Chalk Ridge Christmas Fayre – 1st December 2018

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Children’s parade to light up Festival Place as it launches season of festive fun in Basingstoke’s “most magical Christmas ever!”

A spectacular light-up children’s parade will launch six weeks of non-stop festive fun at Festival Place, Basingstoke, in what promises to be the town’s most magical Christmas shopping season ever.

The town centre shopping and leisure destination has pulled out all the stops this year to prepare a full programme of events, competitions and attractions that will keep visitors in the Christmas spirit throughout November and December.

The most wonderful time of the year begins on the evening of Friday, November 16, with a parade and dance display featuring local schoolchildren alongside an array of magical woodland characters, including Squirrel Nancy Nutkins, Deer Darlington, Anka The Snow Hare, and many more! Not forgetting Snow White, from the Anvil!

The procession, starting at 6pm, will use the latest lighting technology to put shoppers at the heart of the event. The stunning switch-on finale will take place at 6.30pm.

Visitors to the launch event will each be issued with a band that illuminates. Ten lucky people will have their band change colour and will win a £100 shopping voucher for Festival Place.

After the parade, shoppers are invited to spend the evening exploring Festival Place’s huge range of top-brand retailers, leisure facilities and restaurants.

The parade is only the beginning, as a variety of festive events fill a fun-packed calendar throughout the shopping season.

Visitors will be able to try their hands at The Snowball Throwball competition, become a Stealthy Elfy in a laser mission, get hands-on with the latest children’s gifts at the Toy Lab, take time out in calming Christmas wreath-making workshops, get their pressies wrapped for a donation to St Michael’s Hospice, and get gift tips from the centre’s very own Fairy Gift Mother. Visitors will, of course, be able to visit Santa in his traditional Grotto on the second floor, which will be Destination Christmas. All the activities will be free for visitors.

Neil Churchill, Centre Director at Festival Place, said: “This is my first Christmas at Festival Place, and the first since a huge refurbishment which has transformed the centre.

“We wanted to do something spectacular this year to celebrate the changes, launching with an action-packed event that families will love, and then continuing throughout the season with the biggest and best programme of events and activities that Festival Place has ever seen.

“We’re really excited to capture that Christmassy feeling and the excitement that comes with seeking out special presents for loved ones in a magical, welcoming environment that has something for everyone.

“The whole Festival Place team are already feeling festive and can’t wait to welcome the thousands of visitors who will experience Basingstoke’s most magical Christmas ever this November and December.”

For the first Christmas shopping season, visitors will enjoy the benefits of Festival Place’s newly-refurbished car park with improvements including wider spaces, lights to alert drivers to free spaces, and more payment machines. And watch out – there are even rumours that Santa himself may be parking there during the festive period!

The full line-up of events and activities:

November 16 – Christmas Launch (6pm)

Join woodland friends, Nancy Nutkins, Deer Darlington, Anka the Snow Hare and Snow White in the magical parade through the forest to help wake up Snowy the Wishmas Owl and kickstart the season. The parade will end in Porchester Square and culminate in a grand finale of dance, lighting up a giant animatronic installation.

November 16 to December 24 – Snowball throwball

Visitors will be invited to test their aim at Snowball Throwball! On your marks, get set, throw! Throw some magic at Snowball Throwball!

November 16 to December 24 – Gift Guide Live

Stuck for gift ideas? Gift Guide Live is here to help with your gifting needs. Hosted by everyone’s favourite Fairy Gift Mother on November 17 and 18, get inspiration and treat your loved ones to what they really want this Christmas.

November 24 and 25 – Cracker Station

Get crafty and join our elves at the Christmas Cracker Making Station! Fill your crackers with giggles, jokes and wishes to set your Christmas off with a bang! Super festive fun for all ages. Sponsored by Basingstoke Together.

December 1 and 2 – The Toy Lab

Try out the latest toys, gadgets and Christmas must-haves for little (and big) kids. All elf approved, of course!

December 8 to 22: Stealthy Elfy

Do you have what it takes to be a Stealthy Elfy? Get the presents under the tree without being caught to climb the leaderboard in this interactive laser game. Will you win?

Various dates between November 16 and December 16: Flower Therapy

Need a break from Christmas Shopping? Head over to the Hampshire Flower Studio for mindfulness wreath making. Learn a new skill and natter away in this adult only space – with no outside distractions! Tea and cake provided. Make sure to book your slot at the Customer Lounge.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in December (Led by Basingstoke BID on December 20) : The Happy Wrappy Place

Rubbish at wrapping? Need an extra pair of hands for those tricky presents? The Happy Wrappy Team are here to help! Festive Services are here to help! Get all wrapped up with Festive Services in aid of St Michael’s Hospice.

