THERE’S PLENTY OF GOOD CHEER HERE
Lights, fairs, grottos and nativities – you can’t fail to be feeling festive with these events across Kent. Here’s some to try this weekend…
1 CLIFTONVILLE LIGHTS SWITCH-ON
Most Christmas lights are now twinkling but there is one switch-on left. The Cliftonville Partnership host the Christmas lights switch-on at St Paul’s Church on Northdown Road, Cliftonville on Thursday, December 6. There will be children’s entertainment and a free mince pie for visitors from 4.45pm to 6.30pm.
2 MAIDSTONE MUSEUM’S CHRISTMAS MARKET
Maidstone Museum in St Faith’s Street will be opening its doors over two Saturdays in December for Christmas craft markets. Expect stalls selling a variety of local produce, handmade gifts and presents this weekend (December 8) and again on Saturday, December 15. There’s also a chance to meet Santa at Father Christmas’s Fireplace, which runs from Saturday, December 8 to Saturday, December 22, but there are very few tickets left. For more details visit museum. maidstone.gov.uk
3 QUEX PARK CHRISTMAS FAYRE, BIRCHINGTON
The fayre between noon and 8pm on Sunday, December 9 will be in aid of Louie’s Helping Hands charity to help fund the Llewellyn School & Nursery for children with multi-sensory and physical complex difficulties. There will be face painting, stalls, a raffle, birds of prey, meet the Alpacas and Father Christmas, plus mince pies and mulled wine. For details go to quexpark.co.uk
4 KENT LIFE, MAIDSTONE
There will be a living farm nativity at Kent Life in Lock Lane, Sandling, on Sunday, December 9, at 3pm, featuring the attraction’s own farmyard friends. Working with Maidstone Family Church, visitors can take a journey through the grounds and see the nativity story scenes, as well as the chance to join in with some Christmas carols. Children are encouraged to dress up to be part of the nativity. This is part of the general admission cost. You can also book to see Santa on selected dates up to Christmas Eve. Jump on board the land train driven by the head elf to meet him, with kids getting a gift – and parents getting a cheeky mince pie. Tickets cost £7.95 and £12.95 for one to 15-yearolds. Book by calling 01622 763936 or visit kentlife.org.uk
5 BEWL WATER, LAMBERHURST
Festive fun in the woodland wonderland includes fairground rides, ice skating, Christmas crafts and marshmallow toasting on a fire pit plus time with Father Christmas. Opening days are all weekends in December, with the final weekend running from Friday, December 21 to Christmas Eve. Tickets are £18 for adults and £35 for children. To book go to bewlwater.co.uk/christmas.
6 HEVER CASTLE & GARDENS
The grounds of the castle will be lit up across the estate after dark and the castle itself will be bathed in light. Pre-booked visits to meet Santa in his grotto have sold out, drop-in sessions to see him in the toy workshop are still available on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9; Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16, and Thursday, December 20 to Sunday, December 23, between 11am and 4pm. The chance to meet him is on a first come first served basis. You’ll need an entry ticket to the castle and drop-in to see Father Christmas is £8. To book go to shop. myonlinebooking.co.uk/ hevercastle.
7 WHITEFRIARS, CANTERBURY
This year’s Whitefriars Christmas market is the biggest yet with 68 cabins and 70 small, artisan businesses in Whitefriars Street, Gravel Walk, Marlowe Arcade and St George’s Street until Christmas Eve. There will be handmade and unusual gifts, decorations and food plus Santa’s Grotto. Admission to the grotto is £4 per child and places need to be booked online at: canterb urychristmasmarket. co.uk. he Christmas Market runs until 24 December. Opening hours are 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm Sunday, with some late nights closer to Christmas. The grotto is open 11am to 4pm Sunday to Friday and 10am to 5pm Saturdays. For more details go to whitefriars.co.uk