Father and son with tablet by Christmas tree
Back to Living and Lifestyle

The best online Christmas experiences

From online pantos to video calls with Santa, there are plenty of virtual activities to get you in the Christmas spirit.

With a little help from technology, you can ensure there is plenty of festive magic to go around, for adults and children alike.

Here are some of the best online experiences you can choose from.

Festive markets and fayres 

From Ludlow’s mediaeval fayre to Aberdeen’s eco-conscious market, plenty of towns and cities across the UK are moving their Christmas markets and events online.

Virtual markets provide a great way to find a quirky gift you might not otherwise uncover, while also supporting local businesses. You can simply search online to see if there's a virtual event being held for your local town. 

Some Christmas markets are doing their best to get shoppers in the festive spirit. Oxford’s virtual market, for instance, is chance to setting the mood with some carols and mulled wine.


If you like a bit of sing-along and slapstick, there will be plenty of ways to get your annual pantomime hit this year.

While some shows have been moved online, like this performance of Jack and the Beanstalk, some are still going ahead in theatres, but with reduced capacity.

You can also watch a drive-in panto performance by The Birmingham Stage Company, who will be touring the UK throughout December.

Call Santa

Who needs to visit a grotto when you can hold a video call with Santa from the comfort of your own home?

A company called santascallingyou.co.uk offers people the chance to have a family video chat with Santa. Or you can even have Santa, Mrs Claus or one of the elves read you all a festive story.

Christmas story pyjama party

If you have any little ones to entertain, then the BBC’s CBeebies channel is holding a Christmas pyjama party, alongside a screening of its Christmas Show, Christmas in Storyland.

To get a ticket for the pyjama party, you can order an activity pack, which will also include song lyrics to learn, recipes to make and colouring sheets to enjoy. 

Christmas in Storyland will be available to watch on Saturday 12 December on the CBeebies channel and BBC iPlayer.

Craft workshops

For some people, this is the perfect time of the year to get creative and try their hand at some crafts. 

There are plenty of online craft workshops. For example, Shilpa Reddy Flower Design is holding a sustainable Christmas wreath making kit & online workshop. If you sign up, they’ll post you a wreath making kit and then you join a live virtual chat on one the dates available.

Alternatively, some local workshops are free to enter or just ask for a donation for charity, so find out what’s happening in your local area. 

Festive hunts

Some towns are using augmented reality technology to add some festive magic. For example, Sunderland is holding an augmented reality hunt for festive characters including elves and reindeers.

Meanwhile, Chesterfield is hosting the ‘Amazing Magical Chesterfield Santa House’, including an augmented reality experience in which Santa will magically appear to visitors. That’s in addition to the ‘Santa Zoomer’, providing the opportunity to video chat with Santa.

You can also enjoy similar fun events from the comfort of your home, wherever you live. The Christmas Eve Party with Santa offers a Facebook or YouTube-based live adventure, treasure hunt and singalong, for a fee of £19.99.

No matter what your favourite Christmas activity is, there is plenty you can do online to enjoy the festive season from the comfort of your own home.