From traditional pantos and carols by candlelight to pop-up winter bars and a disco in an igloo, Rachel Dixon rounds up dozens of sparkling festive events across the UK
Enchanted Parks is an annual after-dark theatrical event in Saltwell Park in Gateshead (pictured, £9.50 adults, £4.50 children, 4-9 Dec, newcastlegateshead.com). This year’s production is The House of Lost and Found, telling the story of a travelling fair through performance, light, sound, fire – and a few surprises. There is also a hawker’s market, craft fair and pop-up shop by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.
A Christmas Carol is an immersive dining experience in Sheffield (from £37.24, until 16 Dec, theatredeli.co.uk). The production includes a twocourse meal, parlour games and Christmas songs.
Deck the halls
Stately homes decorated in fairytale themes this year include Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, with rooms representing different scenes from Sleeping Beauty and Other Tales (£15.75, under-16s free, haddonhall.co.uk). Community choirs perform twice a day and there are candlelit tours in the evening. The decorations at Chatsworth House, also in Derbyshire (£25/£15, £69 for family of five, chatsworth. org), are inspired by a mix of fairytales and more recent stories, including James and the Giant Peach. Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire (pictured, £27/£15.50, £65.50 family of four) has been turned into Cinderella’s story; there is also a light trail and Christmas market.