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FREE

Central Scotland’s really useful magazine for busy families of children age 0-12

Issue 13 Nov/Dec 2012

In This Issue

• Where to find Santa • Christmas gift guide • Christmas shows and events Is your next local Jack & Jill Market on this weekend? www.jackandjillm arket.co.uk Scotland’s Quality Nearly-New Baby & Children’s Market

Have fun together, help develop your child’s:

CREATIVITY CO-OPERATION LISTENING COMMUNICATION LANGUAGE

Denny, Stirling, Alloa & Bridge of Allan Contact Lindsay Davies lindsay.musicalsteps@hotmail.co.uk 0845 519 3544 Falkirk & Linlithgow Contact Iona McNab ionamcnab1@yahoo.com 01506 842440 Taster sessions available. Booking Essential.

www.musicalsteps.co.uk

Win - A family ticket to see The Polar Bears go Wild

Win - A Kindle from Metanium everyday cream

www.familiescentralscotland.co.uk

Win - A luxury stay in Aberdeenshire from Visit Scotland

editor@familiescentralscotland.co.uk

079302 64979


contents Welcome and contents .................................................................................3 News and local views..................................................................................4-7 Welcome to the November/December bumper issue of Families Central Scotland. In this issue we have where to find Santa, a Christmas gift guide and local Christmas shows and events. Seppi from Lighthouse Studios has given us his top tips on taking family photos , we have some great competitions for you and a do’s and don’ts of Christmas feature to help you have a stress free but fun festive holiday . All of that and our regular features - out and about, news and views and parent to parent, we hope you enjoy and find it all useful.

Fiona & Louise the editors

Reader competitions • Win a Kindle with Metanium Everyday • Win a luxury family castle stay with Visit Scotland • Win a £200 shopping spree at Polarn O.Pyret • Win tickets to see The Polar Bears Go Wild at the Macrobert

How to take great family photos..............................................................8 Competitions........................................................................................................8 Christmas gift guide.................................................................................10-11 Where to find Santa...................................................................................... 12 Christmas shows and events..................................................................... 13 Do’s and don’ts of Christmas............................................................14-15

page 8 page 8 page 4 page 13

contact us editor@familiescentralscotland.co.uk 079302 64979 www.familiescentralscotland.co.uk visit our website to find more articles and our local directory. Please follow and like us on www.facebook.com/FamCS and twitter.com/FamiliesCentral

Bookings are now being taken for the January/February issue – deadline for all ads and editorial 1st December.

Parent to parent............................................................................................... 16 Out and about...........................................................................................17-19 Circulation 12 000 copies delivered directly to nurseries, playgroups, health centres, libraries, leisure facilities as well as selected shops, cafes and schools. Please contact us if you wish to receive our media pack, detailing costs and sizes of adverts. Design – Gillian Lamb of Lamb Designs Printers – J Thomson Colour Printers

Families Central Scotland is part of a larger group of magazines headed by Families SW London who are celebrating 20 years of publishing. All Franchised magazines are operated under licence. We take every care preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequences. Any original materials are sent at the owners own risk and while every care is taken neither families nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage.

It’s what’s behind the badge that matters

A company limited by guarantee (SCO39250) and registered charity (SCO05753)

Inspiring learning, building character and shaping futures 3


TKD Tigers

Wear a hat day Join the fun on Thursday March 28th 2013 and help fund the fight against brain tumours. ‘Wear a Hat Day’ is a fun way of increasing awareness and getting people raising money for an often overlooked form of cancer. It’s a day every year that we ask people to wear a hat to raise awareness and funds for vital research into brain tumours. A day when we encourage people to make donations in order to wear a hat to school, at work, at social events or even at home. From sponsored silences to charity runs and school bake sales, educational facilities around the country are being encouraged to raise money in any way they can. Sue Farrington-Smith, Director of Brain Tumour Research, comments: “Brain tumour research receives less than 1% of national cancer research spending in the UK yet this deadly disease kills more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer so please get involved on March 28th 2013”. Register your interest today sarah@braintumourresearch.org If you would like to help Brain Tumour Research this Christmas you could buy your cards from www.braintumourresearch.org and send a message that makes a difference.

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TKD(TaeKwon-Do) Tigers is a fantastic programme based on a martial arts platform, aimed at age group 3-6 year olds teaching the following themes -Stranger Awareness, Bully Drills, Teamwork & Leadership, Health & Nutrition and Emergency skills, all carried out in a fun way. As well as the themes we also incorporate discipline and confidence as this makes our kids stand out amongst the others. The Tigers programme will help your child excel in what they want to achieve in life. For more information contact Gary Shaw on : 07734461615 www.shawmartialarts.co.uk

Wee Boppers Wee Boppers provide Children’s Disco Events for ages 0-8 years old. It is a family event with a difference, two hours of a Live DJ, soft play, bouncy castle, baby chill zone and much more. We provide a healthy snack bar that is free for the children to help themselves to and a Wee Boppers cafe for adults to grab a refreshment and a cake. The music we dance to is NOT nursery rhymes it is Club, dance, chart and seasonal music. We have dance competitions and fancy dress at Halloween with prizes for best dressed! We often have the fantastic Stina Sparkles who is an amazing face painter and for a small charge you can get a glitzy face paint or sparkling tattoo. Tickets - children £4.50, adults £4.00 and non walkers free. Follow me on facebook and twitter to see when and where we are and book tickets at www.weeboppersdiscos. co.uk There will be a Christmas disco at The Scott’s, Wood Street, Grangemouth on Saturday 23rd December 11am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm. Santa makes an appearance, Christmas fancy dress fun but optional!

