30 things East Lancashire folk can do this Christmas

This Is Lancashire: Lots to do this Christmas Lots to do this Christmas

1. Meet Father Christmas:
Meet Father Christmas in his Winter Wonderland at Samlesbury Hall on Sunday. His grotto is open from noon until 2pm. Samlesbury Hall is open from 11am until 4pm, where you can enjoy a tour of the hall.

2. Festive nature trail:
Brockholes Nature Reserve has a wide range of exciting events for all the family, including: Christmas crafts and activities tomorrow from 11am. There’s a Christmas trail taking place from today until December 23. On Saturday, December 21 you can meet Father Christmas, visit the Christmas stable with donkeys, get creative in the activity room, making wreaths and snow globes, and enjoy festive children’s stories. Day passes are available for just £12 (includes visit to Father Christmas, souvenir photo, Christmas trail, making a snow globe and making a small wreath).

3. Go to the Ball:
Stagework Productions are back at King George’s Hall, Blackburn, with East Lancashire’s biggest seasonal show for all the family, Cinderella. Panto favourite Phil Walker stars as Buttons in this classic fairytale full of music, song and spectacular costumes.The show runs until December 31 and tickets are available on 0844 8471664.

4. Santa Steam Specials:
Take the kids, grandparents and friends to the Santa Special at East Lancs Railway. Ride on a steam train, meet Father Christmas and be merry with mince pies, sherry and festive cheer. There will be carol singing on the trains and brass bands. Call 0161 764 7790 for availability.

5. Follow the Yellow Brick Road:
George Critchley for PMA Productions Ltd presents The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Darwen Library Theatre, a fun-filled family show, with a great cast, including DAPA Dance Studio. Join Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion for some Christmas magic. Performance runs until Christmas Eve. For times and tickets, call 01254 706006.

6. See live reindeer:
Head to Accrington for some Christmas shopping and see Santa in his grotto in the Market Hall. The grotto is open every Saturday in December, plus Monday 23 and Christmas Eve. You might also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of his live reindeer. There are lots of Christmas stalls to browse.

7. Christmas Gala Spectacular:
The choirs of Blackburn Cathedral and the Northern Chamber Orchestra enter into the Christmas Spirit tomorrow night with their annual Christmas Gala Spectacular concert. The programme this year includes English composer Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, as well as all your Christmas favourites. Tickets are £5 available at www.blackburncath edral.com, from King George’s Hall Box office, in person, or on 0844 847 1664.

8. Towering achievement:
Take a trip to the Christmas Farmers’ Market at Hoghton Tower this weekend. You can pick up all the ingredients for your Christmas dinner, buffet, or feast – from turkeys to sprouts, and cheeses to Christmas cakes. The market is open on Sunday from 10am until 2pm.

9. Magic lamp:
A colourful treat for the family is in store at the Thwaites Empire Theatre, Blackburn, with the big festive panto Aladdin. It stars CBeebies presenter Nisha Anil as Jasmine. The show runs until January 5. For times and tickets call 01254 685500.

10. Festive fun:
Visit Blackburn town centre, with lots going on in Blackburn Market to entertain the whole family. Tomorrow you can meet the cast of this year’s Cinderella panto, from 11am. View the traditional Victorian slide show, A Dickens of a Christmas, from 11am until 3pm. There will be ice skating on the town hall square every day until January 5.

11. Delights in Darwen:
Visit Santa in his Grotto, tomorrow, and on Saturday, December 21 and Monday, December 23, in Darwen Market Annex, between 10am and noon, and 1pm and 2pm. Proceeds go to Darwen Rotary Club’s charity appeal. Accrington Pipe Band will be entertaining shoppers with festive tunes on December 22, with performances between 11am and 3pm and Blackburn People’s Choir will be performing in cappella style tomorrow, between 10am and 2pm, in Darwen Market. Join in when Darwen Sings Carols on December 21, between 10am and noon.

12. Christmas in the Park:
On Sunday, visit Witton Country Park and meet Father Christmas. He will be arriving at the Countryside Services Activity room at the Pavilion, where he has a grotto. Families are invited to take part in craft activities.

13. Visit Santa:
Give the kids a day out to remember in Blackpool and visit Santa in his grotto. You can also have your family photo taken in the giant snow globe, as well as making a Christmas wish and tying it to the magical tree. Then take to the ice at the Pleasure Beach Arena for  skating. Admission is £10, including admission to the grotto, a gift from Santa, ice skating, skate hire and a choice of tea/coffee/hot chocolate. The fun runs until Christmas Eve. For details, call 0871 222 1234.

