Panto season starts and Christmas fairs galore: Family events from November 29

The Company of Four are staging their own Christmas Tale at the Seckford Theatre in Woodbridge. Phot

The Company of Four are staging their own Christmas Tale at the Seckford Theatre in Woodbridge. Photo: Jools Windermere - Credit: Archant

The yuletide season is now well under way with the first panto’s opening their doors and a host of Christmas fairs looking to keep everyone happy. Miriam Spall from Where To Take Our Children/Suffolk Kids has look at the family events coming up this week

The fun of Christmas starts at the Haverhill Family Christmas Weekend Photo: Andy Mayes

The fun of Christmas starts at the Haverhill Family Christmas Weekend Photo: Andy Mayes - Credit: Archant

What: The Company of Four presents A Christmas Tale

Where: Seckford Theatre, Burkitt Road, Woodbridge, IP12 4JH

When: December 4-7 at 7pm

The Felixstowe Ice Rink is out and ready to entertain young and old alike Photo: Visit Felixstowe

The Felixstowe Ice Rink is out and ready to entertain young and old alike Photo: Visit Felixstowe - Credit: Archant

Cost: £15 Adults; £13.50 Conc; £10 Children (under 16); £45 Family (2+2)

Tickets available from The New Wolsey Box Office on 01473 295900 or in person or via

Set in 1955, Jack Frost is the grumpy land lord who hates Christmas. His Housekeeper Annabelle, wants a day off for Christmas, to spend with her family, much to the annoyance of Frost. He grants the day off, but tells her to stay late to work the extra hours she would miss on Christmas Day.

Panto fun at Ipswich Regent with Snow White Photo: Miriam Spall

Panto fun at Ipswich Regent with Snow White Photo: Miriam Spall - Credit: Archant

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That night, Frost is visited by a ghostly apparition of his late wife Mary. She scares Frost into seeing three visions:

His past – taking him back, to Victorian London where we get an insight into his miserable childhood and how he has become the man he is today.

His present – where we see the family life he is missing. We also see his hard working housekeeper Annabelle and how she is suffering from missing her children’s big concert.

And the future – showing how life has changed and how the people of London celebrate Christmas in 2018.

The apparitions make Frost realise what he’s been missing. The morning of Christmas day, Frost runs out in the street, wishing people a Merry Christmas and giving money to the poor. He gives Annabelle the rest of the week off to celebrate Christmas and Frost finds a new love for the festive season.

What: Family Christmas Weekend in Haverhill

Where: Haverhill High Street and Queen Street

When: Friday December 7 and Saturday 8

Cost: Free

Haverhill Town Council is working hard to put together another great family Christmas weekend for Friday December 7 and Saturday 8. The highlight of the weekend is sure to be the magnificent free fireworks display on the Recreation Ground at 8pm but there’s plenty more to keep everyone entertained over the two days.

If you are hunting down items on your Christmas shopping list then there’s late night shopping from 5-8pm and the streets will be lined with charity and fundraising stalls.

There will be plenty of festive atmosphere; street entertainers will be putting on impromptu shows and interacting with the crowds, along with fairground rides for those who like a thrill and a range food stalls for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground. St Edmundsbury Borough Council will be bringing back the world market to Queen Street where visitors will be treated to a delicious selection of street foods including steak burgers with homemade toppings, traditional German sausages cooked on coal swing grills and there will also be mulled wine and spiced cider along with a selection of stalls offering giftware and grocery foods.

At 6.30pm, Bobby Dazzler, the star of the Haverhill Arts Centre panto, will turn on the Christmas lights in the Market and from 5pm younger children can get acquainted with Father Christmas who will tucked up in his grotto on Queen Square. The Friday and Saturday street markets will have regular traders with a selection of gifts, jewellery wreaths and Christmas trees

On Saturday December 8, Haverhill Town Council has brought back the free ice-rink on the Market Square whilst St Edmundsbury Borough Council has organised a festive farm, a free roundabout ride and a snow machine. The craft and gift fair will be open for another day of trading between 10am and 3pm and Santa’s Grotto will be open again from 10am to 3pm

What: Claire Christmas Fair

Where: St Peter and St Paul’s Church and in the Old School Community Centre, both in the heart of Clare.

When: Friday November 30 and Saturday December 1

Cost: Free

With over 60 exhibitors selling festive food, drinks and a great selection of gifts this is the Christmas event in Clare and not to be missed!

In fact, this weekend is going to be a grand start to the holiday season and a fantastic shopping opportunity: a chance to get all your gifts, cards and festive fare in Clare, making things easier and more fun at this busy time of the year. Why go anywhere else?

Speaking of fun, there will be lots of things for everyone to do and see: lots of music and carols, amazing stilt walkers, Hells Bells Alternative Morris Dancers, a raffle, waffles, chestnuts, mulled wine and Prosecco, Punch and Judy, face painting, magic, the Snow Queen, a fairground ride, a Salvation Army brass band and Father Christmas and his reindeer.

We are delighted to say that the fair will be opened in the atmospheric candlelit church on Friday evening by Terry Waite and, on Saturday evening, the Christmas Lights Switch-On will take place, a fitting finale.

Open from 5-8pm on Friday and 10am-7pm on Saturday, entry is free and lots of the entertainment is also free on both days. Refreshments will be available in both venues.

