CHRISTMAS will arrive in a Basingstoke shopping centre with five magical weeks of festive fun.

Festival Place is launching its Christmas celebrations on Saturday, November 18 with a fairytale-themed launch event based on the festive song The 12 Days of Christmas.

Basingstoke Gazette: Christmas is set to arrive in Festival Place

From choirs a-singing to a turtle dove swinging, visitors to the centre can expect to be thoroughly entertained including by a drumming and pipers marching band, graceful dancing ladies and elegant swimming swans.

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A Christmas craft room will open from 10am for visitors to get creative and make a gift for a loved one, with help on hand from the Maids-a-Gifting and their Udderly Charming Cow who will lay down some special challenges for the chance to win prizes.

The 12 Days of Christmas will play out against a backdrop of huge scarlet poinsettias, twinkling lights and traditional red and gold decorations.

In the five weeks before Christmas, Santa himself will be leaving his reindeer in the elves’ capable hands to drop into his grotto and check out what local children would like to see on their Christmas lists this year.

Visitors can also hop onto a turtle dove swing to coo for the camera and the perfect festive Instagram pic.

The Festive Express train is also back again – a favourite with younger shoppers.

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Emily Palmer, Festival Place head of marketing, said: “The 12 Days of Christmas becomes five weeks of full-on festive fun here at Festival Place.

“There’s free family crafty fun, our grotto and Festive Express, as well as top-brand and independent retailers, a great leisure offering, and food from around the globe.

“We are pulling out all the stops to make the centre look really magical, and we hope this Christmas will be packed full of memorable moments for all our customers.”

The 12 Days of Christmas launch day is on November 18 from 10am until 6pm.

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