Molly’s market: FREE ENTRY – Saturday 7th October 2017

A frequent conversation of mums with small children revolves about what can we do instead of going back to work to earn some money around our children, and one day during such a conversation our NCT group realised that we actually know quite a few people who have set up their own businesses since having children, and that we should support them as much as possible – and so the idea for Molly’s Market was born.

All the stalls are run by mums who have set up businesses, either things they make themselves or “shop” businesses like Usborne books, so there will be a wide range of goods for sale from handmade clothes, cosmetics and toiletries, children’s books, jewellery, crafts, greetings cards and gifts, to delicious homemade cakes – “byMum’sforeveryone“.

Entry to the market is free, with any profits going to Sebastian’s Action Trust – a charity which provides support for families of seriously-ill children. They have the UK’s only purpose-built facility that offers respite holidays to very sick children and their families, near North Waltham, which enables precious time to be spent together, a cause both local and close to our hearts as we all have small children.

Refreshments will be available and a raffle of items from the stalls, both in aid of Sebastian’s Action Trust.  Zingtastic will be providing a taster of their music classes to entertain any little ones, and KMS are providing taster massages for grown ups. And to top it off, a swap shop where you can pick up some children’s clothes for free, and donate your unwanted clothes!

Please come along to support some local businesses, raise money for a great charity and get a head start on your Christmas shopping!

 

Christ Church, Reading Road, Chineham, RG24 8LT

7th October 10am-12 midday

https://www.facebook.com/events/842596599232095/?ti=cl

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Review 2016: How do reindeer fly?

Thank you very much to Helen who went to see “How do reindeer fly” yesterday and sent her review to me last night!!! christmas%20list%20high-resolution%20export-422

Proteus Christmas Show lives up to expectations!

About

We went to the Proteus children’s Christmas show last year and the year before and absolutely loved it both times, so we were very excited about going along to ‘How do Reindeer Fly?’ this Christmas. Expectations were very high for what is fast becoming a Christmas tradition in our house.

In ‘How do reindeer fly?’ The audience are invited to Christmas HQ to see the elves at work. After a creative demonstration of gift-wrapping the elves take a hard earned tea break and then, once all the ‘visiting elves’ are sporting reindeer antlers, they introduce us to Donner and Blitzen. Things go a little bit awry and Mary Christmas has to call on the visiting elves (children in the audience) to save Christmas.

As with previous years’ shows, the audience seamlessly become part of the show with the children helping the elves with the magic that makes the reindeer fly. There is less moving between rooms than in previous years, with the show mostly based in one room. This seems to work well and there is a greater sense of space than in previous years. Towards the end there is a short walk into another (beautiful!) snowy space. Here there are some lovely sensory activities and then Father Christmas arrives to tell the children a story.

The show did not disappoint. My 4 year old belly-laughed more times than I could count and was completely engaged with the story and the activities. My 1 year old was so fascinated by what was going on that he actually sat still for a while! He enjoyed meeting Donna and Blitzen so much that he kept going back to look for them when they had gone. The team at Proteus seem to have a knack for producing children’s shows that are entertaining, funny and interactive whilst being lovely and relaxed. ‘Heartwarming’ is the best word I can think of to capture the atmosphere they create.

Overall we had a brilliant time, we left with many happy memories and some Christmas souvenirs. The team at Proteus should be commended for creating, once again, an imaginative, wonderful Christmas story. We’ll be back next year for more!

How do reindeer fly is showing at Proteus creation space until Saturday 24th December and is sold out (sorry!). Even if you’re too late for this years’ show make sure you check out what they’re doing next year!

For more information see http://www.proteustheatre.com/creation-space

Tips

I’m told that children who attended the show will receive an email from Father Christmas sometime this weekend!

The children meet Father Christmas at the end but he tells the group a story. There is no expectation of a one-to-one so it would be fine for children who are less keen on meeting him.

Most of the children there were around 3-6 years I would guess, with a few younger siblings. The show is advertised as a preschool show and it is perfect for preschool-aged children. Older children probably wouldn’t get a lot from it.

