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Merry Christmas! Check out all the events happening in Reading this season. Credit: getreading
The people of Reading are truly going to be spoilt for choice as a whole host of magical events are going to be held this Christmas.
There's something on offer for all ages, whether that be watching a massive whale 'swim' through the town centre, or welcoming Father Christmas as he brings his sleigh through Broad Street.
There will also be a band of naughty elves getting up to no good and a whole host of pantomimes and plays.
And every day from Saturday, December 1 to Christmas Eve, Reading’s Living Advent Calendar will take place in the town centre.
Shoppers and people in the town are set to be amazed by 24 different events that highlight Reading’s unique personality, from pop up choirs to theatrical performances, comedy, party games, history talks, belly dancing and more.
The catalogue of events are part of the Magical Christmas in Reading programme.
Town Mayor Councillor Debs Edwards said: 'Christmas is a wonderful time of year and I can think of no more magical place to spend it than Reading.
'The town centre will be alive with fun activities and free entertainment for all the family to enjoy, so there is no reason not to come for the shopping and stay for the day!
'I’m particularly looking forward the Big Blue family show and parade and the display throughout December outside the station forecourt, which I am personally really proud of as a young family member has been involved in making of the squid!
'Alongside the usual Panto fun at The Hexagon and an unrivalled choice of shops and eateries to choose from, there really is no better place to be over the festive period.'
All the events are part of Magical Christmas in Reading, which is managed and funded by Reading UK CIC on behalf of Reading Business Improvement District with support from Reading Borough Council.
So, if you are in town and want to get into the Christmas spirit, here is the full list of events being held in Reading, Berkshire this festive season:
Saturday, November 24
The Big Blue parades through Reading
A preview of what Big Blue will look like before she 'swims' through Broad Street. Credit: Beautiful Creatures
Where: Broad Street, Reading
The incredible 'Big Blue' whale will be swimming through Broad Street.
Brought to you by Beautiful Creatures, creators of the Winter Giant, their creation is a glowing gentle giant with a haunting call for all of us to act against pollution in the Oceans.
With stunning lights, dramatic drumming from talented children and shimmering jelly fish, Big Blue asks us to see the world around us and take care of it.
Sunday, November 25
ArtLine Street Market
When: 10.30am to 3.30pm
Where: Broad Street
This is your chance to buy some great artwork from Reading's most talented painters, artists, photographers and more.
ArtLine is a street market where you can buy amazing works and crafts, which can make great gifts while supporting independent artists.
Saturday, December 1 and December 8
Festive Fun Children's Workshops at Jelly Reading
When: Saturday, December 1 and Saturday, December 8
Where: Jelly Reading, Broad Street Mall
Join the Jelly artists for free festive arts and crafts workshops in Broad Street Mall, where you can learn how to make the best festive decorations.
A different Christmas craft will be learnt at each session.
On Saturday, December 1, you can take your children to make Christmas tree decorations from colourful stickers and collage materials.
Then, on Saturday, December 8 the team will be teaching you how to make colourful paper snowflake decorations.
Drop in for free anytime between 11am and 3pm.
Guests are encouraged to register their interest for these two events. Jelly has warned that a ticket does not guarantee a space at the craft table and there may be a short wait at busy times.
Book your space here: https://www.facebook.com/events/301345000477135/
Grosvenor Casino Reading Christmas Party Invitations
Saturday, December 1
Reading's Living Advent Calendar
When: Saturday, December 1 to Monday, December 24
Where: Various locations across Reading
Starting on the first day of December, there will be an event in the town cente everyday until Christmas.
The events range from shows by theatre companies Reading Between the Lines and Bezerk Productions to carol services and karaokes.
The people of Reading have really outdone themselves with these events to get everyone in the festive spirit.
Check out the full list of events with times and locations here.
The Oracle Riverside Parades
The Oracle riverside at Christmas. Credit: Lynda Bowyer Photography
When: 5pm to 7pm, every Saturday in December
Where: The Oracle, Reading, Berkshire
With the countdown to Christmas underway, shoppers visiting The Oracle this winter will experience a festive overload, as the Riverside hosts a series of Christmas Parades fit for Santa himself.
The Parades will be packed with a variety of spectacles, as an array of LED stilt walking drummers head to the Riverside to emit a magnitude of light and sound, while being accompanied by a sea of LED puppeteers.
Viewers can look forward to a selection of breath-taking swans and lions working their way along the Riverside, as an abundance of entertainers weave their Christmas magic, creating an extravaganza of melting ice, snowflakes and an Ice King that will make even the biggest Christmas Grinch feel immersed in the display.
Each parade will finish with a majestic aerial acrobat performance at the turfed area on the Riverside.
Friday, December 7
A Very Crayola Christmas
When: Starts at 6.30pm
Where: Grosvenor Casino, Queen’s Road, Reading
Friday is your chance to boogie with Crayola the Queen, a highly regarded drag act.
Crayola’s been having a ball serving her unique brand of campy, cartoonish craziness to revellers.
A lipsync assassin, a pro on the mic, and a turner of looks, she always leaves you gagging for more.
