Enjoy a generous dose of tradition with your festive countdown. We round up what’s on this weekend as Christmas creeps closer.
More than 100 mini trees and a dazzling light display are among the attractions at this weekend’s Tenterden’s Christmas market. With more than 70 stalls with gift ideas, the market is a great place to shop and sample street food from around the world. There will also be a family fairground rides, a Christmas crib with live animals in St Mildred’s Church, visits from the Ice Queen and Father Christmas in his grotto. It opens at 10am on Saturday, December 5 and there’s free parking and extra bus services. Many of Tenterden’s shops and restaurants will be staying open late too. For details go towww.tenterdentown.co.uk/Christmas.
Live music, fancy dress and friendly animals all feature in a two-day Christmas fair at Brogdale Marketplace, near Faversham on Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6. There will be stalls, floral demonstrations, a children’s fancy dress competition and disco in the function rooms and family entertainment with the Nutcracker. Children can also ride with Father Christmas on the miniature railway. The fair is open 11am to 4pm both days, entry and parking free, with live music both days. Go towww.brogdalecollections.org for details.
Christmas in Tenderden – picture Stuart Kirk
Take part in craft workshops and festive street theatre at a Christmas Fun Family Fair in Ramsgate town centre on Sunday, December 6, in aid of Ramsgate Arts, between 11am and 4pm. Activities include an adult floral workshop run by York Street Flowers, call 01843 595953 to book. Visit www.nice-things.co.uk for details.
Spectators will flock to see the St Nicholas Parade make its way through the city on Saturday, December 5, starting out from Westgate Hall at noon and heading to the cathedral for a service in the nave at 1pm. Details at www.canterbury-cathedral.org.
For the first time since it reopened, it will be free to enter Dreamland, which will be transformed into a Frosted Fairground for the season. Santa’s Grotto, Christmas markets, Christmas trees, carols and live music and crafts are on offer from Saturday, December 5 until January 2, with visitors paying for the rides. The grotto costs £9.95 per child. Dreamland Members will have unlimited use of all rides for free, non-members can guarantee entrance by registering and printing free tickets online atwww.dreamland.co.uk/christmas.
Father Christmas will be visiting on Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6, between 11am and 3pm, wearing 1920s green. Tickets £7 per child including a small gift. Normal admission charges to visit the garden which will be running a festival trail. Booking essential on 01732 861159. The 1920s theme continues with the house’s decorations as they would have been for the Churchill family’s first Christmas there. Entry by timed ticket. Normal admission charges apply – plus £2 for the house. Details atwww.nationaltrust.org.uk.
Set out on an illuminated winter trail through the beautiful grounds at Groombridge Place and Gardens, near Tunbridge Wells, on Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6. There will be sounds, children’s poetry and unexpected storytellers, in the shape of plants and trees along the way, and at the end you can leave a message on the Tree of Wishes. Acrobats, dancers and carol singers will be keeping visitors entertained, plus you can make Christmas decorations and cards to take home. The spectacular is also on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, and daily from Friday, December 18 until Christmas Eve. Admission is £10.95 and £9.45 for children. Get a 10% discount by booking atwww.groombridgeplace.com.
Bring a little sparkle to your Christmas with a Festive Fizz Weekend. Hush Heath winery in Staplehurst is running the weekends, which include a complimentary glass on arrival, mince pies and a tour of the winery to learn about creating world class wine and the 400-acre site’s history. The weekends are on Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6, and Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13. Tours start at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm both days. Call 01622 832794 to book. Details at www.hushheath.com.