Snowdonia is a real winter wonderland during November and December. While we can’t promise a nice thick covering of snow, Snowdonia’s festive events will help get you into the Christmas mood.
All year round, there’s something interesting going on in Snowdonia. In every season there’s a huge selection of events to enjoy, from outdoor adventures and family fun to history and the arts.
Christmas is one of the best times to be in Snowdonia, because we really know how to celebrate the season of goodwill in the Snowdonia Mountains and Coast region. Whether you’re a local resident or are visiting Snowdonia for a winter break, you’re sure to find a fun, festive event to get you into the mood for Christmas. Here are ten to get you started.
1. Iard Christmas Craft Fair
The Christmas events season kicks off with the Iard Christmas Craft Fair at Glynllifon, near Caernarfon, on 19th and 20th November. Glynllifon’s resident artists offer you the opportunity to browse and buy a selection of unique gifts, including jewellery, pottery, metalwork and paintings. Entry and parking are free, and there’s also entertainment, mulled wine and a hog roast.
2. National Slate Museum Winter Fair
The Winter Fair is a special festive fun day for all the family at the National Slate Museum, Llanberis, on 27th November. Make Christmas crafts to take home, enjoy storytelling, face painting and puppet shows. There’s a small extra charge to see Santa in his grotto; he’ll be arriving on a steam engine, UNA, at about 11am, so don’t be late!
3. Nadolig Betws y Coed Christmas
Arguably the most anticipated Christmas event in Snowdonia in 2011, Nadolig Betws y Coed Christmas promises to provide an outstanding weekend of festive cheer. With a lantern procession, a funfair, a real ice rink and late night shopping – not to mention brass bands, falconry, art and craft workshops and live music – the weekend of 2nd to 4th December in Betws y Coed is one you won’t want to miss!
4. Electric Mountain Christmas Fayre
There’s more ice skating – indoors, this time – at the Electric Mountain Christmas Fayre in Llanberis, also on the weekend of 3rd and 4th December. As well as the ‘ice disco’, there will be craft stalls selling local produce, handmade jewellery, henna tattoos, gifts, and much more – and there’s a 10% discount available in the Electric Mountain shop when you spend over £15.
5. Conwy Medieval Christmas Parade
On 9th December you can enjoy something a bit different: a medieval Christmas parade through the ancient streets of Conwy. There’ll be minstrels, knights, maidens and revellers, led by Jack Pudding the jester. There’s late night shopping until 8pm too, so you’ll be able to buy a few last minute gifts (there are some wonderful shops in Conwy, so you’re bound to find something really special).
6. Santa’s annual visit to Bala
All aboard the Bala Lake Railway in Bala on 10th and 11th December – Santa will be making his annual visit! Llanuwchllyn Station will be transformed into a magical backdrop with decorated steam engines, lights and Christmas trees, and there’s a gentle trip to the Lake of Serenity to visit Santa’s grotto where younger children will meet Santa and receive a wrapped Christmas present.
7. Welsh Highland Railway Santa Specials
Join Santa and his band of elves on the Santa Special from Caernarfon to Waunfawr. Children get to meet Santa and receive a special gift, while adults are kept warm with a glass of sherry and a mince pie. Santa Specials run on 10/11 December, 17/18 December and 21/22 December 2011 – advance booking is essential.
8. Talyllyn Railway
The Talyllyn Railway near Tywyn has a number of special festive trains lined up for 2011. There’s Santa Specials on 17th, 18th and 24th December, a Christmas carol train on the 17th, the Spirit of Christmas train on 24th December, and Mince Pie Specials from 26th December to 1st January. Again, do book in advance to avoid disappointment – these trains are very popular!
9. Christmas Crafts Course
At Coleg Harlech on 3rd December there’s a great opportunity to make your nearest and dearest some very special vintage Christmas decorations. The course costs £5 and includes materials, mostly sourced from the college grounds, as well as mince pies, refreshments and Christmas music.
10. Sponsored Santa Stroll
The Sponsored Santa Stroll will be held in Porthmadog on 3rd December to raise funds for the Gwynedd Hospice. Pay to enter, and the fee includes a Santa suit, photo and hot drink at the end. The sponsored walk starts at Gelert at 12pm and continues through Porthmadog, along the Cob, finishing at Spooner’s Cafe. Even if you don’t plan to enter, being in Porthmadog while dozens of Santas stroll through the town is a photo opportunity not to be missed – and it’s all for a great cause, so pop over and show your support!