Children’s TV favourite Mr Bloom and pop sensation 5 After Midnight will switch on the Christmas lights at The Rock this year.
The centre’s Christmas Lights Switch on, hosted by Tower FM, will take place on Thursday 9th November from 5:30pm until 7:30pm and will also feature a number of local acts, including groups from the Carol Godby Theatre Workshop and of course an appearance from Santa himself.
Throughout the evening a competition called ‘Be Santa, See Santa’ will take place – visitors can have their photo taken in a Santa hat and beard by the Tower FM street team at their ‘Santa Stations’ for a chance to win an amazing family trip to Lapland.
There’ll be spot prizes for Santas posing throughout the night and the holiday winner will be announced just before the switch for the lights is flicked.
The switch on is free to attend and in the week leading up to the event a competition to find Mr Bloom’s vegetables around the centre will be held, with the winners given the chance to say hello to the star before he takes to the stage on the night.
The event marks the beginning of the Christmas season for The Rock. The centre’s Santa’s Grotto will officially open on Saturday 25th November following the Santa’s Arrival parade in the morning and The Rock Express will return in December to transport festive shoppers around the town until the end of the month.
The Rock’s centre director, Arnold Wilcox-Wood, said: “Our Christmas Lights Switch on is the biggest event in our calendar and people travel from miles around to join us – and this year will be no exception!
“The flick of the switch at the end of the night truly signals the beginning of the festive season for the centre, our retailers and our shoppers. We’re really excited about this year’s line-up and to be working in conjunction with Tower FM and as always we look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to join with us for the event.”
The festive party season is here. But with so many invites, from cosy nights in to proper parties, it’s difficult to know what to wear, and when. So we’ve done the hard work for you and put together some of our favourite outfits to cover your diary.
Occasion: The Christmas Meal
Laid back chic meets festive frenzy. Throw on these coated jeans, this quirky robin jumper and pair with heels to take your outfit seamlessly from day to night.
Fluffy Christmas Robin Jumper £12.00 Primark
Sole Diva Fringe Suede Ankle Boots Wide E- Fit £69.00
Simply Be Braided headband £4.99 H&M
MOTO Black Coated Jamie Jeans £45.00 Topshop
Occasion: The Night Out
Just enough sparkle to feel special, without over doing it. All in black, because black will always be the new black. This outfit’s all about the textures- just check out the ponyskin clutch bag!
Black sparkly open back bodycon dress £42.00 River Island
Black ponyskin leather clutch bag £25.00 Simply Be
Peep-toe high fronts shoes: £24.99 Deichmann
Occasion: From meal to a night out
Smart, sophisticated yet effortlessly cool. An outfit that ticks all the festive boxes.
Shirt: Lyle and Scott Shirt Navy/ Wine £84.95 Infinities
Boots: Casual Lace-up Boots Deichmann £29.99
Dark wash Dylan slim jeans £40.00 River Island
From your meal to the night out to a day with family, we’ve got what to wear at your Christmas party covered head to heel. Share with us your festive fashion choices on Twitter @therockbury.
Christmas is the time of year to curl up in front of the sofa surrounded by the things that make you feel all festive and fuzzy.
It doesn’t get much better than your favourite flicks. So you bring the boxes of chocolates and we’ll bring the box sets. Here’s our list of the 10 best Christmas movies that’ll rock your festive socks off.
Nothing says bring on the mulled wine more than an 8-year-old Macaulay Culkin giving two con men the run-around the Christmas tree.
After a fall-out with his parents the night before a family trip to Paris, and in the rush to get to the airport, Kevin (played by Culkin) is left in the attic and his wishes of being home alone come true.
It’s a Wonderful Life
The 1946 classic follows a man with a different kind of wish. George, who wishes he was never born, is sent an angel to help this compassionate but frustrated soul.
He is shown how many lives he’s touched and how he’d be missed. A heart-warming tale made for a Sunday session.
Wrapped up in the excitement and holiday spirit that is Christmas, Will Ferrell who plays Buddy, goes to NYC to find his real father.
Spreading Christmas cheer in a world full of cynics, this is a tale of childhood innocence. Our favourite scenes include seeing him snarled by a feisty raccoon when he goes for a hug and getting lost inside a revolving door.
Not so much a Christmas-themed film, but it’s become tied with this wonderful time of year. It’s a love story. And one of great escape and adventure from Tweedy’s chicken pie farm.
