Pandemic fails to stop celebrations in the lead up to Christmas

There’s a host of festive events planned in and around Bury St Edmunds in the coming weeks in the lead up to Christmas.

The town will be decorated as usual and families will be able to join in some fun events in and around the town.

Although there will not be a Christmas light switch on event, the town will still be lit up.

For the first time this year, the lights will be turned on from St Edmunds Day, Friday, November 20, celebrating the town’s namesake and creating an attractive backdrop for visitors throughout the festive season and beyond New Year’s Day.

For details of the events outlined below and many more visit www.christmasinburystedmunds.co.uk

Other events include:

Christmas Emporium at Ravenwood Hall, December 4 to 20

Set within Ravenwood Hall Hotel’s extensive gardens at Rougham, the family friendly Christmas Emporium will be reminiscent of the German Christmas Markets, with a variety of stalls offering traditional festive fayre from roasted chestnuts to mulled wine and unique gifts. The Emporium will be open Friday to Sunday, from December 4 to 20, 10.30am to 4pm.

Tuck into fire-pit roasted salmon, wood-fired pizzas and an array of festive treats. There will also be plenty of drinks on offer including hot mulled wine, Christmas punch, spiced apple juice and real ales. Sit in the main marquee or keep warm and cosy in a booked Ravenwood snug, which just has space for six with table service, while you listen to the carol singers perform your favourite Christmas songs.

Browse the craft stalls for that special something for under the Christmas tree. Ravenwood’s Christmas Hampers will also be on sale as will a selection of Christmas trees to take home and decorate.

For details visit  www.ravenwoodhall.co.uk or call 01359 270 345.

Meet Santa at Dobbies Garden Centre, December 5 to 24

Bring your little ones along to the Winter Wonderland at Dobbies Garden Centre, where they will be welcomed by Santa and receive a special gift. His grotto will be open from 11am, closing times vary the latest being 4.30pm.

Dobbies has been working hard with Santa and his elves to ensure the safety of their guests. Ticket numbers have been reduced to comply with social distancing and all visitors are required to wear a face covering.

Timed tickets are £11.99 per child (up to 12 years) including a gift. Book online at  https://events.dobbies.com/event-detail/?e=2154&v=63&f=20201201g

 Breakfast with Santa at Dobbies Garden Centre, December 5 to 24

Families with children aged 12 years and under can also book Breakfast with Santa at the garden centre where they will be seated and served at their own table. Breakfast is served at 8am. The children’s menu is £13.99 including a visit to Santa’s Grotto where they will receive a gift, while the adults menu is from £6.99 (excluding a gift).

Book tickets online at https://events.dobbies.com/event-detail/?e=2150&v=63&r=v

Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds outdoor Christmas 2020 production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, December 11 to 24

Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds will be presenting a new adaptation of one of the country’s best-loved Christmas stories – “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, adapted by Owen Calvert-Lyons and Ian Jarvis.

The 60-minute show will be performed twice on Angel Hill each evening at 7pm and 9pm (excluding Tuesday, December 15 and Monday, December 21). The Christmas Eve performances will be at 5pm and 7pm.

Set against the beautiful backdrop of The Angel Hotel, this outdoor production will bring the streets of Victorian London right into the heart of Bury St Edmunds. With in-the-round staging and headphone technology, audiences will be able to fully immerse themselves in a Dickensian World.

The professional cast of five includes local actors Matthew Cavendish, Rebecca Peyton and Howard Saddler along with Paul Sandys and Melissa Lowe.

The production has been made possible with the support of West Suffolk Council and is sponsored by Taylor Wimpey East Anglia.

This will be a socially distanced, promenade event (there will be no seating – audiences will be standing and will be required to wear masks). Customer with accessibility issues should contact the Theatre Royal prior to booking.

The Angel Hill car park will be closed at 5pm each evening (3pm on Christmas Eve) to allow for the technical crew to set the stage each evening.

Book tickets online at www.theatreroyal.org  

Virtual Santa at Blackthorpe Barn, December 12 to 22

Youngsters aged between two and nine can meet Father Christmas face-to-face and enjoy a magical and inspiring experience, albeit virtually. Blackthorpe Barn at Rougham will be transporting Santa into a new, virtual world chatting live from his wintry grotto with his elves nearby.

Book your day and time slot at the online box office, enter your child’s details and Blackthorpe will email a link to connect to the grotto. Youngsters will still receive a present from Santa, which can either by couriered to your home (£6.99) or collected from the barn.

Tickets are £10 per child, for more details visit www.blackthorpebarn.com or call 01359 270880.

Moyse’s Hall – Sci-Fi and Action Exhibition, December 3 to January 20

Moyse’s Hall Museum strikes back with an intergalactic exhibition celebrating two special sci-fi anniversaries as well as cult-classics from the big and small screens.

The 12th annual Sci-Fi and Action Exhibition will mark the 40th anniversary of the second Star Wars film, “The Empire Strikes Back”, one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever to hit the big screen.

See a display of props and memorabilia from the movie that introduced us to Yoda, the legendary Jedi Master, AT-AT all terrain armoured walkers and a shocking family revelation that set the world talking.

In addition, it’s 40 years since “Galactica” landed in homes across the globe. This classic series was a spin-off to 1978’s “Battlestar Galactica”; displays will explore the franchise’s impact upon popular culture. Around this time, Tom Baker was also capturing the public’s imagination as Dr Who; high-end screen props will reignite memories and look out for a real Dalek as you walk round the museum.  Finally meet an icon baddie – a real screen used Gremlin from the mid-1980s cult classic.

The intergalactic exhibition for all ages is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sundays noon to 4pm. Last entry one hour before closing time. Admission: adult £5, concessions £3; child £3 (5 to 16 years), family £15 (up to 5 people). Tel: 01284 758000, www.moyseshall.org

Face masks will be required and numbers limited to observe social distancing.

For more information about festive events in and around Bury St Edmunds, where to stay and other things to see and do, visit www.christmasinburystedmunds.co.uk

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