Christmas in Gloucestershire 2017 is set to be a fun-filled festive season, complete with plenty of things to do for the whole family and all the festive celebrations and over-indulgence you could hope for.
SoGlos’s hand-selected guide to Christmas events in Gloucestershire 2017 will help you make the most of everything that’s on offer in the county, from festive fayres and where to meet Santa to carol singing and special concerts.
Venue: Regent Arcade
What’s happening: Festive families can enjoy a fun-filled shopping trip at Regent Arcade during the Christmas season, and tick off their wish lists at the same time. Father Christmas will be putting a smile on Christmas shoppers’ faces when he visits the shopping centre to make sure every good little boy and girl get the chance to meet him. With Regent Arcade’s beautiful decorations up, the festive lights turned on, and a giant illuminated reindeer taking centre stage, Santa will be wandering around, ready to add a dash of magic to shopping trips. What’s more ith a giant sleigh in the arcade, there will be a selfie station for little ones to snap a photo and pose for photos with Santa Claus, providing children with a festive memory they can cherish forever.
SoGlos loves: Aside from Father Christmas’s regular appearances, Cheltenham’s Regent Arcade is the perfect destination for family shopping trips thanks to its array of shops, cafes, and iconic Wishing Fish Clock which adds a dose of excitement for little ones. During the jolly season, children will be able to make a Christmas wish at the clock, in addition to enjoying a special story inspired by the clock which they can follow around the shopping arcade before picking up their own copy.
How much: Free of charge
When: Father Christmas will be at Regent Arcade on weekends from Saturday 25 November 2017, and daily from Saturday 16 December 2017.
For more info: See Father Christmas appearances at Regent Arcade
To book: Call (01242) 521345, email email@example.com, or visit regentarcade.co.uk directly.
Venue: Everyman Theatre
What’s happening: Everyman Theatre's ever-popular annual pantomime returns with this year's show Dick Whittington set to delight audiences old and young. With a fantastic cast featuring plenty of Everyman Theatre favourites, the show is sure to provide laugh out loud entertainment, with the hilarious Tweedy the Clown taking centre stage. Telling the story of Dick and his cat, who travel from Gloucester to London to make their fortune, this winter’s eagerly awaited show is sure to have families snapping up tickets, with plenty of boos, hisses and festive fun along the way.
SoGlos loves: Aside from the pantomime, Everyman's Studio Theatre will play host to two uplifting shows during the festive season. Tales From Hans Christian Anderson offers a seasonal show which is perfect for children aged three to seven and their families, featuring a selection of fairy-tales from the world’s best-known storyteller. Meanwhile, A Gloucestershire Midwinter is dedicated to all-things wintry, with audiences able to enjoy songs, drama and poetic humour.
How much: Tickets for Dick Whittington range from £5 to £29
When: Dick Whittington runs from Friday 24 November 2017 to Sunday 7 January 2018
For more info: See Dick Whittington pantomime at Everyman Theatre
To book: Call (01242) 572573, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit everymantheatre.org.uk directly.
What’s happening: Avoid the cold, skip the hassle of finding a parking space, and let someone else deal with holiday traffic thanks to Stagecoach West's extensive services across the county and beyond. Whether you're heading to the cinema for a festive family film, the annual pantomime, a seasonal soft play party, carol concert, shopping trip, going to meet the Jolly Red Man, or going for a day out with family and friends, the county's premium bus service promises a convenient and stress-free journey. What's more, Stagecoach West's Family and Friends Explorer Ticket is a great option for groups, providing great value and unlimited day travel throughout Gloucestershire and just beyond the border – perfect for saving pennies during what’s an expensive month!
SoGlos loves: If your mind is bogged down with gift lists and party planning, Stagecoach’s useful app offers the perfect solution for planning your journeys without any extra hassle. Available to download for free from the App Store and Google Play, the app allows users to set their location using GPS to find the right buses, stops and routes; get from A to B with information about ticket options, walking directions and disruption updates; check live bus times; save your favourite bus routes; and even wave goodbye to paper tickets, saving any last minute panic for change at the bus stop.
How much: Price vary as per ticket type
To book: No need to book, but for specific information visit stagecoachbus.com directly.
Venue: Various venues across Cheltenham
What’s happening: Cheltenham Town Hall will sprinkle Christmas cheer on families during December, thanks to three fun-filled festive shows. Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps promises the perfect combination of comic humour, brilliant music and great entertainment, following Santa as he delivers presents whilst his pesky tummy rumbles and grumbles along the way. Father Christmas and Peter and the Wolf will see Raymond Brigg’s best-loved story brought to life on the big screen, with a live orchestral accompaniment. What's more, The Snowman and Carnival Of The Animals offers the chance to enjoy a screening of festive favourite The Snowman with live music.
