The holiday season is fast approaching! For those of you with little angels (or mischievous elves) you’re currently snowed under with festive concerts, nativity plays, Christmas parties and all those events that make lovely memories but also feel completely manic at the same time!

Inevitably we’ll all end up glued to some sort of device, whether that be a phone, a tablet or even the TV – let’s be honest we’re all guilty of it!

Well, why not this festive season put down your devices, wrap up warm and get out the house? It’ll give you a chance to blow away the Christmas cobwebs, experience everything Newark and Sherwood has to over and might even stop that lurking cabin fever that tends to hit after Boxing Day! We have loads of things to see and do for guaranteed family fun for everyone, I’m going to give you a short run down of some of the technology-less family fun you can have this holiday season!

National Civil War Centre - Visit Newark and SherwoodFor those of you who like a bit of culture, a splash of history, then we have plenty of museums to visit. The National Civil War Centre is in the heart of Newark and is full to the brim with information on the important English Civil Wars. The National Civil War Centre is a crowd pleaser for every generation, with Civil War era dress up, interactive strategic games, interactive timelines that document the entire Civil War and of course the all-important Civil War artefacts including armour, muskets and so on. Additionally there are a number of trails for exploring the museum as well as exploring Newark that are suitable for all ages. The National Civil War Centre is open 10am – 4pm but please be aware of their Christmas Opening Hours:

24th December – 10am – 12.30pm

25th & 26th December – CLOSED

31st December – open 10am – 12.30pm

1st January – CLOSED

For those who are fascinated by aviation history then we have the perfect place for you. Newark Air Museum is located on part of the former World War Two airfield of RAF Winthorpe; their aircrafts on display include 13 Newark Air Museum - Visit Newark and SherwoodNational Benchmark aircraft; 34 significant aircraft and 21 noteworthy aircraft as listed in the National Aviation Heritage Register. In addition to the aircrafts the museum displays a diverse display or aviation artefacts and a collection of more than thirty five aero engines. Newark Air Museum is the perfect place for all generations to visit; kids can let their imaginations run wild while grown-ups can immerse themselves in the fascinating history on display. Newark Air Museum are open from 10am – 4pm but will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

Is your family more suited to the outdoors? Have you got little adventurers, adrenalin junkie teenagers, or do you simply like to get out for a brisk walk? Well we’ve got you covered!

Sherwood Pines is in the heart of Sherwood Forest and is perfect for those who like a leisurely stroll around the forest or for those who like a little bit more excitement. There are regular activity trails and bikes for hire for those of you who are explorers at heart, or if you seriously want to push yourself and get ready for the New Year there are wild running trails and their red-graded Kitchner’s Mountain bike trail. Go Ape is also situated at Sherwood Pines, perfect for wearing your little adventurers out for a while!

The RSPB have opened their new Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre in the heart of Robin Hood’s home. There is plenty for everyone to get involved with, for those who just want to wonder around the beautiful forest – Christmas Forest Trail at Sherwood Forestapparently because of the glorious summer we had, Sherwood Forest is looking the best it ever has – and for those who want a little something extra. The Christmas Forest Trail is a self-guided trail around the Major Oak path with the promise of a tasty treat for those who complete the clues. You can do the trail every day, expect Christmas Day, between 11 –3pm, just collect the £2 trail sheet from the Visitor Centre and you can be on your way! There is also a New Year’s Day Walk for those who want to blow away the cobwebs and start the New Year with a guided walk around Sherwood Forest – dogs welcome!

LetsXcape is perfect for those of you with teenagers at your Christmas gatherings or for you adults who are just big kids! LetsXcape are immersive Escape Rooms in the beautiful Kelham Hall. Can you solve the RIG? In the early 1940s a group of ‘roughneck yankee’ oil miners secretly made their way to England setting uThe Rig at LetsXcapep camp at Kelham Hall, tasked with drilling for oil in the surrounding area. Initial investigations show our American miners actually found oil right in the heart of Kelham Hall! Over 70 years later recent refurbishment at Kelham Hall by the new owners, have uncovered one such drill site right in the heart of the historic house! They are now dealing with highly volatile RIG having been left to decay for decades and are calling in engineers to deal with the situation. Early monitoring suggests a massive explosion is imminent, large enough to demolish the stately home entirely and likely to occur in just over 60 minutes. Can you escape The Rig?

LetsXcape are also holding a Live Murder Mystery event on the 26th January – The Habit of Murder. An ill wind blows in the trees outside the fabled Theological College of Kelham Hall, a place normally of peace and solitude and prayer. Twas this very hour, but just one night ago, that Kelham’s very foundations were rocked by a terrible murder that took place within its stone walls and now a member of the clergy lies slain in the Chronicles of Kelham: The habit of Murder - Visit Newark and Sherwoodmortuary.

Father Foxwell has placed a call out asking for those who can, to come and help solve the mystery now holding sway over Kelham. Who has committed murder in such a hallowed place of God?

Will you answer his call?


Thoresby Park is also another brilliant place to go, a chance to get out and about and breathe in the fresh air whilst wondering around some stunning scenery. Sleeping Beauty - Visit Newark and SherwoodThoresby are also at the moment running their Brambly Hedge Christmas Tale Trail on every weekend until the 6th January – delve into the magical world of Brambly Hedge with Thoresby’s storytelling trail around the grounds. Find Wilfred and Primrose preparing for the Christmas festivities and join in their adventures. Only £1 per trail. On the 23rd and 30th December Thoresby are also hosting their spectacular pantomime Sleeping Beauty! Oh no they aren’t! Oh yes they are! Talegate Productions will present this fun-filled extravaganza at Thoresby’s Riding Hall, packed with songs, slapstick and plenty of audience participation, the performances will bring the magic of traditional pantomime to all the family!

Just a short trip down the road is the magnificent Rufford Abbey Country Park, another place to spend the day wondering around some truly beautiful grounds. Rufford Abbey also have the Elf Trail which you can take part in every day until the 6th January – their head elf Abbie Peppermint Glitterpants and her naughty sidekick Eric are tired after working so hard to prepare for Christmas and they need your help to bring their Christmas sparkle back by finding all the items that make the festive season so special! £1 per sheet. Also this weekend is your last chance to meet Santa before the big day by visiting their Santa’s Grotto!

This is just the tip of the iceberg for things to do over the Christmas holidays, have a look around the rest of our website, follow our social media and keep an eye out on our events calendar.


Previous Blog Posts 2018

Newark Wonderland, Dec 3, 2018


12 Days of Christmas – Shopping in Newark & Sherwood, Nov 26, 2018

Newark & Sherwood Christmas Markets and Light Switch On, Nov 19, 2018

The Legend of Robin Hood in Newark & Sherwood, Nov 12, 2018


This is Halloween – Halloween in Newark & Sherwood, Oct 22, 2018

The 25th Bramley Festival, Oct 8, 2018


The ‘P’ Word, Sep 10, 2018

A Summer of Theatre and Music in Southwell, Sep 3, 2018


Weekend Stay in Newark & Sherwood, Aug 20, 2018

Heritage Open Days In Newark & Sherwood, Aug 13, 2018

Newark Air Museum & Rufford Abbey celebrate the 1940s, Aug 5, 2018


What to do when school’s out in Newark & Sherwood, Jul 29, 2018

New Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre nearing completion, Jul 9, 2018

Byron Festival 2018, Jul 3, 2018