families central scotland / issue 13

Win a £200 Shopping Spree in time for Christmas! New clothes make any occasion extra special. The Polarn O. Pyret Christmas collection for newborn to age 12 years is now in stores and online. As always, the clothes are geared towards children not just looking good, but feeling comfortable too. Cosy cotton PJ’s that will last until next Christmas Eve, a new party dress that can handle spills, or an extra cute outfit for Christmas Day. Enjoy the occasion PO.P style whatever you are planning for the holidays. FREE! Gift wrapping is always available at Polarn O. Pyret stores. For your chance to win enter your details at www.polarnopyret.co.uk/ win by 10th of December. Terms and conditions apply. Winner will be notified via email on 11th December. Nearest stores – House of Fraser, Glasgow and Jenners, Edinburgh


Musical Steps

Good Green Fun

Christmas is an expensive time of year, and in the current economic climate, many families may be worrying about the costs to come. However, Good Green Fun, a Stirling charity, offers a cheaper alternative to shopping on the High Street. Specialising in reusing children’s toys, clothes, prams and equipment, the charity provides a huge range of low cost, high quality preloved children’s items, whilst helping the environment by reducing waste. Many of the items at GGF are brand new or almost new, but retail at a fraction of the cost of the High Street. It’s the perfect place for stocking fillers and you’ll get a lot more for your money, leaving you with more for the January sales! Gift vouchers are also available, as is a collection and delivery service. Please also consider donating last year’s toys or unwanted gifts during your post Christmas clear out! You can visit the shop on Kerse Road (near Aldi) or at www. goodgreenfun.co.uk 01786 849216

Musical Steps have been sharing their award winning music classes for children aged 4 months – 5 years since 2002 and we are now enrolling for classes in Denny, Falkirk, Stirling, Alloa, Bridge of Allan & Linlithgow. Classes offer fun-filled and age appropriate activities which are expertly written to convey key musical concepts such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics and lots more. Research shows that regularly participating in an interactive music class offers many benefits to children’s neurolgical development, listening skills, language, communication, creativity, cooperation and gross motor skills, so why not get in touch to book your Taster Classes today! More info available at www.musicalsteps.co.uk or contact Lindsay.musicalsteps@hotmail.co.uk for Denny, Stirling, Alloa & Bridge of Allan classes or ionamcnabI@ yahoo.com for Falkirk & Linlithgow classes.

Enjoy a wild day out this winter! Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 1,000 rare and wonderful animals from across the globe. Highlights include the UK’s only koalas, some cheeky chimpanzees, a family of meerkats and of course, giant pandas, Yang Guang and Tian Tian! There is a fantastic series of daily animal talks for visitors to enjoy (featuring sun bears, rhinos and brilliant birds amongst others), as well as a walk-about tour of the Zoo. There is also a daily animal encounter session, allowing you to get up close to some of the Zoo’s smaller residents.

Kids eat free on Boxing Day and New Years Day at Springkerse View, Stirling

A fantastic alternative to a trip to Edinburgh Zoo, is a visit to its sister park, Highland Wildlife Park. Set in the beautiful Cairngorms National Park, it is home to around 250 fantastic animals including polar bears, Walker and Arktos. Other well-loved residents include Amur tigers, Marty and Domenika and the park’s troop of snow monkeys. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands with a Land Rover tour through the Park’s main reserve, followed by a wander around the Park’s walkthrough area. Each day, there is a series of keeper-led talks, giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about the many fascinating species that reside there. For more information visit www.edinburghzoo.org.uk or www.highlandwildlifepark.org

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John Muir Award

Christmas memorial service

Do you enjoy the outdoors and need something to motivate you and your family to spend more time there? The John Muir Award is designed to help people from all backgrounds get out there and enjoy our fantastic countryside and – it’s free!!! Two families from Dunblane and Perthshire got together in March this year to work on a John Muir Award, here Elaine Burch tells us what it involves, read on to find out about it and see if it’s something your family would enjoy!

A Christmas memorial service for families who have experienced the trauma of losing a baby is being held in Stirling. The service will take place in St Mary’s Church, Upper Bridge Street, FK8 1ES on Friday 7th December at 7.30pm.

The Award has 4 components: Discovering, Exploring, Conserving and Sharing. Discovering is great fun and applies to anything you do in a wild place. Our gang chose to walk, hike, wild-camp and canoe. Exploring happens at a specific wild-place. It could be a public place or even your garden. We chose the RSPB Red Kite Reserve at Argatay, Doune. Contact a local ranger to help you! Conserving for us involved developing a bee friendly garden at Argaty. A special thanks to Dobbies, who donated a lorry load of bee friendly plants. We continued to care for (weed!) the garden during the summer months which proved to be a huge job. Sharing is simply letting people know what you’ve done – which is what this article is all about! In addition, the children prepared signs for the bee garden which we would love you to visit. The benefits of this award were spending quality time with our families and friends and seeing our children enjoy, appreciate and invest in wild places. To read about the full John Muir experience that these families enjoyed go to www.familiescentralscotland.co.uk

Skills for stage, skills for life Stagecoach Stirling is part of an international network of theatre arts schools with over 600 schools worldwide. While we aim to provide children with the opportunity to progress and become professionals within the theatre industry, our main focus has always been on the beneficial life skills that theatre arts training can provide - Skills for the stage, skills for life! If you would like a prospectus & application form, or for more information please call Kirsten Campbell (Principal) on 0131 337 7774 stirling@stagecoach.co.uk www.stagecoach.co.uk/stirling

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The Lights of Love event is being organised by Forth Valley Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity) and provides parents the opportunity to come together and acknowledge the lives of their babies at this difficult time of year. This year the Scottish Cot Death Trust will also be taking part in the service. The service consists of traditional carols, inspiring readings and beautiful music and there will also be an opportunity for people to light a candle in memory of their loved one. Everyone is welcome to attend and no booking is necessary. For more information or directions to the venue, please visit www.forthvalleysands.org.uk or contact Caroline on 07948 562321.

