Christmas may feel a little different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Birmingham Museums is still bringing the festive cheer with a range of spectacular events which includes a chance to see Santa Claus, enjoy festive food and get a culture fix this winter.

Birmingham Museums will host a range of festive events and activities which will take place beyond the current lockdown restrictions with all planned sessions being held in accordance with the most up-to-date government COVID-19 guidelines.

Santa refuses to let the coronavirus pandemic dampen the Christmas spirit and he’s coming to town and visiting some of Birmingham’s historic buildings this festive season.

Blakesley Hall will be visited by Santa on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December. The Great Hall in the Tudor house will be decorated for the Christmas season. Children will have the opportunity to post a letter to Santa in the Blakesley post box, receive a Christmas activity pack, as well as meet Santa himself and receive a small present.

Visitors are encouraged to get into the spirit of things and wear festive dress when they come to this historic Birmingham building.

Blakesley Hall will be decorated for the Christmas season with Santa in attendance to welcome children

Whilst the rest of Blakesley Hall will remain closed, the grounds will be open for visitors to explore and enjoy.

Festive treats will be available in the Herb Garden Café, with an opportunity to browse for Christmas presents in the Blakesley Hall gift shop.

Santa will also be gracing the grounds of another historic Birmingham building this winter.

Aston Hall, the magnificent 17th century mansion, will be hosting a visit from Santa on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December.

Children will be presented with a small Christmas gift and have the opportunity to have a photograph taken with Santa. They will also be given a Christmas activity pack which includes a festive card to decorate at home.

Visitors to Aston Hall can explore the picturesque Lady Holte Garden and enjoy treats from the Stable Yard Café which can be eaten in the grounds or taken away for consumption at home. Visitors will also have the chance to purchase a delicious hot chocolate drink and gingerbread man which will really help them to get into the cosy Christmas vibe.

Aston Hall will be offer food and drinks in the gardens and children will have the chance to meet Santa

For an exciting three-course festive dining experience, visitors are invited to Aston Hall where Christmas igloo dining pods will be popping up in the grounds on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December.

The organisers will get visitors into the Christmas atmosphere by erecting transparent igloos, situated within the north courtyard, which seat up to six people from the same household or bubble. Visitors are advised to wrap up warm for this outdoor experience in case the weather turns frosty.

Each igloo group will be allocated 90 minutes for a scrumptious festive meal. Diners will be served warm butternut squash soup, traditional roast turkey, or a vegan mushroom and leek pie, followed by an indulgent chocolate ganache tart.

For pizza lovers, the courtyard at Sarehole Mill, which inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’, is the place to be this winter.

The Christmas Pizza in the Pods event at Sarehouse Mill is taking place on Friday 4 and 11 December. Household groups will be greeted with a hot welcome drink, before being led to their own private covered igloo for a delicious meal, surrounded by a wonderful winter atmosphere and festive music.

There are several pizza options to choose from, and the menu also includes a winter warmer soup and Christmas tart for pudding.

Sarehole Mill will erect pizza pods in the courtyard and Christmas music will be played for diners

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter prides itself on showcasing the amazing local designers still working in the historic Quarter today. The Local Makers Christmas Showcase is a unique shopping event on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 December.

The organisers promise that this special Christmas market is the ideal way to enjoy a visit to the Jewellery Quarter and shop local for Christmas.

In addition to dazzling jewellery, there will also be local history books and souvenirs on offer, with gift wrapping available, and the tearooms will be open serving a range of hot drinks and treats to takeaway.

Also hosted within the scenic Jewellery Quarter is a twilight walking tour on Saturday 12 December, exploring folklore, spooky ghost stories and the fascinating heritage of the Quarter. Guests will be offered warm drinks during the walking tour.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is gearing up for Christmas and is the perfect place to get in the festive spirit before the big day itself.

The tree will be decked in the Round Room, and a delicious Christmas lunch will be waiting for visitors in the stunning Edwardian Tearooms.

The Edwardian Tearooms will be serving Christmas dinner

Families can explore the galleries with the Nativity Trail, and children can pick up an activity pack for more festive fun. The museum has promised that more activities will be announced soon.

Visitors are encouraged to stop by at the museum’s shop which stocks a range of unique gifts perfect for art lovers, culture fans and local history enthusiasts.

Gifts are also available from the online shop with everything from books, home accessories, skincare, art prints, and stocking fillers.

These presents will be sure to spread a little bit of joy to family and friends and all proceeds go towards supporting Birmingham Museums.

The iconic Round Room at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is decked out with a Christmas tree

For those still looking for that special something, Birmingham Museums has launched the Virtual Birmingham Christmas Gifts Market which is an online event running until Sunday 13 December.

People who are interested can join the group and have a browse through the virtual stalls for some great gift ideas for loved ones.

The online market will feature a wide range of products from local producers, and every purchase will help a local business during this difficult and challenging time presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

Santa will not let the coronavirus pandemic dampen the Christmas spirit in Birmingham Museums

Thinktank, the Birmingham Science Museum at Millennium Point, will not be reopening until 2021.

However, despite the current closure, there will be a range of exciting events running online over the Christmas period.

Families can take a virtual ‘Elf Trail’ led by an expert guide, enjoy a live science show and witness some fantastic ‘Kitchen Science Experiments’ sessions which people can try at home.

Birmingham Museums are advising people who are interested in any of the festive events at the museums to check the relevant museum webpage for further details regarding dates, times, and ticket prices, including any last minute changes to the plans.

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