What’s on

Find local family-friendly events in the Chester area here. If you have something to add, whether it’s an event you’re running or something we’ve missed, please do get in touch. While we do our best to ensure that details are up to date, please confirm events are taking place before making a special journey.

December

**FREE! 26th November to 7th January, Mon-Sat 9 am to 6 pm, Sun 11 am to 4 pm – Christmas Tree Festival, The Cloisters, Chester Cathedral, St Werburgh Street, Chester From the end of November, Chester Cathedral cloisters will be filled with more than 50 majestic Christmas trees. Escape from the hustle and bustle of the festive period and lose yourself in our astonishing tree-lined winter walkways.

1st December to 14th January, various times – The Secret Seven, Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR Storyhouse’s first ever Christmas explodes into life with the world’s first ever stage show of Enid Blyton’s children’s classic. Bright lights, frosty nights, presents on the tree – Christmas is coming to Cherrydale! But something is wrong. There’s a strange fire burning in a haunted cottage, Santa’s elves aren’t being nice at all – and who’s the little girl who can walk in the air? The Secret Seven must be at their best and brightest to solve this mystery – and with no help at all from Jack’s little sister Susie … Adult tickets from £26, child and youth tickets all £19.50.

**FREE! 1st to 31st December – Castle Street at Christmas, Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor St, Chester CH1 2DD Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and step back in time to the Christmas of yesteryear. Come and see our period rooms decked out in festive finery, and discover how the people of Chester have celebrated Christmas over the last 350 years.

8th to 24th December, various times – Cinderella, The Forum Studio Theatre, Hamilton Place, Chester Join Tip Top Productions at The Forum Theatre for their annual Christmas pantomime which, this year, tells the Fairytale of Cinderella and her Prince Charming. Tip Top Productions have earned a reputation for family-orientated fun-filled pantomime productions in their intimate studio space in the last 11 years and, following the success of the last two years, this is another professional production. All tickets £11, concessions £9, family ticket £37.

11th to 23rd December, 10 am to 4 pm – Christmas through the Ages, Chirk Castle, Chirk LL14 5AF This year Chirk Castle will be festooned with different styles of decorations, charting the progress of Christmas trimmings over the last 700 years. From the ‘Medieval Christmas’ in the courtyard and Adam’s Tower to the Tudor Kissing Bough in the Portcullis and the Hop Garland in the Long Gallery, there’s plenty to discover about how the festive season was celebrated in centuries gone by. Sample delicious festive foods in the cafe and browse for presents and local seasonal produce in our Shop.

11th to 30th December except Christmas Day, 11 am to 4 pm – The Fantastical Winter Toybox, Erddig, Marchwiel, Wrexham LL13 0YT We’ve delved into the archives to bring you a playful, curious and intriguing look at the Yorke family’s toy collection. Come and join us to discover the toys which have been scattered around the grounds of this beautiful property . From a giant working zoetrope to oversized babushka dolls visitors can explore surprising and fantastical installations. You’re never too old to be enchanted. Admission charges apply. Please note the play area is closed in winter.

11th December, 10.30 am to 12 noon – Mini Makers, The Walk, Speke, Liverpool L24 1XD Join us on Monday mornings in the Restaurant for a drop-in session of guided crafts for little ones and their grown ups. Free event, normal admission charges apply (under 5s go free).

14th December, 9 to 10.30 am – Breakfast with Father Christmas, The Walk, Speke, Liverpool L24 1XD Bring your little ones for Breakfast with Father Christmas at Speke Hall this December. Enjoy a delicious breakfast, storytime with Father Christmas and take home a present. Adults £6.50, children £10.

14th December, 3 to 8 pm – Live Ice Carving & Festive Food Market, Wrexham Museum, Regent Street, Wrexham LL11 1RB Chill Out for Christmas and come and see fantastic live ice carving. Relax and enjoy your free complimentary drink in an ice glass, grab some festive grub from our café, do some Christmas shopping in our shop and if that’s not all – there’ll be free food tasting as well. Then you will be ready to watch the sensational live ice carving on the museum forecourt by Simon O’Rourke – Tree Carving. See if you can guess what the carving will be and get free bar of delicious chocolate. Tickets are £2.50 per adult or £5 for a family ( 2 adults and up to 3 children ) available from the Museum or online (www.thisiswrexham.co.uk from 16th Oct).