Nursery kids get a taste for sport Nursery pupils at Beaconhurst School are getting active and developing an early love of sport thanks to a groundbreaking new project. The innovative scheme sees all nursery pupils, aged from 3-5, enjoying half an hour of structured physical education every day as part of the school’s new Sporting Pathway introduced by Director of Sport Judith Ramsay. The aim is to establish fundamental motor skills and an enjoyment of exercise from a young age and nurture those skills as children progress through the Bridge of Allan school. Studies have shown that early childhood is a critical period in the development of fundamental motor skills. Research indicates that children who do not master these skills are less likely to participate in sports and games in childhood and adolescence. Junior school staff will be trained up next with the aim of giving their pupils daily physical activity on top of the PE lessons they already receive. Meanwhile, the project will be monitored and researched by university staff and could eventually be rolled out to other schools, clubs and nurseries. The school also makes the most of its links and proximity to Stirling University tapping into its excellent resources and every Beaconhurst pupil has membership of the University’s Sports Centre. Ms Ramsay says “We want everyone to get involved in sport whether it’s simply for enjoyment, to become a coach, to compete at a local level or to go on and become an international athlete – there are lots of ways to go. Pupils are encouraged to become involved regardless of their level of ability and these experiences create a positive introduction to sport which will extend well beyond their time at school.” Beaconhurst School, Bridge of Allan is an independent day school for boys and girls from 3 –18 years of age www.beaconhurst.com

families central scotland / issue 13


Magical letter from Santa Make this Christmas a truly memorable one by sending a child you know a magical Letter from Santa. For a suggested donation of £5 to the NSPCC, your child will receive a fun, colourful and personalised letter from the man himself. Every £5 raised by Letter from Santa will help ChildLine be there whenever a child seeks help either online or by phone. And every £25 raised will enable a trained practitioner to deliver one hour of support through the NSPCC’s helpline for adults who are concerned about a child. The reindeer mailroom will be open until 17 December 2012, and all those who request a Letter from Santa this year will be entered into a free prize draw to win a once-in-alifetime trip to Lapland for a family of four. Go to www.nspcc.org.uk/santa or alternatively you can call 0845 839 9304 to place your order.

TinyTalk - Falkirk and Stirling Baby Signing Babies understand so much before they can talk! From as early as 6 to 9 months old, babies can begin to tell you what they want, what they are thinking about and how they feel. Our classes consist of ½ an hour singing and signing popular nursery rhymes, followed by ½ an hour social time where babies can play and adults enjoy a drink and chocolate biscuit (or two!). TinyTalk believes that baby signing can play a significant role in helping early communication and language development. The importance of saying the word as well as the sign is always emphasised. contact Lynne on 07595636185 or lynnek@tinytalk.co.uk for information on classes www.tinytalk.co.uk/lynnek

Stirling toddler groups Cambusbarron Baby and Toddlers meet on a Monday, Thursday and Friday from 9.45-11.15am in the Cambusbarron Community Centre. Open to babies, toddlers and preschool children. Anyone in the Stirling area can attend. £1.50 per session with the first session FREE. Contact Dawn Marie Hooks 079671 29253 for more information Hillpark Toddlers Group meet in Hillpark Community Centre in Bannockburn on Tuesday and Thursday from 10am until 12noon. They are open to all children from birth to preschool in the Stirling area. It’s an exciting, warm, welcoming environment where children and parents/carers can get together. A snack for kids and Free tea and biscuits for adults are provided too. £1.50 per session with reductions for siblings and under 6 months. First session is FREE Contact Pamela Simpson 077062 60619 or email hillparktoddlers@hotmail.co.uk

Are you a single parent?

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WEAR A HAT DAY Thursday 28 th March

2013

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Current locations: Stirling, Falkirk & Clackmannanshire Coming soon . . . . . . on-line community, events, discounts and much more. Find out more at www.singledup.co.uk or contact us - info@singledup.co.uk 07506 697509

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www.braintumourresearch.org 7


How to take great family pictures

W

e asked Seppi Preston from Lighthouse Studios, Stirling to give us his advice on how to take great family photographs. So read on to find out how your Christmas pictures this year can look fantastic! • Look for the best lighting and where possible use natural light; outdoors get them into open shade. Use window light inside. • Take your time and choose a background that is uncluttered, with few distracting objects/colours and make sure there is nothing that will look as though it’s coming out of peoples’ heads (plants, lamps etc). • When getting family together indoors for a group shot, use furniture to vary peoples heights and create a more interesting dynamic. • Decide who the main person or people are in the shot (grandparents, the kids) and build your group around them. • Before you take the shot, look through the viewfinder or look at the screen and make sure no heads are being cut off, check you can see everyone’s faces.

• If you want a formal shot make sure everyone is looking at the camera. • If you want a more casual/candid look, say something silly, ask them to talk to each other or get them to hug in. • When taking the photograph, to help avoid camera shake and blurred images, steady the camera by keeping your elbows pressed into your sides and press the shutter gently avoiding sharp movements that will jog the camera. • When photographing children, or groups with children in, use a faster shutter speed to avoid blur from them moving -you can also use the flash which can help freeze movement in the photograph. • Indoors make sure you have all the lights on, if it’s still too dark use a bit of camera flash. • The beauty of digital cameras is that you can take a test shot first to make sure you are happy with the set-up/ posing/lighting and if you are not you can make changes.

