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Family fun for the festive season

Family fun for the festive season

Discover Christmas at Kew, Father Christmas and Peppa Pig World this festive season

Words Pendle Hart and Helen Baron

OINK OINK!

Peppa Pig World

You may not know it, but on the edge of the New Forest National Park stands Peppa Pig World: a theme park within a theme park (it’s hosted by Paulton’s Family Park) dedicated to every toddler’s favourite wholesome hog.

Rides and attractions will be semi-familiar to anyone who’s ever watched an epsiode or a hundred of the Peppa Pig TV show, with names like George’s Dinosaur Adventure, the Windy Castle Ride and Peppa Pig’s Balloon harking back to classic moments from the series. You can even play at jumping in muddy puddles, meet Mummy and Daddy Pig and visit Grandma and Grandpa Pig’s house – and of course, there’s a toy shop full of Peppa goodies too. All told, it’s a sweet and innocent way to spend a day and kids will lap it up; more importantly, it’s hardly a couple of hours’ drive from London.

And if you’re not too tired out by the end of all that pigginess? Well, you could always take a walk in the New Forest – you might spot some real porkers snuffling about among the trees. Sow amazing.

peppapigworld.co.uk

peppa pig world
Xmas at Kew

Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith

Children of the Eighties who now have children of their own will love this: a new stage production of Raymond Briggs’ legendarily grumpy – and loveable – Father Christmas.
Join old Saint Nick as he prepares for his busiest day (and night) of the year – complete with live music, amazing puppetry and lots of festive cheer.

Christmas at Kew

Kew Gardens is set to transform into a magical after-dark explosion of festive colour this month. The annual Christmas spectacle is a breathtaking display of more than 60,000 lights in a mile-long illuminated trail inspired by the gardens themselves.

Visitors will begin their journey through a botanic wonderland via two giant Christmas trees festooned with ribbon as the sweet aroma of mulled wine, hot chocolate and roasting chestnuts fill the air. As they head off into the night, visitors will meet a carpet of lights, gently swaying like blossom in the breeze, made up of a whopping 1,700 delicately flickering lights, before warming themselves at the scented Fire Garden inspired by Five Gold Rings from The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Glittering trees dripping with giant crystals will bring the Gardens to life, as colour-changing reeds rise high into the night sky and visitors pass through a Tunnel of Lights animated by a staggering 63,000 pixels creating patterns and pictures to a well-known Christmas soundtrack. Along the trail, the whole family will get the chance to enjoy Kew karaoke at the Christmas Juke Box, before coming face to face with an avenue of floral installations creating a shimmering Crystal Lawn. There’s a chance to pause at Mistletoe Moments before the woodland walk dotted with larger-than-life clusters of candles comes into view. A spectacular finale will see the Palm House Pond burst into life with an explosion of brightly coloured laser beams, streams of light and flickering orbs that dance in time to much-loved Christmas classics.
 The North Pole village is home to Santa and his elves, while a Victorian carousel and helter skelter at White Peaks will fill the younger visitors with joy. As the winter trail comes to an end, visitors will finish the trail under the stars while toasting marshmallows, before admiring a stunning range of Christmas gifts for all the family at Victoria Plaza.
 23 November 2016 – 2 January 2017; kew.org

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