It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Grab your coats, pick up your bags and be sure to head into Newbury this December.
Despite all of the madness we’ve experienced this year, Newbury is bouncing back better than ever. With plenty of things on offer this festive period, the whole family/household will be entertained in the run-up to Christmas.
Below are 10 things to do in Newbury as 2020 draws to a (highly anticipated) close…
Aladdin – Christmas Panto at the Corn Exchange
Friday 4th December 2020 – Sunday 3rd January 2021, Corn Exchange Auditorium
The Genie granted the gift of performance to our stages once again, just in time for Christmas!
This hilarious rendition of Aladdin is bursting with songs from across the decades and takes you on a carpet ride journey of all the traditional pantomime fun.
The Corn Exchange have rebuilt their entire auditorium seating to ensure social distancing is achieved while increasing capacity. With individual arm rests attached to the new seats and Perspex screens installed to divide each household group , the new layout offers plenty of space for your peace of mind.
Christmas Window Trail Competition, Newbury Town Centre
Saturday 5th December- Thursday 31st December 2020, Newbury Town Centre
This Christmas Window Trail Competition provides the perfect opportunity to do something Christmassy with your whole household, while supporting local businesses.
Check-out the beautifully festive Christmas window displays of 35 businesses participating in a decorative competition to win best Christmas window display, 2020.
One of the windows features Parkway Shopping’s impressive Lego Winter Wonderland, created by local Lego-lover, Lee Stanley, manager of Newbury’s The Entertainer store.
Look out for a number in each window to record the business name on your trail sheet, vote for your favourite and be entered into our FREE prize draw!
Prizes include vouchers, games, cinema tickets and much more…
Click here to discover trail sheet pick-up and drop-off points.
On Friday 4th of December, the first Freeplay arcade of its kind in the UK opened its doors right here in Newbury.
That’s right, we’re talking retro games, top spec amusements, dance mats, family-play Mario machines, you name it- High Score has the lot.
Have a shot on the world’s largest Pac-Man machine, show-off your best moves on a world-class dance machine, or enjoy an IMAX-style gaming experience. For only £9.95 per person per hour, you have unlimited play in this incredibly cool, unique and Covid-secure space. High Score is also offering 25% discount on family tickets.
Click here to pre-book your hour, booking essential.
Christmas Carol at The Watermill Theatre
Thursday 3rd December – Sunday 3rd January 2021, The Watermill Theatre
This Christmas classic is performed as an incredible two-man show, with the talented actor-musicians bringing all of Dicken’s classic characters to life with their own twist.
A Christmas Carol is part of The Watermill Theatre’s autumn 2020 reopening season featuring shows with smaller cast sizes, reduced capacity inside the auditorium and socially distanced seating to enable you to get back to watching the very best live theatre.
Click here to book.
Winter Lantern Trail from the Corn Exchange
Friday 11th December 2020- Sunday 13th December 2020, Newbury Town Centre
Another event to get us in the mood for Christmas brought to us by the Corn Exchange. Unable to offer their annual festival of light event this year, they’ve re-imagined the procession as a ticketed lantern walk along the banks of the canal.
Light and music will guide you to discover all of the beautifully sculptured lanterns created by artists from across the country.
Tickets are free and can be purchased here.
Family Film at VUE Cinema
Go alone, take your partner or get all the kids together to enjoy a family favourite at the Vue cinema in Newbury, when it re-opens on Wednesday 16th December (hoorah!).
From Home Alone, Christmas Carol and Frozen 2, there are films for all to choose from this Christmas. Most importantly, grab the popcorn and enjoy the cinematic experience that we’ve all been missing this year!
Keep an eye on their website for updates on what’s on.
With 157 retailers in Newbury, 45 of these are independent businesses offering a variety of unique products, making many items difficult to find outside of Newbury.
With Parkway Shopping and Kennet Shopping centres, alongside a vibrant high Street, you are spoiled for choice in Newbury. Offering department stores such as Debenhams, the town centre also boasts many other national brands including M&S, Hotel, Chocolat, White Stuff, H&M, and New Look, to name a few.
To make your Christmas shopping experience even smoother, Parkway Shopping and West Berkshire Council are offering free parking throughout the festive period.
Living Advent Calendar
Another glorious window display trail, the Living Advent Calendar is in aid of multiple local charities and contains 24 windows in the town centre and spilling over into wider Newbury.
Each advent display comes with a quiz question that you must answer and submit by 5th January to be in with a chance of winning a prize.
Visit their Facebook page for more details.
Dine Out with the Family
Over half of Newbury’s hospitality venues fall under the independent sector, meaning that out of 92 venues, 51 of them are independently owned and ready to serve!
Now the Government have lifted the national lockdown restrictions, we can once again enjoy a meal in our favourite local restaurants. Whether you fancy an Italians at Mio Fiore, Lusso or Valle D’Oro, Thai at Khonkaen Thai cuisine or Thai Golden Horse or Japanese at Arigato or Sushi Maki, there is plenty to choose from while you bond with the family over good food and drink.
To read more about Covid restrictions while eating out, click here.
Every Thursday and Saturday, 9am – 4:00pm
Every Thursday and Saturday, sizzling smells and seasonal delights fill the streets as Newbury Town Council’s Charter Markets dominate the Market Place. This December brings multiple French stalls, full of traditional cheeses, vegetables and fresh produce, a Spanish Paella stand, beautiful Christmas wreaths, flowers, honey stalls and reasonably priced meats from local farms.
To help you to support local this Christmas, please click here for a list of both independent and national businesses operating in one form or another throughout this lockdown and visit our blog page local gift inspiration.