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What's on for families in Surrey during Feb half term

It's half term! If you are hoping to tire the children out this week, you’re in luck, because there are plenty of activities for families on offer at all of Surrey’s attractions. And don’t worry if the weather is bad, there are lots of indoor events available as well.

We’ve picked out some of the main activities in our half term what’s on feature here, but please remember to check our what's on calendar for more information and ideas. And don’t forget to check with the venue before you set off in case you need to book ahead or the event is cancelled.

Our places to go section is also very useful during the school holidays – reminding you of all the places you can visit with children throughout Surrey.

All week

Enjoy a Winter Walk at RHS Wisley. Explore this seasonal walk full of winter scents, colours and textures. With architectural outlines softened by modern mass plantings, there are many views to enjoy. Free with normal Garden entry, and if you book in advance there is a 10% discount.

The Great Brick Safari is at RHS Wisley and runs until March 3. Embark on a journey inside the Glasshouse to search for more than 40 LEGO® brick sculptures. See if you can spot an elephant, lions, meerkats, turtles and a gorilla and learn more about the animal and plants. You can also join a bricks making workshop and have your photo taken in the bricks jeep.

Squire’s garden centres are offering their popular Create and Grow workshops all week. Children can paint a woodland creatures money box and take part in a colour by numbers competition and a butterfly trail around the venue.

Half term at Brooklands Museum includes popular car rides up Test Hill or along the Members’ Banking of the old Race Track, bus rides, a children’s trail and family workshops. Activities are worth booking before your visit to avoid disappointment.

Once Upon a Fairytale at Fishers Farm Park includes the chance to meet a unicorn, go on an adventure on the fairytale trail, enjoy enchanting storytelling and witness some real magic. It all sounds charming.

Penguin Activity Week at Birdworld will include a themed trail, arts and crafts, penguin feeding and a chance to win some prizes – as well as all the usual things to see and do at this popular attraction.

Over 70 gorgeous new born lambs are due in the Big Animal Barn during half term week at Bocketts Farm. Head along this week and you may get the chance to watch one being born! There will also be 'Meet the Shepherd' sessions, birds of prey flying demonstrations, dancing, games, bubbles, crafts, animal handling, goat milking, tractor rides, pony rides and pig races.

Step back in time and learn some ancient skills at Butser Farm. Different skills will be on offer each day but include chalk carving, wool spinning and corn threshing. Visitors can also take part in a themed trail and warm up with a hot chocolate around a roaring fire.

It’s Mini Farmer Week at Godstone Farm, when children can take part in feeding, grooming, and milking, see lambs in the cosy animal barn and hold some small animals. It all sounds very cute.

Half term at Hobbledown includes a chance to brave the daring High Ropes Course, bounce on the jumping pillows, learn something new at the animal educational talks, meet zoo and farm animals and much more.

Weald & Downland Museum is running five days of family activities including make and take activities and creative crafts. Most of these are undercover in case of bad weather.

It’s Snowdrop Week at Gatton Park. The park and gardens will be open to the public all week to see the spring flowers appearing.

Puppets, Poetry and Projections at Watts Gallery is a drop-in workshop where you can make shadow puppet characters to create scenes alongside poems with an overhead projector. This runs from Tuesday through to Sunday.

Head to the Surrey History Centre and explore the castles and palaces of Surrey. Have fun building your own palace and castle, make a crown, colour in and much more! This runs from Tuesday to Saturday.

There are children’s trails at many of the National Trust properties this week:

Ham House – Shaping Nature trail. An exciting new project re-imagining the formal gardens is bringing shapes, colours and symmetry to life in the plats and you can be a part!

Hatchlands Park – Nautical Knot trail. Have a go at tying boating knots on a fun sea-themed trail through the parkland.

Morden Hall Park – Hungry Bird trail. Grab your wellies and set off on a fun wildlife themed trail for all the family.

Winkworth Arboretum – Shapes and Sizes trail. Get some fresh air and discover all things great and small.

Claremont Landscape Gardens – Shapes and Sizes trail. Get some fresh air and discover all things great and small.

Polesden Lacey – Polesden Pairs trail. Help find the missing objects hidden around the gardens, pairing them up with the pictures on your trail sheet.

Monday

Treat your favourite teddy bear to a train ride and storytelling at Denbies - children are invited as well! Rides take place at various time slots throughout the morning and include a chocolate treat for children and a hot drink for the adult.

Forest Fun at Gatton Park encourages families to explore the woodlands through organised play including mud, fire, dens, woodland crafts and lots of fun! Sessions take place throughout the day.

Spend a morning learning about the art of ancient Egypt and have fun wrapping mummies and carving hieroglyphics at Bourne Hall Museum or join in with a Disney Singalong at the Piglets play centre.

Tuesday

It’s lambing open day at Miller’s Ark Farm. Visitors can go in to every pen and handle all the animals in a unique and special way - including the new borns!

The Tropical Creepy Crawly Roadshow will be at Denbies in the morning, when children who are brave enough can meet snakes, lizards, mini beasts and frogs for an inspiring animal encounter.

Wednesday

A drop-in workshop at The Lightbox Museum invites children to create a colour spinner; make colours collide to see what patterns the spinner will make. This is suitable for children aged four and over.

Thursday

About Faces will be visiting Piglets play centre to paint faces and collect donations for charity. There is no need to book for this activity.

Hear stories inspired by Christina Rossetti's 'Sing Song' poems for children during a family session at Watts Gallery. Join in with songs and rhymes featuring fun characters like the pig in the wig! Recommended for under-fives.

