What’s On This Weekend
FRI 21 - SUN 23 DECEMBER 2018
Special thanks as ever to our roving photographer, the very talented Imi F Hughes Photography. See more of her work over on her Instagram feed @imi.f.hughesphotography.
Enchanted Christmas at Saltram, Saltram House nr Plympton Sat 1 – Sat 30 December
You can’t fail to feel warm and fuzzy after a trip to Plymouth’s Saltram House at Christmas – they do like to spoil us with a generous dollop of festive cheer. This year, stroll around the enchanted illuminated gardens and marvel at the magically decorated house. Spot the inspiration from some best-loved fairytales as you wander around. And that’s just for starters; make the most of the twinkly cafe, book in a story time session with Father Christmas (grown-ups can get in on the fun too, this year, with a special adults-only version!).
Santa’s Magical Christmas, Crealy Adventure Park, Sat 1 Dec – Sun 23 Dec
If you’re looking for a day of festivities with the small people, then Crealy never fails. This year’s Christmas spectacular includes an ice show, entry to Santa’s magical toy store, Mary Christmas’ bakery, Rudy’s Reindeer food-making station, a singing snowman and oodles more.
Father Christmas with a twist at Buckland Abbey, Selected dates in December
Well this is a little different to the classic grotto at the garden centre! Time travel back to 1577 where Francis Drake is travelling around the world and spending his first Christmas at sea in Morocco. It is here many miles from home that the crew have appointed their own ‘Lord of Misrule’ who managed the festive fun and games. And this is the guy who will be telling Christmas tales of life on the high seas and handing out a special gift to those who join in with the merrymaking at Buckland Abbey this year. Selected dates in December, but loads more festive cheer happening daily.
Magical Garden Illuminations ‘Glow’, RHS Rosemoor, Fri 16 Nov – Sat 5 Jan
For a warm, wintery glow, wrap up and head out to Rosemoor to see the magical illuminations in and around the Foliage Garden, Stream Field and Lake area. To thaw out, head to the award-winning Garden Kitchen restaurant for a special family-friendly hot menu. Best book a table, though!
Thurs- Sat 3-8pm. Members free, normal garden admissions apply otherwise. rhs.org.uk
Christmas Selling Exhibition: MAKE, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey, Sat 17 Nov – Sun 6 Jan
The Jubilee Gallery will be buzzing with festive cheer this month as the annual Christmas selling exhibition launches. Filled to the brim with contemporary craft, you can see – and buy – work by designer-makers from across the UK. With treats at all price ranges, this is a great opportunity to find an individual gift for someone special, or a quality treat for yourself!
Free entry. Open daily, 10am – 5.30pm. crafts.org.uk
Christmas Cookery Courses at Ashburton Cookery School, dates throughout December
If you fancy both having a fun day off from shopping – and brushing up on a few festive skills in the kitchen, then check out Ashburton Cookery School’s highly impressive range of courses. From mastering those Christmas canapés (who needs M&S?!), to cracking the art of Christmas choccies, there’s plenty on offer for all abilities and, if you nail it, you might come home with a handcrafted gift or two. I’m booked on to a couple of courses and canna wait!
Panto: Jack and the Beanstalk, Exeter Northcott, Mon 3 Dec – Sun 6 Jan
Fee-fi-fo-fum, panto season has defo begun! If Exeter’s your nearest hood, then you’ll want to book the family in for tickets to see this one. Family fun, in GIANT proportions!
Christmas at The Big Sheep, nr Bideford, throughout December
In North Devon this month with small ones to entertain? There’s plenty to look up at The Big Sheep. From Christmas Toddler Takeover days, to the Christmas market on Saturdays throughout December and, of course, Woolly’s Winter Wonderland, it’s a sheep-themed way to have some festive fun!
Kids Theatre: Stardust, The Soapbox Children’s Theatre, Plymouth, Sat 8 – Mon 24 Dec
Another dazzler from the award-winning Soapbox Children’s Theatre, sure to have the little people captivated! Pip and Sam, the cat, love to explore the ice crusted roof tops, until one day Pip climbs higher than ever before and catches some magical stardust. Stiltskin will, as always, weave their magic in their own original style using inventive sets, puppets and costumes to retell this heart-warming tale for the family. With two shows – a gentler version for under 5’s and one with a baddie for families (cue lots of booing and hissing!) – everyone’s covered. Book it quick!
Theatre: An Evening With Krampus, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, Tues 11 – Sat 22 Dec
Wishing there were a Christmas tale for grown-ups in the theatre somewhere? Plymouth’s Barbican Theatre will be performing its new alternative Christmas show An Evening With Krampus this month. It’s a cabaret style theatrical experience, fusing live music, song, storytelling and comedy. In Central European folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as “half-goat, half-demon. Krampus punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts. Promising to offer Plymouth ‘a darkly delicious festive treat’, this might be right up your street.
£14, suitable for ages 16+ barbicantheatre.co.uk
Theatre: Puffin Island, Exeter Phoenix, Wed 12 – Fri 28 December
South West based Quirk Theatre return to Exeter Phoenix this Christmas with an all-new show full of adventure, intrigue and their own hilarious sense of the ridiculous! Puffin Island is one of those plays that brings generations of families together for an inventive and unforgettable live theatre experience. Inspired by Devon’s very own Lundy Island puffins, families are invited to embark on an adventurous journey to Puffin Island to join the island’s residents and famous puffins for the annual Puffin Day celebrations. On Puffin Island, nothing particularly out of the ordinary ever happens until, quite unexpectedly, an orphaned baby boy washes up on the beach in a little boat. When the puffins suddenly disappear and no one knows why, it seems this boy is the only one with the power to bring them home in time for Puffin Day.
Tickets from £11 (family tickets from £30), exeterphoenix.org.uk
Panto: Dick Whittington, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Fri 14 Dec – Sat 12 Jan
Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is – a whole host of soap stars descending on Plymouth for this year’s panto season! See if you can guess who’s who in the pic above – and joining them is none other than Eastenders’ Ronnie (Gawd rest her soul), AKA Samantha Womack. It’s not Christmas without Panto, right?