Culture Hub – our pick of events in December

Culture Hub - our pick of events in December

Light up your life

Another place that will be lighting up for Christmas 2019 is Bedgebury Pinetum courtesy of its stunning illuminations. Visitors can walk around a special one-mile trail which winds through Bedgebury’s National Pinetum capturing the sights and sounds of Christmas. There will be a number of breath-taking features such as a dynamic Vortex Tunnel and hundreds of colourful boats bobbing on a shimmering lake. See more at

Snow business

This year Trinity Theatre’s Christmas show, will be a stage adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. Running from December 13 to 31 it is a timeless tale about friendship and bravery in the pursuit of adventure, with a magical setting in Lapland. This is the first show by the theatre’s new artistic director Kezia Cole. Children’s tickets are priced £19 and adults cost £23. See for more information.

Word Up!

On December 18 The Forum will host its Word Up! Slam Final for 2019. Word Up! Is the 
venue’s regular spoken word evening. As well as a guest poet, each event has a slam competition, where the public get their chance to read their work in a light-hearted competition and ultimately choose an overall winner. Hosted by Dwella the evening, which is seated, includes tunes spun by DJ Karl Quinn. Tickets cost £5 on the door and £3 to ‘slammers’. Entrants must be aged 16 and over. Meanwhile Kung Fu Slipper with special guests Bombay Monkey, Duch Jo and DJ Karl Quinn play on Sunday December 22. Tickets cost £7 each and are available from

Capturing the castle

This Christmas Chiddingstone Castle is the place to go for all things fabulously festive. Jo Banks from Alive With Flavour will be running her popular kids’ Christmas cookery club on December 19 where she’ll teach budding young chefs how to make and bake seasonal gourmet goodies. The pop-up event, which is suitable for children aged eight to 13, is on from 10am-3.30pm and costs £52 each plus booking fee. Visit for more info. On December 11 there will be a wreath making event hosted by Enfleur Flower School from 10am-2pm with a special lunch prepared by Jo Banks. Tickets cost £68 per person and can be booked at

Nice ice baby

Ice skating is once again happening in Calverley Grounds every day throughout the festive season until January 5. This year there’s also a special parent and toddler rink and a Bavarian curling one too. Live music sessions happen every Thursday courtesy of The Forum from now until Christmas. Tickets cost £12.50 for an adult and £8 for children aged between four and 15. GO cards are available for £5. For further information visit

Peter Pan will have you hooked

It wouldn’t be Christmas without seeing a panto, would it? And this year both the Assembly Hall and Wicked Productions over at EM Forster theatre will both be putting on their versions of Peter Pan. At the Assembly Hall you can catch Tunbridge Wells’ favourite dame, Quinn Patrick, alongside Art Attack’s Lloyd Warbey who plays Peter while Nick Jr’s Holly Atterton is Tinkerbell. Running from Saturday December 7 until Sunday January 5 show time and ticket prices can be seen at

At the EM Forster, Tom Swift and his team will also be telling you the story of Peter Pan with amazing effects and costumes. They kick off their run on December 13 and will perform daily (apart from Christmas Day) until January 5. For more details visit

Christmas chaos

Over the weekends of December 7-8 and 14-15 Penshurst Place is the place to be for lots of family fun. A rather naughty elf has been playing havoc with the festive organisation at Christmas HQ in the North Pole, and Mother Christmas needs to work quickly to fix his playful antics. Go along and see how she manages to set things straight again – with a little help from Father Christmas himself – courtesy of this delightful interactive storytelling performance which encourages lots of playful shouts and giggles from children of all ages. For more info visit

A winter’s tale

Father Christmas will be in residence at Scotney Castle over the weekends of December 7-8 and 14-15 so children and their parents can get into the festive spirit. In a group of 12 you’ll visit Santa and his elves in the castle’s beautifully decorated hall then enjoy a special Christmas story before receiving a gift and having your photo taken. Tickets cost £10 per child. For more details visit

Festive feast

Salomons Estate will be hosting a three-course meal with Father Christmas on Sunday December 8 and 15 which will give little ones the chance to tell the main man all about their seasonal wish list – and whether they have been naughty or nice this year. Tickets cost £13 for children and £26 per adult. The estate will also be hosting a special breakfast with Santa on December 23 and 24. See for more information.

Staging a comeback

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without seeing a performance of The Nutcracker and the good news is you can catch the classic Royal Ballet’s version at Trinity Theatre on December 17 at 7.15pm. Tickets cost £20 per adult and £15 for children from

All that jazz

Hotel du Vin is hosting a series of relaxing jazz music sessions during the festive period. So if you want to take respite from all that hectic Christmas shopping then why not pop along to the hotel on December 13 or 20 to see pianist Grant Sav perform. The talented musician, considered to be one of London’s finest, regularly performs at prestigious venues like The Savoy, The Dorchester and Waldorf Astoria hotels as well as 10 Downing Street. Visit for more details.

Christmas carols

There will be a number of places you can hear traditional seasonal songs being sung throughout December. On Sunday December 8 Create Choir will be at the Hub at Grosvenor & Hilbert Park for a seasonal celebration while over in Penshurst at 6.30pm you can join in the carols by candlelight in the local church. There will also be readings and refreshments on offer. On Saturday December 14, Tonbridge Philharmonic will host their annual celebration of family festive favourites at Tonbridge School Chapel from 4pm.

Winter wonderland

This season historic Hever Castle boasts a seasonal Alice in Wonderland theme for its many visitors to enjoy during December courtesy of an interactive fun trail which all members of the family can enjoy. There will also be plenty of exquisite Christmas decorations and log fires to enjoy inside. Alternatively you can see the estate illuminated after dusk courtesy of the magical light shows the castle will be putting on. For further ticket details for both daytime and nocturnal visits see

All aboard for Santa

Father Christmas will also be making an appearance at the Spa Valley Railway every weekend in the lead-up to Christmas Day. Train journeys will take place three times a day and include face painting, mince pies and a special visit from Santa. Tickets cost £17 per person and can be booked from


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