So, have fun, experiment, read the camera’s manual, like our facebook page and feel free to ask us a question or book onto one of our popular photography courses! www.facebook.com/ lighthousestudios Lighthouse Studios, 13 Alloa Road, Causewayhead 01786 475007

reader competitions

Win a Kindle with Metanium Everyday

Win a luxury family castle stay

Reading can be the perfect way to unwind after a busy day with your baby. Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment is giving away a Kindle (RRP around £120) which can store over 1000 of your favourite books. With a built-in wi-fi, you can download a book in less than a minute. It’s small, light and portable so you can even slip it in your changing bag – just in case you get a quiet moment! Three runners up will win a specially designed set of baby body-suits (size 6-9 months), there’s seven in a pack – one for every day of the week (RRP £28 a pack).

Get your key to the castle and explore Scotland’s Castle trail – the only one in the UK! Escape to Aberdeen City and Shire and uncover an area brimming with surprising things to see and do. From fantastic museums and art galleries to beautiful parks and gardens, wonderful coves and beaches, and awe-inspiring wildlife boat trips, this area is packed with attractions for all the family. What’s more, this area is also home to one of Scotland’s most unique visitor experiences – Scotland’s Castle Trail. With everything from striking cliff-top ruins to grand fortresses and Royal residences – you’ll simply be spoiled for choice!

To enter email editor@familiescentralscotland.co.uk quoting Metanium Kindle. Closing date 30th December, please include your name and address. NHS Choices recommends that the best way to prevent nappy rash is to follow a good skin care routine which includes ‘applying a barrier cream after each nappy change.’ Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment has a unique double action formula to help guard against nappy rash. It helps seal in the skin’s natural moisture keeping the skin soft, smooth and supple. Metanium Everyday contains no fragrance or lanolin, so is gentle enough to use every day and at each nappy change. Metanium Everyday RRP £2-99 for 40g and £5-49 for 80g is available from Boots, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, leading pharmacies and at www. boots.com Visit: www.metanium.co.uk to join the Metanium Baby & Toddler Club and for more information about the treatment and prevention of nappy rash.

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families central scotland / issue 13

WIN a luxury family Castle stay on Scotland’s only Castle Trail Be King or Queen of your very own Castle estate for the weekend, as Visit Scotland and Families invite you and your family to retreat to Scotland’s only Castle Trail and experience a stay to remember. You will stay for two nights, courtesy of National Trust for Scotland in the magnificent grounds of Crathes Castle, this fairytale castle is a favourite for families and has a graceful tower with beautiful walled gardens and ancient yew hedges. And that’s not all, Historic Scotland invite you to savour a delicious afternoon tea and FREE entry to the house and wonderful exhibitions at Duff House, FREE entry to Tolquhon Castle, and FREE entry to Huntly Castle. What are you waiting for? Enter now at: visitscotland.com/explorefamilies Closing date 30.11.12


Arnhall Nursery is a private day nursery that provides high quality childcare from birth up to 5 years. We have pre-school grant funded places available and have been graded Excellent & Very Good by SCSWIS in our recent report; the Nursery is set in the beautiful rural surroundings of the Keir Estate on the outskirts of Dunblane with ample car parking.

CHILL WITH THE

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• Open all year round from 7.30am to 6.30pm • All meals included home cooked by our in-house chef • Fully qualifed & trained staff. For further details or to arrange a visit please contact the Nursery direct on 01786 822 391 Keir Estate, Dunblane FK15 9NU www.arnhallnursery.co.uk

www.highlandwildlifepark.org

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For a Prospectus call Stagecoach Stirling now on 0131 337 7774 or email: stirling@stagecoach.co.uk


Christmas gift guide Children’s bike buying guide Bikes are a very popular Christmas gift so Families Central asked Andrew Abbess from Stirling Cycle Training to give us his top tips on buying a child’s bike.

I

t’s coming up to Christmas…having done bike safety checks on hundreds of kids bikes I recommend you ask the following questions before buying that new children’s bike.

1. How heavy is the bike?

A bike that is so heavy that the child struggles to pick it up when it is laid down or to lift the front wheel over a kerb will be very hard work to ride. As a result cycling is not fun and the bike will hardly get used.

2. Does the bike fit the child?

Can your child get a foot on the ground when sitting on the saddle (both feet if they are learners)? Can they stand in front of the saddle with both feet on the floor and straddle the top tube? If they can’t do both of these the bike is too big so get a smaller one which does fit.

3. Are the brake handles scaled for children’s hands?

Many cheap bikes for children aged over 10 use adult size components but children often can’t get more than the ends of their finger tips onto the brake handles. This means they are not able to put enough pressure on the brakes to stop the bike in an emergency. Mum or dad might be able to put the brakes on but it’s the child who will be riding it. It is best if the child who is going to be riding the bike does a brake

check before purchase, or have an adult try the brakes only using their little finger – that is the equivalent of a child’s grip strength.

4. How many gears do you need?

Few children at primary school will properly manage bikes which have gears on both the rear wheel and on the chain rings by the pedals. Get a bike with a wide range rear block of about 8 gears and single chain ring at the front. They will more quickly understand how to use gears and have fewer mechanical problems.

5. Do you really need suspension?

You do not need a suspension to ride around town, on off road Sustrans type paths or forestry tracks. Stirling Cycle Training provide Cycle Proficiency Training for adults and children, beginners to advanced. www.stirlingcycletraining.com or call 07966 201 519

Peter’s Railway – Great Reader Offer

D

ue to popular demand Christopher Vine has published four more fantastic paperback books in the Peter’s Railway series. For any child that just can’t get enough of train stories these books are a must, full of exciting adventures, escapades on the railways, making of a real locomotive and some hair raising tales from the olden days.

These pocket size books combine entertaining adventure stories while introducing some simple technical information. A wonderful series for youngsters who have grown up loving trains and want to learn more – the perfect gift this Christmas. Go to www. petersrailway.com for more details.