SoGlos loves: If your little one likes getting involved in festive fun, Cheltenham Trust's Christmas Soft Play Party is sure to put on a smile on their faces at Leisure at Cheltenham. Children are invited to don reindeer ears and Santa hats for the occasion which promises plenty of fun with sensory play, decoration making, biscuit decorating, face painting and more – not to mention a special visit from the Jolly Red Man too. Meanwhile the English National Opera Christmas Concert promises to delight adults and children alike, featuring a number of seasonal songs such as ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’, Handel’s ‘Messiah Excerpts’, and an encore of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’.
How much: Prices start from £5
When: Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps takes place on Monday 18 December 2017; Christmas Soft Play Party takes place on Friday 15 December 2017; Father Christmas and Peter and the Wolf takes place on Friday 22 December 2017; The Snowman and Carnival Of The Animals takes place on Friday 22 December 2017; and English National Opera Christmas Concert takes place on Thursday 21 December 2017.
For more info: See Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps, Christmas Soft Play Party, Father Christmas and Peter and the Wolf, The Snowman and Carnival of the Animals, and English National Opera Christmas Concert.
To book: Call Cheltenham Town Hall on 0844 576 2210, or visit cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk directly.
Venue: Sudeley Castle
What’s Happening: Sudeley Castle is set to come alive with colour and sound this December, with a unique experience for all ages at the Spectacle of Light. Visitors can follow a magical trail of light through secret gardens and romantic ruins, watch lights dance on the water and see a canopy of colour in the enormous cedar trees and yew hedges, promising an enchanting night-time visit to the majestic castle. What’s more, new for 2017, there will be an incredible kaleidoscope of illuminated parasols, an enchanting tree with sparkling roots, a friendly roar in the tower dungeon, along with meteors, Moroccan lanterns and many more amazing attractions.
SoGlos loves: Following the enchanting outdoor experience, guests can warm up with winter treats such as mulled wine or hot chocolate on the castle’s terrace, while there will also be hot savoury snacks to try along the way which are sure to put a smile on everyone’s faces.
How much: Advance tickets cost £15.75, £9.90 for children, free of charge for under fives. Tickets on the day cost £17.50, £11 for children, free of charge for under fives.
When: Selected dates from Friday 8 to Saturday 30 December 2017
For more info: See Spectacle of Light at Sudeley Castle or visit spectacleoflight.co.uk directly.
To book: Call Everyman Theatre Box Office on (01242) 705555, or visit everymantheatre.org.uk directly.
Venue: Chapel Arts Cheltenham
What’s happening: Cheltenham’s leading art venue, Chapel Arts, will welcome the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen during the festive season, teaming up for a selling exhibition that focuses on larger work from Guild members. Perfect for thoughtful Christmas gifts or treating yourself, visitors can see unusual, unique and exceptional contemporary crafts from a number of creators. Highlights include ceramics from Adrian Bates; lighting from Colin Chetwood; calligraphy from Helen Newman; furniture from David Ian Smith; textiles from Liz Harding; and much more. Meanwhile, Chapel Arts will be getting into the seasonal spirit with live music for selected periods, in addition to serving festive treats in its café, making for an enjoyable experience in the beautiful converted chapel.
SoGlos loves: Along with its seasonal offering, Chapel Arts will play host to an engaging New York exhibition by Leslie Gerry, offering a stunning showcase of prints which provide a new take on the city. Capturing New York’s iconic landmarks and streets, Leslie’s style is unique thanks to the simplicity, distinctiveness and power of his images, and promises a delightful display.
How much: Free of charge
When: Thursday 14 to Saturday 23 December 2017 (excluding Monday 18 December 2017).
For more info: See November Exhibitions at Chapel Arts and Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen selling exhibition at Chapel Arts
To book: Call Chapel Arts on (01242) 580077, email email@example.com, or visit thechapelarts.com directly.
