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Twixmas in the Peak District 2023: things to do in the Christmas holidays

Twixmas in the Peak District 2023: things to do in the Christmas holidays

That awkward time between Christmas and New Year can be an odd one. You’re stuffed from Christmas, genuinely have no idea what day it is, but you’ve still got to keep the kids entertained and store some energy for the obligatory New Year celebrations.

This is often a time when families look to do a staycation in the Peak District; perfect to decompress after the Christmas rush. Plus, a brisk walk in the hills is just what everyone needs to balance out all those mince pies. Check out our best Peak District view walks for inspiration.

So if you are wondering what’s on this Twixmas in the Peak District, then read on…

Peak District gift guide

Peak District Gift Guide

Looking for that perfect Peak District gift for someone special this Christmas? If you know someone who absolutely loves the Peak District and you’re stuck with what to get them, then check out our Peak District inspired gifts for all the family.

Click here to join our Facebook group! We have over 26k members sharing ideas and tips for exploring the Peak District with kids.

1. Christmas at Chatsworth

Runs through to 7th January 2024
Click here to book your tickets

Chatsworth Christmas 2023

Step inside one of the grandest houses in the country and marvel their fabulous festive transformation; a sure way to get you into the Christmas spirit. After walking around the house, you then exit into the 105-acre gardens with waterworks, sculptures and twinkling lights.

Christmas tickets include admission to the house, garden, and the farmyard and playground. Or you can just get tickets for just the garden (which includes a festive light trail). All tickets must be booked online and include car parking (one car per transaction).

Click here for our full guide to visiting Chatsworth with kids.

2. Reservoir Christmas Trails

7th December 2023 to 2nd January 2024 (except Christmas Day), 10am to 3pm
No booking required, just come along on the day and time that suits you!

Severn Trent Christmas Trails are taking place at Carsington Water and Tittesworth Reservoir.

You don’t need to book for any of these. Just turn up to the relevant Visitors Centre (open 10am to 3pm) to pick up your trail map (£4 each). Each completed sheet will get a selection box as a prize (non-dairy selection boxes are available).

3. Matlock Farm Park

Open all year round (although closed 25th and 26th December)
Click here for further information
READ: Matlock Farm Park REVIEW

Matlock farm, just outside the National Park, is open over Twixmas. There is nothing special planned over these few days, but it’s still a lovely day out if you’re looking for something to do.

Although for New Years Day 2023, there was an organised New Years Day brunch taking place. So we’re expecting there to be something similar for New Years Day 2024.

4. Panto at Buxton Opera House – Cinderella

Friday 8th December 2023 to Monday 1st January 2024
Click here to buy tickets

Cinderella Buxton Opera House

Working all day long, completing chores and being taunted by her ugly stepsisters is all Cinderella has ever known, that is until her Fairy Godmother makes all her wishes come true…

Following the success of last season’s spectacular Sleeping Beauty, join the incredible cast for another year of wonderful music, the finest comedy routines and a sprinkle of Christmas magic. It’s pantomime for the whole family to enjoy!

Autism-friendly performance: Wednesday 13 December 5.30pm.

5. Christmas fun an Brick Corner in Buxton

27th, 28th, 30th December
Click here for more information and to book

Lego xmas ornament

Our favourite Buxton café, Brick Corner, has a few days of post-Christmas fun planned for LEGO fans of all ages. Get creative with their LEGO and Robotics challenges with a cake and cuppa on the side.

Make sure you pre-book as places are limited.

6. Buxton Pump Room – Pigeon Post Family Activities

From the 8th December to the 8th January, 10am to 4pm
(Closed 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st Dec and 1st Jan)
Buxton Pump Room SK17 6BH

Click here for more information

During the school Christmas holidays, pop into Buxton’s beautiful Pump Room and craft a Christmas message or maybe even a thank you card at our Pigeon Post Office.  Whilst you’re there follow the free Pigeon Post family trail around the Pump Room for a small chocolate prize.

Or why not visit the Buxton Crescent Experience? Perfect for rainy days and livening up Twixmas,  time travel together and discover Buxton’s amazing story in nine very different rooms. Under 8’s go free.