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Great reader offer - Each Families Magazine reader will get a free Peter’s Railway book with every book purchased via the Peter’s Railway website, so BUY ONE GET ONE FREE FOR ALL READERS. Please go to www.petersrailway. com and enter the online bookshop, click the book you would like to purchase and in the personalised dedication box type “FAMDEC” and any dedication you would like. We will then send your chosen book and a FREE book from the series to all readers!!! Offer ends end of December 2012.

families central scotland / issue 7


The Hub’s cracking Christmas present guide

Christmas gift guide

T

he nights are drawing in and the temperature is dropping, we are starting to think about how many shopping days are left until Christmas and wonder how many times the kids will change their minds about what they want this year. Our top tip for Christmas Toys 2012 is don’t wait until the last minute to buy your toys, check out your local independent toy store,The Hub, for our expert advice and make sure you grab the must-have items before they disappear. At The Hub we pride ourselves in being Santa’s Little Helper, making sure that the right gift is left under the Christmas tree. We’ve put together our suggestions of top toys below just in case you’re stuck for ideas:

Boys Toys

Top Family Games

1. Skylanders Giants Game & Characters – Prices start from £9.00 2. LEGO Ninjago Epic Dragon Battle £89.99 3. Bladez Star Wars Inflatable Remote Controlled R2D2 - £50.00 4. V-Tech Innotab 2 - £85.00 5. Crayola Glow Book – £29.50

1. Square Up - £15.00 2. Brainbox Games (styles vary) - £10.00

2. 3. 4. 5.

Girls Toys 1. Crayola Creations Catwalk Creations £22.00 2. Animagic Tessie Goes Trotting - £25.00 3. Moshi Monsters My Moshi Home £40.00 4. Moxie Girls Magic Hair Bendy Braids Torso - £30.00 5. Mookie Pillow Pets – Prices start from £15.00

3. LEGO Creationary - £24.99

LEGO Series 8 Minifigures - £2.00 Moshi Monsters Magic Choc - £5.00 MushABellies App Toy - £10.00 Skylanders Giants Trading Cards 75p

Convenience is key at The Hub, pop by and see us 7 days a week or visit our website www.thehubdirect.co.uk and shop from your own home.

4. Wimpy Kid Zoo Wee Mama Card Game - £5.00 5. Star Wars Quickfire - £15.00

Sensational Stocking Fillers 1. Aurora Yoohoo Tree Decoration Soft Toys - £5.00

Creative presents We’re not suggesting you give Granny a junk robot (or maybe she’d like that!) – but if you pick the right craft or idea, a thoughtful gift with the personal touch can make someone very happy. Families Central Scotland loves a visit to Play Pots Ceramic Studio in Stirling or Smudge Cats in Falkirk – at both places you can create something special and have an afternoon’s entertainment. Play Pots Ceramic Studio is a paint your own pottery studio located at 158 Drip Road, Stirling. They have a large selection of blank unpainted pottery to choose from catering for all ages and all budgets you can paint a mug, a trinket box, a plate, a piggy bank, a small animal figure and lots more. It’s a fun day out for all the family. There is a free soft play area for little ones to get rid of some energy and a café. Call 01786 471755 for more details. Smudge Cat provides art and crafts fun for all ages using decopatch and is located at 54 Cow Wynd, Falkirk. Decopatch is assembling, pasting and varnishing paper cut outs to decorate objects – huge variety of objects to choose from trinket boxes, animals, figures, letters and much much more. Kids and adults will have great fun creating something original and special. Call 01324 878444 for more details. So go on take the kids out for the day and get creative.

You can choose to have presents delivered anywhere in the UK, or arrange to pick up your order from our Dunblane store with our free “collect at store“ service. The Hub, 7 High Street, Dunblane

Your local independent toy shops The Bo’ness Toy Shop 19 South Street, Bo’ness Falkirk 01506 828002

Carters Toy Shop

2 King Street Stirling 01786 448988 www.carterstoyshop.co.uk

Good Green Fun

Unit 32 Stirling Enterprise Park Stirling 01786 849216 www.goodgreenfun.co.uk

The Hub

7 High Street Dunblane 01786 825933 www.thehubdirect.co.uk

Little Monster Toys

Unit H 16 Callendar Square Shopping Centre Falkirk 01324 670070

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Where to find Santa Stirling Town Centre and the Thistles Shopping Centre

See Santa and his reindeer parade through town on Sunday 18th November. The parade starts at 12noon from the Corn Exchange in the City and ends with the opening of Santa’s grotto within the Thistles shopping centre at 12.30pm. The reindeer will then be outside Costa Coffee until 2pm so don’t forget your camera! Santa will be in his grotto (near HMV) every day until 24th December. For details visit www. thethistles.com

Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway

Make a great start to the festive season with a visit to Santa aboard the Bo’ness and Kinneil Steam Train. During the journey Santa will meet all the children on the train and give each one a present. There will be refreshments available and a festive sing along. Trains run, 1st/2nd Dec, 8th /9th Dec, 15th/16th Dec and 22nd/23rd Dec Booking is essential, phone 01506 825855 or visit www.srps. org.uk

Santa and his Aviemore Reindeer in and around Falkirk.

Santa and his Reindeer will be arriving in a town near you. Come along and join in the festivities in Bo’ness, Grangemouth, Denny, Stenhousemuir and Falkirk. There will be family entertainment and music at some venues including the Forth Bridges Accordion Band, local bands, school choirs, Bad Wolf Theatre Company and Falkirk Children’s and Youth Theatre Company. Bo’ness, Saturday 8th December 2-4pm (parade through the Town Centre) Grangemouth, Saturday 8h November 10-12 (parade through town Centre to La Porte Precinct) Denny, Saturday 1st December 11-1pm Stenhousemuir, Saturday 1st December 2-4pm (in the precinct) Falkirk Town Centre, Sunday 2nd December 2pm-4pm Santa and his reindeer will parade from the East End up the High Street to Callendar Square.

