December Diary for Essex

PUBLISHED: 00:16 20 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:23 20 February 2013

December Diary for Essex

December Diary for Essex

what's happening in our area this DECember COMPILED BY Alex Herron

For the Family

December 3rd
From 4pm
Make Maldon Magical
Maldon High Street
This community event features processions celebrating the Christmas light switch-on at 5pm. Churches together choirs will proceed up the High Street from St Marys Church at 4.15, singing carols, arriving at All Saints Church for refreshments. Following the switch-on of Christmas lights there will be a winter carnival parade along the High Street.
01621 857373

December 3rd and 4th
Christmas Festival Weekend
RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Westerns Approach, Rettendon, Chelmsford
For the grown-ups theres a craft fair organised by the Guild of Essex Craftsmen and for children theres various art and craft activities.
01245 402006

December 3rd and 4th
11am to 4pm
Christmas at the Castle
Hedingham Castle
Hedingham Castle will be transformed into a winter wonderland for the weekend. With Santa in residence to treat the children, mum and dad can browse the stalls for Christmas gifts.
Admission: Adults 6, concessions 5.50, children (aged five to 16) 4.
01787 460 261

December 3rd & 4th,
10th & 11th, 17th to 24th
10am to 4pm
Christmas at Barleylands
Barleylands Road, Billericay CM11 2UD
Come and join Father Christmas and his elves as they prepare for Christmas. Father Christmas will be in his log cabin where he will welcome you to tell him all about your Christmas list.
Admission: 12.50 per child, including one adult. Additional
adults 5 each.
01268 290229.

December 3rd & 4th, 10th & 11th, 17th & 18th
Southend Pier
Western Esplanade, Southend on Sea
Children can visit Santa Claus in his snowy grotto on the pier and every child will receive an exciting gift. Admission: 5 per child for the Grotto includes a free ride on the pier train with an accompanying adult.
01702 618747

December 3rd to January 14th
Queens Theatre, Hornchurch
Dont miss the best in traditional family entertainment this Christmas! Join Cinderella on a magical adventure from rags to riches as The Fairy Godmother transforms her into a dazzling beauty fit for a Prince.
01708 443333

December 5th to 30th
Times vary
Jemima Puddle-Duck and her friends
Brentwood Theatre, Brentwood
Once upon a time, there was a woman called Beatrix Potter. She loved animals. She painted pictures of animals and wrote little books about their adventures. This is your chance to hear some of these stories as Beatrix Potter introduces you to the magic of theatre and the wonder of adventure.
Admission: 12.50 (11 concessions)
01277 200305

December 10th
Christmas at the Museum
Braintree District Museum, Manor Street, Braintree, Essex CM7 3HW
Join in at the Braintree District Museum to celebrate Christmas in all its traditional glory. There will be music, Father Christmas, roasted chestnuts and Charity Christmas Cards as well as much more for the whole family to enjoy.
01376 328868

December 11th
Santa Special
Museum of Power, Hatfield Road, Langford near Maldon CM9 6QA
Join the Santa Special steam train to North Pole Central and meet Santa Claus. All children will receive a special present. Please pre-book at the Maldon Tourist Information Centre.
Admission: 7
01621 856503

December 11th
The Spirit of Christmas
Snape Maltings, Suffolk
Father Christmas will be arriving at Snape Maltings by Thames barge. After greeting visitors he will be in his grotto to meet the children.
01728 688303

Walks, Talks, Gardens & Exhibitions

December 3rd and 10th
11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm
Festive Food
Epping Forest District Museum,
39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey
Come along to the museum and meet with local food writer and enthusiast, Zoe Perrett, to learn more about the traditions and history of some of our favourite Christmas foods, and get to sample some yourself. Zoe shares her home with more than 1,500 cook books, and has worked with a range of high profile chefs including Ainsley Harriott and Dan Lepard.
01992 716882

December 8th and 9th
One Day Workshops
The Beth Chatto Gardens, Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex CO7 7DB
The day will start with a short floral demonstration showing you how to make a door decoration with a dogwood frame, a garland and a table decoration using foliage from the garden. You will then have the opportunity to create your own arrangement using seasonal foliage from the Beth Chatto Garden.
Admission: 49 (39 for Gold
Friends of the Garden)
01206 822007

December 8th, 9th and 11th
7.45pm to 10.15pm
Traditional Christmas Soiree
Hylands House, Essex
The Cameo Players are back to entertain and get everyone into the festive spirit with music, poetry and drama. This year, join Cameo Players on a first class whirlwind tour to see how Christmas is celebrated all over the world.
Admission: 16 full price,
15 concessions
01245 605555

