WITH the ongoing crisis surrounding the coronavirus, Christmas 2020 will look and feel different to most years.

But there are still plenty of festive family events taking place just a short drive away.

These are some of the popular ones that are worth booking early to avoid disappointment.


November 28 to December 24

The Gulliver's World team in Burtonwood say it is 'more important than ever that families have the chance to make some magical memories'.

The standard 'Smasher' package includes a ride on the North Pole Express to the Winter Wonderland with special stops along the way and an appearance from Santa.

Warrington Guardian:

After a walk through Winter Wonderland, youngsters can choose a gift at the Elf Workshop and there are plenty of festive rides to enjoy.

Upgrade packages include Gully's Christmas Show and festive food.

Regular tickets are £19. For more click here.


November 13 to December 23

**Tickets now limited**

Offering sparkling festive fun in 11 fantastical worlds, The Lanterns has become one of the north west's most popular Christmas events.

Organised by community interest company Wild Rumpus, the attraction allows families to see Chester Zoo in a whole new light with colourful lanterns, spectacular costumed characters and Christmas scenes under starlight.

Child tickets start from £13.50, adult tickets start from £16 and children under two are free. To check which dates have remaining tickets go here.


November 20 to December 3

This award-winning lantern and light festival features interactive exhibits, immersive light installations and an illuminated trail.

New themes to uncover include a Christmas showcase, astronomy display and the musical city.

Warrington Guardian:

Plus all the favourites return such as the antler-framed arch of the love gate, the coruscating branches of the Tree of Life and the state-of-the-art lakeside water show.

Click here to book. Tickets are £13.78.


November 20 to December 30

**Very limited availability**

The illuminated trail has become one of the area's best loved festive attractions and, despite the Covid-19 challenges, will be lighting up for its fourth year in 2020.

It winds magically through the formal gardens and deer park of Dunham Massey.

Expect giant luminescent sculptures, colour-changing lakeside reflections, huge snowflakes creating an aerial kaleidoscope, the tunnel of light and much more.

Most dates are booked up. Adults are £20 and children are £13 and parking fees also apply. Click here.


November 28 to January 3

**December slots booking fast**

Holly the Hare needs your help, she’s been invited to a festive garden feast with Tatton Park’s other woodland friends, but she’s mislaid her invitation. Journey through the Gardens and help solve the puzzles to find her friends at their Christmas party.

Families can pick up their party pack complete with animal mask and a sweet treat and venture down woodland paths to solve the puzzles in this festive feel-good family trail.

To experience the Christmas Trail, you must buy a gardens ticket for a date between November 28 and January 3. You can add a Holly the Hare party packs for £2.

Father Christmas will also be at Tatton Park's Farm at weekends from November 28 to December 20.

As well as meeting the man in red himself in a socially distanced grotto, there will be elf helpers and a live nativity with Breeze the Jersey calf, donkeys Huw, Frosty and Pickles and Dancer the reindeer.

Book here. It is £8 for adults and £7 for children.


December 3 to January 3

All the fun of a festive fair with circus shows, ice skating, rides and Santa's grotto.

Plans for the grotto have been overhauled to make it as safe as possible in the Covid-19 era.

Warrington Guardian:

A pre-book system means families will not have to queue for more than 15 minutes, resident elves will be sprinkling magic (and sanitiser) on touch points and the number of youngsters who can meet Father Christmas will be limited in comparison to other years.

Grotto slots are bookable when you get your tickets while they last. Single tickets are £23.50 and family passes are £89.


November 21 to December 23

**Low availability**

A chance to enjoy the safari after dark on a trail guided by lights.

There will be magical music, illuminated animals and the chance to buy festive food.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the grotto will not be running this year but families can add a Santa experience for £10 – up to six people can meet Father Christmas from a safe distance.

The regular tickets are £8. Most weekend availability is gone but there is some availability throughout the week in November and December. Click here.


November 21 to December 24

A tradition for 30 years, take an 80-minute steam train ride to Rawtenstall and back through the Irwell Valley in carriages decorated for the festive season.

Santa and his elves will be on board and every child will get a gift.

A spokesman said: "While it may not be exactly the same as you remember it, our elves have been working their little pointed socks off to ensure that the atmosphere that has enchanted families year in and year out for three decades has remained intact."

Tickets vary depending on date but start from £17. More here.