Christmas Top Picks
'Tis the season to be jolly. Here are 19 events you can enjoy this Cornish Christmas.
Cornwall is crammed with Christmas events this year – it’s almost impossible to highlight just a few. Sing some carols in the cathedral, explore the wintery wonder of Tehidy Woods and meet Santa on a steam train. Or join Scrooge to celebrate the festive season – Bah Humbug! With an array of fairs and markets, there are plenty of opportunities to find perfect gifts and goodies. Why not kick off Christmas with your local community – find your local light switch on below.
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We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!
Cornwall 365 What’s On
1. Healeys Christmas Markets
Sat 24th Nov – Sun 16th Dec, 2018 (weekends)
Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm, Penhallow
This year, Healeys Christmas Markets are back and set to be bigger, better and bubbling with new Christmassy elements spread around the festive farm. The markets will showcase stalls of tasty local produce alongside Cornish art and crafts. Pick freshly cut Christmas trees and try the range of Healeys Cornish cyders for free in Healeys own farm shop. More than just markets, the farm offers a full, fun day out for the family. Cyder making tours and tractor rides down to 20 acres of orchards run regularly throughout the day whilst the friendly farm animals, including donkeys, pigs, goats, ponies and shire horses are a favourite for little ones to meet. Each Sunday afternoon, with a famous Healeys Sunday roast, local choirs will fill The Old Bottlery with the sounds of Cornish carols.
2. Canoryon Lowen: Great Circle
Sat 24th Nov, 2018
National Maritime Museum, Falmouth
Celebrating 50 years since the original Golden Globe Race, this is a production inspired by three legendary participants. Conveyed through a combination of song, narrative and imagery, Great Circle has been created around the deep emotional turmoil and challenge of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Donald Crowhurst and Bernard Moitessier. A choral representation of the psychological turmoil of contestants and their families will be performed by the famous choir Canoryon Lowen, with guest performances from the celebrated Cornish duo, Katie Kirk and Rick Williams, who will bring their own interpretation of the songs of separation written by Nick Hart.
3. Ha-Hum-Ah Theatre: A Dickensian Christmas
Tues 27th Nov – Sat 22nd Dec, 2018 (selected dates)
Various venues across Bodmin
1869, Victorian London. The household staff of 48 Doughty Street gather on Christmas Eve for a tradition long carried out, but seldom spoke about. That is until the arrival of an unexpected visitor in the winter cold. All he wants is a room for the night, and in return, he’ll entertain with his finest festive stories. But what’s the catch?
A Dickensian Christmas is a festive story-telling romp through some of English literatures most loved Christmas fables, poetry and music from Dickens to Hans Christian Anderson. Developed and devised by the company through a process of creative discovery and improvisation, A Dickensian Christmas promises to be an evening of inventive and imaginative story-telling. Over 40 wide and varying characters will be portrayed by a cast of 4, in this festive rollercoaster through the ages.
4. Bodmin Lights Up
Fri 30th Nov, 2018
Various locations across Bodmin
Start this year’s festive fun in Bodmin with an evening of special events for all the family.
Starting at The Old Library at 6pm, follow the spectacular lantern procession as it makes its way down to Mount Folly. Then enjoy a very special community lightshow on the town’s Fore Street Clock Tower. Don’t miss this incredible display, featuring work by Bodmin students and the Colour Project. Starting at 6:15pm, the light show will repeat on a loop until 8pm.
Join Bodmin Christmas Lights and Pirate FM’s Neil Caddy for the big moment, when Bodmin’s Christmas lights are switched on for the festive season. Enjoy the sounds of the Bodmin Town Band as they set the scene with beautiful Christmas Carols. Then from 5:30pm at 81 fore street (the old Threshers shop) dance the night away with intoBodmin and Bodmin CAN’s (Community Action Network) fun-filled, family friendly disco!
Cornwall Lights Switch On
Bodmin Falmouth Godolphin
Fri 30th November Thurs 29th Nov Sat 15th Dec
From 5pm From 5pm From 6.30pm
Mevagissey Mousehole Newquay
Sat 1st Dec Sat 15th Dec Fri 30th Nov
From 5pm 6pm 4pm
Penzance St Austell St Ives
Sat 1st Dec Tues 27th Nov Sat 1st Dec
4.30pm 4pm From 5pm
For more local Christmas lights switch on events visit www.intocornwall.com
5. Wonder Nights
Thurs 29th Nov 2018 – Sun 6th Jan 2019
Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Torpoint
Wonder Nights returns to Mount Edgcumbe Country Park in an all-new after dark adventure the whole family can enjoy together. Escape here to a fun, wondrous world of sensational sights around every corner. Discover enchanting lands under the stars and glorious gardens illuminated with gleaming delight. Plus no end of festive merriment ensure this is one escapade you really shouldn’t miss!
6. Fowey Christmas Market
Fri 30th Nov – Sun 2nd Dec, 2018
Albert Quay, Fowey
One of Cornwall’s most well-known Christmas events providing visitors with quality locally produced food and drink and festive gifts. The event takes place throughout the town centre with festive activities and shopping opportunities with its main draw being the Christmas Markets on Town Quay, Albert Quay, Webb Street and the Town Hall.
