A Christmas To Remember

Christmas at Cannock

Festive Magic Comes To The Museum of Cannock Chase

IT’S beginning to look a lot like Christmas at The Museum of Cannock Chase.

And with all the great things going on, this really could be one for the history books.

There’s going to be a traditional Christmas gathering, a look at the festive season through the ages, elves, Mrs Christmas and the chance to immerse the family in an exclusive interactive experience that will bring it all to life.

Christmas at Cannock

The team at the highly rated local history hub are busy trimming the tree and putting the final touches to a fun-packed Yuletide programme that’s full of sparkle and surprises.

It all starts on Sunday 3rd December, with the museum’s ever-popular Christmas Family Fun Day. This annual event regularly attracts up to 1,000 people all eager to start the season off in fine style.

There will be stalls selling cakes, crafts and all things ‘Christmassy’. The children can enjoy face-painting and everyone can get their likeness recorded with the event’s own caricature artist. There will be sweet music courtesy of the One Accord choir and you can take part in some crafty creative sessions. Other attractions include a Pinocchio-themed puppet show and how to make a Victorian pomander.

The museum’s displays will hark back to Christmas in the 1940s with a look at how families made merry on a budget. And of course, no Festive Fun Day would be complete without a visit to Santa in his Christmas Cottage.

Museum Visitor Services Officer Rachel Gentle, who has been working hard to organise the event, said: “The Christmas Family Day has been part of our annual calendar for more than 10 years and it’s always a real favourite with the local community. It’s an opportunity for everyone to get together and celebrate Christmas and to try something new and different.”

Rachel added: “The event is free but there may be a small charge for some of the activities and with up to 1,000 visitors coming along we would encourage people to come by public transport if possible.”

The event is also helping to support some really worthy causes such as the RSPCA and the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

For the first time ever this year, the museum will be hosting a Christmas Wishes for Families Day on Saturday 16th December.

Imagine being whisked along on your personal guided tour of a Christmas fantasy. A two-hour journey through the museum that takes in making toys in the elves workshop, stirring the Christmas pudding with Mrs Christmas, Victorian parlour games and plenty of time to eat, drink and be merry. This is what the Christmas Wishes Day is all about.

Rachel explains: “This is a pre-booked tour that lasts for two hours. We have created a story in which the children have to help Mrs Christmas gather ingredients for her pudding and along the way they will try lots of different activities and have lots of fun. We wanted to try something really different this year and came up with a fabulous interactive adventure.”

Christmas at Cannock

The story ends at the Christmas Cottage with a present for every child age three upwards who takes part. Places on the Christmas Wishes tour are limited, so the advice from the team is to book now.

This year Christmas has come early for the museum staff because the venue has just been given top marks by national tourism agency VisitEngland. Each year the organisation assesses the quality of the country’s visitor attractions by visiting and experiencing what they have to offer.

The assessment looks at everything from the quality of the venue, customer service, facilities, website and more. This year the museum scored an impressive 162 marks out of a possible 195, giving an overall tally of 83 per cent. The inspectors noted the wide-range of content which was very ‘well presented and interpreted’. They praised the ‘excellent’ Coal Mining Gallery and gift shop and applauded the attractiveness of the colourful displays.

They also noted that the museum enjoys a 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor with 99 per cent of reviews being very good or excellent.

Museum Manager Lee Bellingham said: “Everyone involved with the museum is thrilled with the score it has received, which is an increase on previous years. The entire team works hard to deliver a first-class visitor attraction that everyone in our community can be proud of and it is fantastic that this hard work has been recognised.”

Lee added: “It’s the perfect Christmas present for us and for anyone who wants to see exactly how good we are I would love you to come along to our Christmas events and join in the fun.”

  • The Christmas Family Day takes place on Sunday 3rd December, between 12 noon and 4pm. Admission is free.
  • The exclusive Christmas Wishes for Families Day takes place on Saturday 16th December, with tours running throughout the day. Tickets are priced £15 for children aged three and above and £5 for adults, which includes a present and festive refreshments.
  • For more information on these events call the museum on 01543 877666 or visit the website: www.museumofcannockchase.org