**FREE! 14th December, 7 pm – Winter Watch & Saturnalia Parade, Eastgate Street, Chester At 7pm from Eastgate Street you will be able to experience the special evening that merges two fantastic parades. The Saturnalia parade sees the Roman legion light up the streets with a torch-lit parade and the Winter Watch is a historic event when the city leaders would hand over the keys to the city watch.

14th December, 9 to 10.30 am – Breakfast with Father Christmas, The Walk, Speke, Liverpool L24 1XD Bring your little ones for Breakfast with Father Christmas at Speke Hall this December. Enjoy a delicious breakfast, storytime with Father Christmas and take home a present. Adults £6.50, children £10.

14th December, 10 am to 3 pm – The Mummy Makery Christmas Craft Workshop, The Dale Barracks, Liverpool Road, Chester, CH2 4BF The Cheshire Craft Collective and Breastfeeding Friendly Chester are pleased to announce their Christmas Craft Workshop! From 10 am to 12 noon, there are Christmas crafts for just £4. From 12 to 1 pm, bring your own lunch and make use of the free soft play area. From 1 to 2 pm there’s a free trial session of Move It Mums, followed by a free trial session of Mini Magoos baby massage from 2 to 3 pm. Bosom Buddies will be on hand to offer breastfeeding support and advice. Everyone welcome.

16th to 17th December, 9 to 10.30 am – Winter Weekend at Speke Hall, The Walk, Speke, Liverpool L24 1XD Bring your little ones for the Tinsel Toddle (both days) or your four legged friends for the Rudog Dash (16 Dec only). If you haven’t quite got all your Christmas presents yet, there’ll be stalls from some of our favourite local suppliers so you can pick up unusual and special gifts. Home Farm restaurant is open on both days so why not treat yourself to one of our Christmas dishes – we recommend the Victoria sponge with mulled wine jam – or let the family have a go at roasting marshmallows (£3 per skewer)? Normal admission charges apply.

**FREE! 16th December, 11 am – Frozen Sing Along, Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor St, Chester CH1 2DD Come along to our free Screening of Frozen and Sing Along to the hit musical comedy from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Follow the lyrics with a bouncing Frozen snowflake. Join Anna as she sets off on an epic journey– teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and a snowman named Olaf – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. It’s pure enchantment – and full of fun for the whole family! Free event, but tickets must be booked in advance – click here.

**FREE! 16th December, 2 pm – Whitby Hall Family Film Club, Whitby Hall, Stanney Lane, Ellesmere Port, CH65 9AE Bring the family along to Whitby Hall for an afternoon of fun, every third Saturday of the month. Grab a chair (or a bean bag!), help yourself to drinks and popcorn and enjoy a ‘U’-rated movie – from vintage Disney to modern animated classics. Follow @WHFamilyFilmClub on Facebook or join the mailing list to be the first to find out which film is showing each month. Free entry but donations are appreciated.

16th December, 2 to 4 pm – Christmas Stockings, Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor St, Chester CH1 2DD With Santa soon on his way, come and join us to make your very own festive felt Christmas stocking. Free event, suggested donation £1.50.

16th and 17th December, various times – Elf Adventure Challenge, Ice Cream Farm, Drumlan Hall Farm, Newton Lane, Tattenhall, Chester CH3 9NE Back by popular demand and bigger and better! With lots of different challenges to try and games to play, come and see if you’ve got what it takes to become an honorary member of santa’s squad of helpers. Challenges include: learning how to build toys, load the sleigh, play elf games and do the elf march, and all children will receive a free copy of the colour illustrated storybook to take home and continue their elf adventure. Each session lasts for 1 hour and is suitable for children aged 2-10 and their grown ups. Single tickets start at £12 per person and family tickets are also available.

