The top family Christmas activities revealed

Parents fork out £45 per child on Christmas trips and treats

  • Trip to see Santa could cost as much as £11 per child
  • ‘Winter Wonderland’ and sporting activities challenge traditional Christmas treats and religious services


For many families a visit to Santa’s grotto is a big part of the magic of Christmas – and this year is no exception.  Most parents of children aged 12 or under are planning to take their kids to see Father Christmas – making it by far the most popular Christmas themed activity.


But, a trip to see the big man doesn’t come cheap.  Parents said that, on average, they spent around £11 per child on a visit to Santa, but a good number had spent considerably more.  Nearly a quarter (24%) of those surveyed said they had paid between £11 and £20, while 12% had spent over £20 per child.


The new survey*, commissioned by, questioned parents on their plans for Christmas themed trips and entertainment.  On average, parents said that they expected to pay-out £44.55 per child on a range of Christmassy activities, which in addition to seeing Santa, include watching the switching on of Christmas lights, a trip to the Panto or cinema and visiting a ‘Winter Wonderland’ type of attraction:


Top family Christmas activities


A visit to Santa


Watch the switch on of Christmas lights


A trip to the Pantomime


A trip to the cinema to watch a Christmas movie


A visit to a ‘Winter Wonderland’ type of attraction


A traditional carol concert


Winter sports activities (ice skating, skiing, tobogganing, sledging)


A Christingle church service


A religious service


A trip on the Santa Express train


A visit to a Christmas market abroad


A trip to London to watch a West End show


A trip to see Santa in Lapland



Commenting on the research, Claire Peate, customer insight manager from, said, “Christmas is traditionally a time of year when families get together to spend time with each other but, as our survey shows, it is also peak time for businesses to sell us Christmas experiences – from Winter Wonderlands and festive ice-skating rinks to visiting Santa ‘at home’ in Lapland.


“While as parents, we all want to our children to have a magical Christmas, the cost of Christmas presents, treats and activities can quickly mount up.  As a result, it might be wise to consider agreeing a budget for Christmas treats so that spending doesn’t get out of control.”

photo by: Trostle