Seasonal magic at St John’s Garden Centre

The Sleeping Beauty panto cast will be heading to St John's Garden Centre tonight (Friday).

The Sleeping Beauty panto cast will be heading to St John's Garden Centre tonight (Friday). - Credit: Archant

Santa, panto characters and a host of things to see and do will descend on the Barnstaple garden centre as Christmas gets underway tonight.

ST JOHN’S Garden Centre in Barnstaple will turn into a winter wonderland when Santa, his elves, and the cast of the Queen Theatre pantomime come to visit tonight (Friday).

The popular late night shopping event sees a whole host of Christmas characters fill up the garden centre with festive cheer, gifts, late night shopping and seasonal refreshments.

Santa and his helpful elves will arrive at his grotto on a horse drawn sleigh at 5.30pm, laden with wonderful gifts and miniature Christmas trees for children who want to meet him and whisper their Christmas wishes.

The cost is £5.50 per child and includes a gift, real mini tree and Santa hat.

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With a new imaginative display, St John’s Santa Band will play seasonal songs for your enjoyment, with donations welcome this year for the Devon Freewheelers - bikers that deliver urgently needed blood, drugs and other medical requirements between hospitals.

The cast of Sleeping Beauty will bring even more Christmas magic to the evening as they mingle with the crowds to the delight of youngsters and adults alike.

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Children can also have fun making balloon animals and enjoy the fairground rides in the car park and the candy floss stall.

Take a stroll along the free Winter Wonderland Walk winding through the garden centre, passing a wide range of gifts, plants and decorations.

The plant department has poinsettias, orchids, baskets and planted displays for the home and garden. There is something for everyone in the shop, including preserves, cakes, books, clothes and gardening tools.

A wide selection of Christmas trees, lights and decorations in a variety of styles and colours is always a highlight of a Christmas visit to St John’s.

New displays for 2013 include illuminated penguins, seals and reindeers in different sizes and designs, an illuminated polar bear and moving lights which create a wonderfully festive atmosphere when projected onto a wall or ceiling.

The Conservatory Café will be adorned with decorations and provide mulled wine and mince pies to late night shoppers viewing the diverse range of Christmas gifts available at the garden centre.

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