This event is free but booking is essential via the Reading Arts website.
Saturday, December 8 to Sunday, January 6
Aladdin at The Hexagon
Aladdin Starring Justin Fletcher & Paul Morse. Credit: Imagine Theatre
When: Saturday, December 8 to Sunday, January 6
Where: The Hexagon, Queens Walk, Reading
Take a ride on the magic carpet and be transported to the mystic world of Aladdin with this Christmas pantomime running at The Hexagon.
Children’s favourite Justin Fletcher aka Mr Tumble returns to Reading as Aladdin and is teaming up with Paul Morse as Widow Twankey.
Prepare for enchanting fun as Aladdin tries to outwit the evil Abanazar.
To book call the box office 0118 960 6060 or book online via readingarts.com
Saturday, December 8 and Friday, December 14
Big Blue, The Plastic Squid and The Snow Queen
When: Saturday, December 8 and Friday, December 14
Where: Reading train station
Big Blue will be back in Reading in December at the station forecourt, where she will be joined by a spectacular bioluminescent squid.
The people of the town will be invited to learn about sustainability in our oceans, and how everyone can become a plastic activist from 6pm to 6.30pm on both days.
But Big Blue and her invertebrate companion won't be the only ones gracing the train station forecourt.
On Friday, December 14, they will be joined by the Snow Queen.
The Snow Queen will be entertaining passers-by in her snow globe, as she shimmers and poses for photos.
The Snow Queen show, which is put on by Fool's Paradise productions, will be at the station forecourt from 4.30pm to 7pm.
Monday, December 10 to Sunday, December 30
A Christmas Carol By Reading Between the Lines
When: From Monday, December 10 to Sunday, December 30
Where: South Street Arts Centre, South Street, Reading
Check out this modern rendition of a Christmas Carol by Reading Between the Lines theatre company.
Charles Dickens' classic play has been adapted by playwright Anna Wheatley.
At the annual office Christmas party, boss Evelyn remains in a perennially bad mood.
Her employees are unbearably cheerful, and no quantity of Yule log can shake her from her penny-pinching misery.
To top it off, over-enthusiastic intern Crystal has adapted 'A Christmas Carol' into a play for the party entertainment, but forgotten to cast someone as Scrooge… Can acting out the tale of festive redemption finally bring out the Christmas spirit in the world’s grumpiest boss?
Tickets can be bought by calling the box office on 0118 960 6060 or by booking through Reading Arts here. Prices vary.
Sunday, December 16
Cinderella: A wicked mother of a night out, written by Luke Barnes
Cinderella: A wicked mother of a night out. Credit: ReadingArts.com
Where: Yates, Friar Street, Reading
An immersive Christmas cracker, 'Cinderella: A wicked mother of a night out' is an outrageous site-specific show inspired by panto.
All the characters you know, love and hate will spill your pints and pour their hearts out on the karaoke.
Crammed with live music, mayhem and a touch of midnight magic, think Tarantino meets Shameless, meets ELF... all in a real, Reading boozer.
Directed by TV writer, playwright and actor from Game of Thrones Luke Barnes.
The event is free but registry is essential via the Reading Arts website.
Tuesday, December 18 to Sunday, December 30
A New Coat for Christmas
When: Runs from Tuesday, December 18 to Sunday, December 30, various times
Where: Reading Rep Theatre at the Reading Studio of Dramatic Art, King's Road, Reading
This one is definitely something for the whole family to enjoy.
Snowflakes are falling and Anna needs a coat to keep her warm and snug. But times are hard, so Anna and Mummy set out to make a new coat – with a little help from their friends.
Following the success of Alby the Penguin Saves Christmas, Reading Rep bring this enchanting story to the stage with music, fun and a flock of very fluffy sheep.
Prices cost £10 each, or £30 for a family ticket. Suitable for children aged 3+.
The team will also be taking over a number of rhymetime sessions at Reading libraries during November and December. Details of the takeovers can be found here
Saturday, December 22
The Snow Show
When: From 4.30pm
Where: Broad Street
Come to the town centre for music, magic, carols, dance and the full Christmas spirit.
Father Christmas will be coming in on his sleigh to keep his naughty elves in check and meet the friendly children of Reading.
Reading's Naughty Elves
When: Throughout December, climax at The Snow Show
Where: Various sites across the town
It's safe to say that Santa's elves have gone rogue. Keep an eye out for Reading’s naughty elves and their antics around the town.
If this has piqued your interest, be sure to like the @Livingreading Facebook page, follow @livingreading on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with all their mischief at locations throughout the town.
Father Christmas will round his elves up at The Snow Show.
Cinema in Silhouette
Where: Pentahotel, Oxford Road, Reading
The ancient artform of Hand Shadows is brought right up to the present day with skillful tributes to 20th Century film making, the forms of famous personalities, rabbits doing what rabbits do and many more endearing and down-right astonishing creatures created with the twist of a hand.
Grosvenor Casino Reading Christmas Party Decorations
At this show, stand-up comedy meets shadow puppetry.
The event is free but booking is essential via Reading Arts here
Grosvenor Casino Reading Christmas Party Favors
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