December 10th
10 am to 1pm
Constable Country Ramble: Walking in the Footsteps of Constable
Join a 3 hour (4 mile) guided ramble to visit some of the places and views which inspired the artist John Constable, including the village of East Bergholt and the lane along which he walked to school. Each walk will start and finish at Bridge Cottage. With the exception of assistance dogs, we regret we cannot allow dogs.
Admission: 6
01206 298260

December 10th
Embroideries from the East
Saffron Walden Museum, Museum Street, Saffron Walden CB10 1JL
Saffron Walden Museum opens a new exhibition on Saturday, December 10 which features beautiful and colourful hand-crafted textiles from India, Central Asia and China. On the same day children can help to decorate the museums Christmas tree and adults can try a Chinese embroidery workshop.
Admission: Adults 1.50, discounts 75p, children free.
01799 510333

December 10th and 11th
Cressing Unwrapped
Cressing Temple, Cressing,
Near Braintree
A magical Christmas experience for all the family. Have a close encounter with Bjorn the polar bear, step through the wardrobe into an enchanted land and meet Father Christmas and his friends as he prepares for Christmas. A day of activities and entertainment.
0845 6037624

December 10th and 11th
11am to 3.30pm
Christmas at Valley Farm
An authentic Tudor Christmas banquet takes place in Valley Farm with hanging garlands and a blazing fire. Get in the mood for Christmas and enjoy the festive atmosphere and seasonal music.
Admission: Free Event
01206 298260

December 11th
Talk: The Christmas Truce
Combined Military Services Museum, Station Road, Maldon.
An investigation into the famous Christmas Truce of 1914 when British Tommies played football with their German counterparts and Indian troops found themselves celebrating a Hindu festival with Christian Germans.
Admission: 7
01621 856503

December 20th and 21st
10.15am, 12.15pm and 2pm
Childrens Christmas
Decoration Workshop
RHS Garden Hyde Hall
Children will have great fun making handmade decorations to adorn the house and welcome your guests this Christmas.
Admission: RHS members 6. Non-members 8.
0845 612 1253

December 26th
10.30am to 1pm
Constable Country Ramble: Boxing Day in the Stour Valley
Enjoy a 2.5-hour (4 mile) guided ramble through the beautiful landscape of the Stour Valley, using quiet footpaths to explore the landscapes that inspired John Constable. Each walk will start and finish at Bridge Cottage.
Admission: 6
01206 298260

Music and Theatre

November 30th to January 2nd
Dick Whittington
Towngate Theatre, Basildon
A West End cast, stunning costumes, magnificent scenery, amazing dance routines and a few special surprises will all be on offer when you follow Dick and his friends as they set out on their journey to London, meeting a few unique characters along the way.
01268 465465

December 2nd to January 7th
Times Vary
Beauty and the Beast by Janice Dunn
Mercury Theatre, Colchester
Laughter, romance, song and dance with sorcerers, lumberjacks, toxic monkeys and a beast this story has it all! Can the beast be tamed? Can Belles heart be claimed? Can the evil sorceress Botoxia be restrained? All will be revealed in this magical adventure full of slapstick humour, sparkling sets, sumptuous costumes and sing-a-long songs.
Admission: 10 to 19.75, children 8.25 excluding peak performances
01206 573948

December 10th
Handels Messiah
Chelmsford Cathedral
Chelmsford Cathedral Choir & Consort with the Chelmer Baroque Orchestra. Directed by Peter Nardone.
Admission: 20, 15 & 10
01245 606505
December 11th
Victorian Christmas
Royal Gunpowder Mills, Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey EN9 1JY.
On December 11 join in at this ever-popular Victorian Christmas event. Visitors can enjoy a mini pantomime performance of Snow White while children have the chance to meet Father Christmas.
01992 707370

December 11th
Southend Girls Choir
Palace Theatre, Westcliff on Sea
Dont miss this Christmas Choral Extravaganza, a feast of seasonal favourites guaranteed to get you in the right mood for the Christmas festival. Southend Girls Choir and Southend Vox join together in a memorable evening for all the family.
01702 351135

December 12th
London Community Gospel Choir
Queens Theatre, Hornchurch
Celebrate Christmas with breathtaking songs and spirituals to cheer your heart. With gospel greats including
Oh Happy Day, Amazing Grace, Hallelujah, songs from the movie Sister Act and many more.
Admission: Adults 18.50,
16 concessions
01708 443333

December 13th to 17th
Tuesday to Saturday 8pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm
The Holly and the Ivy
Palace Theatre, Westcliff on Sea
Set in a Norfolk vicarage on Christmas Eve 1947, the vicars family gather for the festive season. Peace and goodwill radiates from the warm-hearted elderly vicar, cared for by his young daughter. But with the arrival of two irritable aunts and an errant daughter the emotional veneer is skilfully peeled away.
01702 351 135

