Capture the spirit of Christmas with Birmingham Museums

The best of Christmases past, present and future awaits visitors to Birmingham Museums this festive season with traditional offerings such as Christmas markets, angelic choirs and beautifully decorated stately homes with roaring log fires, to a space-age take on the Christmas star and even a continental breakfast with Father Christmas!

Fans of a traditional Christmas are in for a treat with no less than five iconic Christmas eras being recreated with all the trimmings at some of Birmingham’s most spectacular houses starting with the chance to experience a Jacobean Christmas at Aston Hall complete with period characters on Saturday 5 December. The following weekend (12-13 December) Blakesley Hall will be dressed for a Tudor Christmas as it pays tribute to the Yuletide festivities, it will then shed light on how the Victorians celebrated Christmas with magic lantern shows on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15. Every weekend from 5-6 December to 19-20 December at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery the focus will be on Edwardian Christmases. See turn-of the-century-inspired decorations throughout the museum, shop for delightful vintage gift ideas in the shop and sample traditional yuletide fayre in the Edwardian Tearooms. Plus there is a Santa’s grotto and a magical exhibition showcasing some of the best works from the Edwardian period: Enchanted Dreams: The Pre-Raphaelite Art of E.R. Hughes. Soho House, the Georgian home of the Birmingham industrialist Matthew Boulton, will be decked out with festive greenery for special Georgian Christmas tours taking place every Wednesday and Thursday from 9-17 December, offering the chance to find out how Boulton and his friends would have celebrated the festive season during the 18th century.

All-round Christmas spirit will be provided by the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter on Saturday 5 December, with guided tours by costumed characters, carol singing by the Enchant choir and festive refreshments in the tearoom. There will also be opportunities for Christmas shopping in the gift shop which has a wide range of quirky gift ideas including beautiful locally-made designer jewellery.

The Christmas Markets at Sarehole Mill, on Sunday 22 and Sunday 29 November, are also the place to find unique Christmas gifts for loved ones, by local designers, and enjoy street food and local craft ales.

Throughout the run up to Christmas there is lots of entertainment on offer for families including the magical Enchanted Dreams exhibition at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, which includes a fairy glen for children full of stories, activities and dressing up. Over at Thinktank families can become part of Tim Peake’s space crew in the Destination Space Science Show, while The Christmas Star Planetarium Show (produced by Centre for Life, Newcastle) explores the myth and scientific mystery of the star that is a symbol of Christmas.  Those craving a crafty side to Christmas will be able to take part in a variety of make-your-own activities at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Weoley Castle ruins and Thinktank, as well as learn how to make a Christmas Pomander at Blakesley Hall.

Talking of Christmas stars – Santa will be making appearances at various venues so children wanting to meet him are spoilt for choice this year! They can either do brunch with Santa at Thinktank on Monday 21 to Wednesday 23 December (various times throughout the day), sit with him in the grotto at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery every weekend in December or meet him among Weoley Castle Ruins on Sunday 6 December.

Please note that admission or event charges may apply. For more information on these, or any of the events taking place across Birmingham Museums, please visit www.birminghammuseums.org.uk.

Ends

Photographs are available by following the links at the bottom of this email, or from http://news.cision.com/birmingham-museums.

For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins

Pyper York Limited

Tel: 0121 285 9899

Email: jay@pyperyork.co.uk

Notes to Editors

CHRISTMAS EVENTS AT BIRMINGHAM MUSEUMS

Sunday 22 and Sunday 29 November, 11am-4pm

Sarehole Mill

Christmas Markets

Unique Christmas gifts for your loved ones, by local designers, and also street food and local craft ales. Free entry to the markets but charges apply to the Mill.

1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 December, 11.30am and 1.30pm
Aston Hall

Winter Heritage Tours

Experience the intrigue of Aston Hall in winter with an expert guide.

Adults £8, children £4. Pre-booking required: 0121 348 8263.

