By Ann Evans
Christmas is coming! Lots of places are putting on festive family fun, and here’s a few that you won’t want to miss.
There’s a Magical Christmas over at Drayton Manor Theme Park and Zoo near Tamworth, Staffordshire. Families can pop over to the 15 acre zoo and spot the park’s resident reindeer, Comet, Buzz and Star, who will be preparing to assist Father Christmas with his present delivery on Christmas Eve!
Drayton Manor Park is an open plan attraction so visitors do not need to pay any extra for entry in to the zoo. Visitors can also get into the festive spirit with a skate on the indoor Slide and Glide rink, at no additional cost. Check their website for Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas opening times. https://www.draytonmanor.co.uk
For those of us who love our garden, as well as loving Christmas, Webbs Garden Centre at Wychbold, Worcestershire has now opened its Christmas Grotto, where you might find some of Santa’s reindeer there on certain days. And what could be more festive that skating outdoors on real ice? There’s a clear roof so you can skate in all weathers with special skates for young children and helpful rink attendants to lend a hand. Details at: https://www.webbsdirect.co.uk/
Christmas can be a nostalgic time – especially if you take a journey back to Victorian Christmases at the Blists Hill Victorian Town in Ironbridge, Shropshire, this weekend, 10th-11th December. . Soak up the seasonal atmosphere from a bygone era and revel in traditional celebrations and entertainment as the townsfolk busily make preparations for Christmas, 1800s style.
Take a step back in time as you stroll around the town; listen to tales of life more than 100 years ago in the cosy cottages, hum along to seasonal music from brass bands and choirs and tour the Town on a horse-drawn cart. See Father Christmas in his wonderful grotto and pet his reindeer before they start their mammoth journey around the world on Christmas Eve.
A perfect Victorian ‘Christmas card scene’, with a stunningly decorated Christmas tree, will be the centrepiece in the Goods Shed, where you can also make paper-chains, write a letter to Father Christmas and leave a note on the Wishing Tree. The air will be filled with music and laughter around the town with brass bands, carol singers and Punch & Judy shows. Don’t miss the dastardly villain, his principal enemy and the comical quack doctor, all dressed in garish garb in the traditional Shropshire Christmas Mummers Play. The
Victorians loved these early forms of panto, and so will you!
You’ll also be able to call into the shops around the town where you will find some unusual Christmas gifts like traditionally made cast-iron paperweights and doorstops, handmade plaster decorations, perfumed soaps, hand printed gift wrap, traditional sweets and Victorian Christmas cards. Details:www.ironbridge.org.uk