Let's face it, Christmas shopping can be a chore. Gazillions of presents to choose and wrap, never knowing what to get for Auntie Mabel and Uncle Phil... sometimes it can (almost) take the fun out of Christmas. Well luckliy, as curators of all things family-orientated across Suffolk, we've discovered that actually there are lots of great ways to put some of the magic of Christmas back into that dreaded gift shopping experience, and dare we say maybe even make it fun again?!
Friday December 8th 2017
Will Father Christmas be there: Yes, although possibly just to see rather than visit
Starting with a Christmas parade at 4pm, there will also be a special Santa Train looping the town centre for the duration of the event (pay as you ride). Kids can come in festive fancy dress, and there will also be a fun fair, face painting, bouncy castle, giant snow globe, and reindeer. But never mind that, what about the shopping? Well, two Christmas Fayres will deliver with food, drink and gifts a-plenty. The shops will also be open until 8pm, and there's free parking from 4pm in all surrounding car parks (excluding Railway Station Car Park).
Saturday December 9th 2017
, Silver Hill, Hintlesham, Ipswich, IP8 3NJ (01473 652249)
Will Father Christmas be there: Yes
Do a spot of shopping amongst the stalls, whilst you and your family are entertained with children’s toys, music and activities. If you need to stop for a break, there's a cafe area serving food and drinks, and the soft play area will be available free of charge. Parking on site makes the whole shopping experience even easier.
, 127 Ipswich Street, Stowmarket IP14 1BB
Will Father Christmas be there: Not as far as we know, but he's a wiley old salt so you never know!
Head over to the free indoor christmas market at The Mix, where there will be a selection of gifts and treats to purchase, as well as a festive food available in the cafe. There will also be a market down the main high street, as well as a free ice rink and free bouncy snow globe. Surely that sounds like too much fun to be 'real' Christmas shopping?!
Will Father Christmas be there: Yes
Stalls with lots of great Christmas ideas, all made all the more enjoyable by festive games, mulled wine, brass band, grand draw and Santa's Grotto.
Saturday December 16th 2017
Will Father Christmas be there: Yes... and so will the Snow Queen and Olaf!
Get some serious shopping done at a selection of craft and gift stalls, as well as stands from Felixstowe Country Market. And as this wasn't enough fun by otself, there's live music, choirs, snow machines, children's story-telling, face painting, and a Christmas quiz trail. And as if all this wasn't enough, there's barbeque and Indian food and a bar. Christmas shopping surely doesn't get any better than this!
There are two ticket options. Both include entrance to Fort, festive activities and entertainment.
OPTION 1: WITHOUT A VISIT TO SANTA'S GROTTO - Adults £6.00, Child £4.00. OPTION 2: WITH A VISIT TO SANTA'S GROTTO - Adults £6.00, Child £7.00. Please note, there are NO tickets for a visit to Santa's Grotto on the door.
Saturday December 23rd 2017
Will Father Christmas be there: It doesn't look like it, but the big fella can turn up anywhere so you never know
Stock up on those last-minuite Christmas goodies, and while you're there make sure you also visit the Snape Maltings shops for an array of food, toys, books, cards, clothing, homeware, crafts and antiques, as well as everything for that special music lover in your life in the Concert Hall Shop.