Celebrate Christmas with Festival Place

Christmas is now just around the corner and, once again, Festival Place has lots of exciting activities planned to delight and entertain the whole family.

The season officially commences on Thursday 16th November with the ever-popular Christmas Light Switch-on, hosted this year by Matt and Michelle from Heart Breakfast. The evening will feature live entertainment from The Halo Glow Show – an explosive visual stage act featuring virtuoso circus artists; the Wonderful West End cast performing songs from The Lion King, plus the stars of the Anvil’s production of Peter Pan. Santa and his elves will carry out the ceremonial pushing of the ‘on’ button to light up Festival Place and visitors will also be able to enjoy a firework display and see the shopping centre’s brand new Christmas decorations.

Santa’s Woodland Walk and Grotto will be in centre from Saturday 18th November to 24th December, where kids can not only come to meet Santa but also have fun with some augmented reality dancing penguins, an animatronic Christmas tree and Rudolph’s Naughty or Nice-o-meter! Visits cost £4.50, including a free gift, and some dates can be booked in advance here: http://www.bookfatherchristmas.co.uk/festivalplace

The famous Santa Parade will return on Sunday 3rd December at 12pm with Santa leading a whole host of Christmassy characters on a march from Porchester Square to Festival Square, sharing Christmas cheer with shoppers along the way.

With over 200 big brands and plenty of restaurants and cafés to choose from, it’s easy to make this year’s Christmas shopping a fantastic family day out.

Further activities are yet to be announced so keep an eye on the Festival Place website at www.festivalplace.co.uk/events or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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“Made in Basingstoke” – Summer 2017

BASINGSTOKE LAUNCHES SUMMER-LONG FESTIVAL WITH JAM-PACKED EVENTS PROGRAMME CELEBRATING THE TOWN’S FOOD, FASHION, ART AND CULTURE

21st June 2017:  Basingstoke is set to become Hampshire’s cultural capital this summer, when the town’s creative talent is celebrated in its inaugural ‘Made in Basingstoke’ festival, a jam-packed extravaganza of events catering for all tastes and age groups.

Running from 14 July to 13 August 2017 and comprising four themed weeks entitled Create, Taste, Discover and Make, the Festival will showcase the town’s artists, foods, attractions and people through a comprehensive programme of daily activities to be staged at key attractions, shops, museums and shopping centres across the town.

It will also celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen, who was born and raised in the area, with themed teas during the ‘Taste’ week and a host of activities during the ‘Discover’ week. These will include a walking tour, an amusing musical recital at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre; and a new exhibition called ‘Retail and Romance: Jane goes to the Ball’ at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery. In addition, visitors will be able to view a new bronze statue of the author, which will be unveiled in the town centre on 18 July.

Also, coinciding with the festival, is a new ‘Sitting with Jane’ free public arts trail and associated app featuring 24 ‘Book Benches’, each designed and painted by a different professional artist.

One of the highlights of Create Week (14-20 July) will be ‘The Mystery of the Star Eaters’, an immersive gaming experience for would be detectives and adventurers.  This interactive game will turn Basingstoke’s streets into a life-sized game board in which participants follow clues, question witnesses, solve puzzles and embark on a discovery around the town’s landmarks to investigate a mystery.

Other activities include: ‘The Create Market’, which will take the form of an expansive arts and craft market in The Malls shopping centre during the weekend of 15/16 July, complete with live entertainment.  There will also be art workshops hosted by local crafters and businesses including Paperchase, All Our Own Crafts, Eco-Workshop and the Red Lion Hotel, with topics ranging from decoupage to chalk painting.  Plus, music lovers can participate in a series of events at Dawsons, from open jam session days to digital drum workshops.

Next comes Taste Week (21-27 July), which will feature free cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs Phil Vickery and Jean-Christophe Novelli at The Malls Shopping Centre on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July.  There will also be a Taste Market focused on local produce and businesses as well as a Jane Austen cream tea party at the Red Lion Hotel.

