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Ideas for your festive celebrations

  • Date: 13 December 2012
  • Area: South West
Peter Pan at Bristol Old Vic

Peter Pan at Bristol Old Vic. Credit: Mark Douet

It's getting close to the holiday season and the time of year when we may be looking for a beautiful gift for someone special in our life or thinking of fun ways to spend some time with friends or family.

Here are a few suggestions to share with you that might spark ideas for things to do and presents to buy.

There are plenty of Pantomime treats, perfect for all the family to enjoy at venues across the south west. To mention a few, Dick Whittington is playing at Plymouth Theatre Royal featuring the fantastic pantomime dame, Christopher Biggins and best loved foxy TV star Basil Brush! Hall for Cornwall is presenting the magical world of Aladdin, and Sleeping Beauty is showing at Salisbury Playhouse.

If the traditional Pantomime is not quite what you had in mind, there are plenty of cultural alternatives to tempt you out at this time of year. Miracle Theatre is touring Frankenstein, a story of unrequited love, confused monsters and science gone mad! The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra have a feast of musical treats for their Christmas and New Year tour coming to venues in the south west with highlights such as Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and Handel's Messiah. Join Dorchester Arts and the Ballet Theatre UK on a magical journey with A Christmas Carol, a new production combining traditional ballet with captivating theatre performed to a classical score.

Visit the 'What's on' pages for arts centres and venues near you for many more ideas of what you can do and see over the next few weeks.

If you're looking to find the perfect gift you're sure to find something special at Walford Mill's  Inspire: Christmas Exhibition presenting a selection of handmade gift ideas by individual artists ranging from stocking fillers to collector's pieces. You'll also find a wonderful broad range of designs and prices at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen's Christmas exhibition showcasing the UK's best contemporary crafts including hand-made designs from fifty UK makers. Or why not visit the Leach Pottery shop in St Ives with its mix of local and international contemporary ceramics as well as the new Leach tableware made and fired on site by their team of resident potters.

If you are thinking of buying artwork or even a musical instrument as a gift, don't forget about Arts Council England's credit free loan schemes Own Art and Take it away to help spread the cost.

However you are celebrating over the next few weeks, we hope you have a wonderful festive time.