Friday

Treat your favourite teddy bear to a train ride and storytelling at Denbies - children are invited as well! Rides take place at various time slots throughout the morning and include a chocolate treat for children and a hot drink for the adult.

There’s another chance to cuddle and play with some cute animals with a lambing open day at Miller’s Ark Farm. Visitors can go in to every pen and handle all the animals in a unique and special way - including the new-borns!

Lollipop Frames is a drop-in workshop at The Lightbox Museum. Add colour, lines and patterns to lolly sticks to create simple picture frames for your own favourite photographs. This is suitable for children aged four and over.

Weekend – Feb 23 & 24

Miller’s Ark Farm is open all weekend, when visitors can cuddle and play with some cute animals - including the new-borns!

Watt’s Gallery is offering a poetry takeway for the weekend. Grab a bite of poetry from the van, which will be serving up fresh words to order! Sounds very intriguing…

Fingers crossed for some good weather – or at least some dry weather – for the week. We hope you all have a lovey time! 

WIN a family ticket to see Dr Seuss's Cat in the Hat in Guildford

ONE for the whole family to enjoy, a brand new production of Dr Seuss’ classic story of mischief and chaos, The Cat in the Hat comes to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre from Thursday to Saturday, March 7 to 9.

We are giving away a fantastic prize, a family ticket (4 seats) to the performance on Thursday March 7 at 6.40pm. To win this fabulous prize you just need to answer this question. Entry form at the bottom of this page and please remember to include your details so we can contact you if you win.

Who wrote the Cat in the Hat?

a) Dr Puce b) Dr Noose or c) Dr Seuss

When the Cat in the Hat steps onto the mat, Sally and her brother are in for a rollercoaster ride of havoc and mayhem! The Cat can rescue them from a dull rainy day, but what mischief do they get up to along the way?

Based on the much-loved book by Dr Seuss that has captivated generations of readers, The Cat in the Hat is packed with feline frivolity aplenty, with his acrobatic accomplices Thing 1 and Thing 2. 

The show features original music and riotous rhymes that have delighted children for over fifty years. With infectious humour and spectacular circus for the grown-ups, the wonderfully anarchic Cat in the Hat comes to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

Nana Amoo-Gottfried plays the show’s chaotic Cat, while actor and opera singer Charley Magalit plays the role of the fearful Fish.

Joining the cast as the children whose house the Cat visits are Sam Angell as the Boy and Melissa Lowe as Sally. Completing the company as the Cat’s energetic companions Thing 1 & Thing 2 are acrobats Celia Francis and Robert Penny.

This is sure to be a purrfect treat for all the family. Most suitable for ages 4+.

Tickets for The Cat in the Hat are on sale now!  You can book yours by calling the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Box Office on (01483) 44 00 00 or by visiting the website atwww.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk

What's on over Christmas and New Year in Surrey

Festive Trail on the Priory Farm Discovery Walk

Christmas is here again and it’s such a magical time of year for children.

Our job here at Surrey Mummy is to help you have lots of festive fun, so without further ado, here is our last what’s on feature of 2018 and our first what’s on feature of 2019…all rolled into one!

Throughout the holidays

Christmas holiday fun is on offer at Brooklands Museum on the following dates: December 19-21, 27-28 and January 2. Activities will include making festive decorations and kids’ tours on Concorde.

Get away from the gadgets and gizmos for a while with the festive trail on the discovery walk at Priory Farm, Redhill. This is closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Try some outdoor skating at Hampton Court Palace – open until January 6 (closed Christmas Day). Be transported to one of the country's most scenic skating settings, with spectacular views of the Thames-side Tudor palace.

National Trust properties have some great activity trails running over the Christmas and New Year holidays – giving you all a chance to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air.

Hatchlands Park - follow the Boscawen family through the woodland as they discover the story of Gulliver’s Travels. On your journey, discover tiny Lilliputian houses and ships, learn some Georgian Christmas traditions, and you might even find out the correct way to eat a boiled egg…
Claremont Landscape Gardens - Rudolph is lost in the garden; can you find him and help him get home in time for Christmas? This runs until December 23.
• From December 26, Claremont’s trail will be Party like it’s 1819 - Follow a trail around the garden learning about famous royal and the parties which they held in days gone by. 

Before Christmas

Festive events take place in The Square, Camberley in the run up to Christmas – with card making from 11am to 1pm on December 21, and a Santa Slime/Christmas tree slime workshop from 2pm to 4pm. There will also be festive arts and crafts on December 22 and 23.

Stories and songs with Santa take place at RHS Wisley until December 23.

Join in with a Christmas creative workshop at Painshill Park up until December 23. Explore the winter landscape to gather natural material. Warm up afterwards with a hot chocolate inside then get creative making decorations. At the end of the workshop each child will receive a present and a special note from Father Christmas who will be taking a daytime nap.

Visit Santa’s Victorian Parlour at Haslemere Museum between December 20 and 24. Little ones can tell him all their special Christmas wishes and each child will receive a gift to take home.

Make a few last minute decorations with a workshop at The Lightbox on December 21. This is a drop-in event suitable for children aged four and over.

Christmas Day

As usual, Guildford Spectrum is open on Christmas Day for swimming and ice skating. The rink is open from 1030am to 12noon and the pool is open from 10am to 12 noon.

After Christmas

Christmas Leave on The Watercress Line takes place on December 26 and 27, when you can experience the atmosphere of a WWII Christmas on the railway with the help of re-enactors, wartime music and more.

