Children; WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND

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The Independent Culture
Discover Christmas Past

Mount Grace Priory, Near Northallerton, North Yorks (01609 883494) today and tomorrow, 1pm-3pm, adults pounds 3.50, children pounds 1.80, members of English Heritage and under-fives free

Fancy yourself as a wise man? Or a shepherd? Visitors can join the cast of a nativity play at this event which explores the origins of many seasonal customs still practised today.

Santa at the Moss

Risely Moss Nature Reserve, Birchwood, Warrington (01925 824339) tomorrow, 10.30am-2pm, free

If you go down to the woods today... you'll find a guy with a big white beard and a neat red suit. Father Christmas will be calling in at this nature reserve and offering free chestnuts, treats for the kids and a little festive cheer for the grown-ups!

Torchlight Weekend

Howarth, West Yorkshire (01535 642329) today and tomorrow, 1pm-5pm, free

The canny folk of Bronteland know how to tempt the Christmas shoppers. On Saturday and Sunday there is free street entertainment; on Sunday evening at 5.30pm there is an ever-popular torchlight procession up the cobbled streets followed by a carol service at 6.15pm. The shops will remain open late.

Walton Winter Wonderland

Walton Hall and Gardens, Warrington, Cheshire (01925 601617) today and tomorrow, 11am-4pm, entry free, charges for activities, grotto etc

This public park, once part of a Victorian estate, has familie activities both this weekend and next. In the hall yard there's a traditional carousel, nativity scene and Santa's grotto (pounds 1), as well as the usual park attractions such as the children's zoo and heritage centre. On Sunday there are also dray rides (pounds 2 adults, pounds 1 children), children's entertainers and yule- log making.

Christmas Bazaar

Pollock House, Glasgow (0141-616 6410) today and tomorrow, 11am-4pm, pounds 1, under-fives free

Father Christmas gets a rest at this event as Mrs Claus takes over the grotto and dishes out the presents (pounds 2 per visit). Other attractions include more than 30 stalls with unusual gifts and seasonal food, plus music and carol-singing throughout this 18th-century house.

Victorian Family Christmas

Culzean Castle, Maybole, Scotland (01655 884455) tomorrow, 10.30am-12.15pm and 1pm-4pm, adults pounds 5, children pounds 3

See how they prepared for Christmas in days gone by at this romantic 18th-century cliff-top castle. Culzean, which is one of Scotland's major attractions, also has a visitor centre, two shops and two restaurants, plus an extensive country park.

Nikki Spencer

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