Then, to celebrate Basingstoke’s historic past, is Discover Week (28 July-3 August) including a ‘Summer Raincoat’ craft session tying into the town’s heritage connections with Thomas Burberry, as well as an array of events celebrating Jane Austen (see above) and a Punch and Judy Festival. Visitors will also have the chance to experience a vintage makeover during a ‘Fashion in the 50’s’ masterclass, at the town’s Vintage Treasures shop.

Finally, during Make Week (4-13 August) there will be a range of free events for families, from the Summer of Literacy Reading Challenge, to Charlie’s story time and children’s crafts at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre. There will also be rides, slides and workshops and the opportunity to get artistic and create ‘selfie’ masks, perfect for sharing on social media, at The Malls Shopping Centre.

For more information and a full schedule of events visit www.madeinbasingstoke.co.uk and follow @inbasingstoke and use #LoveBasingstoke on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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Peppa Pig returns to Festival Place

Festival Place, is excited to announce that the popular children’s fiction character, Peppa Pig, will be returning to the Basingstoke-based shopping centre over the Easter weekend.

Throughout the day on Saturday 15th April, the lovable but slightly bossy little pig will be meeting and greeting fans accompanied by Daddy Pig and George Pig.

There will also be story time sessions, led by a narrator, taking place at intervals between 11am and 4pm with free goodies up for grabs.

Spaces will be bookable online in advance, with some available on the day on a first come, first served basis. Make sure you come down early to avoid disappointment!

If you’re looking to visit Festival Place over the Easter weekend the shopping centre opening hours will be:

Good Friday (14th April) – 9am to 6pm

Easter Saturday (15th April) – 9am to 7pm

Easter Sunday (16th April) – CLOSED

Easter Monday (17th April) – 9am to 6pm

To stay up to date with all the latest information on the events planned at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk  or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Upcoming events at Festival Place – Feb to June 2017

Festival Place is excited to announce a number of events and activities taking place at the Basingstoke-based shopping centre over the coming months.

Kicking off this week, from Saturday 11th February to Tuesday 14th February, will be Festival Place’s Love Emergency campaign to celebrate Valentine’s Day. As well as being able to consult the ultimate guide to Valentine’s Day before they visit, shoppers will have the opportunity to take part in something extra special with surprise gifts for their loved one.

As the end of April approaches, things will be hotting up at Festival Place with the Student Lock In on 29th April, where the town’s youngsters can enjoy extended shopping hours to take advantage of a whole host of offers and discounts, with live music, freebies and giveaways. The same weekend will also see the Fashion Event, taking place on 29th and 30th April, which will showcase the season’s trends and provide inspiration for a spring wardrobe refresh.

The next date for the diary will be the much-anticipated annual food event, Eat Street, which will be running from Saturday 3rd June to Sunday 4th June. Once again, the shopping centre’s restaurants and cafés will be delighting the crowds with samples from their diverse menus and shoppers can look forward to meeting a special celebrity guest.

Festival Place Marketing Manager Charlotte Ranger said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming visitors to a number of fun events at the shopping centre this spring and are particularly excited about hosting our fifth Eat Street event. We hope that people will come from far and wide to find out firsthand all that Festival Place has to offer.”

To stay up to date with all the latest information on the events planned at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk  or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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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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Spooktacular fun at Festival Place

halloween-at-festival-place_2

Festival Place is your place for a spooktacular Halloween this year, with a week full of family fun activities.

Kicking off the spooky fun on Monday 24th October, the Basingstoke Discovery Centre will be hosting a special two-hour Witches and Broomsticks workshop from 1pm. Here, little ones will have the chance to create a mini broomstick from real sticks and twigs with willow craft expert, Judith Needham. Once the brooms are ready, children will then be able to join Basingstoke Discovery Staff to create a witch or wizard to ride it! Attendance costs just £5 (Adults free) and advanced booking at www.hants.gov.uk/bsc is essential.

On Tuesday 25th October, they’ve got the purrfect way to beat the half-term boredom, with a Cat Care Talk from 2pm for £2 (Adults free) at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre. Whether you already have a cat or kitten, are thinking of getting one in the future, or just a lover of cats, everyone is welcome to come along and find out all about responsible pet ownership and the welfare of cats. This event is recommended for children aged five plus and advanced booking is again essential.

