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  1. Robert Townsend

Weekend Picks: Beauty and the Beast

Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering: This weekend until January 2nd 2017

A fun-filled family event featuring a range of household names, set to get you in the mood for Christmas. The Kettering Lighthouse promises their production of Beauty and the Beast to be a 'rip roaring Beast of a Panto' adventure.

Join star of Eastenders, Cheryl Ferguson as she takes to the stage as Malevolent with the hilarious Potty Pierre played by Mark Pearce. They are joined by Lucie Downer as Beauty, Claire Rickard as Fairy Formidable and Kettering’s 'favourite' panto dame Michael Neilson playing Dame Dotty.

It follows the success of last year's Jack and the Beanstalk and promises you an epic Panto that will make your family Christmas complete - Oh yes it does! For performance times readmore.

  1. Robert Townsend

Weekend Picks: The Museum of Childhood

Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire: Saturday from 10:30am until December 23rd

The Late 17th-century house at Sudbury boasts lavish interiors and the Museum of Childhood and The National Trust are now inviting you and your family to go and discover two contrasting experiences sitting side by side.

The Museum of Childhood is 'a delight for all ages' with something for everyone. You can let the kids discover something new, or relive nostalgic memories by exploring the childhoods of times gone by, make stories, play with toys and share your childhood with others.

You can be a chimney sweep, a scullion or a Victorian pupil, and be captivated by the halls vast archive film and interactive displays. And if that all get too much then the outdoor woodland play area could offer you and yours a little R&R after a busy day out.

  1. Robert Townsend

Weekend picks: Treasures from the Glass Collection

Dudley Museum & Art Gallery: Until December 22nd - 10:00am - 4:00pm

The skill of glassmaking came to to Midlands many years ago, those working in the industry were drawn to the region by an abundance of raw materials, inventors, industry and labour.

A display of the weird and wonderful from this rich heritage and world of glass is on show In Gallery 3 this weekend and forms part of the Dudley Museum collection.

You can view the items which have made it through the centuries to their final resting place here at the gallery. Learn about the history of glass and how the Midlands helped shape the shapes you see before you.

To find out more visit: Dudley Museum & Art gallery.

  1. Robert Townsend

Weekend Picks: Leek Fine Food Festival

Leek: Saturday December 17th, 09:00-15:00

The Fine Food Market in Leek brings together local Staffordshire Moorlands and Peak District specialist food producers each month.

This month is a day of dance and music where you can take part in the rock and roll jive workshop and demonstration provided by Synchronicity Dance.

Music will be provided by local radio stations with additional entertainment from Morris Dancers.

Or why not pitch up and hold your own sale as part of the market, see more details here.

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  1. Robert Townsend

Weekend Picks: The Reindeers of Warwick

Hatton Adventure World, Warwick: every weekend until 24th December.

It's a busy time for all of those who help Santa as he prepares for the biggest day of his year later this week, and we mustn't forget his reindeer.

To give them a little rest before the big day they will be joining all the other animals down on the farm at Hatton Adventure World in Warwick, this weekend, and you can come and see them there too.

But it's not just Rudolph and Prancer, you can also visit the Guinea Pig Village, join in with some Christmas Caroling or take a ride at the fun fair.

  1. Robert Townsend

Weekend Picks: Santa comes early to Buxton

Buxton Spring Shopping Centre: 17th & 24th December

It’s just over a week to go until the big day is upon us, but if your clan cannot wait that long to see what Santa has in store then why not take them along to Buxton this week and meet the man himself, a few days early.

Buxton and District Lions Club have asked Father Christmas nicely if he can come along and help support the many activities and projects they do to raise funds to help both individuals and organisations within the community, a visit to Santa will help these little helpers go a bit further this Christmas.

Prices start from £1.00 and there is parking on site, but there's only room for one sleigh!

  1. Robert Townsend

Weekend Picks: Birmingham Charity Concerts

Saturday 10th and 17th December: Birmingham

It's a festive filled Weekend Picks this week and to kick off, Brindley place in Birmingham is spreading the Christmas cheer with two free charity concerts in aid of Heart Research UK.

Special guests Santa and his elves will be there to join in the fun as local choirs and musicians perform traditional Christmas carols alongside a number of festive favourites.

Children on the nice list will be able to get an early Christmas present with a visit to Santa’s Grotto.

  1. Robert Townsend

Weekend Picks: Natural Christmas Ornaments in Stately surroundings

Kedleston Hall, Derby: Weekdays and weekends throughout December

When we begin to buy our festive decorations or think about different themes we often want to try to perhaps match a new decor or colour scheme in our homes with shop bought accessories.

We often think immediately of glistening baubles and twinkling fairy lights - but before they came along Christmas decorations were a very different affair and the more traditional look is now making something of a comeback.

This weekend, you can drop in to the beautiful Kedleston Hall and learn how to make some of the festive decorations which may have once adorned the grand house itself in a self-led, family-fun activity.

Make more of a day out of your trip with a visit to the grand state rooms and see how Christmas was celebrated by the halls Curzon Family since they moved in around the year 1200.

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