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Family film reviews Including: Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?! (U), plus The Imitation Game (12A), Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Part 1 (12A), Penguins Of Madagascar 3D (U) from 5th December, Paddington (PG), from 28th November, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day (PG), The Book Of Life 3D (PG), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D (12A), and Boxtrolls 3D (PG),



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See attraction details1 January 2014 - 1 January 2015 - SKY RAINFOREST RESCUE DISCOVERY TRAIL AT CANNOCK CHASE
Sky and WWF, in partnership with the Forestry Commission, have launched a series of Discovery Trails across England to inspire you to get out into your local forest and learn why they and the Amazon rainforest are so special. Take part in the Discovery Trail at Cannock Chase and you (and your family) can listen to amazing wildlife sounds or simply learn and compare what products come from the rainforest. Along the trail you will also be able to take a photo in an Amazon rainforest setting and have the opportunity to test your knowledge on forests in England and of course the Amazon. Did you know the Amazon is home to around 30 million people? This is just one of the many amazing facts you can learn on your journey.
Birches Valley Forest Centre www.forestry.gov.uk
Lady Hill, Birches Valley, Rugeley, Staffordshire, WS15 2UQ   01889 586593
See attraction details3 October 2014 - 28 February 2015 - THE GRUFFALO'S CHILD ACTIVITY TRAIL AT BIRCHES VALLEY FOREST, CANNOCK CHASE
Families are invited into the deep dark wood this autumn and winter to find The Gruffalo's Child, who has followed The Gruffalo out of his comfortable cave for a forest trail adventure. The trail will lead children and families through the forest using activity boards to help them discover nature and woods at a time of the year when forests are at their most beautiful. In addition, there will be activity packs available for £2, which will include a foraging bag, a fun-packed activity leaflet, a colouring-in sheet and a special Gruffalo's Child sticker. These special packs will encourage children to learn more about the behaviour of animals in autumn and how they search for food, create shelters and prepare for the cold winter months.
Birches Valley Forest Centre www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo
Lady Hill, Birches Valley, Rugeley, Staffordshire, WS15 2UQ   01889 586593
See attraction details26 October 2014 - 31 December 2014 - ANGLO-SAXON KINGDOM OF MERCIA - EXHIBITION AT THE POTTERIES MUSEUM & ART GALLERY
Find out what the Staffordshire Hoard can tell us about Anglo-Saxon life and death. Discover what everyday Anglo-Saxon objects tell us about the Staffordshire Hoard. This fascinating new exhibition sets pieces from the world-famous Staffordshire Hoard in context among items from the collection of Anglo-Saxon finds, many never displayed before, and offers a glimpse into our ancestors' lives. Thought-provoking artworks inspired by the mystery of the Hoard are also on display. Please see the website for museum opening times and other details.
The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery www.stokemuseums.org.uk/pmag
Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent , Staffordshire, ST1 3DW   01782 232323
See attraction details8 November 2014 - 30 November 2014 - NANAS CHRISTMAS GROTTO AT TRENTHAM MONKEY FOREST
Due to popular demand Monkey Forest is open weekends during November. Take a winter walk through the forest, see the monkeys as they cosy up for winter and be sure to visit Nanas, the Monkey Forest's mascot, in his monkey-themed Christmas Grotto! Please see the website for further details.
Trentham Monkey Forest www.monkey-forest.com
Stone Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent , Staffordshire, ST12 9HR   01782 659845
See attraction details21 November 2014 - 31 December 2014 - SANTA'S WINTER WONDERLAND AT THE SNOWDOME
One of the great days out in Staffordshire this Christmas! SnowDome's magical Winter Wonderland features real snow, real reindeer and an adventure-packed new stage show. Families can explore Santa's Christmas snow trail with its huge slide, join Santa on his mission to find a new apprentice in the stage show and meet Santa's real reindeer and other furry friends in the animal village. Please see the website to download the Santa's Winter Wonderland brochure and to book.
The SnowDome www.snowdome.co.uk
Leisure Island, River Drive, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B79 7ND   08448 000011
See attraction details22 November 2014 - 31 December 2014 - DRAYTON'S MAGICAL CHRISTMAS AT DRAYTON MANOR THEME PARK
For great days out with the kids this Christmas, visit Drayton Manor Theme Park. With spectacular decorations throughout the park, festive music, rides and attractions including an ice skating rink, magical fireworks, snowfalls in Thomas Land and the chance to meet Father Christmas in his very own 'Castle of Dreams', this will be a Christmas experience to remember. Make sure you pop by and meet Father Christmas' reindeer before they leave on Christmas Eve! Please see the website to book and for dates, times and other details. Pre-booking is essential to meet Father Christmas.
