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Reader Treats Just For You!

This week

Mon 16 - Sun 22 Dec

EVENT: Christmas Lights Tour, Ryde and Newport bus terminals, Sat 7 – Mon 23 

I absolutely love going around at this time of year and checking out all the twinkly lights. If that’s your bag as well then grab your ticket to ride with the Southern Vectis Christmas Lights Tour. This three-hour bus ride (don’t worry, there’s a loo break!) takes you to some of the best examples around the Island on an open-top bus. Take blankets, a flask of hot chocolate for the kids (and one of mulled wine for yourself, obvs) and enjoy all the festive flickering lights go by.

Cinderella The Musical, The Nuffield Theatres, Southampton, Sat 23 Nov –Sun 5 Jan 2020

Branded as one of the top 12 musicals heading to UK stages, this retelling of the beloved fairy-tale is not one to miss. With completely new characters including the evil step nieces – Ivanka and Melania (hmmm…we wonder where that name inspiration came from), and both Cinder and Ella, this musical remix will not disappoint.

KIDS & FAMILY: The Nutcracker, New Theatre Royal, Fri 13 – Tues 31

You don’t really get a better setting for this classic ballet than Portsmouth’s New Theatre Royal. This Victorian theatre is opulent and intimate, with the perfect surroundings to really get into the Christmas spirit.

CHRISTMAS: Chewton Glen Christmas Flowers, Mon 16

Go full luxe with your garland making with these expert-led (and, boy do we mean expert!) workshops at Hotel of the Year Chewton is holding two masterclasses of perfect festive foliage for both beginners (afternoon session) and experts (morning session). Along with guidance from Chewton Glen hotel florists Sarah Wilkins and Nicole Rowe, you also get a two-course meal as well.

THEATRE: Santa’s Christmas Countdown, Theatre Royal, Winchester, Mon 16 Dec 2019

Santa is in a spot of trouble this festive season with his Christmas Calendar being broken. But have no fear, this interactive show is the perfect opportunity for your little ones to join Dotty the Elf, Dasher and Jack Frost help Santa fix Christmas. Plus, after all their hard work, Santa is giving presents away at the end of the show.

FAMILY: The Magic of Christmas, Chobham Adventure Farm, Chobham, Surrey, Sat 30 Nov – Tues 24 Dec

CAF_Elves_barrow_CMYKThis immersive 2.5 hour experience will transport your family to a magical place where they’ll learn how to become an official elf helper and get an official elf name, meet real live reindeer, help Mrs Claus decorate gingerbread men, make a teddy bear and finally get their hands on the golden key and meet Father Christmas himself.

CHRISTMAS: Tapland Christmas Experience, Tapnell Farm, until Mon 23 

You’ll have to be fast with this one as many sessions have already sold out. Starting off with a letter to your house from Santa, you and your family can head to Tapnell Farm for a totally immersive Christmas experience. The elves will be reading you stories and getting you involved with interactive puzzles to solve, there’s plenty of food to enjoy AND you get to meet Father Christmas himself. Also, make sure to strap on your skates and head to the one-and-only rollerskating rink on the Island this festive season.

KIDS AND FAMILY: Afternoon Tea or Breakfast with Santa, Various dates throughout December

Considering how busy the big FC should be this month we’re mighty impressed at him giving up his time to break bread with the kids of Hampshire…. though Rosebourne Garden Centre does make a mean cake, so we can’t really blame him. Throughout December the kids can get all excited for Christmas with these special afternoon tea and breakfast sessions with the big man himself, plus you can also check out their special Christmas Tree picking events as well.

KIDS & FAMILY: Otto and the Robin, The Spring, Havant, Thurs 19 – Sat 28

Robin on phoneRobins are synonymous with the time of year and while I wouldn’t have assumed they’d normally make great friends, this lad Otto thinks differently. Featuring a family-friendly tale about friendship and overcoming shyness, this is a wonderful production – perfect for gentler kids.

EVENT: POLAR, Robin Hill Country Park, until Sat 21 

Robin Hill is getting a magical Christmas makeover this season with the launch of POLAR. Head to the park to jump on Father Christmas’ tractor, meet Pippa the Polar Bear (honestly, she is SO realistic it’s amazing!), drink hot chocolate and enjoy the show and sparkly lights.

