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Christmas is coming to Chelmsford Museum

Museum Xmas Collage

Chelmsford Museum brings plenty of Christmas cheer this December with a weekend of festive workshops, warming refreshments at The Hive Café, and some very special visitors.

Meet Father Christmas at the ‘Snug’

For one weekend only, Father Christmas will be in residence at Chelmsford Museum. Little ones will have the chance to meet the merry man himself on 2 and 3 December in his special ‘Snug’ nestled within Oaklands Park. 

Meet Father Christmas at "The Snug"

Visitors will meet St Nick’s Nordic elves for a photograph before being guided through the cosy winter wonderland, which will be beautifully decorated for the special occasion. On arrival, children can have a chat with Father Christmas and perhaps even sit in his sleigh! 

Each child will receive a gift to take home, which can be selected at the point of booking, plus an extra surprise. Choose from a soft teddy bear or a penguin bowling set.

Soft toy bear and penguin bowling set

For children requiring a more relaxed environment, special sessions with quieter music and calmer lighting can be booked.

Sessions are available 9am–5pm on 2 and 3 December and are £25 per child. Book your space(s) now to avoid disappointment.

Get festive and learn new skills at Christmas workshops

Adults can also indulge in some truly festive activities at Chelmsford Museum, with Christmassy workshops on 1, 2 and 3 December.

Enjoy traditional wreath making sessions on 1 and 2 December, 10am–1pm and 2–5pm for £65 per person. You’re in safe hands for the three-hour workshops, with willow weaver Deb Hart, who created Chelmsford’s famous willow VE Day tanks and Platinum Jubilee crown; and expert gardener, Jo Sylvester. Deb and Jo will demonstrate how to make the perfect wreath to take home, using the very best materials and decorations. You’re also welcome to bring along your own decorations to include in your design.

Christmas wreath

Try your hand at calligraphy in a special Christmassy taster session, also taking place on 3 December. Led by renowned penman, Mike Courtenay, the workshop is the perfect opportunity to learn this stylish art just in time for your Christmas cards, labels, and table place settings. Mike has worked with top UK brands including Rolls Royce, British Airways and Claridge’s, so you’ll be learning from the best for just £30 per person!

Merry Christmas handwriting

All materials, ingredients and decorations will be provided at each workshop, so just bring yourself and some festive spirit! Hot drinks and Christmassy snacks will also be supplied. Find out more and book your spaces online.

Museum Memories: Christmas at Oaklands

On selected dates in December, meet Clara Wells, the first wife of the former Oaklands House owner Fred Wells.

Christmas tree and Clara Wells

Clara will take you on a festive tour of the museum. Find out all about Victorian Christmases at Oaklands House, how the Wells family would have celebrated this special time of year, and how their decorations were influenced by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Tours take place on 8, 15, 20 and 22 December at varied times. They are free to attend and last around 15–20 minutes. Spaces are limited, so make sure you secure your place.

Enjoy warming refreshments at The Hive Café

Why not make it a full day out with a visit to The Hive Café for a bite to eat?

The Hive is now serving their hearty Sunday roasts for the winter months, on Sundays from 4pm. For all of December there’ll also be the option to enjoy turkey as part of your roast. Sunday roasts need to be pre-booked by calling 01245 351860 or messaging them via Facebook.

Christmas roast dinner

They’ll also be offering some warm festive drinks this season – choose from gingerbread lattes with a ginger biscuit, mint hot chocolates with an After Eight, or some traditional mulled wine. And of course, there will be plenty of mince pies available for a quick Christmassy snack.

The Hive Café is open for breakfast and lunch 8am–4pm. Sunday roasts must be pre-booked and are served 4pm–9pm.

The Hive pop-up Christmas Market

The Hive Café’s popular pop-up Christmas market also returns this year on Saturday 2 December, from 5.30–9pm.

Enjoy live music from incredible vocalist Dionne Clarke as you browse stalls filled with festive gifts and sweet treats from local businesses.

Their servery will be open on the night, selling mulled wine, mince pies and other festive snacks! The event is free to attend, and Chelmsford Museum shop will also be open late especially for the occasion.

Browse a great range of Christmas gifts in the museum shop

Mixed Christmas toys

If you’re struggling to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones this Christmas, check out the museum’s gift shop for a great range of gifts to suit anyone.

There’s plenty to choose from suiting all budgets, from little stocking fillers such as marbles, and soft toys, to larger gifts including a new range of classic wooden table games. There’s also a great selection of Christmassy books for adults and children.

You’ll also find some beautiful Christmas greeting cards – perfect for your newfound calligraphy skills!

The museum shop will be offering a special limited-time 10% discount over the first weekend of December (1 to 3 December inclusive), so pop down to get started on your Christmas shopping!

The museum is open 10am–4pm daily, excluding 25 and 26 December and 1 January. On 24 and 31 December their hours are 10am–3pm.

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Cherelle Nightingill
Cherelle Nightingill

Cherelle writes about Chelmsford Theatre, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford Museum, the Mayor of Chelmsford and culture and events in the city.