Having a newborn is a very special experience and you’ll probably want to spend lots of time at home at first, especially in the chilly winter weather around Christmas time. However, being out of the house sometimes is important, as it gives you a breather from being in the same environment all the time and stops cabin fever setting in. It’s also an opportunity to catch up with friends, meet new people going through the same experience and introduce your little one to the big wide world.
On top of all that, you don’t want to miss out on all of the fun festive things happening around Bristol this Christmas. Thanks to Rainbow Smiles Nursery who have brought us this selection of eight things to do that are suitable for your new baby’s very first Christmas.
Baby Disko at the Spiegeltent
If you have a newborn baby you probably won’t get the opportunity to go to any grown up glitzy Christmas parties this year, so why not head to one especially for children? Held in the ever popular Spiegeltent on Bristol’s Harbourside, Baby Disko encourages children and their parents the opportunity to get down to their favourite festive hits. Nappy changing and buggy parking is available, and babies under 12 months can come free with a paying adult.
Dick Whittington at Bristol Hippodrome
When you have a small baby a trip to a quiet theatre is pretty much out of bounds, unless you’re going to see a pantomime where being noisy is encouraged! This year the Bristol Hippodrome is showing Dick Whittington, the ultimate rags-to-riches tale, which stars Shane Richie. It’s a great event for the whole family, whatever their age, and runs until January 5th 2020.
Bristol Christmas Market, Broadmead
The Bristol Christmas Market arrives in Broadmead every year, bringing a huge selection of stalls and shops selling crafts, confectionary and festive gifts – perfect for a bit of last minute Christmas shopping. There is also the opportunity to grab yourself a cup of mulled cider, German Gluewein or hot chocolate, enjoy a Bavarian bratwurst and snuggle up under the heated lamps with your baby in the Jäger Barn Bar.
Baby Bounce and Rhyme
If day time activities are more your style, why not pop along to your local library for a 30-minute session of nursery rhymes and songs suitable for babies? Singing rhymes with babies helps their language development, is good for bonding and helps your baby to understand the world around them. Older siblings are welcome too. Check the Bristol City Council website for library opening times over Christmas.
If Christmas is getting a bit much for you and your newborn, you can both relax and chill out with a session of baby massage. Just like regular massages, you stroke or rub your baby’s skin with oil or moisturiser, which is comforting for both little ones and their parents. Baby massage has also been shown to help with everything from aiding digestion to improving sleep, which will help the whole family have a calm and gentle first Christmas together.
Enchanted Christmas, Westonbirt Arboretum
Westonbirt is only a short drive from Bristol but offers an enchanted wonderland of light and magic, as well as a Christmas village full of stalls, activities, hot chocolate, mulled wine and tasty food. You’ll have to wrap up warm as it’s an outdoor trail but your baby’s developing senses will delight in the sounds and lights of the forest.
Swimming with baby
Another activity that is gentle and relaxing for both babies and adults is a session at the local swimming pool. Building water confidence is important and swimming helps babies develop coordination and balance, as well as improving heart and muscle strength, and assisting with brain development. Bristol has a good selection of leisure centres with swimming pools, some of which offer special sessions for baby swimmers. If you feel like treating yourself and your newborn, you can swim and relax in the glorious surroundings of Clifton Lido, where children under the age of 3 go free.
Ashton Court Estate
If you’ve been feeling cooped up inside and are going a little stir crazy, a brisk walk in the outdoors with baby safely strapped to your chest will blow the cobwebs away. There are 850 acres of grassland and woodland to explore, the opportunity to admire the beautiful deer in the deer park and a miniature railway to ride on. When you need a rest you can go to the café for a cup of tea for you and a feed for your baby.
Having a new baby doesn’t mean you have to be tied to the house. You can still get out there and enjoy everything Bristol has to offer this Christmas. As long as you wrap up warm and plan ahead, both you are your newborn are guaranteed a magical first Christmas together.