Basingstoke in Hampshire has Christmas all wrapped up this year! I can hardly believe that December is so close. It is time to start feeling festive. Book some Christmas theatre tickets and do a spot of shopping.
Festival Place is filled with lots of great shops, so you can get all your Christmas gifts in one place. There are an array of family friendly restaurants too including Nando’s, Pizza Express and Waggamamas. Being one of the UK’s Oldest market towns, Basingstoke is going to resurrect history this year. The town is staging a French-themed Christmas market on 18th November. Then from 23rd Novemeber there will be a traditional Christmas market in The Malls. There will be decorations, gifts and mulled wine to get you feeling festive.
You will be pleased to hear that the big man himself, comes to Basingstoke at midday on Sunday 4th December. The much-loved Festival Place Santa Parade, features some superb street theatre and an array of Christmassy characters. It will march from Marks & Spencer to Festival Square. Leading the event will be Santa himself!
Basingstoke really does have something to please families this Christmas with their varied festive shows. The Anvil hosts this years Pantomine: Sleeping Beauty. Oh no it doesn’t! Oh yes it does! Parents will love Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses) as the Bad Fairy and little ones will love that CBeebies Nina and the Neurons Star, Katrina Bryan, is Sleeping Beauty. Hollyoaks fans will love that Sarah-Jane Buckley plays the Good Fairy.
The Haymarket Theatre will put on a magical production of The Night Before Christmas and from 7-10 December the cast of the spine tingling thriller Who Killed Santa Claus will take to the stage.
Other highlights of the Haymarket’s Christmas season include The Rat Pack Live Christmas Party 15 to 17 December and Christmas Carol 20 December. Preschoolers are sure to love Proteus Theatres’ festive show “How do Reindeer Fly?” from 15 to 24 December.
For those wanting to add a personal touch to their seasonal gifts and decorations, the Basingstoke Discovery Centre in Festival Place is putting on a host of workshops. Try your hand at a Felt Workshop on 17 November, a Christmas Papercraft Workshop on 30 November or the chance to make a rustic Willow Angel and Shaker-style decorations on 17 December. The workshops start from just £15 per person.
The British Library’s Alice in Wonderland exhibition, celebrating 150 years since this magical story was published, will also move into the Town’s Willis Museum for Christmas. On 23 November, visitors can join curator Andie Lloyd for a tour of the exhibition. Tickets must be pre booked and cost £8 per person.
I am excited to be taking my family on a press day to Basingstoke in December courtesy of Basingstoke Together which I will report back on later. I have not been asked to write this post, but if you live near Basingstoke it is always great to know what is going on in advance so you can book up if you want to.