It’s all change this Christmas at Cheshire’s award-winning Lion Salt Works Museum. From Tuesday 5 December to Sunday 10 December, the historic site will be transformed into a free-to-enter ‘sparkling’ traditional English Christmas Market. There will be over 20 local market stalls great gift ideas, festive food, a choir and a chance to visit Santa in his log cabin in snowy wonderland. On Friday and Saturday night, visitors can pay to relax and listen to live modern music in the atmospheric surroundings of the historic Thompson Suite. This free fair is being staged by the Museum and local resident, Iain Stead, who is bringing to the event his professional skills as a successful events and music organiser.

In addition to the varied and interesting stalls, the Market will have an exciting range of free events aimed to appeal to the whole family. This includes meeting the most important visitor of all – Father Christmas.

Open from 10.30-8.30pm* from Tuesday to Saturday  and 10.30-4.00pm Sunday, activities include:

  • Free-to-enter, Christmas Market with a heated marquee for those wanting to relax with a glass of mulled wine and about 20 tented stalls selling Christmas gifts and food.
  • A free visit to Father Christmas in his Winter Wonderland Grotto in the Museum’s Butterfly Garden. Children just need to follow the fairy lights and bring any letters they want to share with him.
  • Free family craft activities will be available in the spectacular, historic setting of the Thompson suite where children will be able to make a wide range of traditional items with Mrs Santa, such as Christmas cards and paper chain decorations as well as writing letters to Father Christmas.
  • Chance for children to ride on a miniature steam engine around the site (£1 donation)
  • There will be festive Christmas story-telling in the specially-constructed ‘Story Box’ in the grounds of the Lion Salt Works Museum.
  • Christmas Igloo – the Museum will be once again be creating an igloo made from 400 recycled 4-pint plastic milk containers that local residents are being encouraged to drop off at the Museum in advance of the fair. This fun structure is part of a drive to get British households to recycle more of the 35 million plastic bottles used every day, half of which are not currently recycled.
  • Christmas shoppers can enjoy browsing in the Museum’s well-stocked shop which features gifts such as a new contemporary jewellery collection, bags, books and some special items made from rock salt.
  • The Museum’s café offers light refreshments, including its Christmas speciality Emma’s Winter Gingerbread latte. The cafe is ideally located overlooking the imaginatively-themed play area, giving adults a chance to have a coffee while the youngsters play.

In addition to these activities.

Friday 9 December:

  • Christmas party with The Assets.  Tickets £25 food drinks and entertainment included for further information and tickets call 07737 185 215

Saturday 10 December:

  • Hand bell ringers will play evocative Christmas tunes and carols during the afternoon.
  • Christmas party with The Assets.  Tickets £25 food drinks and entertainment included. For further info and tickets call 07737 185 215

Sunday 11 December:

  • In the early afternoon, back by popular demand, local carol singers from the Rivendell Choir, will be getting everyone into the Christmas spirit by singing traditional carols.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing at Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “This sparkling Christmas Market is a wonderful way to celebrate the festive season and one that won’t break the bank.  It is designed to bring together all the elements that make Christmas so magical – like carol singers, bell ringers and a visit to Father Christmas along with a new twist like the chance to enjoy some live contemporary acoustic music. This combination of the traditional and modern was such a success at the ‘Live and Local’ event in the Summer that it was felt that this winning combination should be tried again at Christmas. This is a wonderful line up of activities in a wonderful setting. I hope everyone comes along and enjoys being part of the festive spirit.”