Falkirk Round Table

Santa will be visiting a street near you in Falkirk between 9th to the 22nd December.

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Christmas lights switch near you

Stirling Town Centre, Sunday 18th November Entertainment from 12noon with Santa parade through town switch on at 5.00pm Falkirk Town Centre, Sunday 18th November Entertainment from 3.30 with family fun and music. Switch on at 5.00pm Grangemouth Town Centre, Saturday 17th November Family entertainment from 3.30 switch on at 5.30pm Bo’ness Town Centre, Saturday 17th November Family entertainment from 3.30 and switch on at 4.00pm Denny Town Centre, Saturday 1st December Santa and his reindeer and family fun 12-4pm Stenhousemuir Town Centre, Saturday 1st December Family entertainment and Santa from 2-4pm switch on at 5.00pm Alloa Town Centre, Saturday 24th November Family entertainment from 6pm and switch on at 7pm.

A Magical Christmas at The Falkirk Wheel!

Santa and all his elves will once again be getting ready for Christmas at The Falkirk Wheel. Tickets £10 per person, and includes a gift for each child. Babies go free and will receive a token gift. Available on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th December, Friday 21st to Monday 24th December Call 08700 500 208 to book your Santa trip now, early booking is highly recommended.

Santa at Dobbies

Come along for a day of family fun and entertainment on Sunday 25th November (11am) as we welcome the big man in red as he takes up residence in his festive grotto. He will be in his grotto every weekend until Christmas. (Tickets £5) From Saturday 1st December you can join Santa for a special breakfast or supper with songs, stories and a gift Tickets £9.95 Check in store for details or phone Dobbies Stirling on 01786 458860.

The Carse of Stirling Rotary. Santa and his sleigh will be visiting a street near you courtesy of the Carse of Stirling Rotary. Santa’s helpers will be collecting money for local charities. The collections are generally between 6-8pm.

familiescentral centralscotland scotland/ /issue issue134 families

Tues 4th Riverside/Shirras Brae Thurs 6th Torbrex Sun 9th Broomridge Mon 10th Braehead Tues 11th Bannockburn Thurs13th Coney Park Mon 17th Cambusbarron and Tues 18th Kings Park

Santa at Sterling Homestore, Tillicoultry

Come and visit Santa at the Sterling Homestore every Saturday/Sunday from 24th/25th November to 15th/16th December. Courtesy of the Rotary Club of Alloa. 1- 4.00pm Price includes a gift. All proceeds to local charities.

The Howgate Shopping Centre Falkirk

On Thursday 29th November, the magical world of Lapland will descend onto the town centre when Santa arrives in Falkirk! The Howgate Shopping Centre will open his spectacular Grotto and following his arrival, children will be able to visit him right up until 24th December. A visit to Santa with a gift costs £3.50, photography and additional gift items may be purchased and on line booking will be available. For more information visit www.intohowgate.co.uk

Brewers Fayre Beancross Falkirk.

Come and have breakfast with Santa, on every weekend in December (Saturday and Sunday) and Christmas eve. Starts at 9.30, £8.25 for every adult breakfast (eat as much as you want) - £2 per child visit to Santa. There will be a Kids Pyjama Party on the 21st December 2.30 till 4.30pm and Christmas eve 6 till 8pm. £7.99 per child including food. Phone 01324 720726 for more details.

Hamleys Glasgow

Come and visit Santa at the biggest Toy shop in Glasgow. From Saturday 1st to Monday 24th December you can have breakfast, lunch or tea with Santa. Each session lasts 1 hour. On a Monday through to Friday Santa will be around for breakfast 10.30-11.30 and for tea at 4.30-5.30pm and 6.307.30pm. At the weekend Santa will be available for breakfast, lunch and tea at 9.30-10.30am, 11.30-12.30, 2-3pm and 4-5pm Booking essential at www. hamleys.com/imetfatherchristmas Whilst every care has been taken to get details correct here please remember that this magazine is printed weeks in advance of the events. Please check to avoid disappointment.


shows & events

Shows & events at Christmas 2012

Tuesday 20th to Saturday 24th November Larbert Amateur Dramatics Society present Babes in the Wood Dobbie Hall Larbert Tickets available from The Steeple Box Office 01324 506850

Tuesday 4th to Sunday 30th December Fish & Game and Macrobert Present The Polar Bears Go Wild If you’re aged 5 or under, then here’s the show for you. Get here on your skis/snowshoes/ tractor Or paddle your canoe… Brave explorers wanted to join two friendly (but slightly naughty) Polar Bears on the adventure of a lifetime. Where are they going? What will they get up to next? And have they got enough sandwiches (Polar Bears love sandwiches, everyone knows that)? With music, comedy and quite a lot of cheekiness, The Polar Bears Go Wild is the perfect festive treat for young audiences. Remember to keep hold of your ice cream - Polar Bears are always hungry! For tickets phone 01324 466666 Saturday 17th, 24th, November, 1st, 8th, 15th 22nd and 29th December Christmas Lantern Hunt at Callendar House Follow the trail of the Christmas lanterns hidden around Callendar House. They will light your way as you discover the story of 12 Christmas traditions. Family self-guided event suitable for children 3–12 years, completed entries can be submitted for a mystery prize draw. Children under 14yrs must be accompanied by a supervisory adult. FREE Monday 19th November to Saturday 15th November The Victorian Kitchen at Christmas, Callendar House. Sample life below stairs and find out how the Victorians prepared for the Christmas festivities and sample tasty delicacies’ such as ‘Scotch Christmas Bun’ and ‘Cloutie Dumpling’. On Saturdays the Roasting Spit will be in use, filling the kitchen with the delicious aromas of a roast meat. FREE

