Enjoy A Guernsey Christmas – Guest Blog
4th December 2020
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A special festive post from Antonia Rainbow from Guernsey With Kids who takes a look at all the family friendly activities in the island this Christmas.
You blink and it’s nearly Christmas! Unlike most countries around the world, Guernsey is in the very fortunate position where there are no Covid-related changes to our day-to-day life (aside from travel restrictions to and from the island), meaning islanders are able to enjoy the run-up to Christmas and all that this amazing little island has to offer, from various opportunities to see Santa to Christmas markets, pantomimes and much more!
Father Christmas Can Visit!
The whole island let out a collective sigh of relief when it was announced that Guernsey’s Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink, had granted Father Christmas essential worker status. This means that Santa can make the magical trip from his workshop in the North Pole to the Bailiwick this year without quarantine, phew!
There are over 20 opportunities to see Santa across Guernsey in the run up to Christmas (view them all HERE) and the first was when he arrived in Guernsey on 21st Nov to switch on the St Peter Port Christmas lights and it was a big hit with locals…
Santa Came to Town
Thousands of islanders lined the streets of St Peter Port to see Santa and his helpers switch on the St Peter Port Christmas lights. Santa arrived at the Model Yacht Pond in a big red fire engine, then he hopped aboard Le Petit Train and then completed the final part of the route on-foot taking his time to greet local children, with many handing him their Christmas lists. The crowd let out a big cheer when Santa arrived in Market Square and switched on the lights. This was a stark reminder for many of what a fortunate position we are in with no social distancing or limits on crowd numbers.
Not everyone is able to walk through the pedestrianised areas of St Peter Port to see the Christmas lights, therefore, Guernsey’s Traffic & Highway Services has granted general permission to allow members of the public to drive through town (High Street, Le Pollet, Mill Street and Mansell Street) between 6pm and 10pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday evenings until Sun 3 Jan 2021. This amazing initiative gives older members of the community and people with disabilities the opportunity to see the Christmas lights.
More Father Christmas Favourites
Father Christmas had such great fun switching on the St Peter Port Christmas lights that he’s coming back for 2 very popular local events. The first is the Specsavers Winter Wonderland which is taking place on Wed 2nd Dec, a highlight for most families in the build-up to Christmas. Mr and Mrs Bachmann kindly open their extensive gardens to the public to raise money for charity with tickets available to purchase from a number of local retailers. It is the perfect place to get into the Christmas spirit with Christmas lights, Santa, hot food and the popular Elf door trail. We went last year and absolutely loved it.
The 2nd popular event is the Christmas Lights Switch on at The Bridge, St Sampson. Hundreds of islanders will line the streets to see Santa, with the opportunity to give him their Christmas letters. It is taking place this year on Friday 4th Dec with the entertainment starting at 4pm and the lights switch-on at 5pm.
Christmas Shopping Galore
There is no greater time for communities to support their local retailers and to shop local. There are plenty of opportunities to do this in Guernsey with over 30 Christmas Markets taking place between now and the big day! (view them all HERE). From school fayres to large scale markets we have it all, offering home-made gifts, food, drink and lots of entertainment for children.
The Guernsey Market Place Christmas Market takes place at the end of Nov and throughout Dec (Nov 26th, 28th, 29th. Dec 3rd, 5th, 6th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 17th, 19th, 20th) with a great selection of local stallholders.
A number of markets and fayres offer entertainment for children, my girls are particularly looking forward to the Christmas Market and Family Fun Day on Sun 20th Dec at the Rohais Badminton Hall. There will be bouncy castles, inflatable slide, Christmas movies and a toddler area. I find it much less stressful trying to shop when my girls are entertained!
Christmas Shopping in Herm
The lead-up to Christmas wouldn’t be complete without an island hop to Herm’s Christmas gift shop. Travel Trident (the local ferry service between Guernsey and Herm) offer a special fare for Christmas shopping sailings, only £3 per adult and £2 per child (day returns only). It’s a mecca for children and you could probably do all of your kids Christmas shopping there!
Entertainment for All the Family
Guernsey is jam-packed with family-friendly Christmas events from pantomimes to ice skating. Remember, most of these events require pre-booking and they can sell-out fast so if you see something of interest, don’t delay booking.
There are 4 family-friendly Christmas productions taking place in Guernsey this Christmas. GADOC’s pantomime is always a family favourite and this year’s Cinderella will be no different. I got up early the morning tickets were released and after 2 hours re-loading the booking site I managed to get matinee tickets, what a relief! There are limited tickets available for all shows, so don’t delay booking.
Christmas at Le Friquet Garden Centre
Le Friquet Garden Centre is the hub of all things Christmassy in Guernsey with the largest Christmas display on the island, the only ice rink on the island, a virtual sleigh ride and a Santa’s Grotto! The Christmas ice rink is open from 28th Nov to 5th Jan 2021, with skate aids available for smaller children, we love it and it’s always a big hit with families.
Santa Fun Run
For something completely different, the charity Santa Fun Run is taking place on Sunday 13th Dec. Keep an eye out for runners of all ages dressed as Santa around the island!
Visit our What’s On for More Information
Guernsey is jam-packed with family-friendly events this Christmas and there is so much more than we could include in this feature. After a difficult year, we are incredibly lucky that we can enjoy a Christmas without the restrictions faced by almost everyone else in the World.
For information about all family events taking place this festive season in Guernsey check out our What’s On Guide containing event info, times, prices and booking links. Find all the info you need in one place click HERE.
Whether you are spending Christmas in Guernsey or further afield, keep safe and let’s hope Guernsey will be able to open its borders next year so more people can discover all that Guernsey has to offer.
About Guernsey With Kids
GuernseyWithKids.com was set up by Antonia Rainbow after moving to Guernsey in 2018 with her husband and twin girls. She quickly fell in love with the island and became passionate about it being an amazing place to raise children and the perfect place for a family holiday. With so much to offer thanks to the beautiful beaches, kid-friendly walks, parks and picnic spots to the water sports, forts and indoor activities, along with the sheer amount of family-friendly events taking place throughout the year, Antonia saw a need for a website to bring all of this information together. GuernseyWithKids.com does just that, with a What’s On calendar including all family-friendly events, overview of all indoor and outdoor activities, business directory and a blog. Helping families get the best out of Guernsey, the little island that’s big on adventure.