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Your essential Kent December Diary

PUBLISHED: 11:07 21 November 2015 | UPDATED: 11:07 21 November 2015

A visit to Santa

A visit to Santa

DARRYL CURCHER PHOTOGRAPHY

Don’t miss out - Kent Life’s comprehensive guide gives you all the key dates across Kent for everything you’ll need this festive season, from pantos and ice skating to where to vist Father Christmas

20 Nov to 3 Jan 2016

Ice Skating

The hugely popular Tunbridge Wells ice rink 
is back. Set in the natural amphitheatre of 
Calverley Grounds, the ice rink offers lovely views of the park. There’s also plenty to do if a ‘slice on the ice’ is not your thing, including a spot of festive shopping and the chance to enjoy a hot chocolate or a mulled wine.

Tickets: £7 (child); £9.50 (adult) per hour

01892 554645 (Assembly Hall box office)

Calverley Grounds, Tunbridge Wells

Satnav: TN11BT

1 to 19 Dec

A Better Woman

This touching comedy set in the world of online dating stars former Milk Tray man Ben Porter.

Tickets: £10 to £14. 01227 787787

The Marlowe Studio, The Marlowe Theatre, 
Canterbury

Satnav: CT1 2AS

Until 24 Dec

Father Christmas

Father Christmas and his friendly elves will be welcoming families into their lovely warm log cabin in Calverley Grounds in the lead up to Christmas. Visits include a photograph, a gift and time spent talking to the Man in Red.

Tickets: £12.50 (children); £2 (accompanying adults)

www.fatherchristmasinkent.co.uk

Calverley Grounds, Tunbridge Wells

Satnav: TN1 1BT

Until 3 Jan

Elf trail

Discover what the elves have been up to by following a festive adventure through the garden. The elves have lost the reindeer’s nametags and can’t remember all their names. Can you help discover what the names are by using the clues?

Tickets: £1 per trail (including a small prize); normal admission charges also apply

01732 751509

Emmetts Garden, Sevenoaks

Satnav: TN14 6BA

Until 3 Jan 2016

Festive family fun trail

Explore the lovely gardens of Churchill’s former home with a Christmas-themed trail.

Tickets: Normal admission charges apply

01732 868381

Chartwell, Westerham

Satnav: TN16 1PS

2 Dec

Frankly Sinatra

One of the world’s top tribute acts is coming to town to celebrate the centenary of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself. Featuring the swing, the swagger and the velvet vocals of Frank Sinatra in concert, enjoy an unmissable evening with Stephen Triffitt.

Tickets: £26.

01322 220000

Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Satnav: DA1 1ED

4 Dec

Mark Thomas: Trespass

Fondly dubbed by the Metropolitan Police as ’general rabble-rouser’ and an ‘alleged 
comedian’, Mark Thomas’ show addresses how the government has sold off most of our communal spaces, from playing fields to public rights of way; setting out to try to carve a small space in the urban world where mischief and random chance can lurk.

Tickets: £15. 01227 281174

Horsebridge Arts Centre, Whitstable

Satnav: CT5 1AF

4 to 6 Dec

Keep it Local

Combining a craft show with some of the best local gift-led Farmers’ Market producers, you’re bound to find everything you need to make this festive season perfect.

Tickets: Free. 01959 532269

The Glasshouse, Coolings Nurseries, Knockholt

Satnav: TN14 7NN

5 Dec

Electric Eighties Show

Enjoy an evening of pure pop nostalgia when, dressed in authentic 80’s costumes, the group performs classic hits by the likes of Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, The Pet Shop Boys, Buggles, The Human League, Nik Kershaw, Dead or Alive and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Tickets: £9.50 (adv); £12.50 (on the door)

01795 542285

The Old Brewery Store, Shepherd Neame, Faversham

Satnav: ME13 7AX

Every weekend 5-20 Dec

A Georgian Christmas

See the house decorated for a Georgian Christmas with greenery from the garden, warm open fires and the smell of dried hops. Taste some Christmas baking and have a go at playing carols on the Broadwood piano.

Tickets: Normal admission charges apply

01732 868381

Quebec House, Westerham

Satnav: TN16 1TD

5 Dec

hal Cruttenden

Host of Live At The Apollo and star of Radio 4, Hal Cruttenden is back, ranting about the real evils of the modern world: over-sharing on social media and the 5:2 diet.

Tickets: £17; £15 (student). 01227 769075

The Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Satnav: CT2 7NB

5 Dec

Tenterden Market

Visitors can enjoy the fabulous Christmas lights in Tenterden, shop for some beautiful and unique Christmas goodies, and sample some wonderful seasonal food and drink.

