’s wooden chalets lining the riverbank where you’ll find handmade gifts and decorations. Then head over to the pop-up Rekorderlig Cider Lodge for some delicious street food and winter drinks.

If you’re looking for something chic and sophisticated Southbank’s Winter Festival won’t disappoint. For more information and to see what else is taking place, visit southbankcentre.co.uk.

Winterville, Victoria Park

Although quite similar to Winter Wonderland, Winterville does have a few treats in store that make it an alternative day out this Christmas.

It is free to attend, which always makes for a number one choice, and you can expect a very different feel to the usual theme park affair.

For a truly unique experience you can visit the winter-themed indoor cinema, complete with comfy bean bags and a woodland bar, set in an enchanted forest.   

Another alternative attraction is the pantomime, where a reworked version of Snow White is being performed. The show lasts an hour and is suitable for children of all ages.

And why not play a spot of crazy golf while you’re there? The 9-hole course features foggy valleys and ice beasts and is suitable for everyone, with prices starting at just £7 for adults and £4 for children.

Christmas doesn’t have to mean raiding the piggy bank to afford the niceties and family days out! But if you are feeling the pinch this year saving can relieve the pressure. Putting away small and manageable sums of money each month can really make a difference to the way you budget for expenses such as Christmas.

Savings vehicles, like pensions and ISAs, can significantly boost the small sums of money you put away. And by making sure that your pension is working hard you can continue to enjoy family days out in later life.   

Why leave it all to chance when you can plan ahead and save efficiently?

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