December 17th
Carols by Candlelight
Thaxted Church
Harlow Chorus in association with Thaxted Festival Foundation presents a family friendly concert of Christmas music and carols for choir and audience.
Admission: From 11
01277 362440

December 19th
A Christmas Carol Pantaloon Style!
Hylands House, Chelmsford
This Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge will be visited by three spirits, but will he change his miserable ways? The Pantaloons perform their unique interpretation of A Christmas Carol, using audience interaction puppets and carols. Be prepared for an exciting twist on Dickens famous Christmas story. Suitable for all the family.
Admission: 10 adults, 7 children
01245 605555

December 20th and 21st
A Christmas Carol As told by Jacob Marley (deceased)
Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford
An exquisitely festive one-man show, told from the perspective of Scrooges deceased business partner, Jacob Marley that promises thrills, chills and excitement aplenty for all age groups. Through Marleys words, we learn how three magical spirits opened Scrooges eyes and made him realise the true value of love and forgiveness.
Admission: Adults 12, concessions 10, full-time students and registered unemployed 7.
01245 606505

General Interest

December 3rd to 4th
From 10am to 3pm
Christmas Craft Festival Weekend
RHS Garden Hyde Hall
Organised by the Guild of Essex Craftsmen, this weekend is an ideal opportunity to obtain those special and individually handmade presents for family and friends at reasonable prices. Normal garden admission applies. Booking not required.
0845 612 1253

December 3rd and 4th
10am to 4pm
Christmas Food and Craft Fayre
Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road, Cressing, Braintree CM77 8PD
Enjoy a fantastic range of stalls including food and drink from around the world, Christmas decorations and crafts, ornaments and furnishings plus toys and gifts. In aid of Helen Rollason Cancer Charity.
Admission: Adults 4, accompanied children under 16 free
01245 514325

December 4th
10am to 4pm
Hylands Christmas Fair
Hylands House, Chelmsford
This Christmas Fair offers a fantastic festive selection of stalls sprawled within Hylands House and Stables Visitor Centre. Enjoy a variety of entertainment throughout the day including festive singing and a visit from Santa in his grotto.
Admission: Free. Santas grotto 5
01245 605555

December 8th
6pm to 9pm
The Spirit of Christmas
The Food Company, Marks Tey, Colchester, Essex CO6 1ED
This Spirit of Christmas event is the perfect occasion to get you in the Christmas mood. Sample an array of traditional treats as well as an exotic selection of seasonal products from around the globe. Meanwhile the Maldon All Saints Handbell Ringing team will be entertaining the customers with some traditional carols and festive pieces to get everyone in the swing.
01206 214 000

December 9th
Christmas Fayre
St Georges Church Hall, Costead Manor Road, Brentwood
Featuring Tinas Clothing (a collection of new ladies and menswear at competitive prices), craft stalls, refreshments and more. Young at Heart is a self-funding club which meets every Friday afternoon.
01245 237590

December 10th
10am to 4pm
We Are Handmade Contemporary Christmas Craft and Design Fair
Queens Hall, Halstead C09 2BY
This fair will feature more than 25 makers and designers selling the latest in contemporary and vintage inspired handmade items. Shoppers will have a wonderful choice of unique, beautifully designed gifts to buy for Christmas. Also running at this event will be Encaustic Art Workshops for Beginners taught by Toni Peers.
Admission: Free Entry
07824 888 346

December 10th, 11th
and 17th to 21st
Kentwell Hall, Long Melford
Step Back in Time to A
Dickensian Christmas
The magical Dickensian Christmas event is returning to Kentwell Hall this December, with an even wider range of festive activities to delight old and young alike. Join the Starkie-Bence family in their moated mansion and see them prepare for the festival, visit the working Victorian kitchen and taste some Victorian food.
01787 310207

December 14th
3pm to 8.30pm
Christmas Open Evening and Market
Colchester Castle
Join in this free evening of merriment as Colchester Castle becomes a Christmas fantasyland. Hear carols, try the Christmas quiz, munch on mince pies and visit Father Christmas.
Admission: Free
01206 282932

December 27th
Sponsored Rowing Race
Maldon Little Ship Clubhouse,
Hythe Quay.
5km fun rowing race in aid of RNLI. Prizes include fastest mens boat, fastest ladies boat and best fancy dress. Hot refreshments available.
01621 854139

December 31st
New Years Eve Gourmet
Cabaret Dinner.
The Willow Room, The Bull,
Great Totham.
Black tie and evening wear event with seven course meal and entertainment from singer Irie J performing.
Admission: 90
01621 893385

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