Although this is an interactive show there is no pressure and parents can stay with children and help them at all times.

Facilities

Proteus has baby changing, toilets, a café (with amazing cake!) and free parking.

Price

£7.70 per ticket

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

2016 has been a tough year for NHM but we are still here! Yay!!

Thank you very much for all of your support. It’s been overwhelming on a number of occasions how much support NHM has. Thank you!!!!!!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank the NHM Marketing team and especially Shona who has gone above and beyond in writing up posts, helping me to put the schedule together and generally keeping me motivated! I probably would have quit NHM this year, had it not been for these Ladies support.

I normally take the time “off” NorthHantsMum between Christmas and New Year and end up finding myself working harder than ever! So this year, I will be writing but probably in the background and I have a few things that I haven’t gotten around to posting that I really need too, before the end of 2016. So keep an eye out.

Merry Christmas and I hope it’s not too stressful and very, very enjoyable!!!  I hope you and your loved ones have an AWESOME time!!

Thank you x

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Things to do w/c 19th December 2016

No school run this morning. YIPPPEEEEE!!!!!

Oh and Merry Christmas!!!!! WHOOP WHOOP!!!

That’s all I’m going to say for this week :-D.

Things to do w/c 19th December 2016

Monday 19th December: How do Reindeer Fly?

Tuesday 20th December: Christmas Storytime at South Ham LibraryChristmas stories for primary school aged children, 20 December at 3pm

or

Magical Living NativityMagical Living Nativity on the farm

Wednesday 21st December: Christmas Craft at Tadley LibraryCome along to this drop in craft session.

Thursday 22nd December: Pre-Christmas meet up, Last Minute Mums

Friday 23rd December: Sing Christmas Carols in the BarnCarols in the Barn at Miller’s Ark Animals

Saturday 24th December: The Santa Show 2016: Santa Saves Christmas at Viables

Sunday 25th December: CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOP WHOOP!!!!!!! Skate for free at Planet Ice on Christmas Day!!!!

Related Pages

Activities (Classes, Playgroups, Meet Up’s)

New Classes!

Local Events

Don’t forget, if you have any events coming up that are relevant to parents in the area, please let me know via northhantsmum@gmail.com. Thanks!

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I have a confession to make…

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I REALLY don’t like the first few weeks of December.

I love Christmas, I love the time that we can spend together as a family, but these first few weeks of December are always soooo stressful.

My heart literally sank this morning when one of Miss NHM’s school friends started handing out Christmas cards. I had COMPLETELY forgotten about that. We are away this weekend, visiting friends that we don’t see very often and Miss NHM finishes school on Friday 16th December, which means I need to find a few hours after school one evening in the next week and a half, to “persuade” Miss NHM to write Christmas cards for at least 30 of her school friends. (After much talking to lots of my good friends scientific research , it’s pretty clear that Miss NHM is one of the most strong willed children that we all know, so I’m really looking forward to asking her to write these cards… I’m lying, obviously). And I’ve got to get her to do this in between her end of year parties for the few classes that she does after school, one of which is a pyjama party and I’ve just realised that we will have to open one of her Christmas presents early as all of her current pyjamas are far too threadbare to wear out and about in public!

And the also sudden realisation that I may also have to buy Christmas presents for some of her classmates. Even though I’m organised enough to have a “Present box” that I fill throughout the year with stuff when it’s a bit cheaper, it’s still never enough.

Then there’s the next sudden realisation that I need to get the presents posted off to our friends who live abroad, before the postal closing dates in the first week of December. I am very, very grateful for all of our friends who live abroad but don’t they realise that getting a parcel posted at a UK post office, during working hours, is a logistical nightmare!

Last year I wrote 165 Christmas cards. Yup, 165. I know it’s my own fault for being so popular (:-D) and I LOVE getting Christmas cards in return, but 165. It took me a whole weekend last year. Sigh.

