CHILDREN: WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN LONDON ... and Beyond

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The Independent Culture
Dickensian Christmas

Various venues, Rochester, Kent (01634 843666), today and tomorrow, 10am- 5pm, prices vary

Those old Blue Peter favourites, tissue paper and cotton wool, aren't good enough for this Medway town - they're importing snow-machines to give their an authentic feel, as well as installing an artificial ice-rink in the castle gardens. There's a packed programme of children's activities including theatre performances, Punch and Judy, clowns, fairground rides and, of course, the chance to visit Father Christmas. The weekend kicks off with a grand parade and ends with a candelit procession.

Tree Dressing

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex (01243 811363), tomorrow, 10.30am-4pm, adults pounds 5.20, children pounds 2.50

Children can make their own lanterns and take part in a procession at this countryside museum's annual celebration in honour of the humble tree. There's also morris dancing, songs and stories and a mummers' play.

Victorian Christmas

Castlell Coch, Tongwynlais, nr Cardiff (01222 810101), today and tomorrow (and next weekend), 12pm-4pm, adults pounds 2.50, children pounds 2

Time travel is on offer at this Victorian gothic castle, where you can join the servants as they prepare for the last Christmas of 1899. There will also be carols in the courtyard with hot chestnuts, mince-pies and mulled fruit punch. NS

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