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Christmas Family Activities

Festive Wonder Weekends at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Festive Wonder Weekends at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Celebrate Christmas with Wonder Weekends at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. Discover a range of family-friendly activities: create your own arts and crafts, make your own Georgian chocolate treat and listen to Christmas tales inspired by the Yuletide season.


11 November - 16 December 2023

10:30 - 15:30


Clore Learning Centre

Ticketing information

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please queue in the Stable Yard for all workshops and activities. 

Included in gardens admission (members go free)

Book Hillsborough Castle and Gardens tickets
The Chocolate Kitchen, close up view of some equipment and a bowl of cocoa nibs in a wooden bowl on a desk that would have seen and used in the Georgian period.

Georgian Chocolate: Make & Take a Chocolate Drumstick

Date: Saturday 02 December
10:30–11:15, 11:45–12:30, 13:30–14:15, 14:45-15:30. Last entry 14:45

Find out all about Georgian chocolate and make your own festive chocolate treat to take home, with Hillsborough Castle’s very own chocolatier, Jamie Penny!


Suitable for families with children aged 5+. Please note only children may make the chocolate drumstick.

Children enjoying a Halloween story.

Christmas Storytelling Sessions

Date: Saturday 16 December
Time: 10:30–11:00, 11:30-12.00, 12:30-13:00, 14:00 -14:30, 15:00-15:30

In this relaxed session for families, enjoy a wide range of cosy Christmas stories inspired by the festive season.

Key Information

Suitable for families with children aged 3+. All children must be accompanied.


  • Things to see
  • Events
  • Families
  • Christmas

Walking With The Snowman

Explore a magical festive trail as Raymond Briggs' classic comes to Hillsborough Castle.

  • 18 November 2023 - 07 January 2024
  • In line with gardens opening hours
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Included in gardens admission (members go free)
Learn more
  • Families
  • Christmas
  • Events
  • Things to see

Brunch with Santa

Indulge in a magical brunch with Santa at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens!

  • 02, 09, 16, and 23 December
  • 10:00-13:00
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Free
Learn more
  • Events
  • Christmas

Christmas wreath making workshop

Create a seasonal Christmas wreath using foliage from the castle grounds.

  • 08, 09 and 13 December 2023
  • 10:00 and 13:30
  • Hillsborough Castle
  • Separate ticket (advance booking required)
Learn more


Art at Hillsborough Castle

Hillsborough Castle has become a place in which to see amazing art

The story of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

‘The Grandest House in County Down’

Shop online

Shop Christmas collection

Make the festive season one to cherish and remember with our selection of wonderful history-inspired gifts, tree decorations and delicious food and drink.

From £2.50

Shop Children's Toys

Discover our range of traditional toys and games inspired by Historic Royal Palaces. Bring history to life with our fun selection of toys and games inspired by our British heritage.

From £4.00

Shop food & drink

Feast your eyes on our wonderful selection of food inspired by our royal kitchen. Shop chocolates, preserves, jam, chocolate coins and the finest liqueurs.

From £4.00