Plump, orange and spooky – the ceramic pumpkin search returns!

Lincoln’s uphill Pumpkin Trail challenge is back for its second year this autumn.

The free half-term activity challenges families to track down quirky ceramic pumpkins hidden the windows of the city’s uphill shops and other businesses and has once again been devised by a partnership of the Bailgate Guild, Lincoln BIG and Visit Lincoln, tapping into the artistic talents of staff at The Little Pottery Studio.

There’s plenty to play for too, because your family could win anything from gift vouchers to an afternoon tea or coffee experience, cuddly toys or a book voucher.

The Pumpkin Trail leaflet includes 29 pottery pumpkins to find as well as some fiendish clues to solve.  The pumpkins will be in the windows of shops and other businesses in the area which stretches from The Strait to Newport Arch.

Many ceramic pumpkins have been individually painted, including those which have been decorated by Lincoln Minster School pupils and the trail area will be easy to spot with the hanging of black and orange bunting on the streets.

Running from Saturday, October 19th, to Sunday, November 3rd, families can pick-up a trail leaflet from the city’s Visitor Information Centre in Castle Hill or participating shops and businesses or download it from www.visitlincoln.com/pumpkintrail.

Completed leaflets can be left with one of the shops taking part in the trail or posted to the Visitor Information Centre, 9 Castle Hill, Lincoln, LN1 3AA. They must arrive before midnight on Monday, November 11th, 2019.

Visit Lincoln’s Chief Executive Mike Timson said: “As a Partnership organisation it’s great to work with 29 businesses and Lincoln BIG to provide another reason to come into Lincoln over half term and in the lead up to Halloween.  The trail will help visitors find shops, pubs, and tea rooms they might not have visited before and will be a fun and active family activity to enjoy in the city.”

Bailgate Guild Chair Nicola Lockwood said:  “We are thrilled to be supporting this year’s Pumpkin Trail.  All the businesses involved are pleased to sponsor this event and they have donated a spectacular range of prizes for the winners.  We’re sure it is going to prove to be more popular than ever.”

Lincoln BIG Chief Executive Sarah Loftus said: “We are very pleased to be a partner in this event.  We know that everyone really enjoyed the Pumpkin Trail last year and we think this attraction will bring many more people to the uphill area this time around.”

Find out more at www.visitlincoln.com/whats-on/uphill-lincoln-pumpkin-trail-2019

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The most magical panto of them all…

A spectacular royal carriage and a unicorn will be flying into the Lincoln Drill Hall this Christmas.

After last year’s sell-out production, Jamie Marcus Productions is delighted to be returning to the Free School Lane arts centre from December 6th, 2019, to January 4th, 2020, with this season’s show, Cinderella.

The production promises a fabulous traditional pantomime, packed full of well-known songs, fantastic comedy and spectacular special effects.

James Campbell returns by popular demand as one of the ugly sisters Lady Domestos and he’s looking forward to it: “I’ve performed in over 25 pantos now all over the country and since 2012 at Lincoln Drill Hall,” says James.

“It is always the highlight of my acting year! I love coming to Lincoln over Christmas and the productions at the Drill Hall are always special.

“Who can forget the Red Arrow in 2017 or Peter Pan flying over the audience heads last year?

“The panto is always packed with fun and frolics for everyone; sweetie throw-outs, singalongs, kids up on stage, the John Lewis skit, and of course the incredible special effects.  Last year we played to nearly 15,000 audience members and each year the productions get more spectacular.  I can’t wait for Cinderella to start!”

Tickets to see all your favourite characters, including the beautiful Cinderella, the Ugliest of Sisters, the magical Fairy Godmother, the lovable Buttons and the handsome Prince Charming, start from £12.

Call the Lincoln Drill Hall box office on 01522 873894 or visit www.lincolndrillhall.com/cinderella for further information.

Sid’s Time to Play

SidThe Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) is continuing its family programming this season by welcoming CBeebies star Sid to its stage.

Sid will present Time To Play at the city venue on Saturday, October 19th, at 2.30pm, promising a show jam-packed with live games for little ones and their fun-loving parents.

