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An Enchanting Christmas in The National Forest

Friday, 29th October 2010

All good girls and boys will be led by Santa’s chief Elf through the trees to reach the cosy century-old log cabin to receive a present from Santa.  His reindeers will be close at hand in the afternoon for children to meet and stroke.  Places are restricted with set time slots throughout the day, so booking is essential.  Dates to see Santa include the 27th and 28th November.  December dates are 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th and then every day from 18th until 23rd December.  The mulled wine, mince pies, carol singers, fire juggling and roasting chestnuts will raise your Christmas spirits!

Conkers’ Christmas Dinner Dance is sold out on 3rd and 10th but tickets are still available for 17th and 18th December to enjoy a 4-course meal and dance the night away. The family favourite panto, Cinderella, is on 18th December followed by a beautiful candlelit carol service with Ibstock Bric-Brass Band on 23rd December. Rangers will be holding craft activities over the holiday period.

Santa will be visiting Twycross Zoo every weekend from 20th November and every day from 18th to 24th December. Children can walk through the ice cave and follow the avenue of snow-covered trees to meet Santa on his ice throne.

Rosliston Forestry Centre is holding a Christmas Craft Fair on 4th December where you will find special gifts and unique Christmas presents.

Visitors to Calke Abbey on 27th and 28th November can help deck the Christmas Trees to celebrate National Tree Dressing Weekend.  As darkness falls a Christmas Tree Trail will be illuminated by magical Christmas lights and lanterns on 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th December. You can weave through the trail, listen to seasonal music, enjoy the children’s craft activities and visit Father Christmas in his grotto.

Calke will be hosting its first Craft and Gift Show in the Riding School, featuring fine crafts and original Christmas gifts to buy on 11th and 12th December.  On 19th December between 10am to 12pm you can join the Head Warden for a brisk winter walk in the beautiful grounds of Calke Park returning back in time to pick up some locally produced goodies at the Christmas Fine Food Fair, which will be in full swing in Calke’s Riding School from 11am-4pm.

Christmas is also coming to Sudbury Hall during weekends in November 13th-14th, 20th-21st and 27th-28th with a variety of activities to take part in.  A Christmas Market will be held on 4th-5th  December in Sudbury’s Stableyard.  This is also the start of the Sudbury Special Christmas Weekends where you can join the Jolly Jingle Trail and visit Father Christmas in his Toyland grotto in the Museum of Childhood on 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th December.

Christmas celebrations start in Coalville on 27th November with a Craft Fair and the Christmas Lights Switch On.  Dick Whittington strides into the Century Theatre at Snibston on 11th and 12th December in this classic Christmas Pantomime complete with topical jokes, non-stop laughter and songs we all know and love. A Christmas-themed stage show from Mad Science will provide festive entertainment with a difference on Sunday 5th December at Snibston so families can experience some 'hair-raising' demonstrations with lasers, rockets and glowing ooze, combined with comical theatre. Santa will also be visiting Snibston on certain dates in December.

Sharpe’s Pottery Museum’s Christmas Programme begins on 1st November with a Christmas Card Making Workshop for those who want to get ahead of the game. Its annual Christmas Fayre is 26th-27th November with stalls, crafts and seasonal refreshments.  Visitors can make a festive flower arrangement and enjoy a warming winter lunch at its workshop on 4th December.  It will be eyes down for the Christmas Bingo Night on 8th December and then on 21st December there will be a craft and story writing workshop for children.

Visit Swadlincote Ski Centre on 26th November – the night the Christmas lights are switched on in Swadlincote. You can watch Santa and friends make a torch-lit descent down the slope, and even visit him in his Grotto and receive a present for free. Gluhwein, mince pies and hot beef cobs will be served in the ‘Alpine Lodge’. Back by popular demand are the festive Umpah evenings with toboggan rides, fantastic 3-course meal and Bavarian Brass Band on 4th, 11th and 18th December and 8th January.

Celebrate the start of the festive season on 4th – 5th December with a fun trail for the children around Ashby de la Zouch Castle in search of Santa's reindeers. And there will be a carol singing event at Grace Dieu Priory on 3rd December. 

More information on all of these events can be found on the website www.visitnationalforest.org

For those people scratching their heads for Christmas gifts, the Forest may hold the perfect solution.  Plant a Tree is a gift that grows.  The recipient receives an invitation to attend a special tree planting event, a choice of tree to plant, as well as a personalised certificate commemorating the gift.  Or how about a gift voucher for one of the fantastic woodland craft and bushcraft courses in The National Forest?  Greenwood Days, Woodland Ways, Survival School and Woodland Survival Crafts all offer gift vouchers that make perfect presents.

Finally, where better to get your Christmas tree than The National Forest!  Real UK sourced Christmas trees are available from the Forestry Commission at Rosliston Forestry Centre throughout December.

 For more information on any of the Christmas activities and events or to book places, contact: