Enjoy festive family fun whilst picking out presents

FandGParents will be trying all sorts of different ways to complete their Christmas shopping once again this festive season.  Alongside finding further childcare to keep them well away from the excitement of decorated and overheated stores to ordering everything online, mums and dads can also choose to attend an event that concerns itself as much with the enjoyment of its little visitors as it does with the selection of presents their grown ups have to choose from.

The Lincolnshire Food and Gift Fair is returning to the Lincolnshire Showground this month.  With more than 8,000 people expected to attend, advance tickets for the Saturday, November 30th and Sunday, December 1st event are now on sale.

Doors are open from 9am to 4pm on both days to allow customers to browse the more than 150 exhibitor stands showcasing the county’s finest foods and unique gifts but there will also be plenty of activities to keep little ones busy.

Cookery workshops hosted by 42nd East Bakehouse, a reindeer food bar, pet bandanas designing workshop with Zukie Style, Christmas pottery painting with The Little Pottery Studio, willow weaving with Lincolnshire Willow and storytelling from Lincoln Performing Arts Centre will all be waiting to help mini participants to start their festive fun.  Hobbycraft Lincoln will also be giving children a chance to make festive wrapping paper and design their own Christmas cards.

Jayne Southall, CEO at Lincolnshire Showground, said: “Preparations are well underway for the Food and Gift Fair, and we are getting ready for this year’s Fair to be the best yet! It is a fun festive event to suit all ages and tastes, including foodies, families and Christmas shoppers and is guaranteed to get everybody in the Christmas spirit.

“Visitors will be able to sample the best of Lincolnshire produce, including famous pork pies, speciality cheese, wine tasting, locally distilled gin, chocolate, fudge and much more.

“There will also be free activities for children including hands-on-crafts, Christmas storytelling and baking activities and we also have a few more surprises rolled up our sleeves!”

Tickets for the Fair can be bought at £5 each (plus postage) in advance and are £6 on the gate.  Under fives go free when accompanied by an adult.

Visit www.lincolnshireshowground.co.uk/whats-on/event/foodandgift19 for more information about #FoodandGift19 or call 01522 522900.

Are you visiting one of Santa’s helpers this year?

Christmas 2019

As Halloween’s witching hour ticked by did your avid trick or treaters wake up instantly transformed from creatures of the night into overly-enthusiastic apprentice elves?

Whilst some might be momentarily distracted by the promise of a few flashy fireworks many will already be anxious to start opening Advent doors even though there’s a month to go until the start of the official countdown to the big day.

If finding out what’s on your mini ones’ not so mini Christmas wish lists in time for you to possibly be able to fulfill it on behalf of the man in red then get them booked in early for a special seasonal experience and be prepared to take notes surreptitiously.

The list below predominantly includes grottos but if quantity is what your child is after, or the chance to don the beard themselves, then don’t forget there’ll be a sea of red and white at the county’s Santa Fun Run and Walks including Belvoir Castle (December 1), Wyndham Park in Grantham (December 1)Lincoln (December 15) and Cleethorpes Santa Stride (December 15).

As always, live events can be subject to last minute changes and selling out so be sure to check booking details before you travel and before making any promises to little believers (please note I’ve revised Bransby Horses listing below – they have been severely affected by flooding but some seasonal events are still going ahead – find out more here).  If you know of one we’ve missed, then please email hello@theminimalpi.co.uk with the link and I’ll be happy to add it or let us know where you’d recommend in the comments below.

November 2, 9-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-30 and December 1-24:
Santa’s Grotto
Brigg Garden Centre

November 2 – December 24:
Winter Wonderland
Baytree, near Spalding

November 23-24, 30 and December 1, 8-9, 14-24:
Santa Grotto
ARK Wildlife Park, Stickney

November 23 – December 23:
The Real Christmas Experience
Rand Farm Park, near Market Rasen

November 24:
Christmas Charity Fayre
Rhys’ Donation Foundation, Cherry Willingham Village Hall

November 29, 30, December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15 and 21-24:
Santa’s Workshop Grotto
Hildred’s Shopping Centre, Skegness

November 29 – December 24:
The North Star “Narnia” Experience
The Pink Pig Farm, near Scunthorpe

November 30, December 7, 8, 14 and 21:
Visit Father Christmas!
Bransby Horses Rescue and Welfare

November 30, December 1, 7, 8 and 14:
Santa’s Grotto
Normanby Hall, near Scunthorpe

November 30, December 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20-24:
Father Christmas and Friends
Belton House, near Grantham

November 30, December 1, 7, 8 and 15:
Father Christmas Grotto
Fillingham Trees, near Gainsborough

November 30, December 7, 14 and 21:
Santa’s Grotto
Oldrids, Scunthorpe

December 1:
Christmas Extravaganza
Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln

December 1:
Santa Paws Christmas Extravaganza
The Pavilion, Sidney Sussex Recreation Ground, Cleethorpes

December 1 – 22:
Father Christmas
Doddington Hall

December 7:
A Victorian Christmas
Wellingore

December 7:
Breakfast with Santa
Jolly Scotchman, Sleaford

December 7 and 8:
Christmas on the Farm
Bluebell Wood Goats and Farm Shop, Nettleham

December 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22:
Tea with Santa
Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, near Skegness

December 7, 14 and 21:
Breakfast with Santa
Uncle Henry’s, Grayingham

December 8:
Christmas Fayre
Ruskington Village Hall

December 8 and 15:
Santa Special
North Scarle Miniature Railway

December 14-15 and 19-22:
An Audience with Father Christmas
Lincoln Castle

December 14-15 and 21-22:
Santa Specials 2019
Lincolnshire Wolds Railway, Ludborough

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

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 and starring as Maid Marian is Zoe Hedge who previously appeared on ITV’s The Voice as part of duo Capital B.

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

*EDIT: Since this post was originally published Melinda Messenger, who was due to take the role of Fairy Stardust, has unfortunately had to pull out of the show*

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 19-27:
Halloween Maize Maze & Pumpkin Picking
Uncle Henry’s Farm Shop, Grayingham, near Gainsborough

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