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An Enchanting Christmas in The National Forest

Tuesday, 1st November 2011

Set deep in the heart of The National Forest lies an enchanting woodland grotto - ConkersWinter Wonderland. 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 26thand 27thNovember. December dates are 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11thand then every day from17thuntil 24thDecember. Themulled wine, mince pies, carol singers, street entertainer and roasting chestnuts will raise your Christmas spirits!

A beautiful candlelit carol servicewith Ibstock Bric-Brass Band will take place on23rd December. And from 27thDecember until 3rdJanuary there will be two pantos every day at Conkers, Cinderella and the Dickens favourite - A Christmas Carol. 

Every weekend from 12thNovember and then every day from 19thto 24thDecember Twycross Zoo is inviting families to listen to festival tales in its Christmas Story Time, have a boogie at Tipsy’s Christmas Disco and, of course, see Santa in his grotto.Every Saturday from 3rdto 24thDecember visitors can enjoy a delicious cooked Christmas Breakfast while their little ones get to meet the man himself! And for the first time the zoo will be hosting the brilliant panto -Jack and the Beanstalk on 23rdDecember. 

Rosliston Forestry Centre is holding its annual Christmas Craft Fair on 3rdDecember where you will find special gifts and unique Christmas presents.

Visitors to Calke Abbey on 26thand 27thNovember can help ‘Deck the Halls’ including creating the longest paper chain to decorate Calke’s Riding School. They are then invited to experience the magic of Christmas on3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th17thand 18thDecember. As darkness falls aChristmas TreeTrailwill be illuminated by magical Christmas lanterns for visitors toweave through, listen to seasonal music, enjoy the children’s craft activities and visit Father Christmas in his grotto.

Calke will be hosting a Christmas Tea Dance on 3rdDecember with the Calke Alive characters from the 1940s leading the dance in the Riding School. Then on 10thand 11thDecember there will be a Craft and Gift Show in the Riding School, featuring fine crafts and original Christmas gifts. Join in Calke’s Christmas party afternoon on 17thDecember with music, dance and games and pick up some locally produced goodies at the Christmas Fine Food Fair on 18thDecember.

Kedleston Hall hosts a Christmas Craft and Food Fair on 26thNovember and a Christmas Market will be held on 3rdand 4th-December in Sudbury Hall’s Stable Yard. This marks the start of Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood’s special Christmas events taking placeevery day between 3rdand11thDecember with the Hall being decorated for LordVernon's 1960's Christmas House Party, andFather Christmas in his Toyland grotto in the Museum of Childhood. At the weekends children can have a go at seasonal craft activities.

A Christmas Craft Fayre will take place at Snibston on 10thand 11thDecember with a festive market and seasonal entertainment. Snibston Country Park rangers will be hosting Holly Wreath Workshops on 10thand 11thDecember.Materials and decorations are provided alongwith mulled wine, hot and cold drinks and mince pies.

The seasonal performances in Snibston's Century Theatre include the classic panto Sleeping Beauty on 7th-9thDecember, Little Red Robin Hood on 17thDecember and A Victorian Christmas on Sunday 18thDecember with carols, songs and stories.

Swadlincote’sChristmas Programme begins on Friday 25thNovemberwith the light switch-on at The Delph in the town Centre. On3rdDecember Sharpe’s Pottery Museum hosts a Lecture Brunch from Richard Stone on Festive Folk Customs and a children’s workshop to make a wooden Christmas card holder. Christmas Decoration Workshops then follow on 5thand 17thDecember.

Visit Swadlincote Ski Centre on 25thNovember and watch Santa ski down the slope giving out presents to the first 100 children. Mince pies and mulled wine will warm everyone back up in the ‘Alpine Lodge’. Back by popular demand are the Festive Umpah Nights with entertainment from the Bavarian Brass Band on 3rd, 10thand 17thDecember as well as 7thJanuary. The Ski Centre’s Christmas Comedy Nights on 9th, 16thand 23rdDecember promise to bea 'cracker' of a night with two top comedians and compere, buffet and disco. And the Christmas Fun Activity Days running from Wednesday 21stDecember until Tuesday 3rd January (excluding Christmas and Boxing Day) are a great way for children to learn to ski or snowboard! The day includes ski or snowboard lessons, tobogganing, sno-tubing and a hot lunch.

There will be a Christmas Fun Day at Rolleston Equine Centre on 3rdDecember and Gresley Male Voice Choir will be singing an early Christmas Concert on 10thDecember in Newhall.

Donington le Heath Manor House celebrates Christmas at the Medieval Manor on 4thDecember followed by a Medieval Christmas Banquet on 15thDecember.

More information on all of these events can be found on the events pages.

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 and Hicks Lodge Cycle Centre from 26thNovember and throughout December, and, weekends only from 26 November, from Sence Valley Forest Park.

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