14. Manchester Christmas Markets:
One of the biggest and most exciting Christmas markets of the season. There are hundreds of stalls, not only in Albert Square, you’ll also discover Christmas delights in St Ann’s Square and the Corn Exchange. It runs until December 22.

15. Oh yes it is:
Jump on board the magic carpet in the panto Aladdin at Oswaldtwistle Civic Theatre. Starring Hollyoaks’ Darren John Langford, there are performances tonight at 7pm, tomorrow at 2pm, and on Sunday at 7pm. Tickets from 01254 380293

16. Christmas Cracker:
Nelson Arion Male Voice Choir will deliver festive songs and carols tonight at Colne Muni. They will be joined by the 2nd Rossendale Scout Band and a local primary school choir. Tickets £7.50. Details on 01282 661234.

17. Fun in Bacup:
Bacup Hub will host a Christmas Market tomorrow when Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be special guests. The market and Christmas fair runs from 10am to 4.30pm. There will be a Santa’s Grotto.

18. Skating magic:
Skate in Preston’s winter wonderland as the Flag Market is transformed into an outdoor ice rink. Ice skating sessions are on the hour, sessions last for 45 minutes.The rink opens tomorrow and runs until January 5. Last skate is an hour before closing. The cost is £6 per session, including skate hire. Call 01772 253731

19. Choirs together: 
On Sunday, Nelson Civic Ladies’ Choir, Pendle Youth Choir and Pendle Children’s Choir come together to ring in the Christmas season at Colne Muni, with a host of traditional carols. There is a matinee performance at 2.30pm. Details from the Muni box office on 01282 661234.

20. Christmas variety:
Many of the groups which call Oswaldtwistle Civic Theatre home will stage a seasonal variety show on Wednesday, at 7.30pm. For details, call the box office on 01254 380293

21. Civic carols:
The community comes together at the annual civic carol concert at King George’s Hall, Blackburn, on Monday, at 6.30pm. Entry is free, but please book your tickets via the box office in advance as this event sells out every year. Call 0844 847 1664

22. Get your skates on: 
The Christmas Ice Rink, in Bolton town centre, is open until Sunday, January 5 and costs £2.50 for a child, and £5 for adults.

23. Heartwarming classic:
Get your hankies at the ready as Basics Junior Theatre company stages the musical Annie, at the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre, Colne, tonight and tomorrow, at 7.30pm.
Details from www.phtheatre.co.uk

24. It’s a mystery: 
Try to fathom Who Killed Santa? at a murder mystery evening at Samlesbury Hall tonight. Details from 01254 812010.

25. Winter wonderland
At the Boo, in Waterfoot, parents and little ones can take a stroll in a Winter Wonderland on Sunday. This world of iciness is created by multi-sensory objects to touch and explore, projections, music and theatre lighting. Open 1.45pm to 2.30pm for babies not yet walking, and 3pm to 3.45pm for toddlers. Admission is £2 per child (parents/carers are free).

26. Wooden it be nice?
Join the festive fun at Accrington’s Christmas market, with 10 wooden chalets sited outside the Market Hall selling a wide range of local, fresh produce, and festive goodies. The Christmas market will be open on the next two Saturdays, from 11am to 5pm, and from 11am to 8pm on Thursday.

27. Last minute panic:
The Mall Blackburn has late-night opening until 9pm on Thursdays, and on Friday, December 20; Saturday, December 21, and Monday, December 23.

28. Ice to see you:
Leading skating stars will perform on synthetic ice at Colne Muni on Wednesday night in ‘Winter Wonderland on Ice’. Details on 01282 661234.

29. Run off the turkey:
If you’ve eaten too much, how about tackling the annual Ribble Valley 10k around Clitheroe town centre on Sunday, December 29? The race starts at 10.30am. Visit www.ribblevalley10k.com

30. Check your neighbours:
Although Christmas is a time to celebrate and get together with the family, spare a thought for those who may be on their own this Christmas, or struggling a little. Why not keep an eye out for your neighbours and spread a little Christmas spirit.

Comments (1)

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8:43pm Sat 14 Dec 13

big bird says...

Shouldn't this article mention go to church? It is after all, a Christian festival in a Christian country!
Shouldn't this article mention go to church? It is after all, a Christian festival in a Christian country! big bird

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