American smooth-talker Rocky lands on the farm, igniting dreams for Ginger and her gang of girls to flee to green new pastures. Enjoy a mince pie or two as you watch them squirm about ‘not wanting to be a pie’ because they don’t like gravy.
When a gadget salesman brings back an innocent-looking furry friend for his son, he’s clueless to the chaos that’s about to commence.
He was warned never to expose the little thing to bright light, water, or feed after midnight. The result: a super gang of Gremlins ripping through the town on Christmas Eve like a five-year-old on Christmas morning.
Deck the Halls
There’s nothing wrong with a little Christmas-off with your nextdoor neighbour. Who has the biggest tree? Who has the brightest lights?
Deck the Halls sees two neighbours (Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito) festively fight it out for the title of Father Christmas in a battle for the brightest lights- lights that are so bright you can see them from space (just imagine the electricity bill!).
The Nightmare Before Christmas
For an alternative Christmas animation, we’ve chosen The Nightmare Before Christmas. Fed up of scaring people in his Halloweentown world, Jack Skellington reacts with awe and wonder at the warmth and light of Christmastown.
With a new lease of life, Jack plots to kidnap Santa and harness the power of Christmas by taking on the job (with dire consequences).
There’s a holiday con brewing (a bit like the tinsel that doesn’t quite reach all corners of your Christmas tree). Posing as a shopping mall Santa with a friend who’s a bad elf, the two con men plan to rip-off the stores.
Luckily, befriending a small boy brings out Bad Santa’s inner child, proving there is still hope for him on the real Santa’s nice list.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
The classic 1843 Dickens tale features a rather stingy Scrooge played by Michael Caine. Bah humbug!
Follow Miss Piggy, Kermit and The Great Gonzo as they teach him the errors of his selfish ways. Christmas is a time for sharing and caring.
Dr Suess’ book turned film follows the reclusive green Grinch who plots to steal Christmas from the cheery town of Whoville.
Proving that even grumpy people still have a heart, Jim Carrey’s Grinch falls for an endearing Cindy Lou Who played by Taylor Momsen.
Our Santa’s Grotto is open until Christmas Eve. We’ve also got a festive food fair, The Rock Express land train, plus festive entertainment every Saturday.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. From festive feasts to Christmas crackers, family fun to finding the perfect gift, here are 10 reasons why we love Christmas at The Rock….
1 – Advent calendars
25 days of chocolate in the morning. Can it get any better? Well, we tried, bringing you a giant advent calendar at The Rock with a new exclusive offer EVERY day. We announce them every morning on our Facebook page.
2 – Christmas singles
‘It’s Christmas!’ as Slade remind us every year, but the songs never get old. Whether you’re into Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, Wham!’s Last Christmas or The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York, the list goes on.
Whether it’s Santa outfits, festive jumpers or a new party dress for your Christmas do, ‘tis the season to look jolly good. River Island are all about bold coloured dresses with faux fur, for a hint of glint head to Next or for the perfect combo of rich tartans and pretty velvet head to Ark.
5 – Secret Santa
You just don’t know what you’re going to get. It fills you with excitement and fear in equal measure… but it just wouldn’t be Christmas without Secret Santa. Struggling for ideas? There’s games, jigsaws and stocking fillers at The Entertainer.
It’s not so secret, but you can visit Santa’s Grotto at The Rock throughout December, for free!
6 – Topping the tree
Wrestling with the tree to get it down from the loft, tangling the dog up in tinsel as he bites baubles from the tree, and the yearly quest to find the one light that’s not working, all part of the fun and games of Christmas. But we all know that whoever gets to top the tree with the star is the real winner.
7 – Turkey dinner with all the trimmings
Turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes and veg, Christmas food is totally worth the extra pounds you’re probably going to put on. We’ve created a Festive Food Market full of our favourites including the German sausage swing grill, The Little Chocolatier, Donut and Creperie Cottage and Christmas roasts stall, running until 3rd January.
8 – Festive cheers
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a glass of bubbly in the morning and a sherry to wash down your roast dinner. Take the party home with you with a selection of festive fizz from M&S.
9 – TV specials
Your favourite TV shows are all scrambling for a slice of your attention like a new puppy on Christmas day. If you’re not the Queen’s speech sort-of family, there’s your classic Doctor Who, and recently turned festive favourite, Mrs Brown’s Boys.
10- And all the presents!
How could we forget? Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, there’s lots to choose from here at The Rock. Build your own bear at Build-a-bear Workshop, pick up the latest video games from GAME or choose a new fragrance from The Perfume Shop.