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This Month

DECEMBER 2018

Sue Davies Christmas Shop, Sutton Valence, NOW til Christmas

For three months of the year Sue Davies Flowers, the brilliant florist in The Old Butcher’s Shop in Sutton Valence, a pretty rural village, between Maidstone and Headcorn turns into a perky, quirky Christmas pop up store – and it’s soooo worth a visit. Wander down the narrow street into the heart of the sleepy little village and you’ll find it packed with gorgeous unique decorations – think wreaths, garlands, baubles, lights and ornaments of every kind, all hand-made and cute-as-they-come. Take a look… suedaviesflowers.com

Santas Grotto, Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells, NOW – 24 Dec

Make sure your little ones experience the true magic of Christmas with a special visit to see the Big Man himself and he’s stopping in at RVP this Christmas. His ‘fireside’ Grotto is located on level 1 opposite M&S and now open every day until 4pm on Christmas Eve. There is even a photography service to capture that special moment (hopefully smiles and not tears). royalvictoriaplace.com

 

Faversham Exhibition Collective, The Hot Tin, Faversham, NOW – 15 Dec
An exhibition with 15 Faversham Artists selling unique and affordable artwork. The perfect place to start Crimbo shopping. It’s open from 6 – 10 pm, grab a glass of wine and shop, shop, shop! facebook.com/events

Dreamland, Margate, Various dates in Dec 

There’s more than just brilliant rides and amusements at Dreamland. If you’re bored of the cold outdoors, step back in time and strap on your skates in their indoor retro Roller Rink. Or slip inside the Giant Snow Globe and take a selfie or family photo in the winter wonderland inside. There’s even the chance to make some Christmas Crafts in the Woodland Lodge on 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th,15th and 16th December and daily from 22nd to 31st December from 12-4pm. dreamland.co.uk
Christmas Market, Leeds Castle, 1 & 2, 8 & 9, 15 & 16 Dec

Wander through the Christmas Market to an enchanted path leading to a magical grotto. Father Christmas will be waiting to greet you. Those who have been good, which of course you all are, will receive a traditional gift to take home. Discover a splendid array of seasonal gifts, toys, festive decorations, specialist food and drink. Children and adults alike will be enchanted by the birds of prey while traditional fun fair rides and live music to keep everyone entertained. leeds-castle.com

Ice Skating, Calverley Grounds, 1 Dec – Weds 2 Jan
Winter is here! Join in for some ice skating fun for all the family at the Calverely Grounds in Tunbridge Wells. Browse through the food and market stalls, don’t miss Marlowe’s burger shack! There’s even adult-only skate sessions for the perfect date night and Live Music nights from The Forum. Even the chance to meet Father Christmas in the beautiful log cabin. facebook.com/TunbridgeWellsChristmas 
Father Christmas at The Hop Farm, 1 Dec – 23 Dec
Father Christmas is back at The Hop Farm during selected dates, this December! Treat the kids and meet the big FC up close and in person in his magical grotto experience. Lots of festive fun to be had in the Big Red Grotto. Get a visit with Father Christmas, an Indoor Grotto experience, the chance to meet his jolly helpers, a Christmas gift and even storytelling with Mother Christmas. They’ll be able plenty of crafts and fun to be had! Don’t delay, book today to avoid disappointment. thehopfarm.co.uk
Christmas Grotto, Brookside Garden Centre, 1 Dec – 23 Dec

Brookside is proud to announce the return of their multi-award winning Christmas grotto. Opening November 2018, and loved by children and adults alike, take a magical walk through winding paths full of bright twinkle lights and hidden surprises, leading you to meet Santa in his Finnish hut in the Magical Forest. Afterwards you can head into the Christmas shop, browse through a selection of gift ideas and don’t forget to see their award-winning Christmas Display. With only a few tickets left available to visit Santa this year, don’t miss out… brooksidegc-kent.co.uk

Cinderella, The Marlowe Theatre, 1 Dec – 6 Jan

Don’t miss this year’s fun-filled, family pantomime Cinderella, with a star-studded cast including Harry Reid (EastEnders), children’s favourite, Phil Gallagher (CBeebies’ Mister Maker), national treasure, Sally Lindsay and Marlowe legends, Ben Roddy (Dame of the Year 2017/18) and Lloyd Hollett. The Marlowe Theatre pantomime has a reputation for being one of the biggest and best in the county and Cinderella promises to be their most spectacular show yet so don’t be late for the ball… book today! marlowetheatre.com

