London’s iconic Tower Bridge
plays host to families this Christmastime with the largest interactive Victorian wooden advent calendar in the country. Children open an advent door a day and enjoy a truly adventurous time. Each will go home with a candy cane and an adventurer’s certificate.
The way in which we celebrate Christmas today actually has its origins back in Victorian Britain. Families up and down the country began decorating Christmas trees with sweets, fruit, decorations and gifts in the mid-1800s after Queen Victoria saw how her husband, German-born Prince Albert celebrated Christmas with his family. Sumptuous feasts were enjoyed, parlour games were played, a national holiday was declared and a tradition was born.
Over 150 years later, it seems fitting that London’s most impressive Victorian structure hosts a magical Victorian-themed Christmas event throughout December. This year, Tower Bridge
has unveiled a giant advent calendar crafted entirely from wood. It stands an impressive two metres high and seven metres wide and is located in the South Tower under the animation screen. The entire area is decorated in a Victorian Christmas theme, and six huge Christmas trees are decorated and placed in and around the area.
On arrival, children will be invited to pick a candy cane from a Christmas tree. One lucky child will pull out a candy cane with a magic mark on it. They will be asked to open the day’s corresponding door on the giant wooden calendar, which will unveil a traditional Christmas image. In addition to a candy cane, each child will receive an adventurer’s certificate to remind them of their festive magical moment. The calendar door will be closed again once each group has left, offering enchanting opportunities to as many other children as possible throughout the day. The advent calendar launched on 1st December and will remain open to visitors until 23rd December.
Along with the advent calendar, Christmas trees and plenty of traditional decorations there will also be a ‘Letter Writing Station’ where children can write to Father Christmas, then ‘post’ their letter to him in a Victorian-style post box on their way out.
This unique event will undoubtedly appeal to parents looking for somewhere different to take their children this Christmas. Steeped in history and tradition, it’ll be a far cry from the usual visit to see Santa in over-crowded shopping centres.
Standard admission prices for adults £8, children aged 5-15 £3.40, under 5s free and concessions £5.60. Joint tickets for admission to Tower Bridge
and the beautifully restored Monument
nearby are available at £9, £4 and £6.20. Opening times are 9.30am to 6.00pm (last admission 5.00pm).
More information on family and group tickets can be found online at http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/
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