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Top ten things to do in Gloucestershire this Christmas

Schools are closing and work is winding down, so we have put together our top pick of activities and events to get you into festive spirit in Gloucestershire this Christmas.

1# Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas 

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat...but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work.

Following the million-selling success of This Is Going To Hurt, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime.

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year.

This brand new live show at Cheltenham Town Hall mixes highlights from the book with his award-winning stand-up comedy and exclusive new content.

The ticket price of £32 includes a hardbook copy of the book (RRP £9.99) and you will have the opportunity for Adam to sign copies after the show.

2# Prepare for a giant of a panto not to be missed! 

There are just two days until the cast of Jack and The Beanstalk pantomime burst onto the stage at The Subscription Rooms in Stroud.

Tickets for the popular family outing have been in high demand, and several charities and schools have benefited too.

Following last year's success, this year's panto team have put together an extravaganza starring BBC`s Allo Allo comedy legend Sue Hodge who returns as the hilarious Fairy Cucumber in a fun-filled pantomime for all the family.

Additionally, the production has supported three schools with their fundraising, and ensured that families supported by a number of charities are able to attend the wonderful show too.

The fantastic traditional Christmas panto features a professional cast including the London Palladium`s Christopher Marlowe as Dame Trott, ITV`s The Voice singing sensation Kade Smith as Jack, and Channel 4's Brookside and BBC's Byker Grove star Allen Mechen as the villainous Fleshcreep.

Jack and the Beanstalk runs at Stroud Subscription Rooms from Saturday, December 21, to Tuesday, December 24. Tickets are from just £12.75 each. Book in person at The Sub Rooms, over the phone on 01453 796880 or online at

3# Join in with a seasonal Tetbury tradition 

Carols at the Goods Shed is an event that has become something of a Tetbury tradition and for many marks the beginning of Christmas in the town.

Starting at 6.30pm at the Goods Shed, all are invited to come and enjoy festive musical performances by Nicola Clark together with Avening Band - as well as joining in with the community carol singing.

Afterwards there will be mulled wine and mince pies on offer.

This is an evening for all the family, young and old.

4# Profusion of crafts on show for Christmas 

A huge range of crafted goods will be on show and on sale at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester in the run-up to Christmas.

Once a year, the centre expands its craft shop and takes over the Gallery to bring you the chance to buy unique hand-crafted jewellery, ceramics, prints, homewares, glass, accessories and decorative items from over 350 talented makers from across the UK.

So, by giving the gift of craft, you are supporting craft makers and, at the same time through profits made from sales, allowing New Brewery Arts to bring craft to a wider audience.

On display from now to Christmas Eve will be a wealth of unique, high quality, exciting pieces by makers New Brewery Arts know and love and others by those newly discovered.

Admission is free and opening times are 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am-4pm Sunday.

5# Brace yourself for a chilly Christmas Day swim 

Brave souls can have a bracing dip at Cheltenham's Sandford Parks Lido on Christmas morning before tucking into their Christmas Day lunch.

Swimmers are welcome to join in a quick (and chilly) dip with gates opening around 10:50am before the countdown to the swim begins at 11am. Entry is free but donations will be welcomed.

Please note a disclaimer has to be signed before participating in this event. Minimum age is 17, but families and children are welcome to come along to watch!

Online registration is now closed but there will be limited sign-ups on the day. Please arrive early to fill out a waiver form.

6# Join Pinocchio's magical adventure at Gloucester Guildhall 

This Christmas, Gloucester Guildhall presents a magical adaptation of the classic tale Pinocchio.

Families can expect a thrilling journey complete with live music, singing and puppetry, the family theatre show will appear at the Eastgate Street venue throughout the festive period.

With a fresh new script and original songs, the play tells the story of Pinocchio's adventure to become a real boy. On a quest to make this happen, he falls into a wild adventure with dodgy foxes, a fun factory, a nosy cricket, a blue fairy and a whale at the bottom of the ocean.

With a growing nose, and an increasing scent for adventure, will Pinocchio ever become a real boy?