Venue: The Brewery Quarter, Henrietta Street, Cheltenham, GL50 4FA
What’s happening: The Brewery Quarter will ring in the festive season with its Christmas Lights Switch On, promising a fun-filled event with choirs, dancers, live party music, and a sprinkling of magic when Santa flies in to turn on the lights. Performances including singing from Charlton Kings Junior School and Holy Apostles School choir, as well as dancing from APT Dance and Theatre Company, and energetic street dancing with Danceworks Cheltenham. Visitors can also enjoy classic disco tunes from funk band Soular, and music from party band Just Shut Up and Dance, who will be warming up audiences before the anticipated arrival of Father Christmas. Meanwhile, The Brewery will also run a Santa Selfie Competition on selected Saturdays during the festive season, during which little and big kids can snap a selfie with the jolly red man and upload it onto Facebook with the hashtag #SantaSelfie for the chance to win great prizes across some of The Brewery’s top venues!
SoGlos loves: Aside from offering heaps of festive fun, The Brewery Quarter is an ideal destination to visit with family and friends, thanks to its range of cafés, bars, restaurants, and leisure attractions spanning bowling, cinema, and the newly opened Mr Mulligan's Lost World Golf. Whether you’re looking to treat the kiddies to a family film, stop off to a delicious dinner, catch up over coffee, or enjoy a cocktail or two, the Cheltenham destination offers plenty for all ages and occasions.
How much: Free of charge
When: The Christmas Lights Switch On takes place on Saturday 25 November 2017. Santa Selfie Competition takes place on Saturday 2 and Saturday 9 December 2017.
For more info: See Santa Selfie Competition and The Brewery's Christmas Lights Switch On
To book: Call The Brewery Quarter on (01242) 574378, or visit thebreweryquarter.com directly.
Venue: Montpellier Arcade, Montpellier Walk, Cheltenham, GL50 1SD
What’s happening: The Big Bloom Room pop-up and interior stylist Dee Campling have teamed up to host a unique festive shopping experience in Cheltenham, with The Big Blooming Christmas pop-up market bringing high quality retailers to the beautiful Montpellier area of town. Offering the chance to cross off your Christmas gift list while soaking up the seasonal setting and bustling atmosphere, quality artisans in attendance span Arc Candles; Bodega Womenswear; Catherine Colebrook; Lucy Tiffney; Ineko Home; Rockett St George; Annie Sloan; Smoke and Mirrors88; Bass Trunkies; Bag & Bones; and Tiger. Offering everything from deluxe candles and homemade gifts, to home accessories, The Big Blooming Christmas will also have warming mulled wine, and uplifting carols from The EveryVoice Choir, making for an unmissable way to kick-start the festive period.
SoGlos loves: In addition to shopping galore, there's also the chance to get creative during a Paint Your Own Christmas Wreath workshop with Dee Campling and Great Interior Design Challenge finalist Lucy Tiffney, making a unique wreath for your home and promising an enjoyable experience on Saturday 2 December 2017. What's more, on Sunday 3 December 2017, there will be a Luxe Wreath Masterclass with floral designers Charlotte Harrison and Ester Bate-Williams, who will guide individuals through the process of asymmetrical wreath making, blending traditional styles with modern design.
How much: The Big Blooming Christmas is free of charge
When: Saturday 2 to Sunday 10 December 2017
For more info: See The Big Blooming Christmas in Cheltenham
To book: Call 07432 960292
Venue: Funky Warehouse
What’s happening: Funky Warehouse in Cheltenham is the perfect destination for every generation of the family, thanks to its impressive facilities that span 28 trampolines complete with bouldering walls, foam pits, parkour, a Ninja Warrior course, and monkey bars, along with a dedicated soft play area for children under five. From five years up to adults, the Warehouse sessions offer an hour of jumping fun across the main park, inviting all ages to enjoy free rein as they take on the ropes, hoops and nets on the Ninja Warrior course, fight it out on the battle beams, or play around in the foam pit. Meanwhile, for younger visitors there are weekday toddler sessions which allow full use of the trampolines and soft play area, the latter featuring three bouncy storeys with ball pits, swirly and wavy slides, various fun obstacles, and an area for under twos with small a slide and ball pit.
SoGlos loves: Funky Warehouse will be getting into the festive spirit at its Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 15 December 2017, in aid of Save the Children charity. Little and big kids can don their favourite jumper and get involved by jumping along to the family attraction, where there’ll be a collection box in reception. What’s more, for the chance to win a free tea or coffee and mince pie, visitors can ‘check in’ with their best Christmas jumper picture.
How much: A Warehouse session costs £10, £7.50 for off-peak times. A soft play session starts from £2.95 and is free of charge for children under 12 months. A toddler session costs £2.50.
When: Funky Warehouse is open from 10am daily, except for Christmas Day.