EXHIBITION: Wykeham Gallery Christmas Show, Stockbridge, until Tues 24 Dec

Need to pick a gift for someone really special. Then how about some fab art? Along with the first exhibit of new artist to the gallery, Fi Katzler, there’s also other works, bronzes and much more. Handily as well, you can take away your purchase the same day. Now, how do I go about wrapping a 6ft sculpture… hmm.

THEATRE: Aladdin, Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, Wed 11 Dec 2019 –Sun 5 Jan 2020

Aladdin Kings TheatreAladdin is all the rage this year and I promise you that this show is worth it. With a star-studded cast including The Voice’s Lucy Kane, Phats & Small’s Ben Ofoedu and none other than (drum roll, please) Boyzone’s Shane Lynch this pantomime will be an epic festive production.

THEATRE: Aladdin, The Anvil, Basingstoke, Wed 12 Dec 2019 – Sun 5 Jan 2020

Aladdin and the gang have landed safely via a magic carpet ride. Be mesmerized this Christmas by creative scenery, gorgeous costumes and ‘a whole new world’ of panto. With CBBC’s Mark Rhodes and Chris Pizzey this is a fantastic production that the kids will adore.

KIDS & FAMILY: Dear Santa, The Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Thurs 12 – Fri 13 Dear SantaSanta is working very hard this year to make sure all children wake up to a magical Christmas morning. With help from his cheeky Elf, Santa delivers a truly merry production. This an ideal theatre introduction for any aspiring actors and actresses and all children get to meet Santa after the show, who is waiting with a special gift for every boy and girl (Do I get one too?)

THEATRE: Peter Pan, The Mayflower, Southampton, Fri 13 Dec 2019 –Sun 5 Jan 2020

Sprinkle on some fairy dust and fly down to the Mayflower to enjoy the swashbuckling magic of Peter Pan. This panto is packed full of amazing special effects and celeb guests including the award-winning singer Marti Pellow (SWOOOON) and Darren Day. With the odd cheeky jokes for the grownups, this panto is fab for the entire family.

THEATRE: Christmas Carol, Royal Victoria Country Park, Fri 20 – Tues 24

We love a twist here and this amazing production of Dickens’ Christmas Carol certainly has a couple of those. While filming a Christmas Special of popular TV show ‘Dead Haunted’, a team of ghost hunters attempt to summon the spirit of Charles Dickens for a retelling of his famous ghostly tale. Instead, they find themselves wrapped up in the vibrant story itself, discovering that after 176 years the most cold-hearted, tight-fisted character to have ever been created can still teach us the true meaning of Christmas.

FOOD & DRINK: Faulty Towers Dining Event, Off The Rails, Yarmouth, Fri 20 

This is one of Off The Rails’ most popular dining events and with the suitably out-of-the-box nature of the place itself, we can see why. Join Basil and Manuel as they bumble through hospitality, loose hamsters and honestly, really truly, PLEASE don’t mention the war.

THEATRE: Heart of Winter, The Point, Eastleigh, Fri 20 Dec– Tues 24 Dec 2019

It’s Christmas Eve and Sally can’t sleep because it’s too hot – a charming Christmas tale with just a hint of global warming. This new musical show comes complete with themes of friendship and family accompanied by song and dance.

EVENT: ChilliWinter Candle Making, Various Locations across the Island, up until Sun 22 Dec

ChilliWinter MakingIf you fancy something all the more fragrant then how about creating some candles with ChilliWinter on the Wight. With loads workshops running from now right up until the 22nd, at places such as The Garlic Farm, Caffe Isola, Cavanagh & Baker, Chessell Pottery and Brownrigg’s Farm Shop (I told you there were loads!) these 2.5 hour workshops will get you creating beautiful handmade candles to give as gifts or keep all for yourself!


THEATRE: The Night Before Christmas, The Mayflower, Southampton, Fri 20 Dec

‘Twas the night before Christmas… just hearing those words makes us all feel Christmassy. This really is the best way to get well and truly into the Christmas mood. And, being just five days away from the big day itself, this will leave everyone counting down.

FAMILY: Heart of Winter, The Point, Eastleigh, Fri 20 Dec– Tues 24 Dec 2019

Heart Of WinterIt’s Christmas Eve and Sally can’t sleep because it’s too hot – a charming Christmas tale with just a hint of global warming. This new musical show comes complete with themes of friendship and family accompanied by song and dance.

Find more ideas here

This Week

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