Make a New Year’s Eve party mask at The Lightbox Museum in a workshop on December 28. This is suitable for children aged four and over.

Punch and Judy shows are being held at Squire’s in West Horsley on December 29 and 30. Entry is free but charity donations are welcome and will be given to West Horsley & Bookham Riding for the Disabled.

Don’t forget about the New Year’s Day Classic Car Gathering at Brooklands Museum. With over 1,000 vehicles expected, live music and a winter barbeque there will be something for everybody amongst the vast and diverse displays of classics all descending on Brooklands to kick start 2019 in style.

The 12 Dogs of Christmas starts at Ham House on Boxing Day and runs until January 6 - the first dog to visit each day will be announced as one of the ‘Twelve Dogs of Christmas’, receive a very tasty doggy Christmas pudding and will go up on our famous ‘InstaHam’ board. Even if you don’t end up being the first dog of the day, every dog that visits will be given a free treat and lots of fuss to keep those tails wagging.

Christmas at Weald & Downland Museum takes place on Boxing Day and December 27 and includes traditionally decorated houses that reflect the spirit of Christmas through the ages along with spiced apple juice and spiced biscuits for visitors.

It’s a big ask for little eyes to stay open for the midnight countdown, so Godstone Farm is running its own kid-friendly New Year celebrations. On Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th and Monday 31st December there will be a New Year bash! Get face glitter and take part in party dances and games throughout the day in the heated indoor playbarn.

Please remember to check our things to do section and what’s on calendar for lots more ideas and information. And don’t forget to check out our festive shows and pantomimes feature as many of these run into the New Year.

And finally a very Happy Christmas and fantastic New Year to all of our readers. We look forward to bringing you lots more information in 2019. 

How to make some cash ahead of Christmas by selling your clutter

We could all do with a bit of extra spending money in the lead-up to Christmas. And having a clear-out will help to ensure there's plenty of space for all the new toys your little ones will receive on the big day. It will also help you to get your home in shape so you're proud to show it off when all your friends and family stop by. So, why not take the opportunity to sell some of your existing clutter to make some extra cash and create space for the new?

There are steps you can take to give your unwanted items the best chance of selling to make the most profit possible. I'm going to outline these here.

Know what's going to make you money

When you're having a clear-out with the aim of selling items to make money, it's worth finding out what's likely to sell ahead of time. This will save you time, energy, and space, because you can donate everything else and only save what's going to make you money.

Clothes, books, DVDs, CDs and shoes typically receive a lot of attention when sold second-hand, according to House Beautiful. You can also make a pretty penny by selling on cuddly toys, kitchen appliances and gadgets, records, and unwanted computers too. So, if you have any of these lying around — and they're in good condition — selling them online or taking them along to a car boot sale is likely to be worth your while. 

Choose the right places to sell your items

It's important you put plenty of thought into choosing where to sell your items, because this can have a huge effect on how well they'll sell, and how much you could make from them. 

If you're interested in selling online, it's best to use specialist platforms wherever possible. For example, if you have clothing in good condition, apps such as Depopcan be a goldmine. Similarly, if you have antiques or vintage items collectors might be looking for, Selling Antiquesand Vintage Cash Coware both great.

Many of us have old jewellery and scrap gold hiding away in our jewellery boxes and selling this on isn't always easy — especially if it's personalised, broken, or old-fashioned. In this situation, consider selling your gold to a pawnbroker, as this is often the quickest and easiest way to make a decent amount of cash. At H&T we even have a tool that allows you to enter what kind of gold you have and the weight, so you can see how much money we'll give you in advance.

Make sure everything is clean and in working order

When you're trying to make some quick money by selling your unwanted items, the last thing you want is for someone to ask for a refund. You should be able to avoid this by checking everything is in working order and by giving an accurate description of your items.

It's also a good idea to make sure all of your belongings are clean and in good condition before you send them to their new home. If you're selling online, giving everything a once over before taking your photos and then again before posting your sales should keep your customers happy.

All of us go through periods when we could do with some extra cash, luckily many of us are sitting on atreasure chest of unwanted items that we could sell on. As long as you choose what you're going to sell wisely, think carefully about which platforms you're going to use, and make sure everything's clean and in working order, you should have no trouble making some quick cash. 

Michael Ayres is the Valuations Manager at H&T. Here, he shares his top tips for making some money in time for Christmas by selling your clutter.

The top ten toys to buy this Christmas 2018

Cute, slimy, high tech, magical and scary – this year’s list of must-have toys has it all. So if you are wondering what the latest toy craze is this year, the annual top 12 toys list should be able to give you a few ideas for your Christmas shopping.

Barbie Ultimate Kitchen, by Mattel - £49.99

Cook up fun with a kitchen playset featuring lights and sounds, food moulds a sandwich maker and many more ingredients for imaginative play with Barbie.

Paw Patrol Ultimate Fire Truck by Spin Master Toys - £69.99

An ultimate rescue needs an ultimate vehicle! Save the day with Marshall’s Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck! This vehicle is equipped with an extendable 2ft ladder, flashing lights and sounds! Using the water cannon launcher at the bottom of the cab, you can send up to three water cannons (included) flying into the fire!

Cra-Z-Slimy - Super Slimy Studio by Character Options - £29.99

A kit to make your own amazing Super Slimy Creations! Includes everything you need to make your own slime combinations – glitter-effects, rainbow colours, plus much more. Mix, invent & create! Encourages STEM learning.

