2020-12/dudley-zoo-in-the-snow

Tourism businesses across the Black Country are spreading the festive cheer this Christmas with lots of seasonal events, shows and musicals on offer.

Despite local restrictions, the region has adapted its Christmas programme to entertain people from home, as well as in person over the winter period. From enjoying a winter day out at Dudley Zoo to learning about the region’s Christmas past at the Black Country Living Museum, some of the Black Country’s biggest and best attractions are preparing to put on a magical show for locals and visitors throughout the festive season.

Bantock House Museum is playing puppet master this Christmas; the Hogarth Puppets exhibition is displaying different artefacts and memorabilia from Britain’s best-known puppet company and its most famous TV star, Muffin the Mule, until 31 January 2021.

The family fun continues at Wolverhampton Arts & Culture, with plenty offree online resources available to keep the kids entertained during the Christmas holidays. Across podcasts, YouTube channels and online courses, a range of resources encourages visitors to discover more about the art inspired by the city’s vast collection.

The New Art Gallery Walsall has many online workshops to engage the kids during December. The workshops include tutorials on how to create various craft items, drawings and playdough sculptures.

Meanwhile, the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre hopes to reopen over Christmas with a number of theatre productions. Dear Santa Live will run from 20-24 December. The show follows Father Christmas as he attempts to deliver a Christmas present to little Sarah, but he encounters some hiccups along the way. The Theatre will also host a brand-new film adaptation of the festive classic A Christmas Carol (22-23 December).

Away from the bright lights and dramatic performances of pantomime and theatre, visitors can enjoy a winter walk around Dudley Zoo & Castle. The 40-acre site is home to 200 different species, with much of the animal collection linked to international conservation and breeding programmes. Endangered species include Asiatic lions, Sumatran tigers, Bornean orangutans, Tibetan red pandas, Rothschild giraffes, Madagascan lemurs, and Humboldt penguins.

Many of the region’s tourism businesses have opted to take their Christmas celebrations online this year. The Black Country Living Museum is hosting an exclusive online event that will take participants on a journey to the past, to show what Christmas used to be like in the Black Country and behind the scenes of its Christmas collections, which are usually unseen to the general public. The Museum will also open on limited dates in December.

Sandwell Museums will be counting down to Christmas on its Facebook page with plenty of fun-packed activities, including kids’ crafts to try at home, a sneak-peek at the Museum’s decorations, and informative facts about Christmas traditions past and present. 

Becky Frall, Head of Visitor Attraction at the West Midlands Growth Company, said:

“It has been a tough year for many of us and we all need some festive fun to cheer ourselves up over the winter months. 

“Although the celebrations will be different this year, an inspirational programme of physical and virtual events has been put together by the region’s innovative tourism and hospitality businesses. All events are Covid risk assessed and will keep you and your family entertained throughout the festive period. So please, log on virtually or come and join the events in person, to the spread the Christmas joy!”

Patrick Harley, Leader of Dudley Council and member of the West Midlands Board for Tourism, said:

“The number one focus of the West Midlands Regional Board for Tourism is to ensure that our region’s voice underpins the work of Government and national bodies like VisitBritain, as we navigate the sector’s road to recovery. Our tourism and hospitality businesses need targeted support that recognises the challenges Tier 3 restrictions will create over the festive season - a period that is critical to the bottom-line of this sector.

“As Christmas approaches, we’re also taking the opportunity to celebrate the wonderful community spirit of the West Midlands, and the continued effort of both residents and businesses to protect and support local trade and one another. The array of festive offerings in the West Midlands, despite the challenges, is truly inspirational.”

MakeitWM is an online portal for prospective visitors to find the best of the West Midlands’ festive attractions and events; great places to enjoy time with family and make new memories. Visitors can support the region’s independent businesses by checking out the region’s Christmas gift wish list, which includes vouchers, hampers and experiences.

If you’re looking for Christmas events in Birmingham, our Visit Birmingham site has you covered, here.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for things to do in Coventry & Warwickshire, our MakeitWM site will inspire you here.