Discover winter at Center Parcs

A father with his son on his back walking past the snowy trees.

12 October 2023

Discover winter at Center Parcs

Winter is the most magical time of year at Center Parcs. Have you ever wondered what the differences are between a Winter Wonderland break, Christmas and New Year breaks and our Winter Forest Lights experience? Here’s a quick overview of each experience, showcasing the highlights and giving you some inspiration for your next festive family getaway.


Winter Wonderland

The name says it all: a magical festive experience where the forest transforms into a winter wonderland. The village is covered with snow, twinkling lights and Christmas decorations – a picture-perfect backdrop for those festive family photos. Little ones will be delighted by our stories featuring Nutmeg the reindeer, and even grown-ups will feel like a child again.

Our Winter Wonderland breaks run from early November until January. At the heart of the Winter Wonderland experience is Santa’s Woodland Village, where you’ll find:

Santa’s Woodland Workshop: the highlight of a Winter Wonderland break for many families, you can meet the big man himself and take home a family photo to treasure

Toadstools: nestled around Santa’s Woodland Village are our magical toadstools featuring moving elves in festive activity scenes - little ones will love to take a peek inside!

Forest Festive Fayre: warm up with a hot drink and tasty treats whilst you explore

Photo opportunities: you’ll find plenty of picture-perfect moments to take snaps with your loved ones

Playful elves:  meet new elf friends as they wander through the village. They might even show you their playful tricks and dances!

Singing reindeer: yes, you heard correctly – our famous singing reindeer will entertain little ones and grown-ups alike with Christmas songs (at Sherwood Forest, you will find the singing reindeer near the Village Square)..

Whilst on a Winter Wonderland break, the whole family can join in with our special festive activities - from Design a Giant Christmas Stocking to Elf Academy, where children can learn how to be one of Santa’s elves!

Little ones can write a letter to Santa - make sure they post it in our special Santa post box so they can receive a magical reply from Santa himself whilst on your break!

In the evening you can visit our immersive Enchanted Light Garden and stroll through thousands of twinkling lights dancing among the trees to a Christmas soundtrack. Head back to your cosy lodge and settle down on the sofa together to watch our very own animated storybooks on your lodge TV, including little games the whole family can enjoy together. On one evening during your break, keep an eye out for Santa on his Village Tour as makes his way around the village spreading festive joy. Santa’s Village Tour happens every Tuesday and Saturday from 6.30pm.

Book your Winter Wonderland break here.

little boy with elf posting his letter in Santa's postbox
Children having fun on a festive activity dressed as elves and dancing
animatronic elf in toadstool cabin
Two girls meeting Santa and his two elves

Christmas breaks

Imagine the feeling of settling down in your own cosy lodge on Christmas Eve, and then waking up in the forest on the big day itself. Our Christmas breaks offer a magical experience for the whole family to celebrate Christmas Day. Discover a magical playground featuring all the festive elements from Winter Wonderland, including Santa’s Woodland Village and the Enchanted Light Garden.

You could start your Christmas break a little early and experience our festive activities up until Christmas Eve. Little ones will love waving goodbye to Santa and his elves on Christmas Eve on his Village Tour as he sets off for his biggest night of the year delivering Christmas presents.  

Wake up in the winter forest surroundings with your loved ones and spend Christmas Day your way. Let us do the cooking and head to one of our restaurants for a delicious Christmas Day Lunch - or if you prefer a traditional home-cooked Christmas dinner, our well-equipped lodges have everything you need to cook a family feast with all the trimmings. Take a stroll around the lake to burn off some of your lunch, enjoy an activity or make a splash in our Subtropical Swimming Paradise. There’s something quite special about a Christmas Day swim…

Carry on the celebrations into Boxing Day, whether you decide to go all out with exhilarating activities, enjoy a peaceful Pottery Painting session or even treat yourself to a trip to Aqua Sana Spa. Get ready for our Boxing Night Party and continue the festivities with children’s entertainment and the all-important Boxing Day buffet! (Only available at selected villages.)

Book your Christmas break here.

little boy, mum and dad in lodge with Christmas tree and presents
A roast dinner with gravy surrounded by Christmas decorations
Elves posing in front of a lit Christmas tree
little girl playing with Christmas cracker with mum

New Year break

Celebrate in style on a New Year break in the forest. The village is filled with twinkling lights, a dusting of snow and festive decorations. Soak in the magical atmosphere and admire all the wintry displays on a relaxing stroll or cycle through the forest.

Enjoy all our usual facilities, activities, and restaurants for a memorable New Year break. See in the New Year at one of our New Year’s Eve celebrations with loved ones. Visit our Enchanted Light Garden on New Year’s Eve - an immersive light and sound display that will delight little ones and grown-ups alike.

Wake up in the forest on New Year’s Day and start the year with our First Mile event. Get the whole family together to run, jog or walk your first mile of the year through the forest – with prizes available for the winners! Who knows, a New Year break at Center Parcs might even become a new family tradition…

Book your New Year break here.

Two little boys wearing winter clothes walking through the forest with their mum
Family walk through Winter Forest Lights show
Mesmerised family in Enchanted Light Garden and young girl pointing at lights

Winter Forest Lights

Our newest winter experience, during January and February, is the perfect way to blow away the winter blues.

During Winter Forest Lights the village transforms into a sparkling winter playground with light sculptures, decorations and a dusting of snow. The Wishlight Village is at the heart of our experience and is home to pixies, owls and other magical woodland creatures. Explore the village with a delicious hot chocolate and delicious treat from Forest Fayre. Say hello to roaming pixies, peek in the toadstools and meet Beacon the Owl. Discover our fun photo opportunities to take snaps of the whole family for that special memory book - families can pretend to fly with our sparkling wings backdrop! Remember to visit the Wishing Tree and make that all-important wish - pixies will catch all the wishes in their nets and hang them up in lanterns to help keep the forest lit up.

As night falls, head to our Enchanted Light Garden. Follow a trail through the forest with thousands of twinkling lights shining in the trees and nestled on the forest floor, all dancing to a wintery soundscape – an immersive and mesmerising experience. You can visit the Enchanted Light Garden every evening of your break for free, with no need to book.

Discover the storybook The Winter Forest Lights, where Luminessa, the forest light-catcher, and her pixie friends catch children’s wishes to light up the forest during the dark winter nights. You will be able to buy our storybook from ParcMarket, along with watching the animated version on your lodge TV. Your whole family can cosy up beside your log fire and enjoy the perfect bedtime story.

Read more about our new experience here.

Book your Winter Forest Lights break here.

mum and daughter posing in front of photo opportunity with twinkling wings
Mum holding baby in snowy and light-filled village with pixie entertaining the baby
young family sat in twinkling Tipi with hot drinks
Young girl sat next to pixie enjoying a creative activity

Center Parcs

This blog post was written by a former colleague of Center Parcs; the content in the post is still relevant for you to keep up to date with all things Center Parcs.

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