Thankfully, I set a precedent when we first got together, that Mr NHM does all of the wrapping in our house because I HATE wrapping presents, of any kind. I look wistfully at those presents that have been wrapped with the fancy bows and the ribbon that’s been curled “just so” but realised long ago that I just don’t have the energy for all of that crap creativity!

I also hate shopping. Yes, Amazon is an amazing invention but have you read up on how they treat their staff? I try to get everything sorted by November, to avoid the crowds, because people seem to be that little bit more grumpy in those first two weeks of December. Plus, parking is hellish everywhere.

Also, I just don’t get the “Elf on the Shelf”. Yes, it’s fab and yes I’m sure the kids love it, but where do their Mum’s get the energy from to do it? All that head space needed to come up with original stuff and then the time to put it all together when the kids are asleep, when all I want to do is lie on the sofa like a flat fish and try not too have a panic attack about how much more I still have left to do before the end of term! AND I’ve got to fit it all in around work!!?!?!?!!? Plus, I’m sure that “Elf on the Shelf” would make Emily Pankhurst spin in her grave, if she knew that she’d given up her life so that generations of future women could dedicate so much time to these slightly creepy elves! (I know, controversial :-D).

Oh and the Christmas play. The wonderful Christmas play! Last year, my first year of the “joy” that is the Christmas play, I got the “finger of doom” when Miss NHM’s YR teacher summoned me at pick up to say that if Miss NHM didn’t have her costume ready for the dress rehearsal the following day, she wouldn’t be able to take part. I wanted to elaborate on how Amazon Prime had lied to me that the black T-shirt I’d ordered wasn’t actually on Prime and wouldn’t be delivered the following day, but two weeks AFTER Christmas and that I was in the middle of leading a very large project worth $40M that was due in the following week. However, I knew this wouldn’t cut it, so I risked being sacked by schlepping through Asda and Sainsbury’s on my lunch break, trying to find a sodding black T-shirt so that Miss NHM could be a star in her Christmas play.

Then Miss NHM cried all through the performance we went to see because she wanted cuddles from me. Which should be super cute but when all of the other Mum’s tell you that she performed beautifully in the first two performances it’s a little gutting that you didn’t get to see her “shine” because she was so upset and I couldn’t even get to her to give her a hug as we aren’t allowed to even comfort our children when they are at school!

(This year, I was far more organised and had her outfit delivered to the teacher the day after the letter arrived at the end of November. Not that it made a difference because it was a completely different teacher, but still! And we’ve already sorted our game plan of hiding in the back so she doesn’t see us!!)

And the joy that is the Christmas stockings. I’m normally pretty organised with stockings, as I just delegate Miss NHM’s to Mr NHM and do my Mum’s myself. However, this year Mr NHM rudely got himself a new job, which means he’s working 5am to 4pm every week day and isn’t on shift like he used to be and therefore isn’t around to just “nip” to the shops to pick up a few bits when needed or to wait in the post office queue for an hour when he’s off shift. Plus he’s bloody knackered from working such long hours. So this year it’s all down to me. Last year, I actually forgot about Mr NHM’s stocking until about three days before Christmas. Opps!!! Thankfully, I don’t think he reads these posts so I haven’t been busted yet!

Plus, it REALLY annoys me when he says that he won’t write his Christmas wish list because I should just “know” what he wants. Er, no darling. After I’ve bought ALL of the Christmas presents, written ALL of the Christmas cards (he doesn’t believe in sending any cards of any type. Bastard. I won’t go into the drama last year, when I sent his parents their Christmas card later than everyone else’s!!!??!!), sorted all of the Christmas “schedule”, worked out all of the food, done EVERYTHING to do with the school Christmas (Christmas lunch, christmas outfit, school friend cards, school friend presents, and all the other “stuff” I’ve forgotten”), done the advent calendars, I don’t actually have any capacity to come up with whatever he might like for his Christmas present. However, this year he has learnt and has given me a list in advance because I think he may have been a teeeeeeny tiny bit peeved that his stocking last year contained lots of things that I actually wanted, Hehe.