16th and 17th December, 9.30 to 10.30 am – Breakfast with Father Christmas, Erddig, Marchwiel, Wrexham LL13 0YT Create some magical memories with your family and join Father Christmas for breakfast in our Hayloft restaurant. Mother Christmas has prepared a full Welsh breakfast, but Father Christmas is nowhere to be seen. Join Jake, the (award-winning) story-telling elf and give a cheer to wake Father Christmas and listen for the bells. With craft activity, songs, special story and a small gift for children, this memorable experience is guaranteed to fill everyone with festive cheer.

16th to 17th December, 10 am to 4 pm – Christmas through the ages: Medieval Weekend, Chirk Castle, Chirk LL14 5AF Chirk Castle’s courtyard will come to life on the first three weekends in December with a medieval feast for the senses, showing you some of the smells, sounds, sights and tastes of traditional festivities. This year meet medieval characters in the courtyard, with activities, crafts, including table centres, medieval food and drink, music, a jester and circus entertainments, and storytelling. Normal admission applies. National Trust members are free.

16th and 17th December, 11 am to 4 pm – Reverse Grotto, Erddig, Marchwiel, Wrexham LL13 0YT Enjoy the gift of giving by leaving a donation for our local Wrexham foodbank this Christmas. Come and say a quick hello to Father Christmas, who’ll be in our elves’ workshop at weekends to say thank you for your donation. The Elves and Father Christmas will be thrilled that you’re trying to help them in their quest to help the less fortunate this Christmas time. Free event, normal admission applies.

16th to 23rd December, 4.30 to 6.30 pm – Supper with Father Christmas, Erddig, Marchwiel, Wrexham LL13 0YT Create some magical memories with your family and join Father Christmas for Christmas dinner in our Hayloft restaurant. Mother Christmas has prepared a two course Christmas dinner, but Father Christmas is nowhere to be seen. Help Jake, the (award-winning) storytelling elf to find him. You’ll need to give a big cheer and listen for the bells. With craft activity, songs, special story and a small gift for children, this memorable experience is guaranteed to fill everyone with festive cheer.

17th December, 1 to 3 pm – Children’s Christmas Party, Hoole Community Centre, Westminster Road, Hoole, Chester CH2 3AP We are holding a Christmas party aimed at under 10’s with a sing-a-long with Broadway Babies, Santa’s Grotto and party treats. Tickets £5. Call 01244 342741 to reserve a space.

18th December, 10.30 am to 12 noon – Mini Makers, The Walk, Speke, Liverpool L24 1XD Join us on Monday mornings in the Restaurant for a drop-in session of guided crafts for little ones and their grown ups. Free event, normal admission charges apply (under 5s go free).

23rd December, 10.30 to 11.30 am – Animals Take Over Christmas, Little Sutton Library, Chester Road, Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port, CH66 1QQ Come and join in the animal fun and take a break from Christmas fever at Little Sutton Library with an amazing animal handling experience. See and hold some wonderful animals up close! Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. £2 per child. Call 0151 337 6800.

**FREE! 23rd December, 11 am – Beauty & the Beast: An Enchanted Christmas, Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor St, Chester CH1 2DD Come along to our Free Screening of the Disney-drawn residents of the Beast’s castle who return for a Christmas adventure. Belle plans a Christmas celebration that she hopes will delight the standoffish Beast, but a scheming pipe-organ, Forte, drowns out her carols with his dismal dirges. It’s up to Belle, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and the rest of the gang to bring the Beast back around with a healthy dose of Yuletide cheer. Free event, but tickets must be booked in advance – click here.

23rd and 24th December, various times – Elf Adventure Challenge, Ice Cream Farm, Drumlan Hall Farm, Newton Lane, Tattenhall, Chester CH3 9NE Back by popular demand and bigger and better! With lots of different challenges to try and games to play, come and see if you’ve got what it takes to become an honorary member of santa’s squad of helpers. Challenges include: learning how to build toys, load the sleigh, play elf games and do the elf march, and all children will receive a free copy of the colour illustrated storybook to take home and continue their elf adventure. Each session lasts for 1 hour and is suitable for children aged 2-10 and their grown ups. Single tickets start at £12 per person and family tickets are also available.

