NHM Readers Recommend: Favorite Christmas Movies

Last year, I asked the NHM Readers “What are your favorite Christmas movies for young children?” 

The responses are listed below, in no particular order:

NHM Readers Recommend: Favorite Christmas Movies

Santa Clause the Movie

Claire S said “Santa Claus the Movie in our house.”

Honor said “Santa Claus”

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Diana said “Muppets Christmas Carol”

Rebecca said “Muppets Christmas Carol!”

Sarah said “Muppets Christmas Carol, for children young and old!”

Sue said “Muppets Christmas carol”

Helen J said “Traditionally I watch A Muppets Christmas Carol every year on Xmas Eve….I will be introducing this to my 2 year old”

Arthur Christmas

Claire K said “Arthur Christmas on Netflix at the minute!”

Helen B said “My son’s is Arthur Christmas”

Vicky H said “Arthur Christmas”

Kelly said “Arthur Christmas”

Sue said “and Arthur Christmas”

Kate said “Arthur Christmas”

The Polar Express

Carolyn said “‘The Polar Express’! ….it gets played all year round in our house!”

Ruza said “Polar Express”

Honor said “or polar express”

Miracle on 34th Street

Helen B said “My daughter is miracle on 34th street”

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Jessica “Nightmare before christmas”

Elf

Vicky M said “Elf”

Jo said “Elf!!!!!”

The Snowman and the Snowdog

Wendy said “Snowman and the snowdog

Ghostbusters II

Wendy said “and my 3 year olds favourite Ghostbusters 2”

The Great Escape

Susan said “Great Escape!!!”

Saving Santa

Sian said “My 5 year olds favourite last year was Saving Santa. Looks like it’s going to be the favourite this year to”

Home Alone

Lisette said “Home alone”

Rise of the Guardians

Kate said “Rise of the guardians”

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs @ The Anvil, Basingstoke – 13 Dec 2018 – 6 Jan 2019

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs @ The Anvil

Thursday 13 December 2018 to Sunday 6 January 2019

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s off to Basingstoke you go for this year’s traditional family pantomime at The Anvil: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

When the Wicked Queen’s magic mirror declares that Snow White is the fairest in all the land, the evil Queen wants her out of the way.  Snow White escapes to the forest where she meets seven little friends.  But the Wicked Queen doesn’t give up, and with a poisoned apple in her possession she tracks down Snow White …

Taking the title role of Snow White is Dani Harmer, best known as CBBC’s Tracy Beaker, and playing Muddles is Chris Pizzey, who was such a hit in Jack and the Beanstalk at The Anvil in 2015.  And once again Chris will also be directing the panto, and is planning lots of fun, magic, mayhem, and laughs.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.
www.TheBigCheesePhotography.co.uk

Dani Harmer was born in Berkshire and is one of the biggest stars of children’s television having played the lead role of Tracy Beaker since she was 12 years old.  She also had her own hit shows Dani’s House and Dani’s Castle.  She joined the line-up for Let’s Dance for Sports Relief in 2012; the following year she appeared in Strictly Come Dancing, reaching the final with her partner Vincent Simone.  She took part in the national Strictly tour partnering Pasha.  Dani is much in demand as a panto performer and is delighted to be coming to Basingstoke to play Snow White for the very first time.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.
www.TheBigCheesePhotography.co.uk

Chris Pizzey is best known to youngsters as Mr Stephen in the hit television show The Basil Brush Show, and Gerald Smedley in The Sooty Show, and for roles in CBBC’s Planet Ajay and The Sarah Jane Adventures.  Theatre includes most recently playing Randall Shuck in the Olivier nominated The Comedy About A Bank Robbery in London’s West End.  He has performed in and directed many pantomimes over the last 20 years and Anvil Arts is delighted that he is returning to The Anvil stage.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.
www.TheBigCheesePhotography.co.uk

The Wicked Queen is played by Kirsty Sparks, who has appeared in Me and My Girl, CATS, Starlight Express and Saturday Night Fever.  She also works as a choreographer and most recently worked for ITV’s Girlfriends.

Chris Warner Drake is the handsome Prince.  Chris is currently appearing in Chicago and has appeared in many musicals including Hairspray and Starlight Express.  Films include Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Jack the Giant Slayer.