Christmas Grotto, Penshurst Place, 1 Dec – 23 Dec

Step away from the hustle and bustle of the high street grotto, and discover Penshurst Place’s family-led traditional festive experience. Walk along the Lime Walk and observe giant decorations that will lead you along the path way. Step into Father Christmas’s Toy Workshop and make some wonderful festive crafts to take home, before getting your face painted. Make your way down from the study and discover Father Christmas’ secret Penshurst office, in a location never before seen by visitors to Penshurst Place! Here, the man himself will welcome you with a gift and a delicious candy cane, before regaling tales of his plans for Christmas and learning a little more about you! Last year’s was a Narnia-themed Grotto, who knows what it’ll be this year? penshurstplace.com

Christmas Grotto, Hever Castle, 1 Dec – 24 Dec

Nothing says ‘Christmas’ quite like a visit to Father Christmas at Hever Castle. Children will be enchanted by the magical Grotto where they will be greeted by Mother Christmas and taken by an elf, through the snowy ‘forest’, to meet Father Christmas in his log cabin and receive a gift. Ride the carousel and enjoy vintage fairground stalls, meet characters along the Christmas trail and even meet the Huskies! You won’t be bored at Hever this winter. hevercastle.co.uk

Christmas Grotto, Sussex Country Gardener, 1 Dec – 24 Dec

No Christmas is complete without coming to visit Santa in his magical wonderland at Sussex Country Gardener. For 2018 the Grotto Experience is moving location within the Garden Centre and will be even larger than before! Child tickets cost only £10 (adults go free) which include the Grotto experience, the chance to mix up some reindeer food ready for Christmas Eve, instant framed photo with Santa to take home and a wrapped gift! sussexcountrygardener.digitickets.co.uk

Christmas at Bewl Water, Sat 1 – Mon 24 Dec

Families can enjoy festive fun with the cheeky elves and spend quality time with Father Christmas in his cosy grotto. The magic doesn’t stop there, all the family can skate on the ‘Magic Ice’ rink. The children can make the most of the fairground rides, with unlimited turns and everyone can enjoy warming up by toasting marshmallows and making s’mores at the fire pit. With our Magic Wishing Tree, Christmas themed crafts, soft play, secret woodland wonderland, and many more photo opportunities this really is the perfect festive experience to create magical memories with your family. Adult tickets £8, child tickets £5. bewlwater.co.uk/christmas

Christmas at Bedgebury, Sat 1 – 30 Dec

It’s the most wonderful time of the year as the tree-tops begin to glisten and shimmer. This year, for the very first time, a one mile sparkling path winds its way through the National Pinetum in a magical after dark experience. Greeted by the sights and sounds of Christmas, experience Bedgebury in a whole new light as you wander beneath unique canopies drenched in seasonal colour. Inspired by the landscape itself it is a festive adventure in a world of trees. christmasatbedgebury.seetickets.com

Christmas on The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, 1 – 23 Dec
Head down to The Pantiles each weekend in December for the festive markets and live music! There will be a wide range of food, gifts and crafts. Plus festive music, carols and choirs. There will be something special each weekend, including: Choirs and Morris Men on the 1-2 Dec, Folkal & Live on the 8-9 Dec, a Concert Band on the 15-16 Dec and a Choir & Ukulele Band on the 22-23 Dec. Get into the festive spirit at The Pantiles! thepantiles.com

Santa Specials, Kent and East Sussex Railway, Sat 1 – 24 Dec

Take a magical steam train journey to meet Santa this Christmas! At Tenterden Station the beautiful Victorian carousel provides unlimited free rides for the young and young at heart alike. On board the festively decorated steam trains, you’ll meet Santa during the 1 hour 10 minute return journey. Look out for his elf helpers with their sacks full of lovely presents and there will be complimentary drinks and snacks on board. The service operating on the 21 Dec, will have a less intensive timetable to welcome individuals, groups and families with children on the autistic spectrum or those who would benefit from a more relaxed environment. Make sure to book your place now! kesr.org.uk

Christmas Emporium at Creek Creative, Faversham, Tues 4 – Fri 21 Dec

Creek Creative art and design studios are hosting The Christmas Emporium in Faversham, presenting handmade items from a range of local artisans from Kent. Super cool, local eco-luxury brand, Elvis & Kresse, will be there with some wonderful and unique last minute Christmas gift ideas and 50% of the profits are donated to charity. Open Tuesday – Sunday (closed on Mondays), 10-4pm. elvisandkresse.com

Sleeping Beauty, The Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Fri 7 Dec to Wed 2 Jan

This year’s Tunbridge Wells panto is Sleeping Beauty! Following last year’s record breaking production of Aladdin, the Assembly Hall Theatre and Martin Dodd for UK Productions proudly present another spectacular Christmas pantomime featuring Claire Sweeney, Derek Moran and Quinn Patrick. This magical pantomime promises to be jam-packed with smash-hit songs, stunning sets, spectacular costumes, and magical special effects. assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

