The Bowes Museum’s well established Christmas Market – a firm favourite in the regional calendar – takes place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December 2016.
For a small cover charge of £2.50 visitors can look forward to a wide array of fabulous food and creative craft stalls, use of the Santa bus ‘park and ride’ facility and admission to the Museum, including access to the current exhibitions.
The event, which takes place from 10.00 – 4.00 each day, offers quality produce from some of the finest suppliers in the area, including cheese, breads, cakes, preserves, Durham Gin, local beers, chocolaterie, gourmet scotch eggs, whisky sauce, speciality hot chocolates and real coffee.
Visitors looking for an individual gift will discover craft stalls, locally made jewellery, upcycled furniture, wreaths, hand-painted clothing, ceramic and glass art, toys and leather goods. Even your pooch has its own stalls to choose from!
Hungry while on the hoof? Then try a gourmet burger, German bratwurst, a wood-fired pizza, or a fresh pulled pork wrap, washed down with some hot mulled wine.
Entertainment abounds, with popular musical group No Added Sugar adding a spoonful of seasonal singing to the proceedings, along with a festive repertoire from Barnard Castle Band and the Andreas Ensemble. Smooth Radio will be on site all weekend, providing festive music and offering gift wrapping masterclasses to make that present look extra special.
New for this year will be the beautiful, graceful Icicle Queen stilt walkers, who will interact with visitors at various times throughout the day. As dusk falls, watch as they illuminate!
Inside the Museum, Santa will welcome children to his grotto from 10.00 – 12.30 & again from 1.30 – 4.00; admission to the grotto is £5.00 per child (accompanying adult free), to include a gift. There will also be complementary Christmas craft activities taking place, where children must be accompanied by an adult.
The park and ride ‘Santa buses’ will leave GlaxoSmithKline car park in the town’s Harmire Road, for the Museum at regular intervals each day, starting around 9.45am. The admission charge will be collected from each adult boarding the bus, or at the front gate for pedestrians and cars parking on site. This includes entry to the market and the Museum, including the current exhibitions and displays – Mark Clarke – Shelf Life: The Ornaments are Talking to Me; Image and Substance: St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child and Dining with the Bowes in the 18th Century; an excellent saving on the normal admission charge, along with the usual free admission for accompanied children under 16.
Disabled drivers unable to use the park and ride will remain eligible to park free of charge in the Museum grounds, on production of their ‘Blue Badge’. As parking is limited, others wishing to park on site at the Museum will be charged £5.00 per vehicle in addition to the £2.50 cover charge per person.
Visitors please note that there will be no access to the market via the rear gate in Crook Lane.
Event co-ordinator Rosie Bradford said: “I’m really looking forward to this year’s Christmas Market. We have some exciting new traders in addition to our wonderful regulars, all offering a fun and friendly shopping experience. With sparkling new exhibitions and jolly seasonal music, it’s a truly magical day to lift everyone’s Christmas spirit.”
The Bowes Museum, Café Bowes and Shop are open daily from 10.00am. A full programme of events and exhibitions is available by calling 01833 690606 or by viewing the website at www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk
Notes to editors:
· The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes. Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in. The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods.
· The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a Major Portfolio Museum, receives support from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport through the Arts Council England’s Renaissance programme. Additional revenue funding specifically for the Museum’s acclaimed exhibition programme is provided by The John Ellerman Foundation and The Friends of The Bowes Museum.
· The Bowes Museum has recently undergone major redevelopment. This work was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation.
· Normal admission to the Museum: Adults £10.50, Concessions £9.50, Students £6.00, Six Month Pass £16.00, Carers and children Free (under 16s). Admission allows access to exhibitions, permanent displays and some events. Admissions are donation inclusive and are eligible for Gift Aid. If you do not wish to make a charitable donation or are not a UK taxpayer admission prices are: Adults £9.25, Concessions £8.50, Six Month Pass £14.00, Children (under 16) and carers free.
· The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 0191 301 8531, www.discoverdurham.co.uk