The dame is played by seasoned panto performer Jamie Steen who has a wealth of experience in theatre, musicals and cabaret.  As Nursie, Jamie is looking forward to sharing his/her medical and fashion advice with the people of Basingstoke!

Join the Wicked Queen, handsome Prince, and seven mischievous dwarfs for a huge portion of festive fun.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will have lavish sets and sumptuous costumes, a mix of up-to-the-minute pop songs along with old favourites, great gags and plenty of audience participation – perfect for keeping the whole family entertained during their Christmas treat.

The Anvil, Basingstoke.
Snow White
Christmas Panto 2018.
Photograph By: Sean Dillow.
www.TheBigCheesePhotography.co.uk

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will run from Thursday 13 December 2018 to Sunday 6 January 2019.

There is a relaxed performance for those on the autistic spectrum and with other disabilities on Wednesday 2 January at 2pm.  There is also a BSL signer at the 6pm performance on Tuesday 18 December.

For more information or for tickets, call the Anvil Arts box office on 01256 844244, or visit the Anvil Arts website anvilarts.org.uk.

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NHM Readers Recommend their Favorite Father Christmas Visits

In 2017 I asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook “which Father Christmas “visit” would you recommend that you’ve been to this year and why would you recommend it?”

Many thanks for your responses, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers Recommend their favorite Father Christmas visits

Marie said:

4 Kingdoms Adventure Park is good but it gets more expensive every year (you do get a lot for your money though).

Finkley Down Farm is good alternative that is a bit cheaper.

Helena said:

We’re going to 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park for the third year running. So much for the money and the 2hr Christmas experience is different every year.

Paultons Park is very good but the same every year and very expensive for a family. The whole park is open but most of the best rides are shut. They’re both by booked ticket only.

Kelly said:

Breakfast with Santa at Wyevale Garden Centre is really good! We’re going for the second year running. Would highly recommend”

Rachel said:

If they just want to see Santa Conkers Garden Centre is good

Vicky said:

We’re doing brekkie with santa next week at Sherfield on Loddon Garden Centre

Personally I’d avoid santa in Festival Place there’s no magic or mystery as he’s in full view! Saw a preschool girl open up a pressie, was a cheap looking very small book!

Leah said:

Unfortunately I’ve booked my 2 to do to Festival Place this year. The train has gone & for £4.50 each child it doesn’t seem like there’s much for them this year (a walk round the icy forest, a snowball fight with the elves (!) & a visit to Santa. I’m quite disappointed tbh & think I’ll avoid after this year.

Wendy said:

We’re off to Henry Street tomorrow to see the real one…they have the best Santa’s.

Then we do the 4 Kingdoms Adventure Park one just before Christmas, they feed their elves sugar and E numbers all year round then let them out to do the Santa experiences.

Hannah said:

We love Conkers Garden Centre, the guy always remembers my boys, and you get private space away from others to sit and chat to him. Someone did say the grotto wasn’t there this year though so maybe call ahead and check.

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Let it snow in Basingstoke town centre

Christmas is coming to the Top of Town in Basingstoke as it will be the only high street in the UK to be adorned with a vast array of specially commissioned window displays of snowy scenes.

Several of the independent businesses throughout the Hampshire town will be displaying bespoke vinyl decals of festive fun from today. There will be six designs in total yet each business will have its name incorporated into their one-of-a-kind Christmas creation by the artistic team from Snow Windows.

It is just one of the many festive events which will be bringing the spirit of Christmas to Basingstoke this year. It is being run by Basingstoke Together, the face of the Basingstoke Business Improvement District (BID). The BID’s aim is to help Basingstoke town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “We’re really proud that Basingstoke has so much to offer residents and visitors who want to enjoy a truly festive feeling this year.

“Alongside picking up a bargain or two in the busy shopping period, we hope that everyone who spends some time in the town centre makes the most of the various opportunities to experience the spirit of the occasion on our doorstep.”

25 businesses in the Top of Town will be supporting the initiative to create a snowy spectacle along Winchester Street and the surrounds. The Snow Windows will be on display in time for a wide variety of festivities happening in Basingstoke.

Surya’s International Food and Newsagent on Church Street is one of the businesses who will be dressing their windows ready for Christmas.

