Christmas is coming early to Thetford with Winter Wonderland

Santa's Grotto in the King's Garden Coach House in Thetford, which will be open as part of the town

Santa's Grotto in the King's Garden Coach House in Thetford, which will be open as part of the town council's Winter Wonderland event. Picture by David Brooks - Credit: David Brooks

A magical Christmas experience is coming to a market town this weekend.

Winter Wonderland in Thetford will see a host of seasonal family entertainments including – for the first time – an ice rink.

Centred around King's House Gardens, the celebrations on November 26 and 27 should be enough to get even the staunchest Christmas humbugs into a festive mood.

Winter Wonderland will open at 10am on Saturday, with the main attraction being an artificial ice rink on the tennis courts behind King's House.

A Georgian Father Christmas and his elf storyteller – provided by Ancient House Museum – will be setting up shop in the Coach House, open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

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Each child is encouraged to write their letter to Santa and drop it into the letterbox in the Coach House. From Monday, November 28 the post box will be positioned at the front of King's House – all letters will receive a response before Christmas.

Another highlight will be a 'snow globe' – a covered bouncy castle filled with fake snowflakes, manned by volunteers from Keystone Development Trust.

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The Salvation Army, Charles Burrell Centre and RSPB will be among the wonderland's stallholders, and there will also be a soup kitchen.

The weekend's festivities are preceded by Thetford's Christmas lights switch on Friday evening at 6.15pm.

Ancient House Museum will be hosting a Victorian Christmas Mystery from 5pm to 8pm and there will be a craft and gift fair and Santa's Grotto in the Guildhall.

Winter Wonderland runs from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for the paid-for attractions will be available at King's House. Ice rink £5 per person, Santa's Grotto or snow globe entry £2.50 (tickets to the Grotto also give free entry to Ancient House).

Tickets will also be available at the Christmas lights switch-on.

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