November 15 to December 24 – Santa’s Grotto

Come and visit our fabulous, festive grotto and meet a very special person indeed. A truly magical Christmas experience for all the family, open throughout November and December!

For further updates on Christmas at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk/Christmas or find details on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Grand Winter Ball, November 17th 2018 – for Just4children in aid of Archie

An amazing evening, music, magic, a Britain’s Got Talent finalist performance, dinner, a photobooth, holiday prizes, incredible raffle, signed Saints memorabilia and so so much more!

Hotel discount available for those who wish to stay.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1834013400236923/?ti=cl

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Halloween 2018 at Finkley Down Farm

Freaky Down Farm in Andover

This half term Finkley down farm, turns spooky….

During the half term week, 20th – 28th October 2018, will you be brave enough to enter the SPOOKY STABLES?

Be able to find all the Monsters around the farm in a monster hunt?

There will be prizes for everyone in Halloween Fancy Dress taking part in the Fancy Dress Parade after Sheep Racing. (2pm, everyday)

Meet and greet our special Halloween guests SALLY THE SCARECROW & MAVIS FLOSSWORT THE WITCH.

We will be holding a HALLOWEEN DISCO on the 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th October, enjoying shows from SILLY SCOTT’S HALLOWEEN SHOWS on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 26th October, NICKY TRIX will be here with his HALLOWEEN SHOW on the 25th October.

PLUS, ALL THE everyday FUN OF THE FARM

Meet the Snakes, Little Farmers Driving School, Sheep Race, Rabbit Handling, Meerkats and more.

NOT FORGETTING…

Indoor Play, trampolines, go-carts and Farmyard Crazy Golf.

All this included in the admission price. Of £10.25 per an adult and £9.25 per a child. Please call the farm for further information on 01264 324141, or visit our website www.finkleydownfarm.co.uk

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Santas, Pantos and Other Christmas 2018 events

Thank you very much to W for putting together today’s post on NHM! She’s done an awesome job!

Santas, Pantos and Other Christmas 2018 events

I know, I know it’s too soon but the kids are back at school, Strictly and the X Factor have started and several places are now taking bookings for Santa visits/experiences.  If you need a weekend slot or you want to take advantage of early bird discounts the next few weeks are the best time to book.

Below are some of the local places to visit Santa, plus several other Christmas experiences that you may wish to book or put in the diary now.  With school holidays starting late this year demand for weekend slots for Santa will be high so book early.

Experiences with a Santa Visit

More of the Good Stuff – Dummer.  Now taking bookings for Breakfast or Tea with Santa

Wyevale Garden Centre – Sherfield on Loddon.  Tickets are now on sale for Santa’s Grotto.  They also normally do Breakfast or tea with Santa, keep an eye on their website for details.

Millers Ark – Nr Hook.  Lots of Christmas events including a Santa’s Grotto, Carols in the Barn and a Nativity with real animals.

4 Kingdoms – Headley.  Now taking bookings for their Christmas experience.

Finkley Down Farm – Andover.  Booking now open.

Basingstoke Canal – Mychett.  Booking opens 1st Oct.  Bookings by phone or in person.

Watercress Line – Alresford/Alton.  Book now for the Santa Special.

Marwell – Winchester.  Tickets on sale from September 17th.

Winchester Science Centre – Winchester.  Bookings now open for their Santa experience.

Paultons Park – Ower.  Tickets now on sale.

Lapland UK – Windsor.  Tickets now on sale

Legoland – Windsor.  Christmas tickets now on sale, discount for early booking.

Santa Grottos

Festival Place – Basingstoke.  Details TBC.  This is normally the cheapest Santa in the area.  No Booking required.

Henry Street Garden Centre –Arborfield.  Booking normally opens in October, weekends book up very fast.

Dobbies Garden Centre – Shinfield.  Book via website.

Redfields Garden Centre – Church Crookham.  Details yet to be released.  Normlly book instore or by phone 01252 624444.

Other Christmas Events

Festival Place Lights Switch On – Basingstoke.  Date TBC.

The Malls – Basingstoke.  Date TBC.  The Lights switch on is normally the start of a host of Christmas events in the Malls.  See their website for details.

Festival Place Santa Parade – Basingstoke.  TBC.

Milestones Christmas Market – Basingstoke.  8th – 9th Dec

Basingstoke Festive Fun Run – Memorial Park Basingtoke.  Dec 16th.  Please check website for times.