Wednesday 28th November to Monday 31st December Cinderella at the Macrobert Stirling by Johnny McKnight directed by Julie Brown Poor Ella, her cruel stepmother makes her work day and night. She dreams of dancing with a handsome prince, but the infamous ugly sisters are inescapable, she has nothing to wear, her fairy godmother has gone Christmas shopping and she is running out of time! Macrobert’s pantomimes are renowned as one of Scotland’s very best- chock full of songs, laughter, magic and mischief, don’t miss this hilarious and enchanting take on the greatest panto of them all. Don’t be late for the ball- book now! For tickets phone 01786 466666

Saturday 1st, 8th and 15th December Christmas chorus at Callendar House. 2-2.30pm and 3-3.30pm Put a little Christmas magic into your visit to Callendar House on Saturdays during December. Local choirs will provide beautiful, traditional and festive music that will make your heart soar. FREE Saturday 1st, 8th and 15th December Christmas Decoration and Lantern Making Workshop at Callendar House. Family ‘drop-in’ activity suitable for children 3-12 years; open 2-4pm. Activity lasts approximately 20 minutes. All children under 14 years must be accompanied by a supervisory adult. FREE Tuesday 4th to Monday 24th December Katy Wilson & Ewan Sinclair, Starcatchers and Macrobert Present Multi-Coloured Blocks From Space An alternative festive treat for ages 0 – 2. A visual art and sound installation for babies and toddlers and their families. Together they will enter a magical world of colourful, dancing projections underscored with tinkly electronic music. Given space to explore and play, the children are free to let the environment spark their imaginations. This is an environment with no instructions. It has been designed as a space for adult

and child to explore together. Created by Katy Wilson and Ewan Sinclair, with music by Dougal Marwick. Entry on the hour £5 One Adult & One Baby. Limited capacity- early booking recommended. Phone 01786 466666 for tickets. Friday 7th to Saturday 15th December (ex Sunday) Falkirk Children’s and Youth Theatre present Cinderella at Falkirk Town Hall Sparkling songs, dance, local laughs and a sprinkle of traditional panto magic a fun filled family panto. For tickets and information phone the Steeple Box office on 01324 506850. Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th December Dick Whittington at the Dunblane Centre Traditional panto with everything from cats to rats, pirates to princesses and a whole load of hit songs. £7 per adult and £4 per child/concession. Phone 01786 824224 for tickets. Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th December Christmas Pantomime – A Christmas Carol – at Beaconhurst School, Bridge of Allan. 7.30pm in the School’s Cameron Hall. The show is open to all so please contact the School on 01786 832146 for tickets or more information. www.beaconhurst.com Sunday 16th December 2012 The Story of Christmas at Stirling Castle 12.30-3.30pm Experience 500 years of Christmas. Discover how our celebrations have evolved through history and where some of our modern traditions come from, through a series of amusing and entertaining shows. The event is included in the admission price to Stirling Castle www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk

Reader Competition WIN a family ticket to see The Polar Bears Go Wild. To enter our prize draw please email us at editor@familiescentralscotland. co.uk and put Macrobert in the subject box. Closing date is 30.11.2012


do’s & don’ ts of Christmas

The DO’s and DON’Ts of a happ DON’T expect it to be perfect Like it or not, your Christmas will not be perfect. You will over cook the turkey, under cook the pudding and end up sobbing into a huge glass of Sauvignon Blanc because your mother in law has criticised your gravy. But because you’ve put so much time and effort into hosting the perfect Christmas, the disappointment at the odd hiccup is overwhelming. Start the festive period accepting you’re not Nigella and it won’t be perfect and you’ll enjoy the parts that go well.

DO try and relax By the time Christmas Day arrives, most of us are exhausted. You’ve probably spent the weeks prior to the big day panic shopping, baking everything that Jamie suggested in his Christmas special and ferrying the family from one festive event to the next. Earmark some time for you. It’s supposed to be a holiday!

DO make your own traditions Every family has it’s own way of celebrating. Now you have your own children it’s time for you to make your own traditions. Whether it’s a trip to

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the local crib service on Christmas Eve, or a day of Christmas baking on the Sunday before the festivities begin, it’s up to YOU to create your traditions. A great idea I’ve taken from a friend is the Christmas Eve hamper. This is a basket, left by one of Santa’s helpers filled with goodies to enjoy on the night before Christmas. In it are festive pyjamas for the children, new tooth brushes, some yummy hot chocolate mix, marshmallows and a DVD for the family to watch. It’s the perfect kit to help kick start Christmas.

DO get out and about You are not under house arrest over the festive period. We shouldn’t be surprised that if you fill your home with relatives you rarely see and then lock the door, there will be arguments. Add some wine and the results are anything but festive. Don’t be afraid of getting wrapped up and heading out for a bracing walk. It will clear the house and let the little ones run off some steam.

DON’T expect your children to be angels They’ve broken up from school about to burst with excitement about the arrival of Santa. You’ve been using the ‘if you’re not good, Santa won’t come’ since Easter and then the presents are opened and your little angels turn into little devils. Rules and routine are thrown out of the window so relatives can be entertained

families central scotland / issue 13

and trips can be taken. Combine that with too many treats and lots of attention from well meaning visitors and the magic of Christmas can disappear pretty quickly. Try not to let all discipline go out of the window and if you sense that there’s a tantrum on the way, remove your child from the mayhem and give them a bit of time out!

DO give out jobs A resentful host is not a happy host so when you do your preChristmas shopping list, make sure you also write a list of jobs you’ll need doing on the big day. If you know your Mother in Law has a view about your Yorkshire Puddings, set her to work making some better ones. Remember, a busy cook is often a quiet cook!

