There are some super things going on in and around Stoke-on-Trent this Christmas. Here are just a few which have caught our eye:
Christmas at World of Wedgwood
There’s nothing that says “Stoke-on-Trent” more than Wedgwood, and this Christmas World of Wedgwood are putting on some exciting activities for a lovely Christmas day out at A Magical Wedgwood Christmas.
Right up until Sunday 6th January (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day with the Factory Shut Down from 21st Dec to 1st Jan) you can visit the free Christmas Children’s Trail in the Wedgwood Museum; try your hand at pottery painting and make a unique Christmas gift in the Creative Classroom (£5/pot); design a decorative Christmas plate or bauble in the Decorating Studio (£10/plate, £15 bauble) or learn how to throw a pot in the Master Craft Studio (ages 6 and upwards – £10 for firing & collection).
After releasing your creative Christmas flair you can then have a Christmas Lunch in the Dining Hall (booking essential) or treat yourselves to a Festive Afternoon Tea in the Wedgwood Tea Room (booking also essential). There are also guided Museum Tours every day (£5 per person – book on arrival at Reception) and the Wedgwood Factory Tour which is open from Monday – Friday, 10am-4pm (adults: £10, concessions: £8, under 12s: free). And of course, you have to pop into the Flagship Store, Factory Outlet and Gift Shop for Christmas present inspiration! Then, if the weather is nice, you can take a Winter wildlife walk through the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve in Hem Heath Woods, adjacent to World of Wedgwood.
It all sounds perfect and we cannot wait to go!
We are so lucky to have some fantastic theatres in Stoke-on-Trent and there are some wonderful Christmas shows this year. Firstly, we are really looking forward to visiting the Victoria Hall as part of The Snowman Tour where the classic film will be shown on a big screen, accompanied by a live orchestra – doesn’t that sound amazing? You can read more here.
We have also been invited to visit The Regent Theatre this December to watch another of our favourite Christmas films, Nativity, brought to life on stage. This will definitely be one of the highlights of my 7 year old’s Christmas (and mine too!) and I will be doing a preview post with more information very soon! And of course, we won’t be missing this year’s pantomime, Robin Hood, starring local boy Jonathan Wilkes as Robin Hood and Christian Patterson as Friar Tuck – again, I’ll be doing a preview post very soon! If it’s as fabulous as last year’s we are in for a real treat!
One of my students is appearing in The Wind in the Willows at the New Vic Theatre this year, running from Sat 17 Nov–Sat 26 Jan so we’ll definitely be aiming to fit that into our busy festive schedule too!
Westport Lake – Christmas Crafts and Festive Campfire
This sounds like such a beautiful Festive activity for the family! Taking place on 1st December, from 3pm-5pm. Children can make some clay reindeers and woolly robins to take home and decorate the Christmas Tree and then can join together to sing Christmas songs around a campfire – perfect. Additionally, the cafe upstairs will be selling mince pies and hot chocolate to help get you into a festive mood. The activity costs £5 per child and £3 per additional child. Children aged 0-2 can only attend with a paying sibling. The postcode is ST6 4RZ and you can call 01782 826985 for more information.
Gladstone Pottery’s Victorian Christmas Fun Day
Also taking place on 1st December is the Victorian Christmas Fun Day at Gladstone Pottery Museum (ST3 1PQ). There will be festive stories from characters from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, snowball fighting with elves, seasonal craft activities, and perhaps even a visit from a man in a red suit! The cost is included in the admission price (adults: £7.75, children 4-16 years: £5.40, concessions: £6.20, family of 2 adults, 2 children: £23) and the day runs from 10am-4pm.
The Lord Major has officially opened Stoke-on-Trent’s Winter Wonderland and it looks to be great fun! Winter Wonderland is based at Birch Terrace Car Park (opposite the bus station) Lichfield Street, Hanley, ST1 3JN and is open until the 6th January, with the exception of Christmas Day. Here’s what you will find:
Similar to other cities around Europe, Stoke is hosting a City Centre Christmas Market, open daily until 29th December (except Christmas Day), with Bavarian bars, lots of fab looking food, Christmas chalets and stalls, fresh coffee, seasonal sweets and chocolates and lots more!
This year, Stoke’s Ice-Rink is undercover, so you can show off your skating skills on around 500 square metres of ice, whatever the weather outside. (Adults: £8.50, children 4-15: £7, students: £7, family: £27. Family ticket = 2 adults & 2 children/1 adult & 3 children. All children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Student discount Mon-Thurs only).
Up until 24th December, Santa will be visiting the Winter Wonderland and you can visit him in his log cabin and receive a special gift to take home. (£5.99 per child – photos extra charge. 3pm-7pm on School Days. Weekends: 11am-8pm. Christmas Eve: 11am-5pm). First come, first-served basis.)
The Family Fun-Fair this year looks to be better than ever! The main attractions will be a full-size roller coaster and a 60m tall Sky Swing ride along with rides that usually only star at Major Festivals & Events such as ‘No Limit’ and Airmaxx.’ There are lots of smaller rides too, including dodgems and a fun house that is billed to be, “the best in the UK!”
Christmas at Trentham Gardens
Christmas begins at Trentham Gardens on Wednesday 28th November with the ever-popular Christmas Lights Switch On event. A Christmas parade with children’s storybook characters such as Goldilocks, Humpty Dumpty, Snow White and the Mad Hatter will start at 6:15pm and end with Santa and Mrs Claus switching on the lights at 7pm. The shops will be open until 8pm and the storybook characters will be available for photo opportunities. The event is free to attend and park but do ensure to get there early and expect delays when leaving.
On a selection of dates and times (see here) you can take part in Trentham’s Elf Adventure Challenge, an interactive, indoor experience full of fun festive activities for children and adults to enjoy. By completing challenges such as learning how to build the toys, loading the sleigh and doing the Elf March, you will earn an elf book containing a certificate and the title of ‘Honorary Elf’ and there’ll be stories, games and music too. Recommended for children aged 2-10 (although younger children may need more help with the challenges). Tickets are £11.50 and can be purchased via the link above.
This is just a small selection of the festive events in and around the city this year – do you know of any others that you would recommend? Please feel free to comment below!
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Disclosure: We are lucky enough to have been invited to review “A Magical Wedgwood Christmas”, “The Snowman”, “Nativity” and “Robin Hood” in exchange for tickets. However, all views and opinions are honest and my own.
N.B. All images courtesy of pexels.com unless otherwise stated.