Tickets: Free

www.tenterdentown.co.uk/Christmas

Tenterden

Satnav: TN30

5 and 6 Dec

1920s Father Christmas

See Father Christmas and collect a special gift for each child. A festive-themed garden trail is also available. Booking is essential.

Tickets: £7 (per child); normal admission charges also apply. 01732 868381

Chartwell, Westerham

Satnav: TN16 1PS

6 and 13 Dec

Winter Afternoon Tea

Where better to have an old-fashioned-style afternoon tea than in Chiddingstone Castle’s beautiful White Rose Drawing Room or the grand, oak-panelled Great Hall?

Tickets: £18; £9 (child six and under)

01892 872746

Chiddingstone Castle, Edenbridge

Satnav: TN8 7AD

8 to 20 Dec

Snow Child

Experience a magical story about family, love and the power of dreams. Watching the village children play in the snow, a couple yearn for a child of their own. They build a small figure from the ice and snow, and wish very, very hard, until the strength of their longing brings the magical snow child to life!

Tickets: £8.50; £7.50 (schools); £1.00 (baby on lap – 0-18 months)

01227 769075

The Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Satnav: CT2 7NB

9 Dec

Carol Concert

Hosted by Rochester Cathedral Trust, enjoy an evening of carols sung by the girl choristers of The Rochester Cathedral Choir in aid of The Rochester Cathedral Music Endowment. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Tickets: £35. 01634 810074

Chevening House, Chevening, Sevenoaks

Satnav: TN14 6HG

11 Dec

From The Jam

Following 2012’s In The City Tour, 2013’s All Mod Cons tour and 2014’s Setting Sons tour, From The Jam, featuring Bruce Foxton and Russell Hastings, bring the Sound Affects tour to Kent this month.

Tickets: £22

0844 8586656

The Britannia Theatre, Chatham

Satnav: ME4 4LL

11 to 13 Dec

Sevenoaks Fair

With a range of Christmas gift ideas, tasty food, entertainment and mulled wine this is a festive event not to be missed. Children can visit Santa in his grotto and receive an early present (for a small fee). Local chef Rosemary Shrager will make an appearance on 12 Dec.

Tickets: Free entry. 01732 459953

Vine Gardens, Sevenoaks

Satnav: TN13 3UH

12, 18 and 19 Dec

Carols in the courtyard

Enjoy a glass of mulled wine and sing carols in the inner courtyard by candlelight.

Tickets: £9.50 (18 Dec); £32.50 (12 and 19 Dec, incl buffet supper); normal admission charges

01732 811314

Ightham Mote, Sevenoaks

Satnav: TN15 0NT

12 Dec

100th Birthday Cabaret

Featuring The Railway Swing Band and Mark Yarrow, Matt Clayton, Scott Cain, Stephen Price and Didi, they will be showcasing songs inspired by or performed by the legendary Frank Sinatra.

Tickets: £15. 0844 871 3015

Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone

Satnav: CT20 2DZ

12 Dec

The Glory of Christmas

With an Around the World theme and the ever-popular Italian Vivaldi’s Gloria at the heart of the concert, come join in the musical festivities.

Tickets: £12; £2 (under 19s). 01892 822448

St Andrew’s Church, Paddock Wood

Satnav: TN12 6DZ

12 to 14 Dec

Santa’s Little Helper

Children’s theatre company Blunderbus returns by popular demand with a delightful Christmas show for three to seven-year-olds. Young Albert Tuttle is nearly seven, far too old to believe in Santa! But, Albert is in for a big surprise…

Tickets: £8.00. 01732 304241

EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge School

Satnav: TN9 1JP

14 Dec

The Kooks

This year has been non-stop for this popular Brighton-based indie-rock outfit, which included numerous festival appearances. The group is rounding off 2015 with an extensive UK tour, including a date in Kent.

Tickets: From £23.25.

0844 871 3015

Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone

Satnav: CT20 2DZ

16 Dec

Jane Austen talk

Professor Fiona Stafford (University of Oxford) will give a talk ‘All the Best Gifts,’ which will focus on Emma, published in December 1815.

Tickets: £5

01732 363000 (Mr Books, Tonbridge); 01732 452055 (Sevenoaks Bookshop, Sevenoaks)

Church of St Peter and St Paul, Tonbridge.

Satnav: TN9 1HD

18 Dec

Christmas Night Market

Arts and crafts, fine foods, entertainment and a whole lot more will be on offer in Margate.

Tickets: Free. Piazza and High Street, Margate

Satnav: CT9 1DS

19 to 24 Dec

Christmas Spectacular

A magical Christmas awaits at Groombridge Place and Gardens, where Father Christmas and all his friendly elves will welcome you in.

