Bluebell Railways SteamLights
Bluebell Railways Steamlights

Festive Fun Across Sussex

Activities for the whole family to enjoy this December

Sleeping Beauty at Ropetackle Shoreham

Fri 16 – Sat 31 Dec

Shoreham’s brilliant arts venue celebrates a tenth year of brilliant pantomime with an absolute classic. After pricking her finger on an enchanted spinning wheel, Sleepy Jean is put under a cruel spell and made to sleep for a hundred years.

Only true love and a handsome Prince can break the spell before time runs out! Along with Nurse ‘Sister Slumber’ and the Princess’s best friend ‘Cheeky’ muddles, can the boys and girls help wake up the townsfolk of ‘Snoreham-by-Sea’ and rid themselves of the evil ‘Carabosse’ and her nefarious plans to take over the world!!? Produced once again by the exceptional LP Creatives, you can expect more magic, music, comedy and mayhem in this perfect festive family outing. 

Santa City at Brighton Marina

Sat 17 – Tues 20 Dec

This year, in association with Artpod, Brighton’s leading visual arts company, Brighton Marina will be taking families on a unique adventure to Santa City, using the in-house Antler Airways! The former Franco Manca’s restaurant on The Boardwalk at the Marina, will be transformed into a free, interactive Christmas Extravaganza where children and families will start in Brighton, but end up at Santa’s House.

The journey starts at Passport Control, where you’ll meet cabin crew, receive their passport and board the exclusive Antler Airways plane. The destination is Santa City and everything is powered by jingle bells and Christmas songs.

On the way, this spectacular journey takes them to six other destinations in this fantasy world, with stops at Gingerbread Inn, where they collect their candy cane room key, Elves’Tavern, where they are served a non-alcoholic mulled wine and Ribbon Alley where they must find all the hiding Elves. They will then continue to the Elves workshop and finally to theChristmas hoopla where participants have all the clues to enable them to find the address of Santa’s grotto! 

Free event at Brighton Marina – Santa City

The Octonauts at SEALIFE Brighton 

Thurs 1 – Sat 31 Dec

This December, join other intrepid ocean explorers on a new deep-sea adventure. Young sailors and their families will help the Octonauts on a Christmas themed scavenger hunt throughout the aquarium, where guests will be challenged with various tasks and conundrums to complete throughout the site, while meeting an array of amazing sea creatures.  There’ll be opportunities to come face to face with an Octonaut themselves, loads of festive photo zones, awesome Octonaut themed crafts and prize sfor taking part in the Octonauts Christmas mission! 

Meet the Octonauts at SEALIFE Brighton

Arts and festive fun at Brighton & Hove Museums

Sat 19 Nov – Tues 3 Jan

All of Brighton & Museums are gearing up for Christmas with some special festive activities. The Royal Pavilion will be enjoying Christ-mouse with their adorable little Regency friends. Look for the magical mice as they enjoy a wonderful traditional festive season with parties, delicious food and gifts in mini-sized scenes throughout the historic palace. See if you can spot them on our new mice trail hiding in the spectacularly decorated Christmas trees on display including one inspired by the exotic interior of the pavilion. 

For more family entertainment, get in touch with a Victorian Christmas by treating yourself to a traditional telling of the story of Scrooge and his encounter with ghosts. Actor John O’Connor faithfully recreates Charles Dickens’s famous performance of his best-loved story.  Using Dickens’ own performance script, this is a wonderfully evocative evening and an acting tour de force. 

For a more modern take on A Christmas Carol, see if your family can crack the codes and puzzles for a fun game at Preston Manor. Your team will bring the characters to life in an original half escape room, half immersive theatre experience. But Christmas isn’t just for the kids and there’s plenty of traditional evenings for the grown-ups, including glamorous Christmas Banquets in the Royal Pavilion. If you enjoy a good singsong, tickets are still available for a joyous carol concert in the Royal Pavilion Music Room to get you and your friends in a festive mood.

Over at the Booth Museum of Natural History, they’re celebrating Christmas with some fun arts and crafts with our pop-up workshops and some rather peculiar animal exhibits, including a reindeer, getting everyone into the festive mood. 

Royal Pavilion Brighton Scenes With Mice decorated and arranged by Hannah Marshall Quinn Credit Simon Dack

Christmas Party with East 17 at The Factory Live

Mon 19 Dec

Worthing will be welcoming the kings of everyone’s Christmas in the  90s,… East 17! It’s a massive festive party, with a host of special guests on the line up, including Mark Read from the chart-smashing A1.

Formed in 1991, chart-topping boy band East 17, named after the postcode of their hometown Walthamstow, were one of the UK’s most popular boy bands. Their biggest hit Stay Another Day was the Christmas No 1 in 1994 and they scored twelve top 10 hits between 1992-1998 including House Of Love, It’s Alright and If You Ever. 

SteamLights at Bluebell Railway

Until Sat 31 Dec

A magical train covered by thousands of colourful lights sparkles, glows and shimmers, as SteamLights returns with a stunning new theme and a new lighting-up performance to capture the imagination of every family. The winter night is lit up with an amazing light show along your journey, with brand-new sparkling displays, music and narration, this is a steam train experience not to be missed.

Travel through the Sussex countryside under cover of darkness, bringing shimmering light and colour as you go. Along the way, you’ll enjoy festive  scenes among the trees and clearings and a colourful light show orchestrated in time with music and narration. This is a multi-sensory feast…

Bluebell Railway – shimmering Christmas train

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