There will be crime investigation entertainment at the centre on Friday 28th October, from 11am-1pm, with their CSI Kids event. Under the guidance of CID staff, children will work their way through a series of clues using real forensic techniques to solve a Halloween Crime. Aimed at children aged seven plus, this event is priced at £12 (Adults free) and advanced booking is required.

Rounding off the week on Saturday 29th October, there will be a spooky mad scientist’s laboratory in Porchester Square from 12pm-6pm. Full of creepy creative fun, the event will feature face painting and trick or treat bag decorating for all ages.

Customers will also have the chance to take a funny frightening fake photo of their head in a jar. Photos shared with #spookyfp on social media will then be in the running to win a spooky prize.

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

You can also find out more details at the following facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/658868214288570/

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Build-A-Bear fun at Festival Place – Sunday 21st August 2016

Teddy Bear's Picnic, Festival Place, Basingstoke.
Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Festival Place, Basingstoke.

Basingstoke shopping centre, Festival Place, is inviting shoppers to come and enjoy some Build-A-Bear Workshop fun this summer.

Taking place on Sunday 21st August, shoppers will have the chance to meet the Build-A-Bear Workshop mascots, Bearemy and Paulette for teddy bear games, with exclusive prizes for the winners.

Customers are encouraged to bring their own bears to join in the entertainment and meet some new Build-A-Bear friends.

There will also be lots of photo fun for shoppers, with a special Build-A-Bear Workshop Instagram frame and photo props.

The family event comes as part of an exciting diary of activities taking place at Festival Place this summer, including the return of the Festival Place Summer Garden – the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a relaxing escape, whatever the weather.

Festival Place has over 160 big brands including Next, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Zara, Topshop and H&M to name but a few.

And for when shoppers are in need of a little refuelling, there are over 20 restaurants and cafés to choose from including; Las Iguanas, Wagamama, Nando’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Pizza Express, plus a 10-screen Vue cinema for some added entertainment.

To keep up to date with the Build-A-Bear Workshop event and other activities at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Review 2016: Story time with Paw Patrol at Festival Place

Thank you very much to “H”, one of the NHM Writers, for today’s review.

Paw Patrol

Story time with Paw Patrol at Festival Place

About

On Sunday 24th July, Festival Place hosted story time with Paw Patrol. The event had been advertised around the shopping centre for some time.

On the day the session times were shown on a sign at the entrance to the ‘pen’ as well as on the Festival Place Facebook page.

Sessions were held in the square outside M&S. We went to the final session of the day at 3:30pm. The first people in the queue were there at 3pm and they started letting people into the pen at 3:15pm.

There were maybe 50 beanbags on the floor for the children to sit on (parents were asked not to sit on beanbags).

As far as I could tell everyone got in who had been queuing although not all of the children got a beanbag. There was also the option of standing around the outside of the pen and a lot of people were doing that.

At 3:30 Marshall and Chase arrived in costume along with a storyteller. There was some call and response and cheering to ‘warm up’ the crowd and then two Paw Patrol stories were read – one about pirates and one about a birthday party.

I had my three year old and baby in tow.

The three year old is a huge paw patrol fan and was very excited about meeting Paw Patrol. He had a brilliant time and a huge grin on his face all the way through.

The baby was a little less impressed but sat on my lap relatively still watching the action.

The storyteller was enthusiastic and did her best to bring the stories to life. Unfortunately the sound wasn’t great (I would guess due to the space) and many of the children had clearly stopped listening after a while.

Despite this, looking around, all of the children seemed happy to watch Chase and Marshall prance around and weren’t too concerned whether they could follow the story.

Overall we had a really good time and I would go to this kind of thing again.

I had avoided them in the past thinking they would be ridiculously busy but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected.

Having said that, I have heard that sessions earlier in the day were extremely busy and a little chaotic. There may also have been some technical issues earlier in the day.

Tips

Parents – be prepared for sitting on the shopping centre floor!

It’s fine to queue up with pushchairs but you will then be asked to leave them at the back of the pen.

Once you’re in the pen you’re pretty much in for the whole session so if you think your child won’t want to stay for all of it (it was maybe 20-25 mins long) you may be better off getting a good spot standing on the outside of the pen.

