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Images above: Echoes of the Blitz: Underground shelters in Ukraine and London exhibition. Visitors included…
Family and friends can get into the festive spirit this winter with tasty treats, seasonal experiences and a warm welcome at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. From winter walks through maturing woodlands to a festive light trail, musical performances and family craft activities, this season promises to be memorable for those wanting to visit the Arboretum over the festive period.
Live Music (Free, 11am-2:30pm, 16 December)
Visitors can enjoy listening to Christmas classics as the Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Warwickshire, spreads festive cheer during their performance at the Arboretum this December.
Christmas Truce Talk (Free, 2:30pm, 15 – 17 December)
Visitors can learn and discover more about the Christmas Truce Memorial in a fascinating free talk taking place in the Millennium Chapel.
Illuminated Arboretum (£24 adult/£14 child, 4:30 pm – 9 pm, 11 – 23 December)
With a new route and several new displays for this year, visitors can be enchanted by a whole range of multisensory installations as part of the returning spectacular winter light trail at the National Memorial Arboretum. Featuring a mile-long immersive display of light, colour and sound, three new community-led art installations will be showcased as part of the Arboretum’s ‘Guiding Lights’ project.
Festive Food (From 1 December)
After walking through the 150 acres of memorials, gardens, and woodlands, visitors can indulge in various festive delights as part of the tasty treats available at the Arboretum. Throughout December, visitors can warm up inside after a long walk in the wintery grounds with a fresh minced pie and warming mulled wine (£5). As a pre-Christmas treat, family and friends can share a Festive Afternoon Tea which includes a selection of savouries and sweets to enjoy from 1 December to 22 December (£19.50 per person, children’s Festive Gingerbread Boxes £5.95). A roast turkey festive lunch is also available in the Restaurant on Saturday 16 December (£10.95 per person), along with our popular roast lunches every Sunday.
Winter Holiday Family Activities (2 December – 7 January 2024)
Younger visitors can pick up an Activity Trail map (£2.50 per person) and follow a winter trail around the Arboretum to discover more about the many animals that call the Arboretum home. There will also be a whole host of activities from 2-5 January, including magical interactive storytelling, shadow puppetry workshops, and arts and crafts where children can make their very own owl to take home.
“The festive period is a special time of year at the Arboretum, with events that appeal to all members of the family,” said Mark Alexander, Head of Visitor Services at the National Memorial Arboretum. “Whether you are watching a memorial come to life with stunning light and sound projections during Illuminated Arboretum, gathering with loved ones to listen to seasonal music or just want to quietly visit a significant memorial over the festive period, the Arboretum at Christmas offers a special experience for everyone.”
The Arboretum is free to visit, open every day until 4pm (until 3pm on 24 and 31 December), and will only be closed on Christmas Day. Booking in advance via the Arboretum website is recommended to guarantee entry and save on parking (£4 in advance, £6 on the day). For more information and to book tickets for festive events: https://www.thenma.org.uk/what’s-on/festivities