5-6, 12-13, 19-20 December

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Edwardian Christmas

See turn-of the-century-inspired decorations throughout the museum, shop for delightful vintage gift ideas in the shop and sample traditional yuletide fayre in the Edwardian Tearooms. Plus there’s a Santa’s grotto and a magical exhibition showcasing some of the best works from the Edwardian period: Enchanted Dreams: The Pre-Raphaelite Art of E.R. Hughes.

Santa’s Grotto: £3.50 per child, weekends in December, 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm–4.30pm. Enchanted Dreams: The Pre-Raphaelite Art of E.R. Hughes: Adults £7, concessions £6, under 16s free.

Saturday 5 December, 11am-2pm

Aston Hall

A traditional Jacobean Christmas

See this spectacular building come to life. Warm yourself by roaring fires and interact with period characters.

Adults £10, concessions £8, children £6. Pre-booking essential: 0121 348 8263

Saturday 5 December, 11am-4pm

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter

Get in the Christmas spirit at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, with costume guided tours, carol singing by the Enchant choir, and festive refreshments in the tearoom. Browse the gift shop for Christmas presents, such as locally made designer jewellery, and an assortment of quirky gift ideas.

For families, there will be a Christmas craft activity running from 1pm-3pm, £1 per child.

5-6, 12-13, 19-20 December

Thinktank

Christmas in Space

A family show about Tim Peake and how families can get involved and be part of his space crew. The Christmas Star Planetarium Show, produced by Centre for Life, Newcastle, explores the myth and scientific mystery of the star that is a symbol of Christmas.  Was it a comet, planetary alignment or something else entirely, viewed all those years ago?

£1 admission per person per show.

Sunday 6 December

Weoley Castle Ruins

Christmas at the Castle

Meet Father Christmas and take part in festive activities!
Free entry. Crafts activity: £1 per child. Meet Santa: £1 per child.

Tuesday 8 – Thursday 10 December, 2pm

Aston Hall

Bracebridge Christmas Tours

Visit the house that inspired Washington Irving’s famous novel Bracebridge Hall. The Hall will be bedecked for the festive season as the tour transports you back to a traditional Christmas of a bygone era.
£8 per person. Pre-booking essential: 0121 348 8263.

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December, 11am-3pm

Blakesley Hall

Tudor Christmas

See Blakesley Hall dressed for a Tudor Christmas and meet Tudor characters preparing for the Yuletide festivities.

Adults £10, concessions £8, children £6. Pre-booking essential: 0121 348 8120.

Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 December, 12 noon and 2pm

Blakesley Hall

Christmas Tour and Victorian Magic Lantern Show

A tour of the Hall ‘Christmas through the ages’ with the emphasis on the Tudor period and see how the Victorians celebrated Christmas with a festive magic lantern show. Festive treats available in the café.  £8 per person. Pre-booking essential: 0121 348 8120.

Tuesday 15 December, from 10.30am

Thinktank

Destination Space - Tim Peake goes to space
Special events all day at Thinktank to help mark the occasion.
Joins us as we watch astronaut Tim Peake blast into space. We will be hosting a live screening of his launch, and screening his first interview live from space!

Wednesday 16 December, 2pm

Blakesley Hall

Christmas Pomander workshop

Make a Christmas Pomander to take home!

£8 per person. Pre-booking essential: 0121 348 8120.

Monday 21 – Wednesday 23 December, various times throughout the day

Thinktank

Brunch with Santa            

Joint Santa for brunch at Thinktank! Plus enjoy a special Christmas Star Planetarium show.

£14 per person. Membership Plus holders: £10 per person. Pre-booking required: 0121 348 8263. Tickets include entry to Thinktank, brunch and a gift from Santa.

About Us

Birmingham Museums has extraordinary venues that provide a fascinating glimpse into Birmingham's rich and vibrant past and showcase world class museum collections. Sites include:Birmingham Museum & Art GalleryThinktank, Birmingham's Science MuseumAston HallBlakesley HallMuseum of the Jewellery QuarterSarehole MillSoho HouseWeoley CastleMuseums Collections Centre

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