What: Felixstowe Ice Rink

Where: Great Eastern Square, Hamilton Road IP11 7DY

When: Thursday December 20 - Sunday December 23, 2018

Cost: Free

Come and enjoy some ice skating this Christmas in Felixstowe.

The synthetic rink is provided by Felixstowe Town Council and sponsored by the East of England Cooperative. Open daily from Thursday December 20 to Sunday 23. Thursday to Saturday 11am-7pm; Sunday 10am-6pm.

Grand opening by the Mayor of Felixstowe on Thursday December 20 at 11am. There will also be rides for smaller children and stalls serving food and drinks. Admission free (including free skating). No need to book. 01394 282086.

What: Lavenham Christmas Fair

Where: Market Place Lavenham CO10 9QZ

When: Friday Dec 7 5.30pm – 8.30pm, Saturday Dec 8 11am – 5pm, Sunday Dec 9 11am – 4pm

Cost: Free

Lavenham was made for Christmas, and one of the highlights of our festive season is our fabulous Christmas Fair. An annual event taking place over 3 days in December, join us for a weekend of festive stalls, food and drink, live music, traditional fairground rides and the Big Man himself!

There will be stalls and marquees in the Marketplace as well as in the Guild Hall. Little Hall will be packed to its rafters with gorgeous arts and crafts by the Potters and Friends Group, and of course all of the shops, galleries, boutiques, cafes and restaurants will be open.

What: Snow White

Where: Ipswich Regent Theatre St. Helens Street, Ipswich, IP4 1HE.

When: Friday December 14 to Wednesday January 2

Cost: Prices start from only £13, Family Tickets: Top price £73, second price £63

Mirror, mirror on the wall... Who’s the fairest of them all?

Welcome to the most magical pantomime ever told, where poor Snow White is doomed to live UN-happily ever after...with her horrid stepmother the Wicked Queen.

From the same team behind last year’s hilarious production of Jack and the Beanstalk, The Ipswich Regent Theatre have once again teamed up with Enchanted Entertainment to bring you the region’s biggest Christmas show!

In a true rags to riches story Snow White manages, with the help of her ‘madcap’ friend Muddles the Jester, to meet a handsome Prince and make all her dreams come true. A pantomime full of excitement, including a Good Fairy, a Magic Mirror and the craziest Seven Dwarfs you’ve ever seen!

So come and join in the festive fun as the Regent Theatre and Enchanted Entertainment bring the world’s best known and most loved pantomime to life. A show bursting with great songs, fantastic dance routines and plenty of laughter, this is a tremendous treat for all the family you won’t want to miss. Hi Ho... Hi Ho... It’s off to panto we go!

*Schools Performance is on Monday December 17 at 11am. Please call the box office on 01473 433100 to reserve your tickets.

Relaxed performance is on Thursday December 27 at noon.

What: Santa’s Workshop at Kersey Mill

Where: Kersey Mill, Ipswich, IP7 6DP

When: Saturday Dec 1 to Sunday Dec 23. Each event lasts approximately 60 minutes.

Cost: £20 per child including 1 Adult. Additional adults £10. Free parking. Babies under 1 years free of charge

Santa’s Workshop is truly a magical and unique experience primarily for children aged 2 up to 10 years. Younger children may also enjoy the experience as well as the adults too! Helping the elves in Santa’s Workshop will be a memorable Christmas occasion for all.

The children’s journey starts with a short story to prepare them for their magical experience. Being accompanied by a parent/guardian the children will head to “Santa’s Workshop” (the Mill) where they will meet Santa and his working elves and will be involved with the preparations. There are various activities for them to enjoy, along with loading the sleigh and singing with Santa, checking to see if their name is on Santa’s Scroll?

Each child will receive a small gift & meet the candy Elf where they are also offered a traditional clementine. They will mix reindeer food & help the elves with lots of festive activities. From the workshop the children head to the art & craft area where they will make a craft item to take home.

A truly traditional & unique Christmas experience very different from other Santa Grotto’s.

The event is arranged and sponsored by The Friends of Kersey Mill; a fundraising project in aid of the Mills restoration..

Note: Eventbrite charge a booking fee, this can be avoided by telephone ordering 01473 829317

What: Relaxed Opening at Ipswich Museum

Where: Ipswich Museum High Street Ipswich Suffolk IP1 3QH

When: Dec 01 - 9am to 11am

Cost: Free

Ipswich Museum will be opening the doors early to welcome those with autism or additional sensory requirements to enjoy the Museum in a relaxed environment.

Visitors can explore the Museum from 9am, with gallery sound levels at a minimum and screens turned off. We open to the general public at 10am, but speakers and screens will remain turned off until 11am.

There’s no need to book - just drop in on the day.

What: Ormiston Families and Catch 22 Santa Day

Where: Boston Lodge, Boston Road Lowestoft NR32 1UG

When:1st December 9.30am til 3.30pm

Cost: Entry 50p and Santa’s Grotto £2 includes gift from Santa.

This was developed to allow local children see Santa without families paying a fortune on more commercial events. Attractions include grotto, games, tombola’s, refreshment and food, reindeer hunt, guess the name of the teddy and lots more.

Events compiled by Miriam Spall from Where To Take Our Children/Suffolk Kids Follow her on Facebook: @WhereToTakeOurChildren