Owner Kishor Patel said:  “We’re really looking forward to Surya’s wonderful snow window display being installed. It will give our store a welcoming feel and also hopefully encourage people to take the time to visit the top of town and admire the festive decorations.”

The array of festive events in Basingstoke this year include:

  • Nutcracker Trail – 16 November – 31 December: Take your children on a magical trail around Basingstoke to discover all ten of our Christmas Nutcrackers. Collect a Trail Book from various pick-up points around the town centre to be in with a chance of winning festive prizes.
  • Christmas Cracker Making Station – 24th and 25 November: Get crafty and join the elves at the Christmas Cracker Making Station in Festival Place. Fill your crackers with giggles, jokes and wishes to set your Christmas off with a bang.
  • Christmas street theatre – every Saturday from 24 November – 22 December: Head to The Malls to take in a wide variety of festive fun shows including Funky Santas and Giant Christmas presents.

  • The Night Before Christmas projection – throughout December: A special Night Before Christmas show will be projected onto The Willis Museum. Shows will be on the hour every day from 4pm.

Keri Ackling, of Snow Windows, said: “We have loved the challenge of creating bespoke and reusable decals on a much larger scale for the first time in Basingstoke. We feel that they will really create the ‘wow factor’ for the festive season – they are the perfect backdrop for your Christmas selfie!”

Find out more about Basingstoke Together by visiting https://www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

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NHM Readers Recommend: Where to get a Real Christmas Tree

Good Afternoon Everyone! I’ve had a great question (in 2017) from a NHM Reader: “We are looking forward to our first Christmas in Basingstoke and I wondered if you could tell me where I could get a real Christmas tree from?” TIA!

NHM Readers recommend: where to get a real Christmas tree

Stacey said:

West Green Fruits in Hartley Wintney do the best trees around in my opinion!”

Emma said:

I agree with Stacey! West Green Fruits – and it’s a nice experience too in their barn with a small selection of Decs to look at too”

Aimee said:

West green fruits!! Absolutely gorgeous trees and the Christmas barn is lovely!!”

Allyson said:

https://www.facebook.com/burcotfarmtrees/

Lisa H said:

We got ours last year from there. Def recommend.” https://www.facebook.com/burcotfarmtrees/

Lisa W said:

Elm Park Garden centre on the A340 just north of Basingstoke towards Tadley”

Skye said:

Yep this” Elm Park Garden centre

Rachel E said:

Burcot Farm has lovely trees. So many sizes to choose from and reasonably priced to.”

Rachel W said:

Elm Park Garden centre every time”

Lisa R said:

There’s a ‘pop up’, outdoor Christmas tree sales place down Roman Road each year – not sure when they start to set up from. I’ve not used them but go past them on the way to work!”

Hayley said:

The one on Roman rd as mentioned above … cheap and good quality – last well!”

Rebekah said:

Last year we decided to try Moles garden centre in Sherfield-on-Loddon. My husband bought it without seeing it out of the net. I was like why?!! But then we opened it and it was perfection! The best tree we’ve ever had.”

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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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Kids Kan Dance: Christmas Creative Dance Workshops & Kids Kan Dance with Mummy (Walkers to 18 months)

Kids Kan Dance – Christmas Creative Dance Workshops

We have now released the dates for our Christmas Creative Dance Workshops.

These workshops are suitable for:

  • Preschools
  • Nurseries
  • Year R
  • Playgroups
  • Brownies

And any other groups that children attend

Join us on a magical journey to help Father Christmas deliver presents to all the boys and girls.  Perfect for your Christmas party of an end of year treat!

Email – kidskandance@gmail.com for more information!!

Kids Kan Dance with Mummy – Walkers to 18 months

Kids Kan Dance are thrilled to announce that we are opening a NEW class.

In November we will be launching a class for children who are confident walkers up to 18 months!  We will be holding taster sessions throughout November ready for the LAUNCH of this new class in January 2019!

This is a  class for children to dance with an adult. Classes are full of fun, dance routines, creative movement, singing, sensory play, exploration and imagination.

For more information please email kidskandance@gmail.com or view the website: https://www.kidskandance.co.uk/

Kids Kan Dance….. Where your child’s dance journey begins.

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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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Foxbury Forest School Christmas Special – Thurs 21st December 2017

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