For more info: See Funky Warehouse
To book: Call (01242) 300101, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit funkywarehouse.co.uk directly.
Venue: King's Walk Shopping Centre
What’s Happening: Santa Claus is coming to town, visiting good little boys and girls at King’s Walk Shopping Centre and spreading plenty of festive cheer. Armed with a whole host of Christmassy goodie bags for children aged three to 10 years old, little ones can tell the jolly red man all of their Christmas wishes, before seeing what he brings them. What’s more, children will be able to enter Santa’s special colouring competition, with two lucky winners receiving a £25 gift card for The Entertainer.
SoGlos loves: In addition to special Santa visits, King’s Walk Shopping Centre will be alive with the seasonal sound of music during December, when Betel UK performs a host of classic and contemporary carols, dressed in traditional Christmas costumes. Providing an uplifting backtrack for shopping sprees, the carol singers will also be accepting donations for the worthwhile independent charity.
How much: Free of charge
When: Santa will be giving out goodie bags on Thursday 7 and Tuesday 12 December, and meeting shoppers on Sunday 24 December 2017. Carol Singing will take place on Saturday 2, Friday 8, Monday 11, Wednesday 13, Saturday 16 December 2017.
For more info: See Father Christmas at King's Walk Shopping Centre, and Carol Singing at King's Walk Shopping Centre
To book: No need to book but for specific information call (01452) 304953 or visit kingswalk.co.uk directly.
Venue: Café Rene
What's happening: Dance the night away and wait for Santa Claus in style, at Café Rene’s Christmas Eve party in Gloucester. Local music-lovers will be jingling all the way to Café Rene for its Phunkin’ Elf Christmas Eve Party, promising a fun-filled festive celebration until midnight. With DJ Blatant-lee Sly on the decks, music-lovers can strut their stuff to classic hip-hop, funk, soul and remixes of classics in one last big blowout before Christmas. What’s more, Café Rene’s extensive selection of drinks offers the perfect excuse to indulge with a tipple or two during the night, whether you’re hankering for a glass of vino or refreshing pint.
SoGlos loves: If you’re looking for live music events during the Christmas period, there’s plenty going on at Café Rene throughout the whole of December, promising the perfect way to celebrate with friends and enjoy a gig. Meanwhile, Disco Superstars will be an unmissable party offering a night of classic disco tunes performed by a collective of local musicians, in addition to a fancy dress competition on the night, with revellers encourages to don their flares and sideburns for the night.
How much: Phunkin’ Elf Christmas Eve Party is free of charge. Disco Superstars is free of charge before 11pm, £3 thereafter.
When: Phunkin’ Elf Christmas Eve Party takes place on Sunday 24 December 2017. Disco Superstars takes place on Friday 15 December 2017
For more info: See Phunkin' Elf Christmas Eve Party at Café Rene and Disco Superstars at Café Rene
To book: No need to book, but for more information call (01452) 309340, email email@example.com or visit caferene.co.uk directly.
Venue: Gloucester Rugby
What’s Happening: Local sports fans will be wrapping up warm, donning their red and white stripes and heading to Kingsholm Stadium in the hope of a late Christmas present from the Gloucester boys. Set to do battle against Sale Sharks, Gloucester Rugby will be looking to win in the AVIVA Premiership match, with fans keeping their fingers crossed for a home victory. Boasting burger vans, a fully-stocked bar, hot chocolates and more, this winter match is set to be the perfect evening out for families across Gloucestershire, offering the chance to celebrate the end of the festive holidays with a little sporting spirit.
SoGlos loves: In addition to the anticipated AVIVA Premiership match, rugby fans and families can get a second sporting fix during Gloucester Rugby’s European Rugby Challenge Cup match against Italian side, Zebre. Having faced the Parma-based side four times before, Gloucester Rugby will be keeping fingers crossed for a festive victory, boasting four wins under its belt during its head-to-head history.
How much: Ticket prices vary, contact organisers for details.
When: Gloucester Rugby vs Sale Sharks takes place on Saturday 30 December 2017. Gloucester Rugby vs Zebre takes place on Saturday 16 December 2017.
For more info: See Gloucester Rugby vs Sale Sharks, and Gloucester Rugby vs Zebre.
To book: Call 0871 871 8781, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit gloucesterrugby.co.uk directly.
