SPECIAL message to all children: Santa will be in gaol this Christmas.
And the good news is he will be at Down County Museum where there will be a series of Christmas events and the main annual family fun day takes place on Saturday 8 December from 11am – 5pm.
So, children don’t panic! You will get your presents after all.
The seasonal fun days will be packed with lots of entertainments for the family to enjoy. The theme is ‘Christmas around the World’. An array of artists and demonstrators will be on hand to show how Christmas and other Winter festivals are celebrated by a range of cultures and to show the types of crafts associated with them.
ArtsEkta are providing this element of the event and as well as having the opportunity to learn more about the cultures of communities around the world, visitors can have a go at making a range of decorations from Polish, Bulgarian and Danish tree ornaments to Chinese and Japanese paper crafts.
Seasonal music will be provided by the Newtownards Silver Band who will be playing a range of carols and Christmas songs. Their unique sound always adds a special touch to any yuletide gathering and is always guaranteed to create a festive atmosphere. Carol singing by local groups will also feature to add to the ambience. Younger children can enjoy story time from around the world in the Museum galleries.
The highlight of the Museum’s event will be Santa’s Grotto which is open all day. The grotto is located in one of the cells of the Old Gaol and this makes it one of the most unusual grottos in Down, offering high quality gifts and photos and is always popular with local families. Admission to the Museum is free however there is a charge to Santa’s Grotto.
The Museum is also running a series of special events focusing on life during the Second World War.
Children of the Blitz: County Down in World War II will be presented on 1, 15 and 22 December. This event will show families today what wartime children experiences when they moved from town to country as a result of wartime evacuation. Visitors can find out more about rationing and the war effort, have a go at code breaking, use a World War II field telephone, meet an ARP officer who will explain all about the billeting of evacuees and much more!
This is a fantastic opportunity to travel back in time and understand how people lived in the past and learn more about the effect of the war on everyday life in the local area. There are two sessions on each day at 2pm and 3.30pm. Admission is £3 and pre-booking is advisable.