7. Santa by Steam
Sat 1st – Mon 24th Dec, 2018 (selected dates)
Bodmin & Wenford Railway, Bodmin
Gather your family and friends and take a journey with the railway elves to visit Santa’s grotto. Arrive at Bodmin General Station for mince pies, seasonal drinks and carols on the platform, before climbing aboard for an hour-long return journey on a beautiful steam hauled train. During the trip you’ll visit Santa, with plenty of time for a photo, and gifts for each child. When he’s not driving the sleigh with Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer, Father Christmas travels by steam train!
To help make even more Christmases extra special, Santa will be travelling on two relaxed (Autism friendly) trains, and four wheelchair accessible trains at Bodmin & Wenford Railway this December.
Make Christmas memories in your very own Bodmin & Wenford Railway Christmas story.
8. Near-Ta Theatre: Christmas. Time.
Sun 2nd – Thurs 27th Dec, 2018 (selected dates)
Various venues across Cornwall
Charlie and Toby are feeling low, and why wouldn’t they? It’s Christmas Day and they’re serving time at Her Majesty’s pleasure. But why shouldn’t they be having a Merry Christmas in spite of their incarceration? What’s stopping them from creating Christmas around them? Absolutely nothing! And so they set off on their festival of carols, Claus, Christ and custody!
Join them on a fantastical adventure through Dickens, pantomime, musical, Christmas dinner and Christmas films! See as they build a wonderfully Merry Christmas around them with songs, snowmen and lots of laughs in this truly festive show that puts the ‘cell’ firmly back in ‘celebration’!
Written and performed by Daniel Richards and Ciaran Clarke, and directed by Simon Harvey (o-region, Kneehigh) Christmas. Time. is a musical comedy for all the family and promises to be a fun, festive and fantastically funny Christmas offering from Near-ta Theatre!
9. Miracle Theatre's Aladdin
Fri 7th Dec, 2018 – Sat 5th Jan, 2019
Princess Pavilion, Falmouth
Every Christmas for the last fifty years the Willoughby-Brown family have gathered at their country seat in Cornwall to eat, drink, laugh and bicker and, with the help of their loyal staff, to provide their own entertainment in the form of a home-made pantomime. The few guests who have been permitted to witness these rare soirées have spoken of being swept away by eccentric singing, exotic dancing, breath-taking magical effects and of being frequently moved to tears of laughter.
This year, as an act of seasonal charity, the family has decided to embrace the epithet of ‘great art for everyone’. Stopping short of actually allowing the general public to soil the carpets of their splendid house, they have offered to install themselves on the stage of the Princess Pavilion, where they invite you to assemble and share their unique interpretation of the oriental fairy-tale Aladdin.
People & friends of Cornwall… brace yourselves for all the fun of traditional panto and a whole lot more!
10. Winter Wood
Sat 8th – Sun 30th Dec, 2018
Tehidy Woods, Camborne
There is a wood in the wildest part of Cornwall
Where the land meets the swirling sea
And here in the middle of winter
You will find old magic in the trees
Created by Cornwall’s award winning immersive and highly visual Rogue Theatre, Winter Wood is an adventure for families and those who still believe in Magic. A unique festive marvel to behold and set in the heart of the Winter Wood, enjoy an exhilarating walk through the trees before gathering in a warm tent where a magical story comes to life and a festival spirit unfolds. There will be a show with live music, festive stories, winter wonders, a free hot chocolate for everyone, a warm place to relax, sparkly face painting and the chance to make your own traditional winter decoration to take home. With new stories for 2018.
11. Heligan by Night
Weds 12th Dec, 2018 – Sat 5th Jan, 2019
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan
This December, step in to ‘Heligan by Night’ and experience the art of illumination as internationally renowned light artist, Ulf Pedersen, returns to reveal the night-time magic of Heligan’s historic plantings
Journey through an after-dark Lost Gardens and delight in the incredible textures, colours and atmosphere created by Pedersen’s thought provoking illuminations. New for this year Heligan debuts a selection of Pederson’s unique sound and light installations in addition to last years display, to create a dazzling nocturnal immersive experience.
Heligan are also holding their annual Christmas fair on Sat 8th – Sun 9th December. This festive event is a must in your Christmas calendar – enjoy entry to the gardens together with the perfect opportunity to find some unique gifts.
12. Truro's Big Christmas Sing
Fri 14th Dec, 2018
Truro Cathedral and Christian Aid present an evening of community singing featuring some of your favourite carols. There is musical entertainment from Loveny Male Voice Choir, Callington Gospel Choir and St Mewan School, plus guest speaker, Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Chief Executive of Christian Aid.
Free with a collection for the work of Christian Aid and the cathedral.