Venue: Slimbridge Wetland Centre
What's happening: Families can enjoy a fun-filled festive show, Grandma Claus – Waiting for Santa at Slimbridge Wetland Centre, promising magical entertainment complete with a sprinkle of magic. The story follows Grandma Claus who hasn’t had a visit from Santa for years, and when Christmas Eve arrives, all she wants to do is see him! But Grandma Claus has a plan up her sleeve, and with some help from her friend Twinkle Toes and a sprinkle of magic, who knows what could happen! What’s more, children are in for a fun-filled festive experience when the jolly red man takes up residence in his magical grotto, welcoming visitors who can enjoy either afternoon tea or breakfast with the elves, and a host of themed activities including marshmallow toasting; elf den building; arts and crafts; and icing gingerbread men.
SoGlos loves: In addition to the seasonal show at Slimbridge, visitors can book their place at a truly unique event, experiencing the beauty of wild swans during a Floodlit Swan Supper. Visitors can settle down in the cosy Peng Observatory to watch the swans, geese and ducks being fed on the floodlit lake, along with a commentary from the warden. Following the animals’ feeding, it’s time to head to the Kingfisher Kitchen for a delicious two-course dinner and hot drink, which are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
How much: Prices vary as per event, contact organisers for details
When: Grandma Claus show takes place from Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 December 2017. Santa’s Grotto takes place from Saturday 16 to Friday 22 December 2017. Floodlit Swan Supper takes place on selected evenings from Friday 1 December and Saturday 10 February 2018.
For more info: See Grandma Claus at Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Santa's Grotto at Slimbridge Wetland Centre, and Floodlit Swan Supper at Slimbridge Wetland Centre.
To book: Call (01453) 891900, email email@example.com or visit wwt.org.uk/Slimbridge directly.
Venue: Stroud Subscription Rooms
What's happening: Get into the Christmas spirit with some booing, hissing and cheering during That’s Entertainment Productions' pantomime, Robin Hood. Starring Allo Allo's Sue Hodge, featuring dazzling costumes, and promising plenty of music and laughter, the dazzling show is set to delight audiences of all ages. Telling the favourite tale of an evil sheriff who collects taxes to pay for his own evil plans, the show will see if gallant hero Robin Hood can save the day – and little and big kids are all invited along for the exciting adventure!
SoGlos loves: In addition to the traditional family panto, Stroud Subscription Rooms will host a spectacular seasonal party which promises a night to remember and plenty of nostalgia. The Xmas Party will welcome 90s pop sensation East 17, and top tribute act NOASIS, who are set to deliver brilliant shows.
How much: Robin Hood pantomime tickets cost £14, £12 for concessions. East 17 and NOASIS Xmas Party costs £25.
When: Robin Hood pantomime runs from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 December 2017. East 17 and NOASIS Xmas Party takes place on Saturday 30 December 2017.
For more information: See Robin Hood Pantomime, and East 17 and NOASIS Xmas Party
To book: Call Stroud Subscription Rooms on (01453) 760900, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit subscriptionrooms.org.uk directly.
Venue: Rachel Shilston Inspiring Creativity Studio
What’s happening: Rachel Shilston’s Christmas Trivet and Coaster Mosaic Workshop offers the chance to get into the festive spirit, have fun, and create a seasonal centrepiece for the dinner table, making it the perfect day out this December. Guests will go home with their own Christmas-themed mosaic trivet and complementary coasters, with materials encompassing glass tiles, ceramic beads and vintage plates, tools and tuition provided, whilst hot drinks and mince pies are sure to go down a treat!
SoGlos loves: In addition to the full-day workshop, Rachel Shilston will also host an evening Mosaic Christmas Tree Workshop, open to all levels and inviting guests to create a free-standing mosaic decoration from vitreous glass tiles, ceramic beads, broken vintage plates and buttons, with hot drinks and mince pies also provided for happy creators.
When?: The Mosaic Christmas Tree Workshop takes place on Thursday 7 December 2017. The Christmas Trivet and Coaster Mosaic Workshop takes place on Sunday 10 December 2017.
How much: Prices vary, contact organisers for details.
For more info See Christmas Trivet and Coaster Workshop, and Mosaic Christmas Tree Workshop.
To book: Call Rachel Shilston Inspiring Creativity Studio on (01594) 844221, email email@example.com, or visit www.rachelshilston.co.uk directly.