Drayton Manor Theme Park www.draytonmanor.co.uk
Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3TW    0844 472 1960
The reserve's wild woodland creatures have offered to help Father Christmas by washing his famous red suit before the big day but in all the excitement they have lost his clothes in the woods! Help Father Christmas find his clothes and see if you can guess which creature has lost each item of clothing. At the end of the quest, each of Father Christmas's helpers will get a Christmas treat as a reward. Dates: 27-30 November and 4-7, 11-14, 18-21 December only. Please see the website for further details including times and prices.
RSPB Coombes Valley Nature Reserve www.rspb.org.uk/coombesvalley
Six Oak Farms, Bradnop, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 7EU   01538 384017
See attraction details28 November 2014 - 21 December 2014 - CHRISTMAS AT THE NATIONAL FOREST ADVENTURE FARM
Festive fun for families every weekend in the run-up to Christmas. Take a tractor and trailer ride around the farm in search of the sneaky snowmen, bounce on the giant Christmas pudding inflatable and see the real-life Nativity featuring a selection of the farm's animals. Feed Santa's reindeers with the help of the Elves, attend Elf training workshops where little ones will be transformed into Santa's helpers and enjoy the live Christmas Singalongs and Christmas Show. Santa will be waiting to meet families in his magical grotto (additional charge, book visit at reception). Please see the website to confirm dates, times and other details before visiting.
National Forest Adventure Farm www.adventurefarm.co.uk
Tatenhill, Burton upon Trent , Staffordshire, DE13 9SJ    01283 533933
See attraction details28 November 2014 - 4 January 2015 - DICK WHITTINGTON AT THE REGENT THEATRE STOKE-ON-TRENT
Join Dick Whittington on his fun-filled quest for fame and fortune. Discover whether he will win the hand of the lovely Alice - and defeat the dastardly King Rat. With sensational songs, dazzling dance routines, slapstick comedy and plenty of audience participation, families will find all their favourite pantomime ingredients in the Regent Theatre's production.
Regent Theatre Stoke-on-Trent www.atgtickets.com
35-37 Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent , Staffordshire, ST1 1AP   0844 871 7649
28 November 2014 - 4 January 2015 - TRENTHAM ICE AT TRENTHAM SHOPPING VILLAGE
For a lovely winter's day out in Staffordshire, take the family to enjoy Trentham's real ice rink, this year housed at Trentham Shopping Village in a marquee surrounded by festive food stalls. Each session starts on the hour and lasts for 45 minutes. Skate hire is included. Please see the website for days, times, prices and to book in advance.
The Trentham Estate, Stone Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 8JG   0115 807 7900
See attraction details29 November 2014 - 14 December 2014 - SANTA'S GROTTO AT BIRCHES VALLEY, CANNOCK CHASE
Why not take the family along to Santa's Grotto at Birches Valley this year? The Grotto is housed in a beautiful log cabin and set in the picturesque surroundings of Cannock Chase. Santa's real reindeer can be found close by, grazing in their forest enclosure. All children who visit Santa will receive their very own real Christmas tree sapling to take home and plant, plus a small gift. Santa's Grand Arrival will take place at 11am on Saturday 29 November when Santa will arrive pulled on his sleigh by real reindeer. The grotto will then be open for children to visit Santa (please note that a timed entry ticket system will operate on the opening day due to the expected high demand). Dates: 29-30 November, 5-7 and 12-14 December. Please see the website for further details.
Birches Valley Forest Centre www.forestry.gov.uk
Lady Hill, Birches Valley, Rugeley, Staffordshire, WS15 2UQ   01889 586593
See attraction details29 November 2014 - 21 December 2014 - WINTER WONDERFARM 2014 AT LOWER DRATYON FARM
Get into the festive spirit at Lower Dratyon Farm, transformed this Christmas into a 'winter wonderland' that will delight children of all ages. Visit Santa's Grotto and have your photo taken with him, stretch your legs on a winter woodland walk, take a festive farm trailer ride and enjoy seasonal refreshments. Leave plenty of time to meet the animals, explore the adventure play areas and enjoy a pony ride. Opening at weekends and on selected Friday evenings. Please see the website for times, prices and other details. Book in advance online to fast-track your visit!
