Things to do (November 30 until December 4)

There's a good mix of festive and regular events to try out this weekend:
Competitors in last years Santa Dash in BlackpoolCompetitors in last years Santa Dash in Blackpool
Competitors in last years Santa Dash in Blackpool

FREE: Christmas Extravaganza, Preston, Sunday, December 3

Heartbeat is hosting a Christmas Extravaganza, between 11am and 4pm at the Heartbeat Headquarters at Preston North End, on Sir Tom Finney Way in Preston. Go along with the kids and meet the big man himself, Father Christmas, in the Heartbeat grotto. Start the Christmas shopping with a wonderful assortment of stalls featuring a selection of handmade crafts and gifts made by local artists. There’s also mulled wine and mince pies, festive treats and Christmas carols. All proceeds go towards the work of Heartbeat.

FREE AND PAID: Blackpool Santa Dash, Blackpool, Sunday, December 3

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Kick start the festive season with the amazing Santa Dash! Run, jog or walk the route (approx 3k) in santa suits from The Sandcastle to Central Pier and back, all to raise funds for Brian House Children’s Hospice. If you want to take part, admission (including free santa suit) is £10 for adults; £5 for under 16s or £25 for a family (two adults, two under 16s). The run starts at 11am. The event is free to watch. For more details and to register visit

FREE: Etsy Made Local, Preston, Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3

Etsy Made Local returns for its second year in the beautiful and iconic Harris Museum and Art Gallery. This annual community-led handmade market event celebrates the amazing diversity of Lancashire’s creative makers making a very special Christmas gifting shopping experience. Over 40 sellers, from chocolates to jewellery, art and prints to porcelain, children’s clothing to stationery and more. Opening times are 11am until 5pm (Sat) and 11am until 4pm (Sun).

FREE: Christmas Fair, Silverdale, Sunday, December 3

Get in the mood for the festive season with a visit to the first ever Christmas Market at RSPB Leighton Moss in Silverdale. Located across the Sensory Garden and in the visitor centre at the popular nature reserve, visitors can enjoy a hot mulled drink and a mince pie while listening to the award-winning Otto Voce Ladies Choir. A wide range of foods, treats, unique art and gifts can be found. Free admission to the market, normal admission charges to visiting non-members. Open from 11am until 4pm.

PAID: Handel’s Messiah, Blackburn, Saturday, December 2

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Blackburn Music Society’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah will take place at 7pm in Blackburn Cathedral. Soloists Charlotte Hoather, Helen Ann Gregory, Alexander Grainger and Matthew Mannion will be performing alongside the choir and the Lancashire Chamber Orchestra. Tom Newall conducts. Tickets are £12 advance; £14 on the door. Those under 19 go free. Tickets available from ticket secretary on 01254 201978, or Blackburn Visitors’ Centre on 01254 688040. Book early to avoid dissapointment.

FREE: Blackpool Christmas Lights Switch On, Blackpool, Saturday, November 2

Radio Wave are presenting this roadshow in partnership with Blackpool Business Improvement District, Blackpool Council and Houndshill Shopping Centre. The event will take place at the heart of the town centre’s shopping area, at the junction of Bank Hey Street and Victoria Street from 3pm. Jennifer Ellison will do the big switch on, along with Santa! You can also catch entertainment from Georgia Taylor, Lee Brady, Jamie and the Viva Christmas Show.

FREE: St Mary’s Nativity Crib Festival, Preston, Thursday, November 30 until Sunday, December 3

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More than 150 nativity cribs from all over the world will fill the church of Goosnargh St Mary the Virgin for a four-day festival marking the start of Advent. The figures of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the Three Kings, the shepherds, sheep, donkeys and angels of all shapes and sizes, crafted in anything from wood, glass, pottery and plastic to china, Duplo, wool and clay will be on display. Opens at 6pm on November 30, and will be open on December 1 and 2 from 10am until 4pm and on December 3 from 1pm until 4pm.

FREE: Bare Village Christmas Craft Fair, Bare, Saturday, December 3

The village of Bare, near Morecambe, is holding its annual Christmas craft fair, which is being hosted by Bobbins and Bows of Bare. They have many talented crafters offering lots of lovely gift ideas for Christmas. Plus hot food, refreshments and delicious cakes served throughout the day. It’s being held at St Christopher’s Church and Hall on Marine Road East in Bare, Morecambe, from 10am until 3pm. Admission is free. For more information call 01524 413176.

FREE: Christmas Tree Festival, Lancaster, Thursday, November 30 until Monday, December 4

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Go along and visit the beautiful country church of St Peter’s at Quernmore and see it lit up by Christmas trees, and decorated by their generous sponsors – local businesses, individuals and primary schools. The church is sure to look wonderful and the atmosphere promises to be very special. Enjoy the festive spirit with drinks, mince pies, soup and fresh bread. Open 12pm until 5pm Thursday, Friday and Monday; and 10am until 5pm Saturday and Sunday.

FREE: Dinosaur Toddler Trail, Darwen, Saturday, December 2

Join the Blackburn with Darwen Re:fresh team for their dinosaur toddler trail in Bold Venture Park, Belgrave Road in Darwen. The event runs from 1pm until 3pm. There will also be activities based on the children’s story Earthshaker by Emma Laybourn. Make sure you wrap up warm in clothes suitable for muddy fun, bring your wellies and have some free family fun in the park. For more information about the Re:fresh team visit or call 01254 682037.

PAID: A Sacred Circle of SiStarhood, Preston, Saturday, December 2

This Sacred Circle of SiStarhood is one for the ladies - A safe, sacred space to empower each other around the full moon, offering an eclectic mix of song, dance, meditation, music, chanting, stories, poetry, art, healing wisdom, rituals and drumming.... to find yourself, to heal, make connections, sharing wisdom and sending out healing sacred energies. A donation of £5 is required. Places are limited - visit to book. It’s at Quakers Religious Society of Friends on St George’s Road, Preston on Saturday at 6.30pm.

PAID: An Evening of Christmas Magic, Preston, December 2

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The perfect start to the festive season where brass band and choral voices are joined in a magical spectacular of music and song. Freckleton Band and the Preston Musical Comedy Society join together to get you in a Christmas mood. It’s at Preston Playhouse on Market Street West on Saturday. Curtain up is 7.30pm and tickets are £12.

FREE: Eldra, Preston, Sunday, December 3

This free film screening is being presented by Welsh Club Preston and is a chance to see the BAFTA Cymru award-winning film based on the memoirs of the late Eldra Jarman. Eldra, a gypsy girl, comes to stay with her grandparents in Bethesda in the thirties, and finds she has a lot to learn, not only about Romany ways, but also about her new-found friends. Eldra (2003) is to be screened on Sunday at the Cinema Around the Corner at The Continental, South Meadow Lane, Preston at 2.30pm. Admission is free. For more information visit

PAID: Free Parking, Preston, Sunday, December 3

Jazz is once again back on the menu at The Ferret pub in Preston this Sunday. Free Parking are returning for another evening of funky, hot and foot-tapping jazz. Harold Salisbury leads the pack on saxes, ably supported by Norman Helm on bass, Keith Ashcroft on guitar and Paul Burgess, of 10cc fame, on the drums. The music starts at 9pm and admission is just £3. It’s the perfect way to end your weekend.

FREE: Sunday Reserve Walk, Preston, Sunday, December 3

This monthly weekend wander around Brockholes Nature Reserve is led by someone of their most knowledgeable volunteers and offer the perfect opportunity to learn all about the reserve, its history and how they are developing over time. No need to book, simply join them at the Welcome Centre at 11am on Sunday. Car parking charges apply.