And I MUST not forget the Father Christmas mince pie, carrot and reindeer food. Because she’s old enough this year. She understands! She gets it! So if I screw up, she’s going to be scarred for life and will always remind me (like she does already when I’m so tired and call a plate a bowl. “No Mummy, that’s a plate, silly! in that slightly condescending voice that she uses just for me”) that I ruined that Christmas for her when she was 5 and three quarter years old. I definitely preferred it when she was younger and less vocal :-D.

Oh and the Christmas Eve box, which I thought I was organised for until I realised that Miss NHM’s Gran has bought the video I wanted to get for the box (I’d put it on the wrong wish list. DUH!), from the Amazon wish list that I was all smug about setting up in advance (oh the joy of being able to see what’s been purchased in advance on an Amazon wish list!) and Miss NHM refused to even watch Arthur Christmas (U) at the weekend on Netflix because it was “too scary” so now I have to negotiate with Gran to see if I can have that DVD and she can buy another one. Plus, I now need to get more pyjamas because we’ve had to use the Christmas eve box pyjamas for the pyjama party this Thursday (see above!)

And breathe.

Yes, I know this reads that I’m very bah humbug this year and I really do LOVE Christmas, it’s just all of the pressure and stress that comes with it, and despite however much planning or organisation I do in advance, I never seem to quite make it in time.

And this post is for all of my friends who are under the delusion that I’m organsied :-D.

I love it when school finishes and Mr NHM and I finish work and we just stop for a few days.

Just stop and chill and relax and have lie in’s and pyjama days and stop. But I’ve realised that we HAVE to stop by the time it comes to Christmas because we are all completely on our knees!!!!!

So all I want for Christmas this year is… a rest, please. Oh and a magnum of Prosecco. Obviously ;-).

Merry Christmas and may you not be sucked into the “end of term” vortex of chaos. Good luck!!! 😀

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Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2016!!!

I am sooooo excited to be able to announce the Christmas Food Boxes appeal again this year for Basingstoke Voluntary Action.

The NorthHantsMum Community have been involved in this appeal since it started three years ago and I’m VERY proud of how much we’ve been able to help!

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Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2016

Over the last 3 years Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) have distributed nearly 1000 Christmas food boxes to individuals across the borough who are living with the effects of poverty, social isolation, or vulnerably housed, as well as food and tents, winter equipment and clothes for around 75 individual people who are sleeping rough.

Over 500 of these were distributed last year alone, showing what can be achieved when communities are motivated and united for such a worthwhile local cause.

The food box appeal has grown year on year, and become a huge undertaking. This means we need as much help as we can get to ensure 2016 is another successful year.

Basingstoke Irish Society have generously offered us room at Basingstoke Irish Centre to accept donations, and storage space to use as a hub for this year’s food drive.

We will be accepting donations between

Monday 18 November  – Friday 16 December 2016

Basingstoke Irish Centre

Council Rd, Basingstoke RG21 3DH

Please contact natascha.shepherd@bvaction.org.uk to arrange delivery of donations or to discuss volunteering.

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Last year’s appeal benefitted recipients identified by a broad range of local charities and support agencies, including:

·         HCC Learning Disabilities team

·         HCC Children’s Services Team

·         Mencap

·         Bridge Centre

·         Opcis

·         Neighbourcare

·         Youth Offending Team

·         Hampshire Wellbeing

·         Two Saints Ltd

 

·         May Place

·         Jacobs House

·         The Camrose Centre

·         YMCA

·         MaD (teenage parents)

·         Young Carers

·         Citizens Advice

·         YouTrust

·         Homegroup

·         Mary Rose Court

·         Community Furniture Project

·         Trinity

 

“I would like to say a massive thank you to BVA for the hard work they have put in arranging food boxes this year. I have taken around 30 & delivered them to clients that were not expecting anything – all were very grateful for the thought & the generosity of people”

Home Group

“Without donations such as these, Trinity would not be able to provide the same level of service to our clients, and we are so grateful that you thought of us.”

Trinity

“Basingstoke Voluntary Action do some fantastic work to help the community and I’m thrilled AWE staff have been able to contribute to such a worthy cause.”