Lower Drayton Farm www.lowerdraytonfarm.co.uk
Lower Drayton Lane, Penkridge , Staffordshire, ST19 5RE   07817 691352
See attraction details30 November 2014 - 23 December 2014 - SANTA'S SLEEPOVERS AT THE ALTON TOWERS RESORT
A wonderful treat for the whole family, combining the excitement of Christmas with an unforgettable night's stay! Visit Santa Claus in his secret hideaway grotto, meet Santa's special reindeer and enjoy fantastic children's rides and attractions, including the fabulous new CBeebies Land plus amazing family entertainment. To book your Santa's Sleepover short break, please call 0871 702 7013 or visit the website.
Alton Towers Resort www.altontowers.com
Alton , Staffordshire, ST10 4DB   0871 222 3330
See attraction details3 December 2014 - 24 December 2014 - SANTA AND STEAM 2014 AT CHURNET VALLEY RAILWAY
Sit back and relax on a train ride through Staffordshire's little Switzerland this Christmas. As Santa strolls through the train bearing wonderful gifts for the children, adults can enjoy a mince pie and a glass of sherry in garland-filled coaches. Start your journey from either Kingsley & Froghall or Cheddleton stations with festive atmosphere, period attractions, music and merriment. Dates: 3, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14 and 20-24 December. Please see the website for the timetable and to book.
Churnet Valley Railway www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk
Kingsley & Froghall Station, Froghall, Leek, Staffordshire, ST10 2HA   01538 750755
See attraction details4 December 2014 - 4 January 2015 - CINDERELLA AT THE GARRICK
Enjoy the well loved rags to riches story brought to life this Christmas in the Garrick's magical family pantomime. Poor Cinderella leads a hard life in Paris, always under the watchful eye of her stepmother, Madame Fromage and two ugly sisters Mademoiselles Brie and Camembert! A chance meeting with her Fairy Godmother changes Cinderella's life for ever.
Lichfield Garrick Theatre & Studio www.lichfieldgarrick.com
Castle Dyke, Lichfield , Staffordshire, WS13 6HR   01543 412121
See attraction details6 December 2014 - 7 December 2014 - CHRISTMAS GIFT AND FOOD FAIR AT THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM
The Arboretum's beautiful wintry landscape, combined with stalls of gifts and festive treats, makes this the perfect time to enjoy the Arboretum. Free entry.
The National Memorial Arboretum www.thenma.org.uk
Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire, DE13 7AR   01283 792333
See attraction details6 December 2014 - CHRISTMAS THROUGH THE AGES AT THE ANCIENT HIGH HOUSE
Meet costumed characters and learn about Christmas in the Tudor, Stuart, Georgian and Victorian periods. Stir a traditional pudding and sing carols in the Victorian Room. Meet Father Christmas and sample free mince pies and hot fruit punch. Children’s Christmas craft workshops and family entertainment. No booking necessary. Free admission. 10am-4pm.
The Ancient High House www.staffordbc.gov.uk
Greengate Street, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST16 2JA   01785 619131
See attraction details6 December 2014 - 7 December 2014 - STORIES WITH SANTA AT THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM
Children can board the Arboretum Express for festive storytelling this December. All children will also receive a mini Christmas tree sapling, complete with 'adoption' certificate, to plant and watch grow at home. £10 per child, advanced booking required.
The National Memorial Arboretum www.thenma.org.uk
Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire, DE13 7AR   01283 792333
See attraction details6 December 2014 - 8 February 2015 - WINTER WILDERNESS SURVIVAL SKILLS AT TRENTHAM
A great chance for families to discover the skills, crafts and principles of activities such as survival, wilderness living and situational awareness. Find out what your mind set should be, what resources you should acquire and what to do if you have nothing and end up living without the modern infrastructures of today's society. Dates: 6-7 and 27-28 December, 10-11 January, 7-8 February only. Time: 11am-3pm.
Trentham Gardens www.trentham.co.uk
Stone Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent , Staffordshire, ST4 8JG   01782 646646
Christmas is just around the corner! Get creative at these 'drop in' sessions running from 11am-4pm. Adults £10, children £3. Free mince pies and spicy fruit punch.
Stafford Castle and Visitor Centre www.staffordbc.gov.uk
Newport Road, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST16 1DJ    01785 257698
See attraction details7 December 2014 - CHRISTMAS FAMILY DAY AT THE MUSEUM OF CANNOCK CHASE
The Museum's special Sunday opening has festive fun for all the family including drop-in workshops, face painting, carol singing, Christmas storytelling, puppet shows and more. Plus, coal mine Santa is back! Free entry. Small charges will apply for some activities. 12noon-4pm. Please see the website or telephone for more information.
