If we go by the rising number of festive ads appearing on our TV screens, then the countdown to Christmas 2023 is well and truly on.
And that’s also the theme running throughout our guide to weekend events, many of which have a seasonal feel to them.
The guide points you in the direction of things to do and places to go in the Worksop, Retford, Mansfield, Ashfield and wider Nottinghamshire area. And to help get you in the mood for Christmas, it includes festive markets, a Victorian fair, a grand 1940s’ charity dance and even an elves’ workshop. The Christmas season starts at Clumber Park and at Retford’s Sundown Adventureland, while Santa is arriving at Rufford Abbey County Park.
It’s not quite festive panto season in theatreland, but the Acorn in Worksop, the Majestic in Retford and the Palace in Mansfield all host shows worth getting excited about, including a Meat Loaf tribute and a revival of that classic film, ‘Steel Magnolias’, starring Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine and Dolly Parton.
Meanwhile, Retford celebrates another Big Market Day, Babworth runs its annual arts festival, Mansfield hosts an antiques fair, Calverton stages its annual open A5 art and photography exhibition and Hucknall welcomes the circus.
Oh and by the way, there’s a chance to meet the Bride Of Frankenstein, The Man-Eating Caterpillar and Medusa at Sherwood Forest!
To find out how, and why, check out our guide below. Please also visit the website of your chosen destination to ascertain opening times and admission prices. Have a great weekend!
1. Warm up for Christmas with Shaun The Sheep at Clumber Park
Warm up for Christmas at Clumber Park, where the festive season begins this Saturday (10 am to 4 pm) with a 'Shaun The Sheep: Find The Flock' art trail for the family. Twelve uniquely designed sculptures of Shaun The Sheep will be positioned at iconic locations across the park. Can you find them? There is also an elves' workshops where you can get creative with Christmas crafts. Festive events continue at the park until January. Photo: Submitted
2. Victorian Christmas market for charity
The spirit of Christmas is sure to be evoked when the Rotary Club of Retford holds its annual Victorian market and Christmas lunch at Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Restaurant at Barnby Moor tomorrow (Thursday) from 10 am to 2 pm. The market will boast an array of festive stalls, selling items such as gifts, jewellery, cakes and clothes. All proceeds go to Bassetlaw Hospice and other charities. Photo: Submitted
3. Big Market Day in Retford
Retford's Big Market Day in the town centre brings together the best of its markets with all kinds of family entertainment to entice visitors from far and wide. It happens on the third Saturday of every month, and this weekend's event has a festive flavour to it, with the chance to meet the Christmas Elf and reindeer stilt-walkers. The traditional Saturday market runs from 8.30 am to 1 pm, the craft market from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm, and the farmers' market from 8.30 am to 1 pm. Photo: Submitted
4. Santa is on his way to Rufford Abbey
Get ready to welcome the magic of the Christmas season at Rufford Abbey Country Park this weekend. For free events on Saturday and Sunday (10 am to 4 pm) welcome the arrival of Santa Claus. The festive fun includes vintage fairground rides, stalls selling gifts, crafts and delicious treats, and entertainment from your favourite 'Frozen' characters. Photo: Submitted