23rd and 24th December, 9.30 to 10.30 am – Breakfast with Father Christmas, Erddig, Marchwiel, Wrexham LL13 0YT Create some magical memories with your family and join Father Christmas for breakfast in our Hayloft restaurant. Mother Christmas has prepared a full Welsh breakfast, but Father Christmas is nowhere to be seen. Join Jake, the (award-winning) story-telling elf and give a cheer to wake Father Christmas and listen for the bells. With craft activity, songs, special story and a small gift for children, this memorable experience is guaranteed to fill everyone with festive cheer.

23rd and 24th December, 11 am to 4 pm – Reverse Grotto, Erddig, Marchwiel, Wrexham LL13 0YT Enjoy the gift of giving by leaving a donation for our local Wrexham foodbank this Christmas. Come and say a quick hello to Father Christmas, who’ll be in our elves’ workshop at weekends to say thank you for your donation. The Elves and Father Christmas will be thrilled that you’re trying to help them in their quest to help the less fortunate this Christmas time. Free event, normal admission applies.

26th December to 5th January, various times – Cinderella, The Forum Studio Theatre, Hamilton Place, Chester Join Tip Top Productions at The Forum Theatre for their annual Christmas pantomime which, this year, tells the Fairytale of Cinderella and her Prince Charming. Tip Top Productions have earned a reputation for family-orientated fun-filled pantomime productions in their intimate studio space in the last 11 years and, following the success of the last two years, this is another professional production. All tickets £11, concessions £9, family ticket £37.

**FREE! 30th December, 11 am – Frozen Sing Along, Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor St, Chester CH1 2DD Come along to our free Screening of Frozen and Sing Along to the hit musical comedy from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Follow the lyrics with a bouncing Frozen snowflake. Join Anna as she sets off on an epic journey– teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and a snowman named Olaf – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. It’s pure enchantment – and full of fun for the whole family! Free event, but tickets must be booked in advance – click here.

January

To 5th January, various times – Cinderella, The Forum Studio Theatre, Hamilton Place, Chester Join Tip Top Productions at The Forum Theatre for their annual Christmas pantomime which, this year, tells the Fairytale of Cinderella and her Prince Charming. Tip Top Productions have earned a reputation for family-orientated fun-filled pantomime productions in their intimate studio space in the last 11 years and, following the success of the last two years, this is another professional production. All tickets £11, concessions £9, family ticket £37.

To 14th January, various times – The Secret Seven, Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR Storyhouse’s first ever Christmas explodes into life with the world’s first ever stage show of Enid Blyton’s children’s classic. Bright lights, frosty nights, presents on the tree – Christmas is coming to Cherrydale! But something is wrong. There’s a strange fire burning in a haunted cottage, Santa’s elves aren’t being nice at all – and who’s the little girl who can walk in the air? The Secret Seven must be at their best and brightest to solve this mystery – and with no help at all from Jack’s little sister Susie … Adult tickets from £26, child and youth tickets all £19.50.

3rd January, 2 to 4 pm – Design your own calendar, Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor St, Chester CH1 2DD Join us to make your very own spectacular 2018 balloon calendar to celebrate the 21st-century’s eighteenth birthday! Free event, suggested donation £1.50.

**FREE! 4th January, 11 am – Beauty & the Beast: An Enchanted Christmas, Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor St, Chester CH1 2DD Come along to our Free Screening of the Disney-drawn residents of the Beast’s castle who return for a Christmas adventure. Belle plans a Christmas celebration that she hopes will delight the standoffish Beast, but a scheming pipe-organ, Forte, drowns out her carols with his dismal dirges. It’s up to Belle, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and the rest of the gang to bring the Beast back around with a healthy dose of Yuletide cheer. Free event, but tickets must be booked in advance – click here.

**FREE! 6th January, 11 am – Frozen Sing Along, Grosvenor Museum, 27 Grosvenor St, Chester CH1 2DD Come along to our free Screening of Frozen and Sing Along to the hit musical comedy from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Follow the lyrics with a bouncing Frozen snowflake. Join Anna as she sets off on an epic journey– teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and a snowman named Olaf – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. It’s pure enchantment – and full of fun for the whole family! Free event, but tickets must be booked in advance – click here.

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