Lantern Procession – Newbury.  Dec 16th.  Join in or just admire and soak up the atmosphere as the candle-lit procession travels along Northbrook Street to the Market Place

Winchester Cathedral – Nov 17th – Jan 2nd.  Check out the cathedral website for all the events at Winchester Cathedral including the Christmas Market and the Ice Rink.

Theatre

The Magical Christmas Toy Shop – Proteus Basingstoke.  Dec 14th – 24th.  Interactive Christmas performance, Santa normally makes an appearance.  Early bird discount until September 30th.  For pre-school children (although most infants love it too).

Reindeer on the Roof – Central Studio Basingstoke.  Dec 14th.  Suitable for the whole family.

A Christmas Carol  – More of the Good Stuff, Dummer.  Dec 16th A production for Children.

Santa’s Christmas Party – The Haymarket Basingstoke.  Dec 7th – 9th ages 2 -7

Santa’s Christmas Party – Theatre Royal Winchester.  Dec 17th.  All ages

Pantos

Snow White – The Anvil Basingstoke.  Dec 13th – Jan 6th.  All ages

Aladdin – The Hexagon Reading.  Dec 8th – Jan 6th.  All ages.  With Justin Fletcher.

Beauty & The Beast– Theatre Royal Winchester.  Dec 1st – Jan 6st.  All ages

Jack & The Beanstalk – Corn Exchange Newbury.  Nov 30st – Jan 6th.  All ages

Dick Whittington – Mayflower Southampton.  Dec 15th – Jan 6th.  All ages.

And one for the Grown Ups

The Scummy Mummies Christmas Show – Theatre Royal Winchester.  Dec 13th  Ages 18+

Please let us know of any events you feel should be added to

For details of loads of other events follow Louise Nhm Smith on facebook and look up events.

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Basingstoke Music and Arts Festival 2019

The 2019 syllabus for the Basingstoke Music and Arts Festival is now live online!

The Festival has been running for over 30 years and has been enjoyed by entrants of all ages. We are a fun and friendly festival and would love to see the success of the festival continue as we celebrate the talent in Basingstoke and surrounding areas.

We are looking for budding musicians, writers and actors of all abilities to join in our festival for 2019. Whilst it is a competitive festival, the emphasis is on nurturing and encouraging and it is a great experience.

Follow this link to view the syllabus and please share with your family and friends. The festival is run by volunteers who are passionate about showcasing the arts in Basingstoke and encouraging the development of all in this field.

http://basingstokemusicandarts.org.uk/

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Review 2018: CarFest South

Thank you very much to R for today’s NHM Secret Review!!!

Review 2018: CarFest South

Wow.  Our day at CarFest was certainly one to remember!  Ha ha. I will explain…

CarFest doesn’t do anything half-heartedly.  It gives 100% to the atmosphere, to the entertainment, to the food, to the music, to the cars and to the fundraising.  It really is impressive. Unfortunately, on our day visit, the weather also decided to give 100%… 100% rain!!! All day.  From start to finish. It rained. And rained. And rained some more. It was relentless.

Now you would think, with all the problems that the weather was creating, that the event would be a washout.  However, I am pleased to report that it definitely wasn’t getting the better of this very British affair. We had an amazing time at CarFest and, weirdly, the crazy torrential rain made the whole experience even more unforgettable!

Top Tip:  Be prepared for all weather conditions (take suncream, hats, layers, waterproofs, picnic blankets/chairs, umbrella, etc) as this is largely an outdoor event.

About

CarFest South is a fantastic weekend of family fun, awesome cars, delicious food and great music.  It was founded by Chris Evans and raises money for BBC Children in Need.

It takes place over the August bank holiday weekend each year.

It is located on Laverstoke Park Farm, near Overton in Hampshire, clearly signposted from Basingstoke.  We didn’t encounter any issues with traffic or queuing at all.

There is plenty of parking onsite.  

Top Tip:  Please note that it is a long uphill walk from the car parks so choose suitable comfortable footwear.  Also make a note of which car park you are in to make it easier to find when you return in the dark!

Since its start in 2012, CarFest has raised £10.5 million for BBC Children in Need!  The purchasing of CarFest tickets, adding to the collection buckets, buying merchandise from the Pudsey shop and getting raffle tickets, all contribute to this wonderful charity helping disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

What’s On

The weekend is jam-packed with family-friendly entertainment.  I couldn’t possibly include everything in this review but here is a quick overview to give you an idea of what’s on:

Family
Farm Olympics, Steam Fair & Rides, Car-nival Parade, Kids’ Theatre, Inflatables, Kids’ Driving School and so much more.