DON”T waste money Let’s face it, this is going to be a tough year for all of us. We want to give our children everything on their list, but won’t be able to. Most of us will be celebrating making it to the 25th December with a job and a roof over our heads. However, you can still enjoy the festivities while being frugal. Swap traditional cards for an email including a festive photo, organise a secret Santa for adult family members with a spending limit, or simply suggest that you only buy for the family’s children. Keep reminding yourself that it’s not about the money you spend on each other, it’s about the time you spend with each other.


ppy family Christmas Sarah Butters

DO enjoy the preparation If you’re not careful, baking the cake, decorating the house and dressing the tree can begin to feel like a chore. Don’t let it become hard work. Give yourself the time to enjoy it and accept that with a little help from your little ones you can create some lovely Christmas memories. Ok, you won’t have a cake fit for Delia. There’ll be precious few needles left on the tree and your house will resemble the aftermath of a children’s birthday party. But despite the imperfections you’ll have happy children and you won’t have spent a penny. Now that’s a happy Christmas.

DO laugh! Forget the stress of present buying and preparing a feast fit for royalty and take a minute to laugh. Remember, when you strip away all the tinsel and tat this is

about preparing one meal, on one day with decorations and a gift or two. And if you’re finding smiling hard, try using our favourite Christmas Cracker joke to cheer you up. What’s Santa’s favourite pizza? One that’s deep, and crisp and even.

DON’T stress about the presents So you haven’t been able to find the latest Skylander or bag a Moshi Monsters My Moshi Home. Before you beat yourself up, ask yourself this. Do you remember the presents you didn’t get when you were a child? Or do you remember the experiences you had? My Christmas memories are preparing lunch with my wonderful Nana and attempting to wake my King Charles Cavalier after he’d drink the best part of a bottle of Blue Nun. Your kids will remember the laughter and the love and when you wake up in January, so will you. Happy Christmas!


parent to parent

W

endy lives in Stirling with husband Derek and daughter Jorja, who is nearly 3. They have just given birth to their new baby boy, Shaw. Wendy runs a franchise of Water Babies, swimming lessons for babies and toddlers. www.waterbabies. co.uk/local/scotland-central 01786 430314.

Why you like living where you do? Stirling is a great place to be and is very family-orientated, with plenty of open space, parks and children’s play areas. There is lots to do, whether it be delving into history at the Castle or taking a trip to somewhere like the Safari Park or Loch Lomond. Favourite shop I’m a mother and business woman so I should say “shop? I’ve no time to shop!” I think the most I do these days is go to Sainsbury’s! Having said that, we do like to look in at Stomp, the children’s shoe shop in Upper Craigs and Carter’s Toy Shop, King Street. So few traditional toy shops remain, but this is one of them. Well worth a look. Favourite park King’s Park in Stirling is a nice place to go, with a huge play park for children, complete with sand pit. There is also tennis courts located there too. Overall, it’s also very scenic, with a fantastic view of Stirling Castle. Favourite children’s club/class Water Babies, of course! I’m not just saying that – it’s not only great fun teaching little ones how to swim, it’s also very practical as we teach them how to save themselves if they accidentally fall into water. That is very important. Our business is growing across the Central Belt and we now hold classes in Stirling, Falkirk, Cumbernauld and across the Kingdom of Fife. Jorja also goes ballet dancing every

into the women’s changing area. Derek told her, “You can’t go in there, that’s for ladies,” to which Jorja replied, “But I am a lady.”

Tuesday at the Monument Dance School in Stirling, and she loves it. She’s forever practising her ‘good toes, naughty toes.’ Favourite day out Briarlands Farm, next door to the Safari Park, was great fun this summer. There’s plenty to keep the kids occupied, what with the animals, the trampolines and the climbing frames. Favourite child friendly restaurant The Birds and the Bees, in Stirling. They welcome all ages, from babies upwards and bend over backwards to accommodate everyone. Often you’ll find more mums in there with buggies than drinkers at the bar! The food is amazing, with a dedicated children’s menu that’s more than just fish fingers and chips. No parent should be without Annabel Karmel’s cooking books. She has great ideas for baby food – though we admit we made one of the recipes for ourselves one day! It was a lamb dish with apricot and it was lovely. Parenting pet hates Children that answer back. Jorja is at that stage at which everything is “no – you do it,” and it’s frustrating but we deal with it. Parents who don’t deal with it and let their kids away with murder, always irritate me. Funniest comment your kids have ever made Whilst going swimming with her Dad a few weeks back, Jorja proceeded to walk

Favourite family holiday spot It has to be Center Parcs, in Cumbria. We’ve travelled around the world often enough but there’s something special about the way this place treats families. There’s plenty of things to do, and it is also very relaxing. Most loved children’s book Anything by Julia Donaldson, such as The Gruffalo, or Stick Man. Tabby McTat, with his ‘meaow that is loud and strong’ is also a favourite in our house too. Julia is a genius when it comes to children’s books. Best children DVD or tele programme We can’t pull Jorja away from The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, on Disney Junior. The Hot Dog, anybody…? Most played with toys Jigsaws. They’re great for problem solving and some of them are quite educational. We have one from M&S with some of the world’s flags on it, and Jorja can already name them all. Wendy’s local recommendations Stomp Shoe Shop Upper Craig’s, Stirling Carters Toy Shop King Street, Stirling The Birds and the Bees Causewayhead, Stirling Briarlands Farm Blairdrummond Monument Dance School Stirling

Learning through the seasons

High Quality Care for children 0 - 5 years providing a safe happy stimulating learning environment • Convenient for M80 motorway links to Glasgow/

• • • • • •

Falkirk/Stirling Qualified and Experienced Staff Large Secure Outdoor play areas Open 7am - 7pm 51 weeks of Year Out of School Club (Opening August 2012) Located in the village of Longcroft, Bonnybridge Competitive Schedule of Fees. