From a Christmas Carol Festive Trail at Hever Castle to several Christmas fairs, making Christmas tree decorations at Kent Wildlife Trust and Sleeping Beauty Panto at the Assembly Hall Theatre, plus more, here are 20+ places to go around Tunbridge Wells this weekend!
♥ It’s the first weekend of the hotly anticipated Assembley Hall pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, starring the fabulous Claire Sweeney, Derek Moran and Quinn Patrick. This magical pantomime promises to be jam-packed with smash-hit songs, stunning sets, spectacular costumes, and magical special effects, until Wednesday 2nd January. Tickets start from £24 for adults and £15.50 for adults (plus booking fee), choose from performances at 2pm and 5pm on Saturday 8th December or 1pm and 5pm on Sunday 9th December.
♥ If you haven’t been for a skate yet around the magical outdoor ice-rink at Calverley Grounds, there is still availability for the weekend. It’s great fun for the whole family, and feels really Christmassy, especially after dark, plus there are yummy refreshments at the coffee shop and bar to warm up with afterwards. Sessions for parent & toddlers provide safe, fun skating daily at 9.45, 10.45 and 2pm and there will be a local choir every Sunday between 4pm and 6pm.
♥ A one-mile sparkling path of lights is winding its way around the stunning Bedgebury Pinetum in a new, magical after dark experience. Greeted by the sights and sounds of Christmas, you and your family will experience Bedgebury in a whole new light as you enjoy dancing fountains, beautifully lit trees, frosty snowflakes, tunnels of light and a few surprises along the way. There are tickets still available on the later slots on both Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December (at the time of writing), plus selected dates up until Christmas. Check out Emma’s review on My Tunbridge Wells HERE.
♥ Families who have paid admission to Groombridge Place in advance online can also pre-book to see Father Christmas in his delightful grotto this weekend – many of the slots to see Santa in December have sold out but there are still a few spaces for this Saturday and Sunday. Each child will receive a gift for £11.95 per child, adults free with a paying child.
♥ Between 11.30am and 3pm this Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December Bodiam Castle invites the whole family, particularly children, to join storytellers by lantern light to really capture the imagination. You can also bring the family together for a festive afternoon tea between 2pm and 3.30pm or follow the precious gems winter trail through the castle grounds.
♥ Enjoy celebrating the festive season with the family at the traditional Christmas tales at Hever Castle every Wednesday to Sunday from now until 24th December and daily from the 10th. The castle is beautifully decorated in the themes of well-loved stories, such as the Nutcracker, The Tailor of Gloucester and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Walk the interactive Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ festive trail through the grounds and at weekends ride the carousel and enjoy vintage fairground stalls. Adults £17.95, children age 5-15 £9.75.
♥ There are so many wonderful opportunities to experience a visit to Father Christmas in Kent and East Sussex this Christmas and luckily for you we have compiled a detailed list of them HERE, all in one place.
♥ Non- drop Christmas trees are in stock at the wonderful Molly Dishwasher’s pop-up Christmas shop, nestled away from the hustle and bustle in meadows and woodland 5 miles south of Tunbridge Wells. Open every Friday to Sunday before the big day, and daily from 17th to 24th December, you’ll also discover a treasure trove of handpicked presents, wreaths and floral decorations to take home too!
♥ If you and the children love crafting, you can make a large variety of sustainably sourced Christmas tree decorations, at Kent Wildlife Trust’s Tyland Barn this Saturday 8th December from 10am to 12 noon or 1pm to 3pm. You’ll make willow weaved stars, wood burned baubles and sparkling pinecones for £8 per child (aged 5+) and £10 per adult, plus a mince pie and mulled apple juice – how much more festive can you get!
♥ Tonbridge Community Pantomime promises a Panto to know your socks off at the Angel Centre on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December. Their adaptation of Snow White is fun for all the family and all proceeds are donated to Tonbridge charities.
♥ Further afield, A Winter Carnival Spectacular comes to the fabulous town of Rye on Saturday 8th December. From 10.30am until late, enjoy the arrival of Father Christmas by boat, reindeer, street procession, pantomimes, carols, creative workshops, street performers and handpicked food vendors.
♥ From 2.30pm until 5pm on Saturday 8th December, the Wells Free School PTA invites all to its Winter Market, with stalls of festive produce, hot food, mulled wine, hot chocolate, home made cakes, music, games, raffle and of course, Santa’s Grotto!
♥ You’re in for a treat at Bewl Water’s Christmas Experience this year, every weekend throughout December. In association with Childrensalon, the adventure includes, a visit to Father Christmas with a gift for each child, a skate for the whole family, unlimited fairground rides, Magic Wishing Tree, Christmas crafts, soft play, secret woodland wonderland, plus marshmallow toasting and market stalls. Tickets are £35 per child and £18 per adult, but if you use code MyTunbridgeWells10 you’ll receive an exclusive 10% discount for My Tunbridge Wells readers.
♥ Head down to The Pantiles every weekend in the lead up to Christmas for the festive market, where you’ll find a wide range of food, gifts, and crafts, plus festive entertainment including live music, carols and choirs.
♥ A brand new, winter music festival is coming to three venues in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December. From 1pm until 7pm the Pantiles Band Stand, Sussex Arms and Sankeys stages will be home to ‘Folkal and Live’ a free, family friendly festival, featuring music from up to 50 different acts, hosted by Tunbridge Wells’ Local & Live and Broken Bones Matilda.
♥ Very excited to see that a new independent, family run cafe called Babycino is opening for business in the town this week, on Chapel Place. Their ethos is to provide a welcoming place to meet with family and friends, for wholesome food and drink, with a dedicated play area, buggy parks and changing facilities over two floors of seating. If you visit this weekend, please share your experience and hopefully I’ll be able to go myself soon, with baby in tow!
♥ The Rose Hill School Christmas Fair on Saturday 8th December has an intriguing secret present room, wreaths & Christmas trees, face painting, hog roast, crepes, Santa’s grotto and much more to enjoy with all the family from 11am until 2pm.
♥ Join the Holding Hands Pre-School Nursery, Rusthall from 2pm until 4pm on Saturday 8th December, for an afternoon of Christmas crafting for the kids, Santa’s grotto, a chance to buy some beautiful gifts from small local businesses, and maybe enjoy a glass of Prosecco and a mince pie or two!
♥ Pop along to the Blackboys School on Saturday 8th December from 12-2pm, for it’s the season to be jolly and enjoy a traditional Christmas Fair, including Santa’s Grotto, BBQ, arts & crafts, games, raffle and more.
♥ Groombridge Pre-school are hosting a lovely Festive Fair on Saturday 8th December for all to enjoy from 11am until 2pm in the Village Hall, and the line-up includes Father Christmas, a children’s performance, activity room for the kids, raffle, tombola, cake stall and more.
♥ The Langton Green Primary PTA Christmas Fayre on Sunday 9th December certainly has lots to tempt the taste buds, with turkey rolls, Brie sarnies, mince pies, mulled wine, Prosecco, beer, sweets and soft drinks, plus tombola raffle, hampers and fun activities! It all kicks off at 12noon until 3pm, entry is £2 for adults and free for children.
♥ Weald Community Primary School is holding their Christmas Fayre on Sunday 9th December from 12noon until 2.30pm, and don’t miss the Turkey Trot first at 11.30am – a 2km fun run/walk on the village green.
♥ The whole family can relax and enjoy the White Christmas Family Ball at Mercure Tunbridge Wells on Sunday 9th December. A 2-course festive lunch will be followed by 3 hours of entertainment for the children, bursting with princesses, a cheeky elf, party games, crafts, singing and dancing, plus Santa will be dropping in with a gift for all the children. £20 for adults, £15 for children 12 and under, free for under 1 year olds.
♥ There’s a special, one off opportunity to visit and even take part in a Living Nativity at Kent Life in Maidstone, in conjunction with Maidstone family Church, on Sunday 9th December. Visitors will discover nativity story scenes around the grounds, involving animals from the farmyard and traditional Christmas Caroling. The fun starts at 3pm and children are encouraged to dress up and join in (included in entry price).
♥ The amazingly supportive Tunbridge Wells SANDS is holding a special Christmas Carol Service of Remembrance on Sunday 9th December, from 4pm until 5pm in the Christ Church on the High Street. All are welcome to come together and remember children carried in our hearts. There will be a Christmas craft activity for children and refreshments after the service.
♥ The iconic Sunday lunches at Hotel du Vin in Tunbridge Wells will have a very special visitor on Sunday 9th and Sunday 16th December. Start with a seasonal soup, before visiting the stunning French Market Table, followed by a traditional roast or Sunday lunchtime classic main course plus irresistible desert. The children’s lunch includes a gift, a chat and photo with Father Christmas. £31.95 for adults and £15 for children, sittings 12pm and 3pm.
♥ There’s a magical world of witches and wizards at the Tonbridge Grammar School Wizarding Winter Fair on Sunday 9th December 11.30am until 3pm. As well as fun and games for the whole family, there’s the chance to see live owls, visit the Lotions & Potions Room, try the mega slide and bungee trampolines, plenty to tempt the taste buds in the food hall or gin bar and the chance to pick up beautiful gifts from the stalls. Entry 50p.
Looking for a fantastic family day out this Christmas? Check out the following posts:
Plus don’t forget to check out the EVENTS CALENDAR HERE for more inspiration!