This enthralling show includes Simon says style song Copy Sid, a Challenge Sid friendly quiz with not so friendly (but fun) forfeits, Wacky Races which pits the audience against each other using a beachball to decide who wins and Dress to Impress, a dress-off between two where speed and balloon popping skills are a huge advantage.

Sid’s own brand of comedic playfulness and spontaneous interaction aims to leave everyone, young or old, with a smile on their face.

Find out more at Sid’s Time to Play.

Other family shows coming up at the LPAC include:
Vienna Festival Ballet’s Snow White, Sunday, October 27th, 5pm
Big Bouncing Boogie, Saturday, November 9th, 10am, 11.30am and 1pm
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, December 11th-24th
Ready, Steady, Yeti!, December 16th – January 5th

The merriest pantomime adventure

The star-studded cast from the New Theatre Royal Lincoln’s Christmas pantomime, Robin Hood, came together for the first time this week ahead of the show, which runs from Tuesday, December 3rd to Sunday, January 5th.

The Mayoral party were in attendance to officially welcome the cast to Lincoln, and they really got into the pantomime spirit when they put the Sheriff of Nottingham into stocks for his bad behaviour.  A team of young reporters from Monks Abbey Primary School also came along to ask the cast some testing questions.

CBBC’s Chris Johnson, who will appear as merry man Will Scarlet, has appeared in every pantomime since Cinderella in 2017: “It’s always a joy to be even thought of for one of the shows here, never mind asked back. So, to have the chance to play out with this team again, I’m over the moon.”

Children’s BAFTA award-winner Barney Harwood (Blue Peter, Prank Patrol) will play the role of Robin Hood, starring as Maid Marian is Zoe Hedge who previously appeared on ITV’s The Voice as part of duo Capital B and Melinda Messenger will take the role of Fairy Stardust.

Lincoln’s own Chris Hayes will be featuring as Friar Tuck and can’t wait to get back on stage, “The good thing about panto, the thing I enjoy, is just coming out on stage and seeing the kid’s faces light up, seeing all this magic in front of them, that’s Christmas.”

Tickets start at £16.50.
A signed performance will take place on Friday, January 3rd, at 6pm.
A relaxed performance will take place on Saturday, December 7th, at 11am.
Call 01522 519999.
For further information visit www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk

Pumpkin picking, terrifying trails and a petrifying prison…

Halloween events 2019

Halloween2018With mini number two following her brother through the school doors for the first time and mini number three starting a couple of sessions at nursery a week, I’m finding the start of the new academic year even more difficult this year – so I’m fast forwarding in my mind to half term and Halloween fun.

If you’re looking for some fearful family fun take a look at the list below and see if anything might appeal to your mini monsters.

As always – some events need advance booking, there are only so many pumpkins in a pumpkin patch and, of course, all live (and undead) events are subject to change so be sure to click on the links to check the details and phone/book before travelling.

Do you know of an event we’ve missed?  Tell us about it in the comments or email us at hello@theminimalpi.co.uk and don’t forget to keep checking back in case we’ve found more.

PYO Pumpkins/Pumpkin Patches
Bell’s Gardening Outlet, near Boston
Doddington Hall, near Lincoln
Maxeys Farm Shop, Kirklington
Waddingworth PYO Pumpkins, Woodhall Spa

October 11:
Spalding Pumpkin Festival
Spalding town centre

October 13:
Monster Stories
Waterstones, High Street, Lincoln

October 19-27:
Spooky Prison
Lincoln Castle

October 19-27:
Halloween Spooktacular
Rand Farm

October 19-31:
Scarecrow Competition Display
Gatehouse Lawn, Doddington Hall, near Lincoln

October 19 – November 3:
Thoresby trail of wizardry, witchcraft, sorcery and spells
Thoresby Hall, near Ollerton

October 19 – November 3:
Uphill Lincoln Pumpkin Trail
Lincoln

October 20:
Pumpkin Sunday Funday
Stourton Estates, Baumber, Horncastle

October 20:
Winnie the Witch Storytime
Waterstones, High Street, Lincoln

October 21:
Halloween Pottery Painting Workshop
Halloween Pottery Pumpkin Lantern Workshop
Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre

October 21:
Mystery Magic Workshop
Age 4-12
Normanby Hall, near Scunthorpe

October 21-27:
Halloween Half Term
Tattershall Castle

October 21-31:
Halloween at the Den
William’s Den, near Hull

October 16-27 (on their usual open days):
Pumpkin Rolling
Easton Walled Gardens, near Grantham

October 22:
Pumpkin Carving
Hartsholme Park, near Lincoln

October 22:
Room on the Broom Storytelling
Normanby Hall, near Scunthorpe

October 22:
Potion and Slime Making
Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare

October 23:
Haunted Halloween Drama Day
Age 5-11.  The Back Garden Drama Company
Waddington Village Hall

October 23:
Lion Learners at Halloween
Halloween themed animal handling activities
Normanby Hall, near Scunthorpe

October 23:
Trick or Treat Craft Workshop
Pescod Square Shopping Centre, Boston

October 24:
Halloween Disco
Fun Farm, North Hykeham

October 24:
Spell book and wand workshop
Hosted by ARTventurers at Lincoln Toy Library

October 24:
Music with Mummy Pumpkin Party
Skellingthorpe Community Centre

October 24-28:
Halloween Trail
Hartsholme Park, near Lincoln

October 25:
Halloween Face Painting
Waterside Shopping Centre, Lincoln

October 25:
Halloween Pottery Party
Upsy-Daisycle, Welton

October 25:
Family Halloween Party
Great Gonerby Social Club, Grantham

October 25:
Halloween Roller Disco
Fun Farm, North Hykeham

October 25:
Kids Halloween Disco
Brant Road Social Club, Lincoln

October 25 and November 1:
Spectacular Spellbooks
Normanby Hall, near Scunthorpe

October 26:
Ghostly Halloween Hall
Gunby Hall

October 26:
Halloween Party
Hosted by Diddy Signers and Sensory Sensations
Grantham Museum

October 26:
The Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Grotto
Hildred’s Shopping Centre, Skegness

October 26:
Pumpkin Festival
Bluebell Wood Goats and Farm Shop, Nettleham

October 26:
Room on the Broom Storytelling Session
Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare

October 26-27:
Halloween Weekend
Bowthorpe Park Farm, near Bourne

October 26-27:
Spooky Treat Trail 
Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, Friskney

October 27:
Normanby Hall-oween Spooktacular
Annual pass holder only event
Normanby Hall, near Scunthorpe

October 27:
Room on the Broom
Waterstones, High Street, Lincoln

October 27:
Halloween Special
Lincolnshire Wolds Railway, Ludborough

October 27:
Halloween Spooktacular 2019
Wyndham Park, Grantham

October 31:
Halloween Trail
Arboretum, Lincoln

October 31:
Kids Halloween Party
Princess Royal Sports Arena, Boston

October 31:
Nocton Pumpkin Trail 2019
Nocton

October 31:
Barton Ghost Walk
Start Baysgarth House Museum, Barton

November 1:
Family Halloween Disco Party
Swineshead Village Hall

November 1:
Halloween Party
Leo’s Play Centre, Newark

November 1:
Kids Halloween Party
Windmill Farm, Whisby Road, Lincoln

Are your children having a drama-filled summer?

Summer 2019 family-friendly theatre shows in Lincoln

Theatres are traditionally quite quiet during the summer period when mini audience members are often expressing their dramatic sides on location during their family holidays but this year the city’s arts centres still have a few options for those craving a cultural fix.

