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…

Kentish Express Ashford & District - What's On - - FESTIVE -

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

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