Fingerlings Untamed Jailbreak T-Rex Playset by Jazwares/WowWee - £24.99

A ferocious T-Rex in a cage for you to release and try to tame if you dare. This interactive character has glow-in-the-dark eyes and of course, being a Fingerling, sits on your finger.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall, by LEGO - £89.99

This present idea combines two crazes that are never going to go out of fashion! Build your very own great hall with a fireplace, benches, tables and reversible house banners, plus the Grand Staircase tower with a spiral staircase, potions room, treasure room, sorting hat, Mirror of Erised and lots of magical artefact accessory elements. This fantasy role-playing castle toy includes 10 minifigures and buildable Basilisk and Fawkes creatures, plus Hedwig and Scabbers figures.

Harry Potter Wizard Training Wand by Jakks Pacific - £24.99

Learn 11 different spells with the help of this interactive training wand. Each wand includes five modes of play: two modes of standalone play and three modes to play with a friend. The light-up button allows them to select which mode to play.

L.O.L. Surprise! Pop-Up Store by MGA Entertainment - £39.99

This is a three in one playset, display and carrying case. Take your dolls out on the town! Play areas include chic café, fashion boutique and pizza parlour. The display holds over 55 dolls and accessories. Set includes an exclusive L.O.L doll.

L.O.L. Surprise! Under Wraps, by MGA Entertainment - £14.99

Each doll has 15 surprises. Unbox the spy glass to find codes and unlock surprises. Each doll is dressed in a mystery disguise, unbox each layer to discover who's inside. The disguise becomes multiple fashion accessories. Mix and match outfits for tons of looks.

Lazer X Twin Pack by Character Options - £49.99

The ultimate high tech game of tag! Play inside or out, day or night. Works up to 60 meters away with pinpoint accuracy. Gameplay allows unlimited players. As you are blasted your receiver vest will gradually change colour, hit ten times and you’re out!

Monopoly Fortnite Edition, by Hasbro - £21.99

In this edition of the classic game, players claim locations, battle opponents and avoid the storm to survive. The gameplay, design, and components of the board game include elements inspired by the video game including Fortnite locations and loot chest cards. Instead of MONOPOLY money, players earn health points.

Boxer – interactive AI robot toy, by Spin Master toys - £79.99

Equipped with multiple IR sensors, Boxer responds to hand movements and interacts with you using real-life responses, funny expressions and sounds.

Poopsie Surprise Unicorn by MGA Entertainment - £49.99

Poopsie Surprise Unicorn magically poop slime! Each time you feed your surprise unicorn and sit her on her glitter potty, she creates surprise, collectible unicorn poop (slime)! Transform your unicorn poop over and over again with Unicorn Magic! Over 20 magic surprises included with each Surprise Unicorn!

Please note the prices are all the RRP and you may be able to find different prices, deals and offers.

The top 12 list has been compiled by Dream Toys - the official toys and games Christmas preview. The Dream Toys Association represents the majority of the toy trade.

Pantomimes and Christmas shows in Surrey 2018

The custard pies are being made, sequins being sewn on and lines are being learned – panto season is on its way.

For many of us, Christmas isn’t Christmas without a good pantomime: a few cheesy songs, silly jokes, slapstick humour, chants of he’s behind you a loveable baddie and of course a happy ending.

There are plenty of pantomimes to see in Surrey, as well as some lovely Christmas shows for the little ones as well as a nativity play.

Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood, TV’s Michelle Gayle and Eagle Radio’s Peter Gordon are among the stars appearing this year.

Here’s our round-up of shows – don’t forget to book your tickets early.

The Big Enormous Present – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Mill Studio, Guildford, Nov 17 SOLD OUT

A mysterious present has appeared in the school playground. Who can it possibly be for? Jack, Dot or Polly? What could be waiting inside? The Big ENORMOUS Present explores the pressures of fitting in, where we find happiness and how giving can sometimes feel as good as receiving.

More info: https://www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/production/the-big-enormous-present

Dear Santa – Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking, Dec 5 – 24

Santa is determined to deliver the most fantastic Christmas present to Sarah. But he doesn't get it right straight away! With the help of his cheeky Elf, he finally settles on something ‘perfect', just in time for Christmas Eve. This is an ideal introduction to theatre for those aged 2 to 7 years old. There is an opportunity to meet Santa himself after the show.

More info: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/dear-santa/rhoda-mcgaw-theatre/

Cinderella – New Victoria Theatre, Woking, Dec 7-Jan 6

You shall go to the ball next Christmas with the spectacular family pantomime Cinderella starring the fab-u-lous Craig Revel Horwood as The Wicked Stepmother and Paul Chuckle as Baron Hardup. Featuring laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses.

More info: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/cinderella/new-victoria-theatre/

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Harlequin Theatre, Redhill, Dec 7-31

Huge helpings of laughter with a generous serving of traditional pantomime audience participation, mixed with stunning scenery, spectacular costumes, a dashing prince and the fairest Snow White of all. Add in seven dwarfs full of mischief and merriment, sprinkle with Woodland Fairy magic dust and it’s all the winning ingredients for a pantomime that’s simply wicked, simply wonderful and simply must be seen!

More info: http://www.harlequintheatre.co.uk/whats-on/pantomime

Peter Pan – Richmond Theatre, Dec 8-Jan 6

Join high-flying hero Peter Pan as he transports the Darlings on an adventure they will never forget, filled with evil pirates, a very hungry crocodile and the meanest man in Neverland, Captain Hook (BAFTA, Tony Award and two-time Olivier Award winner Robert Lindsay). Joining Robert will be Comedy Impressionist and Britain’s Got Talent finalist, Jon Clegg, West End star Rachel Stanley and Harry Francis as the boy who never grew up, Peter Pan.

