7 festive things to do in Kent this Christmas

Carnival of the Baubles in Ashford

Colourful lanterns on display as part of this year's Carnival of the Baubles in Ashford - Credit: loveashford.com

Family trails, skating and concerts are just some of the fabulous festive things to do in Kent this Christmas. Here are seven great ideas:

Canterbury Trail
Merry Brickmas!
December 1–24

Following a request for locals to donate their unwanted Lego to the wonderful Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in Canterbury, the resulting Brickmas project is soon to open its doors. At the museum itself, there will be a chance to gaze in awe at life-size models of Father Christmas, his reindeer and his elves, all busy in their workshop. You can follow the brick trail, too, throughout the centre of Canterbury, looking out for 
clever Christmas models – made from Lego, of course – in the 
city’s many shop windows. 
Free, but pre-booking at the Beaney is advised.

Family Event
Carnival of the Baubles
December 11 

Bring on the glitter and watch a colourful procession of giant illuminated lanterns and baubles, decorated by children from local primary schools, wend its way from Ashford’s Elwick Place to the High Street as part of Ashford’s festive fun-packed celebrations. There’ll be music, dancing and even an appearance by Disco Turtle – a giant animated puppet who we hear is keen to bust a few moves of his own – all against a backdrop of Christmas stalls offering gifts created by local makers and delicious food and drink. loveashford.com

Drive-in classics
December 3–22

Enjoy a change of scene away from your own sofa with the chance to watch a classic Christmas movie with friends and family from the comfort of your own car, all with the option of having drinks and snacks brought to your wound-down window. Luna’s drive-in cinema is coming to Brands Hatch, and this year’s special winter programme includes seasonal favourites from Home Alone and The Holiday to the unmissable It’s a Wonderful Life (“every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings”). 
Prices from £32.50 per car; lunadriveincinema.com

Living Dangerously
December 8

Named by the Guinness Book of Records as “the world’s greatest living explorer”, Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ endeavours have pushed his endurance levels to the very limits. Among his many record-breaking achievements, he was the first to reach both Poles, the first to cross the Antarctic and Arctic Ocean, and the first to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis. Hear him talk 
about his extraordinary adventures at Margate’s 
Winter Gardens this month. 
Tickets from £25; 
Train adventure
All aboard!
December 10 

Adults can relax into the festive season with a special 70-minute Yuletide trip through the beautiful Wealden countryside by steam train, departing from Tenterden Town Station. There’ll be a local choir to serenade you and a festive tipple to down before you leave, with a hot drink and a mince pie to enjoy once settled into your seasonally decorated carriage. As well as admiring the views, you can marvel at the train’s on-board magician’s sleight of hand. 
Tickets from £25 (£90 for groups of four); 

A Christmas Concert
December 11

Filling Kent University’s Colyer-Fergusson Hall, Canterbury, with festive cheer will be the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy a sparkling seasonal programme brimming with Christmas spirit, from Tchaikovsky’s enduringly 
popular ballet score for The Nutcracker to celebrations of Christmas carols in Vaughan Williams’ choral odyssey, featuring baritone soloist Simon Thorpe. 
Tickets from £13; thegulbenkian.co.uk

Ice, ice, baby
Until 3 January 2022

Get your skates on and head for the family-friendly ice rink in Tunbridge Well’s picturesque Calverley Grounds, which is beautifully lit up at this time of year. In addition to the main area, there are special day-time sessions on a smaller rink reserved for parents and toddlers, with the option to try your hand at Curling there in the evenings. Afterwards, warm up with hot chocolate, mulled wine and brownies, and keep your eyes open for Father Christmas in his cosy log cabin. 
Sessions from £8, skatetw.co.uk/