  • Family Trail – Follow the  Pigeon Post Christmas Trail and discover fascinating Christmas facts as you search for Parkin the pigeon’s missing post. Suitable for 4-11 year olds. Small chocolate prize for each completed trail.
  • Pigeon Post Office Crafting – Ask for the Pigeon Post Office basket and get busy making and creating in the beautiful festive surroundings of the Pump Room. Maybe you’ll write your Christmas list to Santa, pen season’s greetings to friends and family or even finish off those thank you letters. Enjoy decorating paper and envelopes with a selection of crafty items!

7. TrYumphant New Year Holiday Camp

Tuesday 2nd – Friday 5th  Jan 8:30am-4pm with optional extra time until 6pm
Baslow Sports Field
From £29.75/day
Click here for more information

If you’re looking for something to keep the kids occupied in that first week of January, before back to school, join the TrYumphants for their ever-varied mixture of creativity and craftiness, movement and messiness, sports and silliness!

This is open to all kids, whether you live locally or are visiting on holiday. There are four days available and you can book in for all four days or just one; whatever suits you and your family.

Use code PDK10 to get 10% off or get a free half day and 50% off full day top-ups with code FSM if you qualify for free school meals based on benefits. 

8. Visit a Peak District cavern

All of the caverns in Castleton and Buxton are open throughout the Christmas holidays. They’re a fantastic day out for a Peak District rainy day as the weather above ground really doesn’t matter when you’re underground.

Open caverns include:

Please note that Heights of Abraham and their caverns have closed for the year and will reopen February 2024.

9. Hathersage Swimming Pool

Open year round
Click here to read our review
Click here to book

There’s something very special about swimming in an outdoor pool as the snow falls around you (we’re still hoping for a white Christmas!)

Hathersage Swimming Pool is supposedly heated to a constant 28°C all year round, although over the winter season it’s probably a fraction colder and if you do take your kids here, we suggest that everyone wear wetsuits.

Hathersage swimming pool

10. National Stone Centre

Open year round, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Check out our guide to visiting the National Stone Museum
No booking necessary

Pan for gems, build a drystone wall, and hunt for fossils at The National Stone Centre, just a five minutes drive from the National Park boundary, close to Cromford and Matlock.

The National Stone Centre is free to enter, although it’s £3 to do the panning for gems, and £1 for geo-trail map. There’s also a café on site (with a rock shop and small exhibition), as well as a playground.

gem panning, National Stone Centre

Combine your visit with a walk along the High Peak Trail to Black Rocks, or even further to Cromford Canal. Although, do allow 2-3 hours for wandering about The National Stone Centre, which includes a bite to eat at the Blue Lagoon Café.

11. Peak Wildlife Park

Open year round, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Click here to book tickets
Click here to read our review

Come face to face with exotic and endangered animals from across the world, including penguins, lemurs, meercats, zebras, deer and lots of farm animals at Peak Wildlife Park! It’s one of the top days out in the Peak District. Kids will love the walk through areas where you can venture inside animal enclosures, and they will especially love petting the farm animals.

penguins at Peak Wildlife Park

This isn’t a normal zoo to see the ‘big five’. Instead it is an immersive experience to enjoy walking amongst less ferocious animals. Its a fantastic day out for little ones especially as they can be hands on with some of the tamer residents

Peak Wildlife Park is just 1km outside the National Park boundary near Leek and one of the best family days out in Staffordshire.

12. Get outdoors

At this time of year, nothing quite beats a brisk walk in the hills followed by a pub lunch. Check out our pub walks in the Peak District, and if you do plan on dining at one of our suggested pubs, we recommend booking a table at least a couple of days in advance.

Birchen Edge walk starting and ending at the Robin Hood pub

You can check out all our family walks here, or you may specifically be looking for Peak District pram friendly walks. Alternatively, if it’s not too icy and cold over the Peak District Twixmas, check out our guide to family bike rides in the Peak District.

You may also like to read:
Best days out in the Peak District
Family walks in the Peak District
Things to do in Matlock and Matlock Bath