Christmas at The Bowes Museum

Celebrate the sights, sounds, smells and taste of Christmas at The Bowes Museum.

Santa has made time in his busy schedule to return to the Museum in Barnard Castle again this year.  He'll be in residence in his winter wonderland woodland grotto from Thursday 1st December until Saturday 24th December.

Children will be greeted by Santa's elves and make Christmas ornaments and cards before meeting Santa himself in his cosy sitting room, where they'll find out if they've been naughty or nice and let him know what they'd like for Christmas.

Tickets cost £25 per child, members get priority access to tickets from Monday 5 September and £5 off per child, newsletter subscribers can get early access from Wednesday, 7 September and they go on general release on Friday 9th September.

Two adults can accompany each family group of children, with an extra two adults allowed per slot, who will require admission tickets.

The Sunday before advent (Sunday, 20 November), join in our Stir Up Sunday event.  From 10.30am until 3.30pm, youngsters can discover the ingredients that go into a Christmas pudding, stir The Bowes Museum’s Christmas pudding and make a wish! Then create their very own spiced, filled Christmas pudding Christmas tree decoration to take home. In a slight twist to the tradition, they can eat a (chocolate) coin instead of adding it to their pud!

Join in party activities and have Brunch with Father Christmas and his elf on Tuesday, 6 December from 10.30am until 12noon.  Children can decorate their own Christmas decoration and have their photo taken with them too before taking their party bag home, complete with present.  Tickets are £25 per child.

On Thursday, 8 December, A Christmas Carol Theatre arrives at the Museum.  Suitable for those aged 15 and over.  Join the great Victorian novelist Charles Dickens as he brings to life one of the most famous ghost stories of all time.  A tale of revenants and redemption, hauntings and humbugs, seasonal spooks and sentiment.  Jonathan Goodwin is Dickens in this one-man performance, co-directed by Goodwin and Gary Archer.  Tickets are £15 each.

A highlight of the regional calendar, the Christmas Market returns on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 16, 17 & 18 December from 10am to 4pm. This is a chance to stock up on fabulous goodies, tasty treats and enjoy the festive atmosphere as this ever popular event returns to the galleries and grounds of the Museum.  Tickets are £6 per adult, £3 per child and £5 for on-site parking.  Traders interested in taking a stand at the event can contact events@thebowesmuseum.org.uk to book a place.

Have brunch with The Bowes Museum's snowman on Tuesday, 20 December from 10.30 until 12 noon.  Join in activities and party games before having a snowball fight in Cafe Bowes!  Decorate your own Christmas ornament and don't forget to take your party bag and gift home.  Tickets are £25. 

Visitors to the Museum will also be able to enjoy the Raymond Briggs: A Retrospective exhibition.  This touring exhibition on loan from the Quentin Blake House of Illustration, is the first ever retrospective of one of the most influential author-illustrators of all time. It will show material from his personal archive, revealing the origins of iconic titles that have become household favourites, literary classics and international phenomena.

They can also follow a trail around the Museum where they'll be able to see lots of 3D snowmen created by different schools and community groups in the area.

Schools will be able to book group visits to see Santa as well as take part in workshops designed around the curriculum for the Raymond Briggs exhibition too.  Contact education@thebowesmuseum.org.uk to find out more.

Anyone can enjoy the taste of Christmas in Cafe Bowes as its seasonal menu bursts with festive flavours including a traditional Christmas dinner with vegetarian and vegan version from December 1.

The Museum shop will also have lots of trinkets and objects to delight, including advent calendars, baubles, jewellery, books and more, for extra special gifts.

The Bowes Museum is open from 10am to 5pm everyday, except 25, 26 December and 1 January.

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