Experiences 7 December 2023

A Family Friendly Winter Break on the Islands of Guernsey

The Islands of Guernsey are a great location for a family holiday during the colder winter months. With our milder climate, there are still plenty of opportunities to get outdoors as a family and we have activities to keep everyone of all ages occupied indoors.

From wildlife walks and dips in the sea to creativity and indoor sports, there is something for everyone to enjoy on a family-friendly winter break in Guernsey with a few festive treats thrown in for good measure. Whether you’re here for a long weekend or a week-long getaway, this list should help you plan your winter trip to our Islands.

Where To Stay

From boutique family-friendly hotels with indoor swimming pools and play areas to self-catering cottages with room for everyone, we have a range of accommodation options for whatever your need. Most places cater to all ages and requirements. For example:

  • St Pierre Park has an outdoor play area and minigolf course and an indoor swimming pool that the kids can enjoy, as well as a spa, golf course and tennis courts for older children and parents.
  • Hotel Jerbourg has an outdoor pool and a very popular dessert bar in its on site restaurant.
  • The new Premier Inn on the outskirts of St Peter Port is a great option for families.
  • The Longfrie Inn has an indoor play area where the kids can play whilst parents sit back and relax in the private residents’ lounge.
  • Beau Vallon Holiday Apartments have 9 apartments that can accommodate 2-8 people, all leading onto gardens. There is a heated pool, putting green, children's play area and giant chess board in the grounds, making this a perfect facility for families.

Find a full list of our accommodation options here.

Things To Do


We are lucky to have a rich history on our Island, with plenty of museums and historic sites to visit. Visit Fort Grey and learn about Guernsey’s maritime history or explore the four museums at Castle Cornet to learn about many different aspects of Guernsey’s past. The Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery at Candie Gardens have a rolling programme of exhibits. Their time warp room, where you can immerse yourself in games, costumes and more, is popular with families, with the theme changing each January.

Family Walks

On a dry winter day, wrap up warm and go on a family walk around our country lanes, along our cliff paths or coastal routes. Our VisitGuernsey app has a selection of routes to help you decide where to walk, all filtered by difficulty and duration, and even highlight points of interest along the way.

You could opt to walk around one of our parks. Saumarez Park, Delancey Park and Cambridge Park are all green outdoor spaces for all to enjoy. They also have outdoor play areas that are popular with kids of all ages to enjoy.

Year-Round Wild Swimming

Year-round wild swimming is popular with many Islanders. Our VisitGuernsey App has over 40 swimming spots to enjoy, filtered by swim difficulty and ease of access and with plenty of useful information about each location to help you choose the perfect swim spot for you. Join a friendly local swimming group for a session with those with plenty of knowledge of our waters. Everyone is welcoming.

During the holiday season, we have a range of festive swims to get involved in: 

  • The 12 Bays of Christmas - The 12 Bays of Christmas invites you to take a dip in 12 festively 'themed' bays around the island during December to raise money for local charity, Les Bourgs Hospice. New for this year is an open day at "The Bathing Yules", where you can drop in for your swim between 10am-3pm on Sunday 11th December and get a free hot drink and mini mince pie.
  • The Polar Bear Swim - The Guernsey Swimming Club are holding the annual Polar Bear Swim on Christmas Day at La Vallette Bathing Pools. This event is open to everyone of all ages and always proves to be a fantastic atmosphere, a great start to your Christmas morning.
  • Boxing Day Swim - The best way to refresh after a day of celebrating, the Boxing Day swim is an annual event at Cobo Bay. Join thousands of islanders who brave the cold and take a dip in the sea. Funds raised go towards the upkeep of local charity, the Guernsey Cheshire Home, who aim to provide care and opportunity for people with physical disabilities.
  • New Year’s Day Swim - Start the new year off with a refreshing dip in the sea. Meet at the Imperial Hotel and get ready to run into the water. There will be free hot drinks available for all swimmers to warm up after. All donations go to local charity, Guernsey Mind.

Just remember to wrap up warm and bring something hot to drink for after your swim!

Find out more about wild swimming on our Islands here.

Afternoon Tea at the OGH

An Afternoon Tea at Guernsey's five-star hotel, The OGH, is a great way to spend an afternoon indoors when the weather gets cold. With its location in town, it’s easy to come here for a break from exploring St Peter Port. The team are welcoming to children and have a selection of afternoon teas for the whole family to enjoy, including Oggie's Afternoon Tea which is ideal for under 12s.

Creative Things To Do In Guernsey

On a rainy day, let off some creative steam indoors at Iris and Dora, our local art studio, where you can try pottery painting and throwing, and make your own unique creation to take home. They have a large selection of fun pottery items for kids to paint, with quick-dry paint so they don’t have to wait for it to dry or go in the kiln.

You could also head to Guernsey Candles, a local family-run business, to witness the candle-making process and have a go at making your own candle to take home. Their on-site gift shop is filled with artistic pieces, homeware and gifts - perfect for finding a souvenir to take home.

