There are plenty of festive themed events to keep families and children of all ages active and entertained over the Christmas school holidays culminating in the FREE New Year’s Eve Celebration at Nottingham Castle on 31 December. The children’s fireworks display starts at 9:15pm within the castle grounds. This year it will be choreographed to a musical soundtrack of superhero themes and is specially designed for a younger audience.

Other active and fun events happening across the city include:

The NET Nottingham Winter Wonderland. Saturday 19 November – Sunday 8 January in Old Market Square 

  • Enjoy ice skating surrounded by the Christmas lights and trees
  • Get unlimited group travel for 2 adults and up to 3 children on NCT buses for just £4.50 with the Grouprider ticket

Wollaton Hall – Red Robin Trail. 19 December – 2 January

  • Find the Red Robins of Wollaton Park around the formal gardens and courtyard – catch them all to win a prize! Trails are available in the Courtyard Shop
  • Trails are £1

Nottingham Castle – Christmas Pudding Trail. 10 December – 3 January at Nottingham Castle

  • Christmas holiday fun for little ones
  • Grab a trail sheet from the Castle Shop, follow it for the chance to win a prize

Along with events across the city, there should be something for everyone at our eight Play & Youth Centres and 18 Children’s Centres across the city. They offer a range of free and low-cost services and activities for families and their children.

This year, one of the highlights is a citywide Play and Youth event called “Being Healthy” on Wednesday 21 December at the new Harvey Hadden Centre, Wigman Road, Nottingham. Suitable for ages 8 to 17 years, there are lots of exciting activities on offer including swimming, basketball, football, dance, team games and skatebase. There is limited space only – please contact your local Play and Youth team for further information and to book call 0115 8763888.

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, said: “At this special time of year, it’s really important that we do what we can to give local families fun and inexpensive things to do during the festive break. Our libraries, play and youth clubs and children’s centres across the city are great places to go to socialise, play and discover new interests and they offer families lots of choice to keep youngsters active during the school holidays.”

Services at Children’s Centres can vary according to the needs of the local community but all centres provide links to childcare, family support and a range of parent and toddler activities. All of the centres also have family support teams who work with children and young people from birth to 19 and their families. They offer play and youth activities and support in areas including disability, mental health, emotional well-being and school attendance.

Full details about the whole range of Christmas holiday activities on offer can be found at

Find your nearest children’s centres here –