AWE

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Why not make it a team challenge?

Last year local companies competed internally to fill the most boxes, bands got together and held a concert, and local schools had non-uniform days!

There are two ways anyone can help:

Option 1 – Christmas Food Box for refuges, hostels and underprivileged families

  1. Take a photocopying paper box and lid
  2. Wrap box and lid separately in Christmas wrapping paper
  3. Fill it up with food for Christmas, selecting from following suggested items:
  • Tins of ham or chicken
  • Tins of new potatoes
  • Tins of carrots, garden peas
  • Tin or pouch of long life quality casserole meal
  • Dessert such as custard, mince pies, Christmas Cake,
  • Luxury biscuits, chocolates/selection box
  • Tea/ coffee/cocoa
  • Snacks such as crackers, twiglets, savoury twists, nibbles.
  1. Box all food up
  2. Email to arrange delivery; In some cases, or where large donations are concerned we may be able to collect donations
  3. We will donate them to the worthy causes and centres in the Basingstoke and Deane area

You can find detailed instructions on how to build your box at the following post about the 2014 Christmas food boxes on NorthHantsMum.

Option 2 – Donations of food and items to be distributed to homeless centres and hostels, can be from the list above or any of these:

  • Food items such as cup soups/noodles, tea bags, coffee (any food bags you can add hot water to); ring-pull tins of hot dogs, ravioli, stews, rice puddings; high energy protein/cereal bars; chocolate biscuits/sweets/small selection boxes, multipack crisp/snacks
  • Equipment such as warm hats, scarves, gloves, socks, jumpers, coats; unwanted rucksacks or draw string bags; wind-up torches, sleeping bags, thermos flasks/cups; sturdy boots/shoes, toiletries
  • Please note we cannot accept any donations of alcohol or food containing alcohol

We also need empty photocopy paper boxes, donations of sticky tape, wrapping paper and volunteers to help sort items, wrap, pack and distribute boxes – if you have any free time and would like to join us we would love to hear from you!!

Finally, many companies in previous years have donated money to help with winter food box appeals. If you would like to do this please make cheques payable to Basingstoke Voluntary Action and clearly write on the back Christmas Appeal

Please note that due to the change in venue this year we cannot guarantee response to phone messages. For all Food Box related enquiries please email natascha.shepherd@BVAction.org.uk.

You can also support BVA by “Like-ing” their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BasingstokeVA/?fref=ts

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Christmas is coming to Festival Place

2015 Festive Place Christmas Lights Switch on in Festival Square. pic by Sarah Gaunt. taken 13.11.15 Photos for Festival Place. SARAH GAUNT PHOTOGRAPHY 07931900834
2015 Festive Place Christmas Lights Switch on in Festival Square.
pic by Sarah Gaunt. taken 13.11.15
Photos for Festival Place.
SARAH GAUNT PHOTOGRAPHY 07931900834

Plans are well under way at Basingstoke shopping centre, Festival Place, for a Christmas to remember.

Kicking off the festive activities on Friday 11th November, will be the famous Festival Place Christmas Light Switch On.  Featuring stars from the annual Anvil Arts pantomime and an array of family entertainment, this fun event is sure to get everybody into the Christmas spirit.

Sunday 4th December will then see the return of the well loved Festival Place Santa Parade, featuring an array of Christmassy characters marching from Porchester Square to Festival Square for the festive parade. Leading the event will be Santa himself, giving shoppers a welcome break from their Christmas shopping to enjoy the entertainment.

The Santa Parade and Christmas Light Switch On come as part of a series of events and activities coming up at the centre to spread the Christmas cheer this festive season, alongside their name change for the second year running from Festival Place to ‘Festive Place’.

2015 Festive Place Santa Parade Photos by Sarah Gaunt Photography 07931900834 taken 6th December 2015
2015 Festive Place Santa Parade
Photos by Sarah Gaunt Photography 07931900834
taken 6th December 2015

To keep up to date with details of Festival Place’s Christmas activities and other events at the centre visit www.festivalplace.co.uk or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Stocking Fillers Ideas and 14 things you don’t want to forget for Christmas!