Image © The Forestry Commission
Venue: Beechenhurst Lodge
What’s happening: Beechenhurst is home to a brand-new activity trail this winter, with Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's best-loved book The Highway Rat brought to life, promising plenty of fun for families in the Forest of Dean. Perfect for burning off some steam during the festive period and enjoying time in the great outdoors, the one-mile path offers the chance to follow the exciting trail and go on a journey through the beautiful forest. Complete with themed panels, the trail allows visitors to interact with the forest, collect rubbings, and spot their favourite characters along the way. And with an animated special of The Highway Rat set to hit television screens on Christmas Day, with an all-star cast including David Tennant and Rob Brydon, excitement for the story will be at an all-time high. Those wanting to get involved can download free activity sheets via forestry.gov.uk/highwayrat, or buy an activity pack from Beechenhurt’s on-site café, which includes an extra activity sheet and leaflet, stickers, a mask, a pencil and a crayon.
SoGlos loves: While you're at Beechenhurst, why not soak up some sights along the Sculpture Trail, a pretty walk that winds through the Forest of Dean and has plenty of interesting works that amaze little ones. Plus, there's the brilliant play area that's sure to delight children during their visit. Meanwhile, if you're looking for gift inspiration during the festive season, The Forestry Commission's Discovery Pass is the perfect solution, offering free parking at its Forest of Dean attractions spanning Beechenhurst, Mallards Pike Lake, Cannop Cycle Centre, Symonds Yat Rock, and Wenchford, not to mention discounts on destinations such as Go Ape and a number of shops.
How much: Downloadable activity sheets for The Highway Rat trail are free of charge. The Highway Rat activity pack costs £3. A Sculpture Trail leaflet costs £1. The Discovery Pass is £30.
When: The Highway Rat Activity Trail runs until autumn 2018. The Forestry Commission’s sites are open daily except for Christmas Day, with café times varying as per site.
For more info: See Save with the Forestry Commission Discover Pass and The Highway Rat Activity Trail at Beechenhurst
To book: Call Beechenhurst Lodge on 0300 067 4800, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit forestry.gov.uk/beechenhurst directly.
Venue: The Bothy, Eastnor Castle, Eastnor, Ledbury, HR8 1RL
What's happening: Forget a one-horse open sleigh, car-lovers young and old can take the wheel and enjoy an enchanting drive around the stunning surroundings of Eastnor Estate this Christmas with Land Rover Experience. Offering the chance to release your inner child with an exciting drive within a beautiful setting, the fun and bumpy route will take in inclines, descents, water, low traction surfaces, rock crawls and more, demonstrating the off-road capability of the Land Rover vehicles. Meanwhile, younger passengers will get the thrill of meeting Father Christmas in his grotto at the end of the drive, with the chance to receive a small gift too.
SoGlos loves: Each Land Rover has space for one driver and up to three guests, with booster seats available for little thrill-seekers, promising a truly unique and memorable day out that every member of the family can enjoy.
How much: Tickets cost £189 per vehicle
When: Taking place on Saturday 16, Wednesday 20, Thursday 21, Friday 22, Saturday 23 December 2017
For more information: See Santa’s Grotto at Land Rover Experience
To book: Call to 0333 733 3003, email email@example.com or visit https://experience.landrover.com/santas-grotto directly.
Venue: Longleat Safari Park
What’s happening: Children can climb aboard the magical Santa Train at Longleat Safari Park, enjoying an enchanting journey, stopping off at a winter wonderland, and meeting Father Christmas.
When: Selected dates from Friday 10 November to Sunday 31 December 2017
To book: Call Longleat Safari Park on (01985) 844400
Venue: New Brewery Arts
What’s happening: Crafted for Christmas showcases an impressive array of items, encompassing everything from ceramics, lighting and jewellery, to leather foods, scarves, homewares and accessories.
When: Saturday 11 November to Sunday 31 December 2017
To book: Call New Brewery Arts on (01285) 657181
Venue: West Midland Safari Park
What’s happening: There’s the chance to go for a walk on the wild side at West Midland Safari Park during the jolly season, going on a self-driven safari before meeting Santa in his festive grotto.
When: Selected dates from Saturday 11 November to Sunday 24 December 2017
To book: Call West Midland Safari Park on (01299) 402114
Venue: Gloucester Quays
What’s happening: Gloucester Quays will be transformed into a winter wonderland this winter, with its Victorian and Enchanted Christmas markets promising a fun-filled festive shopping trip complete with live entertainment, traditional chalets and delicious food and drink.
When: Thursday 16 November to Sunday 24 December 2017
To book: Call Gloucester Quays on (01452) 338933
Venue: Dobbie’s Garden Centre, Siddington, Cirencester GL7 6EU
What’s happening: Head to Dobbie’s Garden Centre where Santa Claus will host the ever popular breakfast and tea events, with children tucking into a delicious meal, before games, activities, and receiving a small gift.