If you want a good seat and view, it’s worth queuing up early.

Prepare your child that they probably won’t get to ‘meet’ the characters – one child did try to go over and say hello at the end but Chase and Marshall were ushered away.

Facilities (including baby facilities)

All Festival Place facilities are available during these events including baby change/family toilets/restaurants etc.

Parking

Festival Place or other town centre car parks.

Prices

Free

Rating out of 5

4/5

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Festival Place food event, “Eat Street”, returns for fourth year! 11th and 12th June 2016

Festival Place_Eat Street

Basingstoke shopping centre, Festival Place will be holding their popular Eat Street food festival for the fourth year running on June 11 and June 12.

The event, which promises to offer free food and entertainment, will also feature cooking demonstrations from a mystery TV Foodie…More details coming soon!

What’s more, with over 30 restaurants and cafés to choose from, Festival Place is gaining a reputation as the perfect foodie destination including Wagamama, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Nandos and Ask Italian to name but a few.

Festival Place Marketing and Business Performance Manager Sarah Murphy said: “We are delighted to host Eat Street for a fourth year here at Festival Place. We are looking forward to welcoming both local shoppers and those from further afield and showcasing some of the fabulous food available from our restaurants and cafes.”

And for when shoppers have had their food fix, there will be plenty of fashion to fill them up with over 160 big brands, offering designer wear at Debenhams and quality high street finds at French Connection, Phase Eight and Zara. For the latest trends, customers can also enjoy Topshop, H&M, Oasis or River Island, and for the more relaxed look there is GAP, Superdry and Fat Face.

If that is not enough, Festival Place offers a range of homeware options at Laura Ashley, Next and TK Maxx, as well as all the latest kitchen must-haves at Pro Cook and Debenhams.

For technology, there’s an Apple store and the Sony Centre for customers to peruse, and to keep the children entertained the centre has a Build-A-Bear Workshop, Hawkins Bazaar and The Entertainer.

To stay up to date with Festival Place’s Eat Street event and other activities at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk  or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Festival Place gets set for a stylish spring – 7th May 2016

Festival Place Spring Fashion Event

This spring will see Basingstoke shopping centre, Festival Place, host the ultimate fashion experience. Kicking off on Saturday 7th May, the two-day fashion extravaganza will include an array of stylish activities and entertainment, sure to give shoppers their ‘Big Brand Fix’.

Amongst the fashion fun, the event will include a mini catwalk with an educational fashion showcase. Here, customers will be able to see the hottest looks of the season and receive expert tips on how to wear them from a special guest fashion stylist.  Big Brands involved include Marks and Spencer, River Island, French Connection and Jack&Jones to name but a few.

Throughout the weekend, the Festival Place fashion paparazzi will be on the hunt for the most stylish looks, sharing the best ‘street style’ on social media. Shoppers will also be invited to snap their fashion selfies in front of the Festival Place paparazzi walls, and share them on social media with #fashionplace for the chance to win big prizes.

For those in need of a bit of pampering, there will be a Health and Beauty Lounge,  where customers can come and relax with free hair styling, nail painting and beauty treatments from the likes of Benefit, Clarins, Hair Lab and The Body Shop.

Commenting on the event, Marketing and Business Performance Manager at Festival Place, Sarah Murphy, said: “We’re really excited about this year’s fashion event and appreciate the support we’ve received from our retailers. We want to give Festival Place customers the ultimate style event and are confident that this year will be bigger and better than ever before.”

With over 160 big brands to choose from, Festival Place is the perfect choice for fashionistas, offering designer wear at Debenhams and quality high street finds at French Connection, Phase Eight and Zara. For the latest trends, customers can also enjoy Topshop, H&M, Oasis or River Island, and for the more relaxed look there’s always GAP, Superdry and Fat Face.

When shoppers are in need of a little refuelling and energising, there are over 30 restaurants and cafés to choose from including; Wagamama, Coal Grill & Bar and Pizza Express, plus a 10-screen Vue cinema for some added entertainment.

To stay up to date with Festival Place’s fashion event and other activities at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk/fashionplace or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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