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If you’re lucky enough to have time off around Christmas, you’ll probably be counting down the days until you clock off. But of course, it’s not just you who’ll be off over the holidays – you’ll have the whole family to entertain. That means keeping the kids busy with activities to help calm their excitement for the big day, but you want to make sure that you enjoy yourself too! To help, we’ve put together a list of a few family-friendly activities that won’t send your finances into the red this Christmas.

Christmas markets

An obvious choice is to take the family down to one of the many Christmas markets that are on across the country. It’s the perfect way to get into the festive spirit and we’re sure your family will enjoy browsing the stalls – and it’s completely free!

Here are a few of the most popular markets to visit:

1) Manchester

Closing date: December 21st

2) Birmingham

Closing date: December 22nd

3) Edinburgh

Closing date: January 4th

4) Leeds

Closing date: December 20th

5) London

Closing date: December 24th

6) Belfast

Closing date: December 20th

Visit Santa

One thing that you’ll be able to do no matter where you live in the UK is visit a Santa’s grotto in the build up to the big day. You should be able to find one in most department stores and town centres across the country, but you’ll probably have to pay an entrance fee. Your best bet of finding a free (or at least cheaper) Santa’s grotto is to head down to your local garden centre or winter fete.

Alternatively, if you can’t get down to a Santa’s grotto before Christmas, you could bring Father Christmas to you. Portable North Pole will create a free personalised video message for your child from Santa. He’ll say their name, show a photo of them and mention their good deeds – we’re sure your little one will be delighted with this!

Coca-Cola Tour

Research* conducted on our behalf last year, found that one in five people claim that the festive period starts for them once the Coca Cola advert hit their TV screens. If you feel the same way, you might be able to see the Coca-Cola truck yourself when it comes to a stop near you this Christmas.

The Coca-Cola truck is currently on a tour of the UK until the 23rd December. To find details of the dates and location of the tour stops, click here.

Christmas light hunting

If your finances have really taken a hit from preparing for Christmas and you’re looking for something to do with the kids that won’t cost you a penny, why not take them Christmas light hunting?

Yes, that’s right. Bundle everyone up in the car and set out on a hunt to find the best Christmas lights in your area. Put some Christmas music on to get you in the festive spirit and see where you can find the best lights display – they’re sure to love it!

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 24th September and 3rd October 2014.

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