Today’s “Sunday re-post” is just for you if you are struggling with ideas of what to put in your little ones stockings:

Stocking Filler Ideas! (It seems that this post isn’t working, so I’ve updated this post with the original post below. Hope it helps!

and if you can’t think of all of those things you need to remember for Christmas, this is the post for you!:

14 things you don’t want to forget for Christmas

Stocking Filler Ideas 2014

I’ve mentioned before that I do my VERY best to avoid things that are going to end up in landfill.

  • Bubbles
  • Satsuma
  • crayons
  • modeling clay or play dough
  • a Slinky
  • miniature Lego kits
  • travel games
  • decks of cards
  • mini jigsaw puzzles
  • wind-up toys
  • squirt guns
  • balloons
  • beach balls
  • high bounce balls
  • small stuffed animals
  • toy cars
  • fancy shoelaces.
  • Gift vouchers (clothing, restaurants, groceries, music download cards, new experiences).
  • Pocket or desktop calendars.
  • Pens
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • highlighters
  • color pens
  • notepads
  • Wristwatches or small alarm clocks
  • Torch
  • kitchen utensils
  • Try a favorite candy, jam, mustard, or ice cream sauce
  • Orange
  • Candy canes
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste (travel sized)
  • Pretty stones or minerals
  • Music CDs.
  • New hairbrush
  • jewellry
  • hair clips, hair bands, hair toggles
  • hot chocolate
  • bar of chocolate
  • Christmas chocolate
  • Novelty chocolate
  • key rings
  • fun showergels
  • Bubble Bath
  • Colouring or Activity Books/Pencils
  • Post It Notes
  • Bubble Wands
  • Socks
  • Large Chocolate Coin
  • Travel Bag
  • Cookies in Christmas shapes, such as Santa or Reindeer.
  • Mince pies
  • Toy cars
  • Silly putty
  • Army Men or small action figures or dolls
  • Clothing for Barbie dolls or other dolls
  • School supplies
  • Books
  • Art supplies
  • a note promising a special activity that day
  • permission to download a new app to their ipads

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Review 2015: Santa Town – a charming and interactive Christmas show for under 5’s!

Today’s review of Santa Town has been done by one of the NHM Writers, Lindsey, and she’s done a fantastic job! Thank you Lindsey!

Santa Town is incredibly popular with families under 5 years old and details are at the bottom of this post for booking tickets. Lots of shows are sold out though, so be quick!

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Review 2015: Santa Town!

Last night, Scratch Built Productions in association with Proteus Theatre Company took a very lucky group of Basingstoke-based elves on a whimsical journey to the residence of Father Christmas. Armed with Christmas jumpers and a return train ticket, a motley crew of excited Glitter, Packer and Prancer Elves (sorted according to size, obviously) made their way through the snowy landscape in hope of meeting the Big Man himself. Led by the very capable clan of Christmas Elves – Becky, Betsy, Bobby and Bunny Bauble, our train wheeled its way to our first stop: Passport Control. Whilst usually a place reserved for desperately trying to look like a photo in which you’re sporting an ill-advised fringe, in Santa Town it is a place for naughty and nice lists, hand-drawn passports and pink, fluffy passport officials. It is also the place where we as the audience get a feel for what we’re in for. And we’re in for something good!

Santa Town is a promenade show, meaning that rather than sitting down and passively watching the story unfold, the audience walks from room to room, very much part of the action.  As soon as the show begins, The Christmas Elves directly address the crowd, encouraging everyone to join in, move about and take part. There are special jobs dished out for individual audience members along the way, immediately prompting much enthusiastic hand-raising and “ooh ooh, me, me, me!” from the littlest theatre-goers.    Pens and paper are passed around at various stages of the show in order to draw pictures and write wishes, alongside other simply delightful role-playing activities which I won’t spoil for you.