Tickets: £12.50 (per child for Father Christmas); £2 (accompanying adults) plus normal admission

01892 861444

Groombridge Place and Gardens, Tunbridge Wells

Satnav: TN3 9QG

19 to 24 Dec

Santa’s Little Trolls

All Jeremy wants is for Christmas to be perfect, with lots and lots of snow. But who brings the snow? Santa? Rudolph? Jack Frost? No, it’s the Trolls of Winter, who are fed up with never getting any of the credit; unless they appear on at least one Christmas card, there will be no snow!

Tickets: Contact venue. 01303 760750

The Quarterhouse, Folkestone

Satnav: CT20 1BN

29 Dec

A Little Christmas Magic

A magical, mischievous tale based on The Little Match Girl about the true spirit of Christmas told through puppetry, song and light play.

Tickets: £8 (adults); £6 (children)

01227 831355

Charlton Park, Canterbury

Satnav: CT4 5JA

PANTOMIMES IN KENT

2 Dec to 6 Dec

Peter Pan

Dazzling sets, superb lighting, stunning costumes, huge production numbers and, of course, a boy who can fly and won’t grow up.

Tickets: £9.50 to £13

01843 292795

Winter Gardens, Margate

Satnav: CT9 1HX

3 Dec

Sleeping Beauty

A spectacular pantomime from the Heath Players. This show is great family entertainment.

Tickets: £8 (adults); £5 (children)

07471662600

The East Malling Institute, East Malling

Satnav: ME19 6DB

4 Dec to 3 Jan 2016

Peter Pan

Come fly to Neverland where you’ll join Peter, Tinkerbell, Wendy, John, Michael and the Lost Boys, not to mention the evil Captain Hook!

Tickets: From £12

01622 758611

Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone

Satnav: ME14 1PL

10 Dec to 3 Jan 2016

Beauty and the Beast

Only Fools and Horses’ actress Sue Holderness will be playing the role of the Wicked Malevolent whose evil plans leave the Prince not quite feeling himself and the beautiful Belle in danger. Sue is best known for playing Marlene opposite John Challis’ Boycie in the popular sitcom.

Tickets: from £15

01634 338338

Central Theatre, Chatham

Satnav: ME4 4RG

11 Dec to 3 Jan 2016

Cinderella

Pantomime season is upon us... oh yes it is! With an all-star cast, including CBBC’s Tracy Beaker Dani Harmer as Cinderella, Jamie Rickers from CITV as Buttons and Louise Jameson (EastEnders) as Fairy Godmother, a spectacular set complete with stunning costumes, two live Shetland ponies, Cinderella has something for all the family.

Tickets: £12 to £24.50

01892 530613

Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells

Satnav: TN1 2L

12 Dec to 3 Jan 2016

Dick Whittington

Join Dick Whittington, Alice Fitzwarren and the lovable Tommy the Cat on an enchanting pantomime adventure. Shane Ritchie will be taking the title role of this wonderful family show.

Tickets: £10 to £36.50

01322 220000

The Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Satnav: DA1 1ED

14 to 23 Dec

Cinderella

A local show with a full cast of Kent-based performers present this traditional fairy tale show.

Tickets: £5 to £20

01580 763826

Sinden Theatre, Tenterden

Satnav: TN30 6LT

Until 29 Dec

Aladdin

We invite you to Peking for a magical carpet ride to the Far East this festive season. With laugh-out-loud jokes, fabulous costumes, magic and illusions, special effects, an airborne genie and some great sing-along songs.

Tickets: £10.00 to £48.00

01843 292795

Theatre Royal, Margate

Satnav: CT9 1PW

14 to 29 Dec

Aladdin

A traditional family pantomime that whisks the audience off to the mystic land of genies, wishes and festive fun.

Tickets: From £11.50

01843 863701

Memorial Theatre, Broadstairs

Satnav: CT10 2JW

Until 10 Jan 2016

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The Marlowe’s spectacular, fun-filled pantomime starts Rita Simons (EastEnders) as the Wicked Queen, alongside Phil Gallagher (CBeebies Mister Maker).

Tickets: £10.50 to £34.50

01227 787787

The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Satnav: CT1 2AS

22 to 30 Jan 2016

Jack and the Beanstalk

Travel to the once-lovely land of Eynsinham. Unfortunately, the land has been taken over by the evil giant Blunderbore, who claims punishing taxes off the good people of the realm.

Tickets: Contact venue

07704 279948

Eynsford Village Hall, Eynsford

Satnav: DA4 OAA

28 to 31 Jan 2016

Jack & The Beanstalk

Join Jack, Silly Billy and Dame Trott in this hilarious, fun-packed giant family panto.

Tickets: £5.50 (child); £8.80 (adults)

07895 123450

Christ Church Hall, Ashford

Satnav: TN23 7SR

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