 More info: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/peter-pan/richmond-theatre/

Santa’s Christmas Party – Epsom Playhouse, Dec 8-24

Christmas is the busiest time of year at the North Pole, when Father Christmas makes presents to deliver across the whole world…and when everyone gets ready for Santa’s Christmas Party! But this year somebody has been up to mischief…Dotty the Elf’s decorations have gone missing, Dasher the Reindeer’s party games are broken, and what has happened to Pompom the Penguin’s Christmas music?

More info: http://www.epsomplayhouse.co.uk/shows/santa%E2%80%99s-christmas-party

Sleeping Beauty - Camberley Theatre, Dec 10 - 31

A brand new adaptation of the classic fairy-tale Sleeping Beauty with singalong songs, high energy choreography, beautiful scenery and a host of side-splitting jokes!

Note: An accessible performance takes place on December 28 with a BSL signer, no pyrotechnics or loud noises and softer lighting.

More info: https://www.camberleytheatre.co.uk/new/whats-on/pantomime

A Christmas Carol – Nomad Theatre, East Horsley, Dec 11-15

The famous tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey from miserable miser to generous benefactor. Exciting, terrifying, amusing and always moving; this story is a wonderful prelude to Christmas.

More info: http://www.nomadtheatre.com/a-christmas-carol/

Santa Claus and the Night Before Christmas – G Live, Dec 12-24

It’s Christmas Eve and whilst most children are hanging up their stockings, there are a few boys and girls who are not! They don’t believe in Santa and, with Christmas morning fast approaching, cheeky elves Charlie and Kara must help Santa prove that he is indeed real! With magic tricks, songs and stories, can they make them believe before it’s time to board Santa’s sleigh and deliver the presents?

More info: https://glive.co.uk/Online/tickets-santa-claus-and-the-night-before-christmas-guildford-2018

Cinderella - The Harlington, Fleet, Dec 12-28

Packed full of song, dance and fun for all the family, Cinderella is a traditional pantomime fit for 2018! With a fabulous cast, beautiful costumes, and spectacular live band, you’re all invited to party in the palace at Prince Charming’s Royal Ball!

More info: http://www.theharlington.co.uk/_Pantomime.aspx

Nativity Play – Wintershall, Dec 12-16

Experience the Christmas story in a barn with a large cast of players and animals. The show lasts for 90 minutes with mince pies and hot drinks available before the show.

More info: http://www.wintershall.org.uk/nativity-playww.wintershall.org.uk/nativity-play

Snow White on Ice – Guildford Spectrum, Dec 14-16

Spectrum Ice will be transported like never before by a magical fairytale wonderland as the popular pantomime Snow White takes to the ice. The festive ice show will feature performances by some of the region's rising skating stars, along with some special guests!

More info: http://www.guildfordspectrum.co.uk/ice-skating/snow-white-on-ice/

Jack and the Beanstalk – Epsom Playhouse, Dec 14-Jan 6

A thrilling tale of adventure... magic beans... a mysterious land way up in the clouds... a hidden treasure.

More info: http://www.epsomplayhouse.co.uk/shows/jack-and-beanstalk

Beauty and the Beast – Dorking Halls, Dec 15-29

Expect plenty of fun, laughter and audience participation. Packed with sensational songs, dazzling dance routines, spectacular sets and fabulous costumes, this is a tremendous treat for all the family.

More info: http://www.dorkinghalls.co.uk/index.cfm?articleid=26639

Peter Pan at The Electric Theatre

Peter Pan – The Electric Theatre, Dec 20-22

Join Peter Pan and Wendy in their adventure against Captain Hook and his pirate crew. Follow Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, a giant crocodile, mermaids and redskins to a world where anything is possible and where dreams and imagination have a power all of their own. Performed by 5-18 year olds.More info: http://themaninthemoon.co.uk

Aladdin – The Leatherhead Theatre, Dec 20-30

Can the urban urchin Aladdin win the heart of the beautiful Princess Jasmine? With plenty of sparkle - and a truly amazing set with plenty of jaw dropping illusions - this marvellous mix of magic, comedy, puppets, music and adventure will provide some good traditional panto family fun.

More info: https://www.theleatherheadtheatre.com/aladdin

The Night Before Christmas – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Mill Studio, Guildford, Dec 20 – 26

On the night before Christmas, Emma stares out of the window, hugs her teddy and waits excitedly for the morning, while in the corner a little mouse called Eddie can’t understand why only humans are allowed to celebrate and get presents. So he sets off in search of Father Christmas to find out for himself.

More info: https://www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/production/the-night-before-christmas-4

Cinderella – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Dec 7 – Jan 6

This year’s pantomime features recording artist, actress, songwriter and author Michelle Gayle as Cinderella’s fairy godmother. She is joined by cabaret performer Kit Hesketh-Harvey as Dandini, Eagle Radio’s Peter Gordon and his partner in Panto crime Nick Barclay as the Ugly Sisters and Jamie Brook as Buttons.

More info: https://www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/production/cinderella-0

The Big, Enormous Present – Haslemere Hall, Haslemere, Jan 5

A mysterious present has appeared in the school playground. Who can it possibly be for? Jack, Dot or Polly? What could be waiting inside? Find out in this 50-minute play for the age range 3-8. The Big ENORMOUS Present explores the pressures of fitting in, where we find happiness and how giving can sometimes feel as good as receiving……

More info: http://www.haslemerehall.co.uk/theatre/the-big-enormous-present/

Cinderella – Haslemere Hall, Haslemere, Jan 11-19

All the glitz, glamour and spectacle which have come to be expected from Haslemere’s favourite pantomime will be present, not forgetting the fun, jokes and audience participation!