Watch a Film at the Mallard Cinema

Wind down with a film at the Mallard Cinema. There is a large pick 'n' mix sweet selection, freshly popped American-style popcorn to enjoy as you sit back and unwind. There are always film options suitable for the whole family to choose from.

Explore St Peter Port 

Whilst you're here, spend some time in St Peter Port. With a number of independent retailers up and down our high street selling everything from clothes and jewellery to toys and gifts, you’re sure to find something you like.

Then once you've explored all that our shops have to offer, pop into one of our independent coffee shops to warm up and enjoy local delights.

For more things to do in St Peter Port here.

Indoor Climbing

Guernsey's indoor climbing centre, UP Climbing Guernsey, offers a range of sessions for everyone from complete beginners to more experienced climbers looking to advance their skills. Whether you're looking for a lesson with one of their qualified instructors, or want to have some time on the wall unsupervised, both are possible by booking via their online form.

Driving Range and Mini Golf

Guernsey’s leading Driving Range at Nineteen Bar and Grill is run on a turn-up-and-play basis or to be booked online in advance. There are 16 floodlit and heated range bays on two tiers, all under shelter, with disabled access to both tiers and table service from Nineteen Bar and Grill. Perfect for a fun group activity in the afternoon. Here is where you’ll also find Pirate Bay, a unique pirate-themed 12-hole mini golf course that is fun for the whole family.

Oatlands Village

At Oatlands Village, you will find Rebecca’s Chocolates, plus a variety of shops and activities including a craft store, a mini golf course, go-karts, trampolines and The Kiln Cafe and Restaurant. For younger visitors we recommend Oaty and Joey’s Playbarn for letting off some steam in the soft play.

Festive Things To Do

Late Night Shopping

During the run up to the Christmas season, every Thursday the shops of St Peter Port (and occasional Tuesdays in St Sampson) remain open for longer for local late night shopping events. From 5pm until around 9pm, the streets are filled with people buying Christmas presents, enjoying the festive atmosphere and often enjoying a meal and making a night of it. Perfect for families with slightly older children, this is a fun, festive evening in the fun up to the holidays.

Christmas Fairs and Markets

As well as late night shopping, we have a range of Christmas fairs and markets taking place. The Christmas Markets in the Market Place in St Peter Port are a popular annual attraction, happening on Thursdays and Saturdays, and we have a range of other markets taking place across our Islands, documented in this blog.

If you’re not here during the festive season, we have a range of markets that happen all year round, so don’t worry about missing out!


Would it be the festive season without watching a Pantomime? Oh no, it wouldn’t! We have Pantomimes by local theatre companies running throughout December into early January. St Stephen’s Players will be telling the story of Aladdin at St Stephen’s Community Centre from the 1st-9th December. The GADOC Pantomime this year is ‘Beauty and the Beast’, which will be performed at Beau Sejour from the 23rd December 2023 to 6th January 2024.

Festive Afternoon Tea at the Duke of Richmond

Enjoy a seasonal twist on their cakes, sandwiches and scones, available in the Leopard Bar at the Duke of Richmond from the 25th November - 31st December. Suitable for older kids, teens and adults.

On the 10th December, there will be a special Family-Friendly Festive Afternoon Tea. Enjoy a range of activities, from soft play to face painting, festive crafts and more. A festive afternoon tea for every member of the family will be provided before a visit from Santa himself.

Alpine Lodge at the OGH

From the 24th November - 8th January the Terrace at the Old Government House is transformed into a stylish and cosy Alpine Lodge complete with snowy scenery and everything you’d want in an après ski experience. There will be a fully stocked bar, hot chocolates and platters of delicious food. Not forgetting the Family Sundays, when children are welcome with festive activities and a chance to meet Father Christmas.

Christmas Lights Tours

In the evenings during the festive season, St Peter Port is filled with lights and many Islanders decorate their homes and shops around Guernsey with impressive Christmas Light displays. Walk around St Peter Port to see the lights, or you could hire a car to drive around the Island to see the range of displays we have.

Alternatively, the Petit Train has tours of the Christmas lights around St Peter Port and The Little Black Bus has Island-wide light tours for groups of up to 8 people to enjoy.

See even more festive events here.

Where To Eat

We are lucky to have a huge variety of restaurants and bistros on our Islands, many of which have menus that can be catered to children. Here are just a few:

  • Crabby Jacks has a menu that caters to all ages and an outdoor play area that will keep the kids entertained for hours.
  • The Longfrie Inn has a diverse menu and their playground, most suitable for under 12s, is a huge hit with the kids.
  • Cafe des Amis for lunch and light bites or Terrazzo del Giardino for Italian food at Le Friquet Garden Centre is popular due to the indoor and outdoor play areas which are safe and secure and entertaining to children of all ages.
  • Cafe Emilia is open for lunch in St Peter Port with a popular kids menu.
  • Dix Neuf has a French-inspired menu that caters to all tastes and dietary requirements, as well as a great children’s offering.
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