LoudmouthAt the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) it’s young people themselves that are ensuring theatre-goers will be entertained.  The centre’s resident youth theatre groups, Shout and Loudmouth, are premiering two new plays written, produced and performed by some of Lincoln’s emerging young artists.  The double bill sees Shout Youth Theatre presenting Phases, “a light-hearted play that explores grief and seeing the world through another’s eyes”.  And Loudmouth Youth Theatre’s performance is On a Roll: The Land of Bogmile, a “role play spoof that celebrates friendship and imagination”.
Saturday, July 27th, 7pm, tickets £5.
Visit www.lpac.co.uk

sammark.jpgIt’s celebrity duo Sam and Mark that will be entertaining a youthful audience at Lincoln Drill Hall.  As seen on CBBC’s Big Friday Wind-Up and Copycats, the pair are taking to the road with a brand new live show this summer including a stop-off at the Free School Lane venue.  The BAFTA award-winning duo are promising “an unmissable hour of entertainment jam packed with sketches, jokes and games in a show full of fun and laughs for all the family.
Saturday, August 10th, 2.30pm, tickets £12.50.
Visit www.lincolndrillhall.com

ElmerTheatre2Over on Clasketgate at the New Theatre Royal its even minier audience members that are being catered for with Elmer The Patchwork Elephant Show stomping the boards.  From the creators of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, the production is based on David McKee’s colourful book series that is celebrating its 30th birthday this year.  “A celebration of individuality and the power of laughter”, the show features 21 puppets, is aimed at age 1+ and has a running time of 45 minutes.
Friday, August 23rd, 1.30pm and 3.30pm, tickets £13 (£11).
Visit www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk
The theatre also has a summer programme of family films including titles such as How to Train Your Dragon 2, Mary Poppins Returns and Wreck It Ralph 2. 

ShauntheSheepThe Terry O’Toole Theatre in North Hykeham is also featuring family-friendly drama on the silver screen over the summer but with a twist.  The unique setting of the venue means it has teamed up with the leisure centre it’s housed in and is offering  visitors Family Film & Swim deals.  After watching movies such as Mary Poppins Returns, Christopher Robin and Shaun the Sheep Movie, film-goers can then enjoy a swim at the One NK centre swimming pool – perfect for cooling down your mini one’s temperatures during this very hot weather too.
August 3rd, 17th, 31st and September 7th, 10am film/12.30pm swim, tickets – film £3.50/swim £2.50 when booked with film ticket.  £2 discount for a family (4) ticket.
Visit www.terryotooletheatre.org.uk 

Celebrity performers will create “warmth and laughter” for panto season.

The New Theatre Royal in Lincoln has announced some of the stars of this year’s pantomime this week.

Running from December 3rd, 2019, to January 5th, 2020, the production of Robin Hood will welcome both familiar faces and new celebrities to its Clasketgate stage.

Barney Harwood - Press AnnouncementBarney Harwood returns to the city as the brave hero Robin Hood.  Last year’s Huntsman in Snow White, the winner of a Children’s BAFTA for Best Presenter will be wielding a bow and arrow this time.

Chris Johnson - Press AnnouncementAlso back by popular demand is Chris Johnson who will play Will Scarlet.  CBBC’s “Yonko” has been a regular in both Christmas and Easter pantomimes at the New Theatre Royal since Cinderella in 2017.  Speaking about returning to Lincoln Chris says, “The thought of once again spending my festive season at the New Theatre Royal makes me a very merry man indeed! In fact, I’m all aquiver!”

Melinda Messenger - Press AnnouncementModel and presenter Melinda Messenger is heading the list of new celebrities due to tread the boards.  Performing the role of Fairy Stardust, Messenger says, “Panto is such a great Christmas theatre tradition that the whole family can enjoy, I really love the warmth and laughter it brings to everybody and can’t wait to work with Natalie and the team at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln”.

Zoe Hedge - Press AnnouncementRounding up the star casting is Zoe Hedge as Maid Marian.  Zoe appeared on The Voice UK (2017) as one half of the duo Capital B, who were chosen to be on Sir Tom Jones’s team.

The theatre’s visitors can expect this Christmas season to be full of laughs, boos and audience participation for all the family to enjoy.  Artistic director Natalie Hayes-Cowley says, “Robin Hood will be filled with high energy dance routines, outstanding vocalists, comedy and, of course, added surprises in the script for those stand out wow moments.  Perfect entertainment for all the family this festive season.”

There will be a signed performance on January 3rd at 6pm and a relaxed performance on December 7th at 11am.

Tickets start from £16.50 and can be booked via the box office on 01522 519999 or online at www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk