Festive events and things to do this Christmas in Newbury
PUBLISHED: 10:45 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:55 02 January 2018
Lanterns, late night shopping and tracking down the reindeer: it's all happening in the West Berkshire destination for seasonal days out
Bright lights – from the decorations in the town centre to the atmospheric lantern procession – with a very good helping of fun will ensure the festive season offers something for everyone to enjoy in Newbury.
It all begins with a Reindeer Hunt between 11 and 19 November. The task is to find a dozen reindeer dotted around the town, and you could be in with a chance of riding on Santa’s sleigh in the Christmas parade before turning on the Christmas lights on Sunday, 26 November.
That’s the day when plenty of entertainment for all of the family including Santa’s grotto, live music on the stage in the Market Place and children’s rides will draw crowds to the town centre. The celebrations run from 11am, with the switch-on set for 5.30pm.
Newbury likes its lights, and the popular Festival of Light lantern procession from Northbrook Street to the Market Place takes place on Sunday, 10 December. You can see it all from 4.30pm, but why not take part? The event organised by the Corn Exchange is funded by Greenham Common Trust and Arts Council England and free workshops are held so that people of all ages can make lanterns in advance, from simple forms to the more intricate. See cornexchangenew.com for dates, the workshops are popular so you need to book.
The Parkway & Newbury Bid Grotto will open 2 and 3 December, and then from 14 to 23 December, visit shopatparkway.com for times. A big attraction at Parkway on 10 December, 11am to 4pm will The Snow Globe in Middle Street will offer a Winter Wonderland experience during which you can have a free family photo taken, 11am to 4pm.
On 14 December there’s a ginger bread man workshop where you can make your own little treat for free. It will be on East Street and run by Pandora from 4pm to 7pm. Late Night Christmas Shopping and the Choir of 1,000 voices is on that day, from 4pm to 8pm, with free parking in Parkway, Kennet Centre and Northbrook multi-storey car parks from 5pm to 8pm.
You’ll be entertained by local choirs around the town and can join in a festive sing along in the Market Place at 7pm. Other activities include donkey rides and a Christmas workshop in Parkway where children can decorate those gingerbread men and make their very own reindeer food.
Newbury’s pantomime at the Corn Exchange is always a warm and very local experience, and this year the team led by panto writer and director Phil Willmott will stage Beauty and The Beast. It will be full of the drama of ‘Good Conquers Evil’, songs, mischief and magic. The panto runs from 1 December to 7 January, book your tickets at cornexchangenew.com.
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