More info: http://www.haslemerehall.co.uk/theatre/cinderella/

Have a great time and don't forget to join in!

How to spend like a savings pro this Christmas

The season of goodwill is breathing down our necks and if you have mixed feelings about Christmas because of the penurious January and February, it’s time to get a handle on your finances.

Too many people let their spending get out of control, or they give into impulse purchases that they’ll “…pay for next year…”. It’s also common to forget how much the little extras, like wrapping paper and gift cards cost and this all adds to the big bill.

Make this Christmas different

This year, you’ll tip the balance between seasonal spirit and new year regrets by getting your finances in order. You can start by heading to Creditfix and using their handy budget calculator to plan your spending – right down to the last penny if you need to.

Once you’ve done that and you know how much you’ve got to play with, you can start spending like a pro – cutting corners, sniffing out bargains, thinking ahead and bringing home the goods with money to spare. It can be done – here’s how.

Don’t forget your loyalty cards

If your loyalty cards tend to languish in the darkest recesses of your purse, then get them out, shake them off and put them to work! Chances are there’s already a few pounds on them so if you watch out for points promotions when you start shopping, you’ll probably be able to earn enough to afford a few extras nearer the big day.

Think about next year as well

The most convenient thing about Christmas is that it’s predictable – December 25, every year! If you don’t manage to accumulate loads of loyalty points this time around, start next year’s campaign! Similarly, buy your wrapping paper, cards, ribbons and gift tags in the January sales and stash them away, ready for action in 12 months’ time.

Make a very strict list of presents

This list might as well be carved in stone. Do not deviate from it unless you see something that’s better and cheaper! Don’t make any impulse purchases because such-and-such a person will love it, unless you’re prepared to cross them off the list.

Book train, plane or bus tickets as soon as you can

People can focus too much on the presents and the food at Christmas and forget about the travel expenses. If you’re travelling to see relatives, or you pay for someone to come to you, then book as soon as you’ve got your dates so you can get cheaper fares. The nearer Christmas gets, the more prices shoot up, so don’t hang around!

Try a bit of benign neglect

If there’s a branch of the family that you don’t see until after Christmas, or for New Year’s Eve, then don’t bother rushing to get their presents. The Boxing Day sales can offer some deep discounts, so if you can hold your nerve and be ready to take a bit of a chance on the items you had planned still being available, then you could be on a saving streak. You’ll have to be more flexible with your ideas, though, as not everything you wanted will still be on the shelves, but…savings!

WIN a family ticket to The Night Before Christmas at G Live

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.

We've teamed up with G Live to offer you a fantastic chance to win a family ticket (4 people, minimum 1 adult and 1 child) to their adorable show, The Night Before Christmas. The lucky winners will be able to attend any performance between 12 and 14 December 2018.

Santa Claus and The Night Before Christmas is a simple studio show, it lasts an hour as it is specifically aimed at keeping the attention of pre-schoolers. Be prepared to join in with the story, the songs and the dances throughout the show and at the end each child gets to meet Santa and receives a present. To enter, use the form at the bottom of this page.

A bit more about the show

Santa Claus Returns to G Live, Guildford following last year’s smash hit Christmas production. The next tale in the Santa Adventure series, Santa Claus and the Night Before Christmas, will take to the Bellerby Studio between Wednesday 12 - Monday 24 December.

It’s Christmas Eve and whilst most children are hanging up their stockings, there are a few boys and girls who are not! They don’t believe in Santa and, with Christmas morning fast approaching, cheeky elves Charlie and Kara must help Santa prove that he is indeed real! With magic tricks, songs and stories, can they make them believe before it’s time to board Santa’s sleigh and deliver the presents?

This fun-filled adventure promises to be the Christmas treat you won’t want to miss. A truly unforgettable experience which includes the magical moment when snowflakes fall over the audience – a guaranteed white Christmas at every show.

To enter, answer the following question:

Which is NOT the name of one of elves in the show?

a) Charlie b) Martha or c) Kara?

To enter, use the form at the bottom of this page.

Terms & Conditions

  • One entry per family.
  • Prize is for 4 people, including a minimum of 1 adult and 1 child.
  • The prize winner can choose only one of the following performances: Wednesday 12 December at 2pm or 4pm, Thursday 13 December at 10.30am (relaxed performance) or 2pm or Friday 14 December at 10.30am, 12pm or 2pm.
  • This competition closes at 8pm on Sunday 25 November 2018.

https://glive.co.uk/Online/tickets-santa-claus-and-the-night-before-christmas-guildford-2018

Improving the pelvic floor after childbirth

Childbirth is a beautiful thing, but the aftermath of birth, and the changes to the body which a vast number of women will experience is often far less talked about. Nine months of pregnancy and then labour puts a lot of strain on the body, particularly the pelvic floor muscles, which weaken as a result.

If you are experiencing bladder issues following childbirth, know that you are not alone. 1 in 3 women who have given birth notice bladder weakness afterwards. Thankfully, this is not usually a long-term problem, and the pelvic floor muscles which control the bladder can be strengthened through exercise, diet and lifestyle changes.

We spoke with top gynaecologists, The London Women’s Centre, who have several practices across London and Surrey, to discover the best ways to improve the pelvic floor after having a baby.

What happens to the pelvic floor after birth?