Produced by Strike A Light and presented by Gloucester Guildhall, the production is supported by the Great Place Scheme and Arts Council England, and forms part of the city's puppetry themed winter programme, alongside the Christmas Lantern Procession and the Museum of Gloucester's William Simmonds exhibition.

Pinocchio's quest takes place at Gloucester Guildhall between Friday, December 6, and Saturday, January 4, 2020.

Tickets to join the adventure are priced at £12 adults /£8 child on regular dates, and £15 adult / £10 child for premium dates.

Tickets are available to buy from Gloucester Guildhall box office by calling 01452 503050 or visiting

7# Get set for an adventure like no other at Roses panto 

Get ready to journey with The Roses to the exotic Far East for an adventure like no other, in their 2019 family pantomime, Aladdin!

Aladdin is brought to life by a talented cast and the same creative team as in previous years, including writer and director Ben Crocker.

Complete with all of the magic and sparkle audiences have come to expect from a Roses pantomime, the Tewkesbury theatre will transport you to an exotic world of music, mayhem and pure escapism - the perfect chance to spend a couple of hours simply relaxing and enjoying family time.

Tewkesbury's pantomime has it all. A rollicking storyline; a whole host of colourful characters from the plucky title character to the evil Abanazer; and more singing, dancing and opportunities to boo and hiss than ever before.

New faces join established regulars Ben Eagle and Michael Watson-Gray to complete a talented line-up that guarantee to have you laughing your socks off right from the start.

Tickets are priced £15 to £25 and are available from the box office on 01684 295074 or from

8# New version of festive masterpiece opens at The Barn Theatre 

A Christmas Carol closes a highly successful year at the Barn Theatre in Cirencester with a magical original interpretation of Charles Dickens' festive masterpiece that will get everyone, including Scrooge, in the festive mood.

Olivier Award nominee Patrick Ryecart (The Crown, Poldark, The King's Speech) leads the cast as Ebenezer Scrooge in this new version by playwright Alan Pollock with music and lyrics by Finn Anderson.

The production runs at The Barn Theatre until January 11.

The story follows the prosperous, heartless Ebenezer Scrooge who believes that the accumulation of wealth is far more important than happiness.

Made to face his selfish ways by three ghosts of Past, Present, and Future, on Christmas Eve, they lead him on a journey of repentance before he greets the Christmas morning with a Merry Christmas and sets about making up for his mean ways.

Set to an original score and reworked script the familiar tale is woven into a spellbinding production that stays true to the core moral thread of the original story and is sure to enchant a family audience in a brilliant heart-warming Christmas spectacular.

9# 'No-strings attached' - puppetry exhibition at Museum of Gloucester now free! 

More people than ever can now see the Museum of Gloucester's 'The Magical World of William Simmonds: Puppets and Paintings' exhibition as it is now free to enter.

The change has been made after the museum listened to feedback from visitors that it was too good for people to miss.

The magnificent objects in the exhibition have not been seen by the public for 40+ years, making them a rarity.

The puppets, carved in the early 1900s, are in unbelievably good condition and the four paintings by Simmonds in the museum collection are the only ones not owned privately.

Admission to the rest of Museum of Gloucester is already free, making heritage and culture more accessible to the people of the city, county and the many millions of people who visit the area each year.

10# Enjoy the sound of brass in candlelit church 

Everyone is welcome to a festive favourite for all the family - Brass by Candelight.

It doesn't get much more Christmassy than the sound of brass in the candlelit warmth of Christ Church, Cheltenham.

Cotswold Brass Quintet return to delight with a short programme of well-loved seasonal classics on Friday, December 20, at 4pm.

The programme will be followed by mulled wine and mince pies and donations will be appreciated for the church building fund.

Christ Church continues its busy Christmas programme with Carols by Candlight on Sunday, December 22 at 6.30pm.

Then on Christmas Eve, young ones will love the Christingle Service at Christ Church which is holding two identical services at 3.30pm and 5.30pm. Christ Church does Christingle twice to fit everyone in!

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