Cars
Race track, Cartopia & Wall of Death, Vintage Village, Motorshow and Pudsey Bear Dream Rides.

Music
Wigwam Stage with performances from new and unsigned acts.
Main stage – headline acts this year included James Bay, Paloma Faith, Clean Bandit and Status Quo.

Food
Food Fair, Kitchen Stage (with live cooking demos from celebrity chefs) and caterers/cafes/food stalls galore!

Top Tip:  Find out what’s on and where from the Daily Planners.  Plan ahead and schedule your day so that you don’t miss out on any of your favourite activities, acts or displays. Some of the children’s activities, such as milkshake making and biscuit decorating, require booking a timeslot.

Top Tip:  The use of ear protection for young children is recommended at CarFest due to the loud cars and music performances.  These can be collected from the Organiser’s Office.

Facilities

  • Toilets and Baby Change
  • First Aid
  • Lost Child Point
  • CarFest encourages the use of reusable bottles to help protect the environment so there are drinking water points across the site.
  • Public Wi-Fi (all proceeds from Wi-Fi connections donated to Children in Need – £1 for 1 day, £3 for full weekend access)
  • Cash Machines (NB withdrawal charges apply)
  • Information Points
  • Electric Scooter & Wheelchair hire

The following must NOT be brought onto the festival site:

  • Dogs (except assistance dogs)
  • Alcohol, Glass, BBQs.

Exhibitors

All the wonderful folk volunteering and working there must have been so wet and cold but it didn’t dampen their spirits at all.  Everyone was so kind, helpful and enthusiastic.

This was particularly true of one stand “Milk & More” who kindly welcomed us to shelter from the rain for a while.  It was very interesting to learn about their service and sample some of their products. Milk & More source milk and other fresh produce from Britain’s farms and deliver them to doorsteps nationwide.  

They are passionate about encouraging people to eat well and live sustainably and it was inspiring to hear their story. I love the idea of waking up to fresh milk from a glass bottle. They were even providing the weekend’s campers with lovely fresh tasty breakfast hampers!  Their website is definitely worth a look.

https://www.milkandmore.co.uk/

Highlights

Chris Evans himself injected so much energy and fun into the weekend’s events.  He is very much present and actively involved in everything that’s going on. He is clearly passionate about CarFest and about the Children in Need charity and it was great to see him compere the evening’s entertainment and interact with all the performers.  

Tickets

http://www.carfest.org/ticket-information

Tickets for CarFest South in August go on sale in the previous November.

Prices vary depending on the number of days you wish to visit and whether or not you will be camping.  A 1-day family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) for the Friday this year was £143.

Children under the age of 6 can enter free of charge but you must order them a ticket.

Top Tip:  CarFest tickets are in high demand each year and can prove tricky to get your hands on.  You will need to set your alarm, be prepared and get online in plenty of time. If possible, use various devices and get friends and family on the case too!  Keep pressing refresh to see the latest information.

Rating

My rating of CarFest has to be 5 out of 5!!!  We really hope to return to this fantastic family event again next year.  We will also be hoping for a bit more luck with regards to the weather.

Reminder of Top Tips

    • CarFest tickets are in high demand each year and can prove tricky to get your hands on.  You will need to set your alarm, be prepared and get online in plenty of time. If possible, use various devices and get friends and family on the case too!  Keep pressing refresh to see the latest information.
    • It is a long uphill walk from the car parks so choose suitable comfortable footwear.  
    • Make a note of which car park you are in to make it easier to find when you return in the dark!
    • Find out what’s on and where from the Daily Planners.  Plan ahead and schedule your day so that you don’t miss out on any of your favourite activities, acts or displays. Some of the children’s activities, such as milkshake making and biscuit decorating, require booking a timeslot.
    • The use of ear protection for young children is recommended at CarFest due to the loud cars and music performances.  These can be collected from the Organiser’s Office.
    • Take picnic food and snacks with you to save some money as purchasing food onsite can be pricey.
    • Be prepared for all weather conditions (take suncream, hats, layers, waterproofs, picnic blankets/chairs, umbrella, etc) as this is largely an outdoor event.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of 2018 CarFest South in conjunction with MilkandMore. The tickets were supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.

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Inflatable Fun Day – SEN Only Session, Wednesday 29th August 2018

JV Bouncy Castles have arranged a SEN only session on their inflatables takeover day on Wednesday!

If you have a child with special/additional needs please come along.

Aldworth School
Wednesday 29th August
1.5 hours
0915-10.45
Siblings welcome

Follow the link to book –
https://www.bouncycastleshire.co.uk/pages/inflatable-fun-days

Please see attached photos for more details too

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