Giving birth is quite traumatic on the body; the weight of the baby can damage the bladder, whilst the pelvic floor becomes stretched and weakened. This is normal, and simply a result of the body naturally making room for the baby to enter into the world. However, common problems occurring as a result include stress incontinence and pelvic prolapse. 

Stress incontinenceis where you leak wee when sneezing, coughing or laughing - an extremely common problem faced by new mums, but one which can easily be improved, by carrying out daily pelvic floor exercises, which many of us know as “Kegels”. 

Another relatively common issue after childbirth is pelvic prolapse, which is more likely to occur after a particularly traumatic birth experience, or after multiple births, resulting in a severely weakened pelvic floor. Prolapse happens when the pelvic organs (the womb, vagina, bladder and bowels) are not being supported properly due to weakened tissues, causing a dragging, heavy or bulging sensation.  

Again, this a problem which can, in most cases, be remedied through self-help methods, including pelvic floor exercises, diet and weight loss. 

Rebuilding strength in your pelvic floor

Kegel exercises are the simplest method in helping regain the strength of the pelvic floor. Ideally, you would have started doing these before falling pregnant and during pregnancy, but if you didn’t, it’s never too late to start!

The good news is, it’s perfectly safe to begin daily pelvic floor exercises straight after giving birth, as long as you feel comfortable and well enough to do so. You can carry out your Kegels in any place and at any time - nobody even has to know. 

The method is simple – just lie down on your back or side (or have a relaxing bath, if more comfortable right after birth), then squeeze your pelvic muscles, as if attempting to stop peeing while mid-flow. Try to refrain from holding your breath or tightening the muscles in your stomach, butt and thighs at the same time. Hold this squeeze in for five to ten seconds while breathing normally. Repeat this 10-15 times in a row daily. Once you’ve got the knack for it, you can start doing quicker squeezes in a row, and more frequently. 

You probably won’t feel like you are doing much for a while, but bear in mind that it typically takes 6-12 weeks for the pelvic muscles to strengthen, which is why persistence is certainly key to results!

Other ways to improve the pelvic floor

Kegels aside, there are plenty of other ways you can help to improve the pelvic floor after birth. Having a good diet and generally watching your weight not only contributes to good overall health, but it also means less weight and stress is put on the pelvic floor. Exercising regularly is also important, as is drinking lots of water and eating a well-balanced, high-fibre diet, helping to prevent constipation, which can, of course, put significant strain on the pelvic muscles. 

Reducing or eliminating alcohol, caffeine and sugary soft drinks may also help, since these are known to dehydrate the body more quickly, irritating the bladder. Likewise, avoiding acidic and spicy foods (citrus fruit, tomato) whilst experiencing bladder issues is wise, as they can make your problems more difficult to manage. 

You should also get into the habit of only going to the toilet when you feel like you absolutely have to, since going too often can cause your bladder capacity to shrink, meaning you will eventually have to urinate more frequently.

When to see a doctor

If you see no improvement after several months following the self-help methods mentioned, it might be necessary to visit your doctor, who can refer you to a women’s health physiotherapist. 

The specialist will assess your issues and individual needs and then come up with a tailored plan that is personal to you. These people are specially trained experts whose job it is to help women improve their pelvic floor, through one-to-one rehabilitation techniques and exercises.

Get started today!

Having a strong, toned pelvic floor is beneficial to women before, during and after childbirth. Not only does it greatly reduce problems such as stress incontinence and pelvic prolapse, but in many cases it will allow women to enjoy a better and more satisfying sex life. 

Besides, the pelvic floor will naturally weaken as we age, which means there really is no time like the present to start making the simple diet, exercise and lifestyle changes necessary to help strengthen the pelvic muscles.

Get inspired at Christmas fairs and markets in Surrey 2018

Looking for something a bit different to buy your loved ones this year? Surrey has some lovely Christmas fairs and markets, selling a range of unique crafts, gifts decorations and food to give your festive season a special touch.

This can be a lovely way to do your Christmas shopping – with many events also offering music, entertainment, refreshments and an opportunity to taste before you buy. A few even have guest appearances by Santa!

Here are the fairs and markets we have found so far, but please check in advance to make sure your event is still going ahead and do tell us about any we have missed. 

Rural Life Centre Christmas craft fair
Date: November 10
Venue: Rural Life Centre, Reeds Road, Tilford, Farnham, GU10 2DL
Times: 10.30am-3pm
Description: This fair showcases crafts such as woollens, wood, jewellery and jam and also includes some craft demonstrations. Refreshments will be available. Admission is FREE.
Website: http://www.rural-life.org.uk/html/Events/Christmas-Craft-fair.html

Royal Kingston Christmas fair
Date: November 15-December 24
Venue: Grounds All Saints Parish Church, Clarence Street, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 1JS
Opening times: Monday - Wednesday 10am - 7pm, Thursday to Saturday 8pm, Sunday 6pm
Description: Event includes a craft marquee, Alpine wooden chalets, a bar area, live entertainment, outdoor heating and seating and food stalls.
Website: http://www.edencrafts.co.uk/eventdetails.asp?ev=833

Loseley House Christmas Fair
Date: November 15-18
Venue: Loseley Park, Guildford, GU3 1HS
Times: 9am-5pm (4pm on Sunday)
Description: Fashions and accessories, leather bags and belts, jewellery, soaps and skincare, candles, platters and bowls and tasty treats. A Specialist Food area offers cakes, wines, cheeses, meats, olives, dips, chutneys and preserves.
Website: http://www.ruralcraftsassociation.co.uk/Crafts-for-Christmas.html