Going to Santa Town without a little one in tow, I worried that not being the target audience (it is billed for under-5s) might make me feel a little silly.  Not so. In safe hands with the warm and enthusiastic Christmas Elves, I soon found myself sitting cross-legged and immersed during story time, lining up in the shop queue clutching Santa Town currency hoping to buy a crochet banana, and gasping in delight as I spied a very familiar fellow in red velvet peeking round the door.

Promenade shows done this well are rare.  Santa Town perfectly blends audience autonomy with good crowd control, meaning that whilst the 50 minutes flies by, you feel like you’ve seen, done and experienced as much as you could possible want to. Because much of the joy of the show is in its unexpected nature (I heard one little voice pipe up with “Mummy, what’s NEXT?!” as we made our way to the next instalment of the show) I won’t reveal all of its little pleasures.  However, some of my highlights include the beautifully told story of the Shoe-makers Elves, the wonderfully crafted and expertly handled puppets who add that extra bit of magic, and the gorgeous little design touches that pepper the whole show. The set and scenery is like something out of your childhood imaginings; comfy leather sofas, a roaring log-fire (don’t worry, it’s fake), and bookshelves all strewn with fairy lights transform the space into the perfect Santa’s grotto.

On a practical front, each room is well equipped for little ones, with soft mats on the floor and baby wipes on hand for rogue pen dashes. There is a dedicated area for buggies, clean baby-changing facilities and the whole space is breastfeeding friendly.  The café is open before, during and after the show for hungry/thirsty theatre-goers. The Creation Space does have parking, but I imagine during busy shows it fills up quickly.

So if you’re after a little something special to make your Christmas extra sparkly, head to The Creation Space from now until Christmas Eve…and tell Father Christmas I said hello!

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Local artists get on board the express train to Santa Town – An interactive festive show for the under fives

Scratch Built Productions, in association with Proteus Theatre Company, present a special and unique festive treat for younger audiences this December, transforming the Creation Space into the enchanting Santa Town.

All aboard the express train to Santa Town! This fully interactive show takes audiences on a magical journey through a winter wonderland and into a Christmassy town like no other. Audiences meet a variety of fun and festive characters along the way and, if you are very lucky, you might meet the big man himself!

Created specifically to be enjoyed by the youngest members of the family (and as something a little different from a traditional Christmas show), the Creation Space has been transformed into a walkthrough adventure where children are encouraged to explore, play, create and interact within Santa Town.

Audience members will have their special passports stamped before entering this magical world of role play and storytelling, where they will discover Santa Town’s very own fancy dress shop, mini grocery, a working post office run by mischievous elves and a bank where you can collect your Santa town money! This delightful show follows on from last year’s sell-out Father Christmas’ Christmas List show and features music, puppets, dancing and lots of participation.

“She was desperate not to leave and wanted to go through and do it all again!
Abi from NorthHantsMum on Father Christmas’ Christmas List 2014 (NHM: LOVE that the press release includes a quote from NorthHantsMum :-D)

Santa Town is a truly collaborative production; Scratch Built Productions have worked with artists from the local community, including illustrator and ceramicist Katie Smith, graphic designer Chuck Douglas, street artist Bill Thorpe and internationally recognised artist Kev Munday. This talented collective have designed and created many of the Santa Town landmarks, from the post box, to the wishing well and the Santa Town Chronicle to the Santa Town currency!

Performed by a diverse cast, including CBeebies actress Becky Kitter, Proteus’ winter tour regulars Paul Huntley-Thomas and Mary Rose, Scratch Built newcomer Anna Tobert and puppeteer extraordinaire and Scratch Built Director Nick Ash, this show will be 45 minutes of Christmas magic!

Santa Town runs from Tuesday 15th to Thursday 24th December, with three performances a day at 10am, 12pm and 2.30pm. The 2.30pm performance on Friday 18th December will be a relaxed performance for those with additional needs, although this performance is open to all. 12 performances are already completely sold out!

Tickets are £6.50 each, children under 12 months of age go free. Tickets available from wegottickets.com/proteustheatre or you can book in person at the Creation Space. For more information, visit www.proteustheatre.com or call the Proteus office on 01256 354541. Please note, card payments can only be made online.

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