The festive season is officially underway in Kingston following the Christmas lights switch-on and the launch of the seasonal market.
On November 16, Santa pressed the switch on the illuminations following an afternoon of fun which included the opening of the market, live music and seasonal food. The Candy Cane Forest, featuring children’s entertainment and fairground rides, is a new addition for 2017.
The market will open Sunday to Wednesday, from 10am until 6pm, and Thursday to Saturday, from 10am until 8pm. Its trove of unique and handmade giftware on sale in the traditional wooden cabins will complement the offer in the town’s 500 shops and two shopping malls.
Children’s Literary Festival
The first Kingston Children’s Literary Festival is also underway with some of the UK’s best-loved children’s authors lined up for readings. They include Olaf Falafel, illustrator and animator, Tom McLaughlin, author, Katherine Woodfine, blogger and fantasy writer, A. Bello and the award-winning Pete Johnson, author of over 50 books. Click here for schedule and to book.
Seven Kings Trail
A quirky Christmas activity can be found in The Seven Kings Trail. Find all seven kings around the town centre to win an iPad. Pick up a trail map from the literature racks on Clarence Street or in Market Place, or click here to download one.
Find out which book each king is reading then pop your answers in the special post box by Candy Cane Forest.
Creative Christmas workshops
A range of creative workshops, from hamper-making to cocktail-creating, from party prepping to mastering make-up, and from felting to festive wreath-making are on offer at venues across the town. Click here for the full range.
Father Christmas will be in his grotto in Bentalls award-winning toy department on the third floor. The visit to Father Christmas is free and a special gift costs £4.99 per child. This includes a £1 donation to local charity, Momentum, which supports families whose children have cancer or a life-limiting condition..
This year’s Christmas show at The Rose Theatre is Alice in Winterland. It runs from Thursday, 7 December until Sunday, 7 January and is sponsored by Kingston Futures partner CNM Estates. The Lewis Carroll original is adapted and directed by Ciaran McConville, with music and lyrics by Eamonn O’Dwyer. Alice’s world of ice will be made magical by evocative music and strikingly imaginative designs, puppetry and projections. Click here for show times and to book.
(Christmas Market image courtesy of Visit Kingston)