Guildford Cathedral Winter Market and Fair
Date: November 16-17
Venue: Guildford Cathedral, Stag Hill, Guildford GU2 7UP
Opening times: 10am-4pm
Description: Christmas gift ideas, food and drink, and festive decorations.
Website: https://www.guildford-cathedral.org/events/christmas-gift-fair-2018

Garsons Christmas food market
Date: November 17-18
Venue: Garsons, Winterdown Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 8LS
Times: 10am-5pm
Description: A marquee and farm shop offering seasonal food and drink from the local area as well as festive gifts, decorations, lights and trees,
Website: https://www.garsons.co.uk/what-s-on/view/esher-christmas-food-market

RHS Wisley Craft and Design Fair
Date: November 21-25
Venue: RHS Garden Wisley, Woking GU23 6QB
Opening times: Saturday, 9am-6pm, Sunday 9am-4.30pm
Description: Shop in the stunning surroundings of the garden and buy beautiful crafts for your loved ones. Free entry for RHS members or normal admission charges apply.
Website: https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley/viewevent?EFID=604&ESRC=CMS

Weald and Downland Christmas Market
Date: November 23-25
Venue: Weald and Downland Museum, Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0EU
Opening times: 10.30am-4pm
Description: Find that perfect gift and enjoy a great day out at the museum at the same time. Stalls will offer arts, crafts, food, unusual gifts and more. There will also be festive music and seasonal treats to sample and buy.
Website: http://www.wealddown.co.uk/events/christmas-market/

Priory Farm Christmas food festival
Date: November 24 & 25
Times: Sat, 10am-4pm, Sun 10.30am-4pm
Description: Priory Farm Christmas Food Festival has become a firm fixture on the foodie calendar, with artisan producers offering tastings and chatting to visitors about their speciality products. Festival-goers can look forward to award-winning pies and naturally-seasoned crisps, West Country ciders, jams, jellies, condiments and much more. Father Christmas also pops in at the end of the first day to greet visitors.
Website: https://www.prioryfarm.co.uk/whats-on/christmas-food-festival/

Godalming Christmas Festival Market
Date: November 24
Venue: Godalming town centre
Opening times: 10am-6pm
Description: The town centre will be filled with festive stalls selling a range of gifts, crafts, decorations, festival food and drink. The Christmas lights will be switched on and local pantomime stars will make an appearance.
Website: https://godalming-tc.gov.uk/christmas-festival-2018/

Shooting Star Chase Christmas and Craft Fair
Date: November 24
Venue: Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 1UF
Opening times: 10.30am – 3pm
Description: An ideal opportunity to buy your Christmas presents and stocking fillers.
Children can also visit Father Christmas and there will be raffles, face painting, gifts, cakes, crafts and a tombola.
Website: https://www.shootingstarchase.org.uk/christmas-and-craft-fayre/

Mytchett Community Centre Christmas Fair
Date: November 24
Venue: Mytchett Community Centre, Mytchett Road, Farnborough GU16 6AA
Opening times: 10am-2pm
Description: A variety of stalls including art and craft, beauty, gift and jewellery stalls. There will also be refreshments, mulled wine, cake stalls, tombolas, a raffle and a chance to visit Father Christmas.
Website: https://themytchettcentre.co.uk/FLEventsSpecial.htm

Christmas Fair at Farnham Maltings
Date: November 28 & 29
Venue: Farnham Maltings, Bridge Square, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7QR
Opening times: 1pm to 9pm on Wednesday and 10am to 8pm on Thursday
Description: A bustling marketplace with over 150 stands specializing in handmade gifts, unique stocking fillers, crafts, vintage, food and drink.
Website: http://craft.farnhammaltings.com/portfolio/christmas-fair/

Reigate Business Guild Christmas fair
Date: December 1
Venue: Church Street, Reigate
Times: 12noon-5pm
Description: Market stalls, donkey rides, street food, live music and the Christmas lights switch-on ceremony.
Website: https://www.facebook.com/ReigateBusinessGuild/

Ashstead Park Garden Centre Christmas Shopping Evening
Date: November 30
Venue: Pleasure Pit Road, Ashstead
Times: 6-9pm
Description: An evening of Christmas shopping and mulled wine supping, with 20% off your purchases. Choose magical Christmas decorations, lights, gifts and gardening goodies.
Website: https://www.ashteadpark.com/christmas/late

Haslemere Christmas Market
Date: December 2
Venue: Haslemere town centre
Opening times: 10am-4pm
Description: There will be stalls in the town centre, Haslemere Museum and the Georgian House Hotel. Other attractions include a Santa’s grotto, refreshments, festive entertainment.
Website: http://www.haslemere.com/christmasmarket/

Ripley Christmas Fair
Date: December 3
Venue: Ripley High Street
Opening times: 12noon – 4pm
Description: Music, rides, over 90 stalls on the High Street, a grand procession with Father Christmas (3.40pm) Christmas lights ceremony and more.
Website: https://www.ripleysurrey.co.uk/event/ripley-christmas-fair-2017/

Christmas Market for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice
Date: December 1
Venue: St Thomas-on-The Bourne, Frensham Road (opposite The Bourne Club), Farnham
Opening times: 10am-1pm
Description: Stalls selling Christmas gifts, decorations, cakes, handbags, homemade preserves, tombola, raffle, silent auction, toys and much more! Entry donation of £3 includes tea or coffee and biscuits – children free.
Website: https://www.farnham.gov.uk/events/christmas-market

Enjoy your shopping – we hope you find some lovely presents and enjoy a bit of Christmas spirit!