12 Days of Christmas: Festive Things to Do in the Holidays for Kent Students

Whether you’re staying in Canterbury or Medway over the holidays, or just looking for something Christmassy to do in your final days on campus. As the autumn term comes to an end, read our 12 Days of Christmas student-friendly guide to festive things to do in Kent over the Christmas break.

1. Go Window Shopping

With delightful displays of festive creativity around every street corner, Canterbury’s Christmas shop windows are a sight worth seeing even if you don’t want to buy anything. The city’s annual shop window competition brings out the best in Canterbury’s traders and attracted a bumper 83 entries this year. Stroll the ancient cobbled streets and be inspired.

When: Any time.

Where: Around Canterbury.

Cost: Free.

2. See a Pantomime

Indulge your inner-child and join in the great Christmas tradition that is pantomime.

When: There are shows on around the county from now and into the new year.

Where: One of the best locally is considered to be The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury which this year is putting on Peter Pan. In Medway, it’s Sleeping Beauty at The Central Theatre in Chatham. Get a full rundown of all the shows at the Big Panto Guide. (http://www.bigpantoguide.co.uk/kent)

Cost: Prices vary.

3. Watch a Christmas Film

Baby, it’s cold outside, so banish the winter blues with a classic Christmas film at the Gulbenkian Cinema.

When: Choose from the remake of the Agatha Christie classic who-dunnit Murder on the Orient Express until December 20, or for the young (or just the young at heart) Paddington 2 is on until December 20.

Where: Gulbenkian Theatre, University of Kent, Canterbury Campus.

Cost: Prices vary. Purchase tickets from the Gulbenkian website.

4. Join the Living Advent Calendar

With fewer calories than a chocolate advent, the Creative Quarter in Folkestone celebrates Christmas with a Living Advent Calendar. Every night from 6pm between now and Christmas Eve, there will be a live performance behind a door in the quirky Old Town. Expect drama, music, arts and some big surprises.

When: Now until December 24 December.

Where: Folkestone Creative Quarter, see www.folkestonelivingadventcalendar.org.uk

Cost: Free.

5. Have a Historic Christmas

Described as “the loveliest castle in the world” by historian Lord Conway, Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, celebrates Christmas with beautifully decorated trees and roaring fires. There’s also a Winter Trail around the stunning grounds.

When: Now until Christmas Eve and Boxing Day to January 1 2018.

Where: Leeds Castle, Leeds, near Maidstone.

Cost: Students get a reduced price of £21.90 which also allows you entry to the castle for the next year so you can visit as many times as you like. www.leeds-castle.com .

6. Christmas in Chatham

Fill yourself with festive cheer every Saturday in Chatham, with entertainment from hula hooping to stilt-walking and puppetry. Details here.

When: Until December 23.

Where: Pentagon Shopping Centre to High Street, Chatham.

Cost: Free to enter.

7. Go to a Festive Football Match

Grab some pre-Christmas footballing action (and a match day pie) at one of the festive games across the county. Gillingham Football Club take on Oxford United on Boxing Day in the Sky Bet League One. There’s a tasty Kent derby between Dover Athletic and Maidstone United on New Year’s Day.

When: Gills – 1pm, Saturday December 22; Dover/Maidstone – 1pm January 1

Where: Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Kent OR Crabble, Dover.

Cost: Tickets from £22 for the Gills, £17 for Dover.

8. Explore the Kentish Coastline

Make room for more mince pies by getting out and exploring some of the beautiful coastline around Medway. The original Saxon Shoreway around Medway takes you along what would have been the coast 600 years ago!

When: Anytime.

Where: North Kent. View details of the route, here.

Cost: Free.

9. Go Carol Singing

Take time out from the frenzy of a commercial Christmas to reflect and enjoy traditional carols and songs in the stunning location of Rochester Cathedral.

When: Various services from now to Christmas Day. Details of Canterbury’s services are here. View the schedule, here for Rochester.

Where: Rochester Cathedral, Rochester, Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury.

Cost: Free.

10. Go Ice Skating

Get your skates on and head to one of the fun festive ice rinks which have popped up all over the county. They’re everywhere from Bluewater Shopping Centre, Dartford, to Riverhill Himalayan Gardens in Sevenoaks. Two of our favourites are the vintage kitsch of Margate’s Dreamland which hosts the Frosted Fairground alongside a winter-themed amusement park and Dover’s Old Marine Station, a grand historical building which is transformed into a winter wonderland with traditional Christmas market and festive bar. And, don’t forget Gillingham’s Silver Blades Ice Rink which is open 365 days’ a year!

When: Various times (including Christmas Day!)

Where: Details here.

Cost: Prices vary.

11. Volunteer

Share the spirit of the season of goodwill by volunteering some of your time to help those less fortunate or who are alone at Christmas. There are hundreds of good causes to help – from homeless shelters to befriending the elderly or reading with young children.

When: You can volunteer at any time of the year. Take a look at opportunities available.

Where: Charities and non-profit organisations around Kent.

Cost: Free.

12. Make Festive Food for Friends and Family

Stumped as to what to do with that leftover Christmas dinner? Make it into a Christmas pizza or course! Check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for loads of great value recipes designed to make the most of the food on your plate.

When: Anytime you like! Christmas pizza preparation takes 30-45 minutes.

Where: From the comfort of your own home.

Cost: A packet of puff pastry and a ball of mozzarella plus whatever you have left over. View the recipe here. https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/recipe/christmas-pizza



We hope you found our blog an interesting read.

Whatever your holiday consists of, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Kent Business School.

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