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Christmas events this weekend in Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Faversham and Gravesend

By Angela Cole

There's plenty of free festivities to enjoy and activities to take part to help get you in the seasonal swing this weekend. We've rounded up what's on offer for you


A fire-breathing dragon will be helping provide a very warm welcome for visitors to Gravesend on Saturday, December 9.

The theme for this year’s festive events in the town in the run up to Christmas is the frost fairs, although this weekend’s event also has a more fiery theme.

Things are heating up in Gravesend this weekend as patr of its series of Frost Fairs
Things are heating up in Gravesend this weekend as patr of its series of Frost Fairs

Frost Fairs date back to the 1400s when in the bad winters the River Thames would freeze and people would take to the ice for carnival-style activities including games, ice skating and market stalls.

Along with the dragon, there will be fire eaters and a parade from New Road to the market, plus a free ice rink. The events continue next weekend with reindeer, snowmen and ice performances under the theme All Things Christmas on Saturday, December 16.


Santa’s elves will be busy at the Mall’s Grotto every day until Christmas Eve. Staff will also be collecting toys and gifts for children less fortunate, with the return of The Mall’s Giving Tree – shoppers can contribute by buying an extra gift and dropping it off at the Ask Me Point in the centre, with gifts delivered to the Homeless Care Day Centre in Knightrider Street. There will also be seasonal children’s activities through to Saturday, December 16. For details go to themall.co.uk/Maidstone.

Grottos across Kent this Christmas


See Walmer Castle after hours during some special Christmas tours, which will be held between 3pm and 6pm on Thursdays, December 7, 14 and 21. Visitors can see the castle’s interior in its full festive glory and hear about aspects of Christmas at the Tudor fortress and how the stately rooms would have been decorated. Between 10am and 3pm, the Second World War Home Front Christmas also continues at weekends until Sunday, December 17. For more information call 0370 333 1183 or visit english-heritage.org.uk/walmercastle.

Walmer Castle
Walmer Castle


Meet Santa at the farming attraction, as he will be visiting on Saturday, December 9, and Sunday, December 10, the following weekend, and again from Thursday, December 21 to Christmas Eve. Tickets include all day admission to Kent Life, a gift from Santa, and a festive farm ride with the head elf. Visitors can also meet the reindeer in the farmyard and have a go at gingerbread decorating. To book and for more details go to kentlife.org.uk.

Christmas activities at Kent Life, Maidstone
Christmas activities at Kent Life, Maidstone


When you've finished seeing Santa in his grotto, have your photo or selfie taken with the biggest Teddy in Tunbridge Wells in aid of ellenor, which provides specialist children’s hospice care. Teddy Selfie is on level 2 between French Connection and Ernest Jones and will be there every day until 4.30pm on Christmas Eve. For more go to ellenor.org/childrens-hospice-care.

Meet the biggest Teddy in Tunbridge Wells for ellenor at the Royal Victoria Place
Meet the biggest Teddy in Tunbridge Wells for ellenor at the Royal Victoria Place


Jazz supremo Alan Barnes brings his all-star Octet to Faversham on Friday, December 8 for a special pre-Christmas date.

He and his players will present A Jazz Christmas Carol with Alan Barnes at the Alexander Centre in Preston Street, Faversham. For tickets at £15, for the show which starts at 8pm and includes a glass of mulled wine, call 01795 594460 or email bookings@thealexandercentre.com. For more details visit thealexandercentre.com/whats-on.

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