Going Out 20th-27th December

Going Out
SANTA AWAITS IN HIS GROTTO at Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells


Today is the last day you can visit Tonbridge Creates, a pop-up arts event which showcases the creative talents of local artists and encourages the local community to get involved. It’s also a great source of present ideas! See tonbridgecreates.com

For art fans in Tunbridge Wells, there’s The Pantiles Pop Up Gallery, which is run by a group of established creatives who’ve taken over No 36 The Pantiles to showcase their work until Saturday. It’s open from 10am-5pm.

Richard Durrant performs his festive favourite, A Candlelit Christmas Guitar Concert, at Trinity Theatre tonight. His special guests will be Amy Kakoura on vocals and Nick Pynn on the violin, and the trio will perform a selection of folk, pagan and Christian-tradition songs. For further details see richarddurrant.com

The Oast Theatre’s big Christmas Show this year is The Jungle Book, and it runs all week until Saturday. The cast features an array of amateur actors, including those from the Youth Theatre and Hoppers groups. Tickets cost £11 and £7.50 for members. For further information, see oastheatre.com

Christmas at the Spa Valley Railway is on from Thursday to Monday. The starting point is at Eridge station, where visitors will be greeted by chestnuts roasting on an open fire and will have the chance to see Santa as they travel through the beautiful countryside on a heritage train. Tickets cost £16 from spavalleyrailway.co.uk

The Assembly Hall’s pantomime Sleeping Beauty, which stars Claire Sweeney, Derek Moran and Quinn Patrick, is now in full swing. You can find out about all the show’s timings and ticket prices by visiting assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk – oh yes you can! See our exclusive interview with Claire Sweeney on pages 42-43.


Talking of pantos, you can also enjoy Wicked Productions’ version of Jack and the Beanstalk at the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge, starring Tom Swift and Michael Fenton Stevens. For tickets, visit emtheatre.com

Bedgebury Pinetum’s Christmas spectacular is always a popular attraction at this time of year. But make sure you wrap up warm to walk through the stunning illuminated forest and colourfully lit trees and shrubs. Afterwards you can treat your tastebuds to some toasted marshmallows or enjoy a quick kiss under the special Mistletoe Moment. Tickets cost £10.50 for children aged 5-16 and £17 for adults. Visit christmasatbedgebury.seetickets.com

Penshurst Place’s enchanting Christmas Grotto is proving to be very popular. Children can see Santa in his sleigh, surrounded by his elves, and visit his old-fashioned toy workshop to receive a gift. Tickets cost £14.50 per child, and up to two adults can accompany each child free of charge. For tickets and timings, visit penshurstplace.com


The Fairfax Gallery on The Pantiles is currently holding a Christmas art exhibition which features over 100 new paintings and sculptures from both established and emerging artists. It’s on until January 12.

Fancy seeing a festive flick? That celluloid classic Miracle on 34th Street is on at 6pm at the Drive-In Cinema at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood. Tickets cost £25 per vehicle. moonlightcinema.com

There will be another version of The Nutcracker streamed into the Odeon cinema today at 3pm. This time around it’s Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet who will be performing this timeless Christmas tale. Tickets cost £23.25

Monday – Christmas Eve

This morning between 9.30am and 11am, families can enjoy a delicious breakfast with Santa in Salomons Pub & Dining Rooms before he heads out on his sleigh later tonight. Tickets are priced at just £9.50 per adult and child and include a full English breakfast along with a delightful festive gift. This is a great opportunity for little ones to tell Father Christmas what’s on their festive wish-lists, and whether they’ve been naughty or nice! Book at salomons-estate.com/whats-on/breakfast-with-santa

The Tonbridge Parish Church St Peter & St Paul’s is hosting its annual Family Carol Service from 4pm, and then a Midnight Holy Communion mass from 11.30pm.

Meanwhile, younger children are invited to
St Saviour’s Church in Dry Hill Park Crescent, Tonbridge, from 4pm for a special carol service.

And if you’re on your way to ice skate at Calverley Grounds in Tunbridge Wells, why not make some extra time to visit Santa’s Grotto? Tickets cost £14.50 per child and include a mounted photo and gift. Other ticket options are available. To find out more, visit tunbridgewellsatchristmas.com

Tuesday – Christmas Day

There will be numerous church services happening at all our local churches on this special day. Please check each individual church’s website for timings.

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