The Museum of Cannock Chase www.wlct.org/cannock
Valley Road, Hednesford, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS12 1TD   01543 877666
See attraction details7 December 2014 - COUNTRYSIDE CHRISTMAS AT ILAM PARK
Escape to the countryside and visit the Peak District for hands-on festive activities in Ilam Park. Meet Santa, toast marshmallows over the fire, build a wooden reindeer and bird box, make a Christmas wreath or create some decorations for your tree. Price: free event and entry. 10am-4pm. For more information, please call 01335 350503.
Ilam Park and White Peak Estate www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Ilam , Staffordshire, DE6 2AZ   01335 350503
See attraction details7 December 2014 - 23 December 2014 - SANTA IN HIS CHRISTMAS COTTAGE AT BIDDULPH GRANGE GARDEN
Santa is flying into Biddulph Grange Garden to open his magical Christmas Cottage. Follow the trail to discover the festive Cottage hidden deep in the garden; inside you will find Santa and his helpers, Christmas trees and fairy lights all waiting for you. Take your Christmas present wish list with you to give to Santa or write one at Santa's very own writing desk. Price: free event (normal admission fee applies). For more information, please call 01782 517999. Dates: Sundays, 7 and 14 December; daily from 20 to 23 December. Time: 12noon-3pm.
Biddulph Grange Garden www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Grange Road, Biddulph , Staffordshire, ST8 7SD   01782 375533
See attraction details8 December 2014 - 24 December 2014 - BREAKFAST OR SUPPER WITH SANTA AND RUDOLPH AT THE BIG PLAY BARN
Children will be invited to sit on Santa's sleigh and sing to Rudolph. They will see the scarecrow's workshop where the farm scarecrows are helping Santa's elves to make all the boys' and girls' toys. Sit with Santa and sing his favorite Christmas songs in his lodge before enjoying the story of the night before Christmas. Santa will then give each child a gift and leave them to enjoy their scrummy breakfast or supper. Dates: every day from 8 to 24 December. Book in advance. Please see the website for further details.
The Big Play Barn at Ash End House Children's Farm www.bigplaybarn.com
Middleton Lane, Middleton, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 2BL   0121 329 3388
See attraction details12 December 2014 - 10 January 2015 - CINDERELLA THE ROCK 'N' ROLL PANTO AT STAFFORD GATEHOUSE THEATRE
Filled with classic hits from Otis Redding, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, The Blues Brothers and many more, this fabulous Rock 'n' Roll panto retells one of the most loved fairytales of all time. Fantastic family entertainment!
Stafford Gatehouse Theatre www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk
Eastgate Street, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST16 2LT   01785 254653
See attraction details13 December 2014 - 21 December 2014 - 17TH CENTURY CHRISTMAS AT MOSELEY OLD HALL
Get the family into the festive spirit with a day out at Moseley Old Hall where families can join in the celebrations of a 17th-century Christmas. Taste traditional Christmas recipes, see the house decorated with traditional greenery, toast bread over the open fire in the hall, toast the season with spiced drinks and play games from the past. Dates: 13-14 and 20-21 December. Time: 11am-3.30pm.
Moseley Old Hall www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Moseley Old Hall Lane, Fordhouses, Wolverhampton , Staffordshire, WV10 7HY    01902 782808
See attraction details13 December 2014 - 21 December 2014 - CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS SANTA TRAIL AT TAMWORTH CASTLE
Tamworth Castle's magical Victorian Christmas is great fun for the kids as the Castle household prepares for Santa's visit. Help the servants make the Christmas pudding, decorate the Castle and receive a surprise gift from Santa's grotto. Dates: 13-14 and 20-21 December only. Please see the website for times, prices and to book. Pre-booking is essential.
Tamworth Castle www.tamworthcastle.co.uk
The Holloway, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B79 7NA   01827 709581
See attraction details13 December 2014 - 21 December 2014 - CHRISTMAS TRUCE WALK AT THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM
Enjoy a 90-minute guided tour introducing some of the Arboretum's World War I linked memorials before finishing at the new FA Football Remembers Memorial. Mulled wine and mince pies will provide a warming festive treat after the walk. Dates: 13, 14, 20 and 21 December only. £7 per person, advanced booking is required.
The National Memorial Arboretum www.thenma.org.uk
Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire, DE13 7AR   01283 792333
The Arboretum will be open after hours on the 20 December for this special Candle-lit Carol service. Suitable for all ages, it will fill you with the festive spirit. Free entry. Song books and candles will be available to purchase.
The National Memorial Arboretum www.thenma.org.uk
Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire, DE13 7AR   01283 792333



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