13. The Mousehole Cat
Sat 15th – Mon 31st Dec, 2018
Solomon Browne Memorial Hall, Mousehole
A magical puppet and live action production of Antonia Barber’s classic children’s story, The Mousehole Cat, is performed in the heart of Mousehole alongside the villages annual Christmas illuminations in the Solomon Browne Memorial Hall. Families will again have time to marvel at Mousehole’s spectacular lights display before taking their seats to hear how this West Cornwall village was saved from desperate famine by the brave actions of fisherman, Tom Bawcock, and his faithful cat, Mowzer.
Based on a well-known Cornish legend Antonia Barber’s uniquely heart warming story of the friendship between a fearless fisherman and his devoted cat is sure to warm the cockles of your heart almost as much as an ‘efty portion of stargazy pie! Their third Christmas in Mousehole before the production tours to the US and UK next year. This magical show lasts for approximately one hour allowing families to soak up the atmosphere of Cornwall’s most famous Christmas light display and enjoy a live performance all in one evening.
14. Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol
Sun 16th Dec, 2018
The Centre, Newlyn
Joy to all mankind… Bah!
Spend an evening in the company of a mean, tight-fisted, squeezing, grasping, clutching old miser. Bah! Watch horrified as Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted by four creepy ghosts (wooo-oooh) each one more terrifying than the last. Bah!
Sob at the bedside of a tiny, malnourished child riven with rickets. Bah!
Celebrate the festive season with a mesmerising one-man performance of Charles Dickens’ timeless, transformative story: A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Bah! Bah!
15. Carols in the Mill
Sun 16th Dec, 2018
King Edward Mine, Camborne
Come along and sing some Christmas Carols in the mill at King Edward Mine again this year, with some festive cheer. From 2pm to 4pm, this is a free event for all well-wishers and the local community. This year there will be a ukulele band to help the Christmas songs go with a swing, and songsheets so that all can join in. If the weather is cold and wet, the mill is a great indoor space to bring your whole family.
16. A Vicar of Dibley Christmas
Weds 19th – Fri 21st Dec, 2018
The Acorn, Penzance
A stage play by Ian Gower and Paul Carpenter. Adapted from the original TV series by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer. With kind permission of Tiger Aspect Productions.
Following on from their hugely successful production of ‘The Vicar Of Dibley ‘at The Minack last year, the Seven Stones team reunite for this brand new seasonal adaptation. Featuring Geraldine, Alice, Hugo and No no no no, Yes! Jim Trott together with all the wonderful characters you would expect from one of the greatest situation comedies of all time. ‘A Vicar Of Dibley Christmas’ will take you on a roller coaster ride of festive tomfoolery, including hilarious scenes from the unforgettable Christmas Lunch Incident and The Christmas Nativity.
What better way to kick off this season’s Christmas celebrations with a show suitable for the whole family.
17. Carols of the Cornish Diaspora
Thurs 20th Dec, 2018
This momentous service will bring together singers from all over Cornwall, joining a unique community chorus to perform Carols from the Cornish Diaspora. Funded by FEAST, Arts Council England and Cornwall Music Education Hub, and supported by The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies and Truro City Council, this project was inspired by the research of ethnomusicologist Kate Neale.
As part of her PhD, Kate travelled to Cornish communities in the USA and Australia in search of carols which emigrating Cornish people took with them as they departed in search of work, fortune and spiritual freedom during the second half of the nineteenth century. She has collected a library of carols from families, archives, libraries and chapels. At this special Christmas cathedral service the Diaspora Carols return to their homeland and will be sung by singers from all over Cornwall.
18. Montol Festival
Fri 21st Dec, 2018
Penzance Town Centre
Penzance will be celebrating the midwinter in its own unique manner, with traditions and customs of Old Christmas including processions, fire, guise dancing, guise beasts and visitation performances at local establishments from various guise guilds. Market with daytime entertainment starts at 1pm, including music, carol singing, storytelling and ‘Obby ‘Oss demonstrations.
First procession starts at the top of Causeway Head at 4pm, after choosing the “Lord of Misrule”, our Mock Leader, the Duke of Rosevean, 2nd procession at 6pm from Chapel Street to burn the effigy of the sun, and final one at 10pm in Chapel Street for the “chalking the mock” custom, with roaming characters and guild acts in between. Join in the fun by wearing a (non-horror/non-celebrity) mask and costume and accompany us in the processions, find or register your own guild of guisers via our Facebook pages @montolfestival and @celebratekernow to keep up to date with workshop dates and inspiration.
19. Luca Silvestrini's Protein Dance: The Little Prince
Sat 22nd Dec, 2018
The well-loved story The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, is retold using Protein’s mix of humour, dance and music, encouraging us to look at the world through our hearts and reconnect with the child that’s in us all.
Join the Little Prince in this live stage show as he journeys through the baffling world of grown-ups, meeting a king who reigns over nothing, a businessman obsessively counting stars and a vain man craving admiration! Along the way he encounters a lone pilot stranded in the desert and together they discover the power of friendship and the complexity of love.
One of the most distinctive voices in British dance theatre, Luca Silvestrini’s Protein has used a blend of original choreography, text, humour and music to entertain and provoke audiences since 1997. Protein’s shows connect theatrical experiences with the everyday and real-life stories that engage audiences and participants in both on-and-off stage productions.