Home Gurr’own Pop-up Restaurant, Sutton Valence, Fri 7 Dec – Sat 15 Dec

The incredibly popular Pop-Up Restaurant by Kent caterer and event planner, Home Gurr’own, is back for 4 nights only. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tipi tents is an utterly unique experience, a rustic feast of local food with entertainment such as fire and silk performers, magicians and even aerial hoop acts throughout the night. Tickets cost £69 which includes a 5 course meal of local food with entertainment and performers. homegurrown.co.uk

Reuthe’s The Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks, Dec 8, 15, 20, 21 & 22

Meet the adorable furry friends and let them lead you and your kids on a one-hour guided trek through the Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks. Or join in with the woodland-themed Christmas decoration craft workshop and story time with Christmas Tree Hot Chocolate in a yurt. Don’t forget to wrap up warm! The workshop is geared towards children 2 years of age and older. Parents can find refreshments in the Basecamp Cafe during the 1-hour workshop. Get booking! reuthes.com

Sunday Lunch with Santa, Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells, Sun 9 & 16 Dec

One for the children (and those who never really grew up!) – Hotel Du Vin has a very special visitor in the weekends before Christmas. Join in for their iconic Sunday Lunch, and an early visit from the man himself. Start with a seasonal soup, before helping yourself to the fantastic French Market Table. A stunning centrepiece of Sunday Lunch, which holds a generous buffet of fresh seafood, charcuterie, pâtés and rillettes, as well as salads, vegetables and freshly baked artisan breads. For your main course, a traditional roast perhaps? Or try one of their Sunday lunchtime classics, served with Hotel du Vin panache. And if you still have room, there’s always dessert! Available on the 9 & 16 of Dec at 12pm and 3pm. Adults are £31.95 and kids are £15. hotelduvin.com 

Twilight Christmas, Hever Castle, 10 – 24 Dec
Head over to Hever Castle for some Traditional Christmas Tales where rooms of the Castle will be beautifully decorated and themed around stories including the Nutcracker, The Tailor of Gloucester and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with twinkling lights and welcoming log fires. Outside in the stunning grounds wrap up warm and discover the festive interactive trail themed around Charles Dickens’ classic novel A Christmas Carol. As dusk falls, the gardens are illuminated with up-lighting and colour washes. Each weekend and daily from selected dates ride the carousel and enjoy vintage fairground stalls (£1 per go), roast chestnuts for sale and the chance to meet characters along the trail including Bob Cratchit and Scrooge and pose for a picture with a husky (suggested £2 donation towards Siberian Husky Welfare Association).

Twilight Christmas and pre-booked Father Christmas are now sold out but children may still get the chance to meet Father Christmas in the Toy Workshop as part of the drop in Father Christmas offering on various dates in December, visit the website for more info. hevercastle.co.uk 

Christmas Candelit Yoga, Green Farm Spa, Tues 11 Dec

Come to Green Farm for a Christmas Yoga session followed by canapes, mince pies and mulled wine. Tickets are only £15 for the class, make time for yourself to relax and restore before the craziness of Christmas! greenfarmkent.co.uk

How To Be A Psychic Conman, Maidstone, Weds Dec 12

NOT for the faint hearted… This is something a little different but here at Muddy we like the quirky so we’re sticking it in the mix! (Maybe just don’t sit on the front row). Ever wondered how some people can bend metal with their mind? Want to learn how to read the thoughts of your pals? A new tour across England promises to explain how! Ash Pryce, a paranormal illusionist, has spent a decade exposing the claims of supernatural tricksters and those boasting other worldly powers. Pryce brings a mix of paranormal illusions, comedy and entertainment to his shows. It will be staged at The Heart of Flavour, King Street in Maidstone at 7:30, tickets are only £5 available on the door or through his website. psychicconman.co.uk

The Wind in the Willows, Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, 13 Dec – 2 Jan 2019

Their Christmas Show will take you on a musical journey and is the perfect alternative to panto. Swap magic carpet rides and poisoned pantomime apples for this heartwarming story of friendship as you venture through the Wild Woods with Toad and his band of rambunctious friends, in fantastical style. trinitytheatre.net

Christmas Carol, Folkestone Quarterhouse, Fri 14 – Mon 24 Dec

This December, LAStheatre bring Charles Dickens’s Christmas classic to life. With only the spirits for company, Scrooge must revisit the past, learn from the present and finally, face up to the future. Expect songs, silliness and a whole lot of festive cheer in this brand-new, thrilling production for all the family. quarterhouse.co.uk