When: Selected dates from Saturday 18 November to Sunday 24 December 2017
To book: Call Dobbie’s on (01285) 884300
Venue: Blooms Garden Centres
What’s happening: Santa will be flying into Blooms Garden Centres to meet happy children, who can tuck into a special breakfast or tea, and decorate biscuits with the jolly bearded man himself.
When: Selected dates from Saturday 18 November to Sunday 24 December 2017
To book: Call Blooms on 0844 288 5178
Venue: Cattle Country Adventure Park
What’s happening: Cattle Country Adventure Park will be open for plenty of festive farmyard fun, with children getting the chance to visit Santa’s grotto during the jolly season.
When: Selected dates from Saturday 25 November to Saturday 23 December 2017
To book: Call Cattle Country Adventure Park on (01453) 810510
Venue: Westonbirt Arboretum
What’s happening: Westonbirt Arboretum will be lit up for its anticipated Enchanted Christmas event, featuring thousands of festive lights that line a one-mile illuminated trail, with plenty of magical winter surprises along the way.
When: Selected dates from Friday 1 to Monday 18 December 2017
To book: Call Westonbirt Arboretum on (01666) 880220
Venue: Cheltenham Town Hall
What’s happening: The Joy of Christmas concert returns to Cheltenham Town Hall for an evening of sensational seasonal music, featuring carols, orchestral music, and seasonal songs.
When: Saturday 2 December 2017
To book: Call Cheltenham Town Hall on 0844 576 2210
Venue: Roses Theatre
What’s happening: Sleeping Beauty will be springing onto The Roses Theatre’s stage for the annual Christmas pantomime, featuring lashings of frivolity, gorgeously glittering costumes, spectacular sets, and plenty of cries of ‘he’s behind you’.
When: Saturday 2 to Sunday 31 December 2017
To book: Call (01684) 295074
Venue: The Brewery Quarter, Henrietta Street, Cheltenham, GL50 4FA
What’s happening: The Brewery Quarter’s Santa Selfie Competition, will see Father Christmas meeting and greeting as many visitors as he can, and encouraging them to get their selfie taken with him, for the chance to win a prize.
When: Saturday 2 and Saturday 9 December 2017
To book: Call The Brewery Quarter on (01242) 574378
Venue: Hilles Studio, Sevenleaze Lane, Edge, Stroud, GL6 6NN
What’s happening: Hilles Studio Collective has teamed up with Stroud Valleys Artspace Open Studios for a festive weekend in the Cotswolds, featuring a delightful showcase of artworks, workshops, mulled wine, and more seasonal surprises.
When: Saturday 2 to Sunday 3 December 2017
To book: Call 07778 238690
Venue: Perrygrove Railway
What’s happening: Santa Claus will fly down the chimney at Perrygrove Railway to join in the festivities which include seasonal storytelling, mince pies, and a Christmas treasure hunt.
When: Selected dates from Saturday 2 to Sunday 24 December 2017
To book: Call Perrygrove Railway on (01594) 834991
Venue: Gloucester Guildhall
What’s happening: Families can get into the festive spirit with a feast of seasonal stories, including a special pair of Christmas pants; the mystery of the snowflake necklace; and the mischievous shenanigans of feisty gnome Tomten.
When: Tuesday 5 to Saturday 9 December 2017
To book: Call Gloucester Guildhall on (01452) 503050
Venue: Dean Forest Railway
What’s happening: Families can climb aboard a Santa Special steam train journey this December, when the Jolly Red Man will visit each child in their seats, while on-board entertainment and seasonal refreshments will also be on offer.
When: Selected dates from Friday 8 to Sunday 24 December 2017
To book: Call Dean Forest Railway on (01594) 845840
Venue: Tetbury Goods Shed
What’s happening: Tetbury Goods Shed’s Christmas Craft Market will offer a delightful and festive shopping experience, selling everything from decorations to thoughtful gifts.
When: Saturday 9 to Sunday 10 December 2017
To book: Call Tetbury Goods Shed on (01666) 505496
Venue: The Nursery at Miserden
What’s happening: The Nursery at Miserden will open its doors for a Festive Weekend, with visitors able to enjoy Christmas carols and warming refreshments including mulled wine, and hot toddies, while there will also be activities for children.
When: Saturday 9 to Sunday 10 December 2017
To book: Call The Nursery at Miserden on (01285) 821638
Venue: Cheltenham Town Hall
What’s happening: Step inside the magical wardrobe and enter into a winter wonderland at Cheltenham Town Hall, when Hype Agency hosts an enchanting Narnia-themed afternoon tea party which includes the chance to visit Father Christmas in his magical grotto.
