It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Manx National Heritage (MNH) sites, with the first festive events taking place this weekend, when Castle Rushen will open its doors as part of Castletown’s magical Christmas Celebrations and big light switch-on, on Saturday 4 December.
This special event offers the opportunity to enjoy Castle Rushen decorated for Christmas, tie your special wish on the giant Christmas tree in the castle courtyard and to soak up the enchanting festive atmosphere. Standard admission charges apply for Castle Rushen, which will be open from 1pm to 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Entry is FREE to children, Members and Annual Pass Holders.
In Castletown Square, the fun gets underway at 2pm on Saturday 4 December, with a Santa dash, Christmas market and entertainment for all the family including local choirs and silver bands, Jack and The Beanstalk LIVE on stage, a guest appearance by the Snow Queen and the special man himself… Father Christmas will be in his Castletown grotto from 6pm.
The countdown to the big light switch-on starts at 6pm, with the Castletown Carnival Queen doing the honours! The event will conclude with the Young Farmers Tractor Parade at 7pm. The event in Castletown Square is free to attend.
Helen Ashcroft, MNH Public Engagement Manager said:
“This promises to be a magical festive event, which MNH are delighted to be part of. Huge appreciation for the Castletown Christmas Committee, event partners and local traders who have combined to stage this year’s celebration and make it extra special”.
On Sunday 5 December from 9.30am to 4.30pm, the House of Manannan will host a Christmas fair for a day of Christmas shopping, featuring a range of local artisans. Products are hand-crafted on the Isle of Man, from pottery to artworks and locally turned wood. Artisans attending include Sue King, Isle Be Creative, Janet Taylor, Kathryn Cain, Manx TurnEd, Cherie Collier, Nicola Dixon and Dawn Kennaugh. The event takes place from 9.30am to 4.30pm at the House of Manannan, with a book signing by Tanya Anderson of Lovely Greens at 11.30am. FREE admission to the Fair.
On Saturday 11 December it’s the turn of the Grove Museum in Ramsey to host a Victorian Christmas celebration. The day will include festive crafts and entertainment, including a visit from a Victorian Father Christmas in his traditional green costume!
The Parish Pantry will be in the Grove Conservatory serving warming food and drink, to see off the winter chill. Standard site admission applies, which includes FREE entry to children. Tickets to meet Father Christmas cost £5 on the day, with each child receiving a quality gift to take home.
As the Christmas holidays get underway, all “Mini Mariners” are invited to the Manx Museum on Wednesday 22 December, for a special nautical themed workshop in the Voyage Exhibition Gallery. Workshop tickets cost £5 including crafts, games and activities. Accompanying adults free. The event is most suitable for 7 to 10 year olds. Tickets available from www.manxnationalheritage.im/shop.
Image caption: A festive visitor to the Grove Museum
Manx National Heritage, Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin, Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3LY
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