Christmas Tasting and Shopping Event, Hollie’s Little Cakery, Sat 15 Dec

What’s better than a Winters Eve full of all the cake you can eat, mulled wine and a little bit of shopping? At Hollie’s Little Cakery and The Emporium just next door, there will be full of beautiful one-off gifts from local business’ and crafters alike where you’ll be able to find special gifts for your loved ones! Of course, there will be lots of treats, cake samples and alcohol! No booking required, just make sure to pop the date in your diary and head on down to Southborough’s High Street. facebook.com/events

Christmas Shopping Extravaganza, No 6 Clinic, Tunbridge Wells, Sat 15 Dec

Due to popular demand No6’s Christmas Shopping day is back! They’re open on Sat 15 Dec, 10 – 2pm. They’ll be 10% off vouchers for N0.6 treatments, facials, massage and beauty treatments. 10% off DermaQuest, Environ and Jane Iredale plus unique No.6 gift bags! The perfect opportunity to find a gift for yourself or a loved one. See ya there! no6clinic.co.uk

Downtown Retro Emporium, Sevenoaks, Sun 16 Dec

Downtown Retro Emporium was opened by Amber Enright earlier this year when she wanted to create ‘a venue that was eclectic, fabulously different & funky’. So if you’re looking for something funky or vintage this Christmas, their Christmas Market open from 11 – 4 pm with two floors packed with furniture, clothes, jewellery and masses of gifts. facebook.com/downtownretroemporium

FURTHER AFIELD… 

A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic, London, NOW – 19 Jan

The smash hit of Dickens’ classic adapted by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and directed by Matthew Warchus returns to the Old Vic and this time Stephen Tompkinson stars as Ebenezer Scrooge. This big-hearted and warm production’s unique staging immerses the audience in the story and there’s music, mince pies and much merriment for a fab festive night out. theoldvic.com

Dazzle Contemporary Jewellery Pop-Up, Oxo Tower, London, NOW – 6 Jan 2019

The famous pop-up exhibition which annually brings together the best of the contemporary jewellery world is back. Selling over 4,000 hand made pieces for men and women by more than 80 international designers. Described as a calm Christmas oasis it’s the perfect place to find unique gifts, in every possible style, material and price range for both men and women. All under one iconic roof within the buzzing creative designer hub that is Southbank’s iconic Oxo Tower. dazzle-exhibitions.co.uk

 

Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, Watford, NOW – Sun 27 Jan

Hogwarts in the Snow – as regular as Christmas!  The festive makeover will see Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors will even be able to touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice. Trust me, your kids will love it. wbstudiotour.co.uk

 –

Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason, London, Until 13 Jan 2019

Skate at Somerset House is tying-up with Fortnum & Mason again, London’s most beautiful ice rink. skate Lates features an extra special series of music nights throughout the season with music takeovers from the 90s and Noughties hip-hop and an R&B night. Après-skate, treat yourself at Fortnum’s Alpine-themed Lodge where you can share cheese or chocolate fondues with friends or the family. somersethouse.org.uk

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park London, Until Sun 6 Jan 2019

hyde park winter wonderland illuminated heater skelter and fairground ride London

Go big or go home when it comes to festive fun, London’s Winter Wonderland is huuuuge. Free to enter but once inside, prepare to sell a kidney. The costs can get out of control – particularly if you hit the glühwein a little too hard. What to expect? Winter markets, fairground rides and ice skating. Major attractions this year include the Magical Ice Kingdom Secret Forest, an immersive showcase of woodland animals and mythical creatures created from ice and snow; a Bavarian village offering an authentic Oktoberfest experience; karaoke cabins, ice sculpting workshops, the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club, immersive screenings of The Snowman and plus Peter Pan on Ice. hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

Kew Gardens, London, Until 5 Jan 2019

Photo: RBG Kew

A spectacular winter trail with over a million twinkling lights and thousands of laser beams, Kew’s light show is awe-inspiring. You can be mesmerised by the Fire Garden, walk through the moonlit woods and check out the laser garden. Mulled wine, hot choc and spiced cider will help keep you warm and the kids can whizz round on vintage fairground rides whilst looking out for Santa and his elves. kew.org

National History Museum, London, Until 20 Jan 2019

Set against the backdrop of the Waterhouse building, the Ice Rink at the Natural History Museum is one of the most magical places to be this winter. Whether or not you can skate like Torvill and Dean or Bambi, a visit to the Museum’s Ice Rink is a must-have! Or relax in the Cafe Bar and have a bird’s-eye view of the rink. nhm.ac.uk

Compiled by Mollie Manning

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