When: Saturday 9, Sunday 10, Saturday 16 December 2017
To book: Call 0117 971 0320
What’s happening: Puzzlewood will be welcoming festive families during December, with visitors able to making their way through the magical woodlands to Grandma’s house, where Santa will be waiting.
When: Selected dates from Saturday 9 to Sunday 24 December 2017
To book: Call Puzzlewood on (01594) 833187
Venue: Cowley Manor
What’s happening: Cowley Manor will play host to a special screening of favourite British flick, Love Actually in a star-dusted, heated pavilion, complete with mulled wine and lashings of Christmas cheer.
When: Sunday 10 December 2017
To book: Call 07767 810465
Venue: Various venues across Gloucestershire and beyond
What’s happening: Stagecoach West will step out of its bus cabs and onto the Christmas Carol Bus, touring the county to raise cheer and funds for the James Hopkins Trust.
When: Selected dates from Sunday 10 to Thursday 21 December 2017
To book: Call (01452) 418630
Venue: Pittville Pump Room
What’s happening: Cheltenham Choral Society returns to Pittville Pump Room for a traditional family concert, featuring both old favourites and new festive tunes, along with some seasonal readings and surprises during the evening.
When: Tuesday 12 December 2017
To book: Call 0844 576 2210
Venue: The Willow Tree, 295 High St, Cheltenham, GL50 3HL
What’s happening: Get into the festive spirit at The Willow Tree’s Christmas Wreath Making Workshops, using a mix of fresh greenery and selection of dried fruit and pinecones to create a bespoke seasonal display.
When: Thursday 14 and Thursday 21 December 2017
Venue: Malvern Theatres
What’s happening: Hop on your pumpkin to Malvern Theatres for its anticipated pantomime, Cinderella, promising to put a smile on everyone's faces, starring This Morning’s Alison Hammond.
When: Thursday 14 December 2017 to Sunday 7 January 2018
To book: Call (01684) 892277
Venue: Cheltenham Racecourse
What’s happening: Offering two days of wintery racing action, The International showcases top-class race jumping featuring one of the most significant hurdle races of the entire season.
When: Friday 15 to Saturday 16 December 2017
To book: Call 0344 579 3003
Venue: Cheltenham Playhouse
What’s happening: Rolling Stock Theatre Company returns to Cheltenham Playhouse with this year's sparkling show, Pinocchio and The Christmas Wish, an enchanting adaptation with original music, timeless characters and a heart-warming story.
When: Saturday 16 to Friday 29 December 2017
To book: Call (01242) 522852
Venue: Best Western The Gables Hotel
What’s happening: Best Western The Gables Hotel will host a Family Festive Sunday Lunch, promising a delicious dining experience, magic show and a visit from Santa.
When: Sunday 17 December 2017
To book: Call The Gables Hotel on (01454) 260502
Venue: Bacon Theatre
What’s happening: Santa Claus will be delighting children with gifts in his grotto before settling down to watch family favourite Beauty and the Beast, with the choice of either a regular or relaxed screening.
When: Tuesday 19 to Wednesday 20 December 2017
To book: Call (01242) 258002
Venue: Corinium Museum
What’s happening: Santa will be flying into Corinium Museum for two special storytelling sessions this December, telling tales of the North Pole which feature elves, penguins, polar bears and Mrs Claus.
When: Wednesday 20 December 2017
To book: Call Corinium Museum on (01285) 655611
Venue: Cheltenham Town Hall
What’s happening: The Cheltenham Bach Choir will sprinkle Christmas cheer on audiences during its seasonal performance, offering a brilliant rendition of Handel’s perennial favourite, the Messiah.
When: Saturday 23 December 2017
To book: Call Cheltenham Town Hall on 0844 576 2210
Venue: Sandford Parks Lido
What’s happening: Brave locals can take a dip in Sandford Parks Lido’s chilly waters in Cheltenham on Christmas Day, as part of the freezing cold festive event that’s been going for more than 50 years.
When: Monday 25 December 2017
To book: Call (01242) 524430
Venue: River Coln, Bibury
What’s happening: Wrap up warm and cheer on your favourite during the ever-popular Bibury Duck Race, drawing crowds from far and wide to watch as thousands of plastic ducks float down the River Coln.
When: Tuesday 26 December 2017
Thursday 30 November 2017
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