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This week

PANTO: Beauty and the Beast, Exeter Northcott, until Sun 5 Jan

My fave panto of the year! It’s pink, it’s funny and the music and sets are fab, with songs from The Greatest Showman and Lady Gaga on the playlist. All the players are a delight, with Cupid and Lady Bonbon the stand-out stars of the show. I promise you’ll love it. Go!


FAMILY: A Long Long Time, Studio 1, Dartington Hall, Fri 20 – Mon 30 Dec

Teensy-bit bored of the usual Santa grottos that dominate the holiday season? Take the kiddies somewhere out of this world instead, exploring the intergalactic Zodiac wonders of the sky on an interactive and unique story-telling bonanza.



NEW YEAR’S EVE: Boringdon Hall’s Masquerade Ball, Tues 31 Dec

Upgrade your New Year’s Eve celebrations: go on, you deserve it. Boringdon Hall hosts a black tie evening of glittering NY celebration for you to dress up-to-the-nines for; masquerade masks a must! Glitz, glam and a divine five-course meal prepped by Head chef Scott Paton.


MUSIC: Black Parade, The Cavern and John Gandy, Gandy St, Exeter, Tues 31 Dec

The UK’s biggest emo night! Celebrating old school emo anthems from My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, The Used, All American Rejects, Jimmy Eat World, Enter Shikari, You Me At Six, Hawthorne Heights, All Time Low and loads more.


KIDS THEATRE: Hansel and Gretel, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Sat 21 Dec – Sun 5 Jan

Follow the mischievous Hansel and his equally naughty sister Gretel as they navigate their way through a world of winding woods and trailing breadcrumbs to find the magical Christmas Market-but there’s more than just sweets waiting for them in the snowy forest. Paddleboat Theatre Company bring you and the family an interactive and musical retelling of the classic fairy-tale; the perfect first theatre experience for the littl’uns.


KIDS: Bubblicious New Year’s Eve Baby and Family Rave, The Soapbox Theatre, Devonport Park, Tues 31 Dec

A baby rave, you say? Soapbox Theatre are throwing an afternoon family dance party, celebrating New Year’s on a whole different time zone! Enjoy fabulous UV décor, bubbles and smoke, walk-about performers and of course, parachute games. Plus, each ticket includes a free UV glitter makeover. Who knew babies could be so much fun?


NEW YEAR’S EVE: River Cottage New Year’s evening meal, River Cottage HQ, Axminster, Tues 31 Dec

Arrive at River Cottage HQ in style by tractor and trailer to begin your day of New Year’s festivities, feasting, drinking, toasting and dancing your way into 2020 as well as being treated by the River Cottage Chefs with a four course meal of the finest produce money can buy. A lively band will provide the music for the evening as you countdown to midnight.


EXHIBITION: Dead Dad Book, Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, until 1 Mar

Ceramicist Vicky Lindo’s award-winning exhibition of ceramics, inspired by a diary kept by Vicky’s mum and sisters about the journey they took to Ireland to visit their dad’s grave and find out what had happened to him in the years he’d been missing.


SHOW: Kagemusha Taiko: Shadow Warrior, Exeter Phoenix, Sat 4 Jan

Experience stories of space and time with Kagemusha Taiko as you’re transported to a world of European myths, legends and magic incorporating bass guitar, vocals and drums for an exhilarating new show.


WALK: Twelfth Night New Year Ceremony, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Sun 5 Jan

To honour Benjamin Britten’s influence at Dartington, join Soundart on their annual procession around the grounds, singing Britten’s New Year’s carol before guiding you back to Space for some warming drinks to end the evening.


OUTDOORS: Traditional Wassail, Buckland Abbey, Yelverton, Sun 5 Jan

What is the festive season without its traditions and no Twelfth Night is complete without a wassail. Join the Dartmoor Border Morris with your pots and other noisy crockery for a day of drinking mulled wine and warding off those bad spirits.


OUTDOORS: Female Specific Canoe Coaching, Dartmoor National Park, Sun 5 Jan

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to conquer the river in a canoe but hesitated due to lack of experience or confidence, LM Coaching have got your back. You’ll learn how to make bigger boats work for you in the open water. You go, girl!



PANTO: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Princess Theatre, Torquay, Fri 13 – Sat 4 Jan

Tousled Devon songster, Luke Friend, from The X Factor stars in the vertically-challenged classic, along with Hollyoaks‘ Marcus Patrick, so you can be sure the toons will be in tune.


EXHIBITION: Magical Gingerbread Town. Hunters Inn, Exmoor, until 4 Jan

Pic by Rob Joules

It’s only North Devon’s first Gingerbread Town – and why not! More than 200 illuminated gingerbread houses baked by local community groups and businesses, to ogle while filling up on hot chocolate and mulled wine.


OUTDOORS: Rosemoor Glow, RHS Rosemoor, Torrington, until 4 Jan 2020

RHS Rosemoor’s Illuminations return with colour-changing lights reflected in the Cool Garden lake, and the twiggy silhouettes lit up in rainbow shades. I want that giant mirror ball in my garden *hint hint*. Plus, the shop stays open late too so a chance to do some panic gift-buying. Trowels for everyone!


THEATRE: Treasure Island, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, until Sun 5 Jan

Ho, ho, ho and, er, a bottle of rum. X marks the spot this Christmas, with the four lads from Le Navet Bete delivering a swash-buckling comedy aimed at littlies from 6 and up.


Words by Molly Grogan.

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