Cheltenham Rocks

16th - 17th December - What's on in Cheltenham this weekend

Hold on to your bobble hats folks, the weekend is nearly upon us. We've rounded up a huge range of festive activities and if you're lucky enough to have some time together as a family this weekend, you're spoilt for choice! *Spoiler alert* most events do involve a certain North Pole VIP - that's right, Mr Claus is making the rounds about town. Get those Christmas lists written and ready, and settle down with a hot cocoa to read our weekend round up...

(Christmas holiday event round up coming soon)

Saturday & Sunday

Cineworld Cheltenham is showing The Jungle Bunch and The Muppet Christmas Carol in their Movies For Juniors series. Running from Friday 15th December onwards. Find out more

Start your weekend with a trip to meet Santa at The Regent Arcade. Step on up and sit on his knee for the perfect photo opportunity before getting some Christmas shopping done. Hamper Scamper gift wrapping is taking place on the first floor near TK Maxx, care of CCP charity, which is raising money for families in need by wrapping your presents for a donation until Christmas Eve. Santa will be meeting and greeting free of charge from 10am until 4pm daily until Christmas Eve when he's got to head off to, you know, deliver millions of presents. Find out more.

Wow Santa sure gets around - must be by speed of his trusty sleigh! He'll be having Breakfast at Harvester in The Brewery Quarter and meeting children on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December, from 10am until 12pm. Kids can enjoy a fully cooked breakfast including continental buffet and drink, then meet Father Christmas and receive a gift - Christmas comes early! £5 per child, book online and find out more.

If you're yet to get your Christmas tree, now is the perfect time to pop along to Primrose Vale and take your pick from their huge range of spruces, available to buy or rent. As a gorgeous add-on to the rental is the option to keep your tree for next year (and as many years after that) so your tree can become as much of a Christmas staple as sprouts and Eastenders' drama. Find out more

Christmas at Jet Age returns for it's final weekend of festive fun at the museum! See Santa's arrival from 10:15am, with the option of entry to the event at 10:30am or 1:30pm on Saturday or Sunday. Entry costs £6 per child. Find out more.

Santa's Grotto at House of Fraser has availability this weekend - hoorah! There’ll be opportunities to purchase a special keepsake photograph when your little ones meets the big man himself, while elves, fairy lights and a flurry of fake snow will be on hand to make sure your day is as magical as can be. If your chosen day is fully booked, a limited number of walk up bookings may be available at the grotto. Tickets are £6 (with a £1.50 booking fee on each order). Open from 10am on Saturday with availability from 12:30pm on Sunday. Last entry is 5:30pm on Saturday and 4:30pm on Sunday. Find out more.

Rolling Stock Theatre Company return to the Playhouse for a third successive Christmas, this time it's to bring us Pinocchio and The Christmas Wish! This enchanting new version of Carlo Collodi’s traditional fairy tale features an original score of songs, timeless characters and a humorous and touching story that will melt your heart. Showing Saturday at 7pm, and Sunday 2:30pm and 7pm, with performances running until 29th December. Tickets cost £9 for under 16's and £16 for adults. Find out more.


Free morning? Free event! Story time with local author Annie Stewart is taking place from 11am - 12pm at Cheltenham Children's Library. Annie will be reading from her book 'The Adventures of Wilf', a story about a loveable dog and trip to the local Summer Fair - but not everything goes to plan! Find out more.

More doggy-based fun! Walkies in the park is a great way to get moving whilst raising money for Cheltenham Animal Shelter! The charity dog walk offers the perfect opportunity introduce your beloved four-legged friends to some new pooches - giving you a chance to work off those mince pie paunches! Meeting at 1pm at Central Cross Cafe in Pittville Park, finishing off with doggy treats and mulled wine! Find out more.

Need to go to wrap school? Create On The Square are hosting a Gift Wrapping Workshop. Let loose in the creative space and learn how to decorate your wrapping paper and make your own mini pom-poms, for a truly personalised present! Children of 8 years and over are welcome if supervised by an adult, making this a great family activity where you can offload some of the wrapping wresponsibilities! From 1pm – 3pm, £5 per person. Find out more.

There's free cinema at Highbury Congregational Church this Saturday, with a showing of the new release Paddington. Squash, tea, coffee an popcorn is all free so save some much-needed wonga and head along to amuse the kids. Find out more

Live ewe scanning at Cotswold Farm Park is a one day event not to be missed. For the first time in the Farm Park’s long history, some of the pregnant ewes will be scanned LIVE in front of visitors in the IAE Animal Barn. Starting at midday and lasting for around an hour, 225 of ewes will be scanned to find out how many lambs they are carrying. From 12pm – 1pm, entry is free for babies, £7.50 for toddlers, £11.50 for children, £13 for adults, or £44 for family. Find out more.

It's the last day to peruse the German Christmas market this Saturday, open from 10am - 6pm. Selling chocolate wine, wooly handmade knits and festive tree decorations. There's even a stallholder who makes each and every handmade hanging basket and reindeer woven from wicker and branches! Lit up amongst the stunning Cheltenham Christmas lights, this is a must-visit to get you in the festive mood. Find out more.

‘Icicles hang from the gutters like glass silk stockings and drip hot drops. Today is the winter as it always was.’ Join the ensemble cast of A Gloucestershire Midwinter at the Everyman Theatre as they tell their stories, and celebrate and reflect on the festive season from the local area of Cheltenham and Gloucestershire. Showing at 2pm and 7:30pm this Saturday. Full price ticket: £11.50, with concessions costing £10. Find out more.

CNC carols at Bournside School will really get you in the mood for Christmas - with glowsticks, a choir and carols! All ages are welcome to partake in the merriment and mince pies! From 6:30pm - 8pm at Bournside school. Find out more.


Santa comes to lunch at Jurys Inn in Cheltenham this Sunday afternoon at 12:30pm, an event suitable for children of all ages. The festive buffet also includes a gift to take home, and the priceless memory of seeing your little one's face as they watch Santa tucking in! Children under 15 eat for £15, with an adult dining for £20. Find out more.

Candlelit carols at St Paul's Church is a relaxing and reflective way to spend your Sunday evening, singing beautiful timeless carols from 6:30pm - 7:30pm. Celebrate and reflect upon the message of Christmas with a mix of traditional and modern carols. Mulled wine and mince pies served after the service, all are welcome. Find out more.

Jingle mess, jingle mess, jingle all the way! Whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, everyone can have a jolly messy time with at Messy Christmas! Little ones can mess around with fun activities like reindeer dust and sprout rolling or get messy with our festive treats such as angel foam, Santa goo and Christmas pud! The session starts at 11:30am until 12.45pm, costing £10 per child and £5 for siblings. Find out more.

Out Of Town Highlights:

Start the Christmas Holidays off right this year and entertain the kids (and yourself!) with a tasty breakfast and a film showing on the big screen at The Malthouse Bar & Kitchen in Stroud! This special Kids Christmas Cinema event shows 'Arthur Christmas' - the story of the high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole - but what happens when a child’s present gets left behind? The film starts at 9:30am (arrival at 9am and pre-booking is advised), book a table and you’ll get a free December Special Freakshake at half price! Find out more.

Does your little one like to party? Well you're in luck, there's 2 festive parties going on this Sunday - but which you choose to attend is up to you...

The Old Fort Inn Whittminster is hosting a party fit for Father Christmas this Sunday at 3pm, and he will be joining the children in the grotto for festive craft activities. This ticketed event (which required advanced booking) costs £6 per child, including a gift from Santa, crafts, a mini disco, unlimited squash and a food box! Book via email or telephone: 01452 741 306 / email: Find out more.

The Hucclecote community association is also putting on a Children’s Christmas party this Sunday, with a Christmas tea, a disco, games and an opportunity to meet Father Christmas himself! The event takes place from 4pm - 6:30pm, costing £4 junior members and £6 for non-members. Online ticket sales end Friday 15th December 2016 at 1pm, with on the day sales subject to availability. Find out more.

Visit the Daylesford Christmas Grotto at the Daylesford Farmshop, near Kingham this Saturday for the opportunity to meet special guest Father Christmas and his handsome reindeer helpers, Dancer and Blitzen! Father Christmas is very kindly making time in his hectic schedule to visit the farm with his reindeer Dancer and Blitzen from 10:30am until 12:30pm. The event is free to attend with no booking required. Find out more.

For the grown ups:

Could you do with a laugh? Daddy’s Home 2 is the PERFECT choice for grown up outing, you can even take the teens along! In the sequel to Daddy's Home, father and stepfather, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Ferrell), have joined forces to provide their kids with the perfect Christmas. Dusty's macho Dad (Mel Gibson) and Brad's emotional Dad (John Lithgow) arrive just in time to throw the holiday into complete chaos! The film is showing Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am, 1pm, 3:30pm, 5:20pm and 7:50pm on both days, prices vary.

A chance to hear the talented and charismatic Mark Walby Trio LIVE At AquaVitae this Saturday night, from 9pm - 11pm. Mark is a familiar face on the covers band circuit and has played with a wide variety of household names during his 20 years as a professional musician. With a bottle of Prosecco just £15 and 2 for 1 cocktails it’s party time for the grown ups! Find out more.

That's all for this weekend folks. If you're still in need of inspiration, check the EVENTS page for all upcoming events and check WHAT'S ON TODAY any day for daily events and activities ready and waiting.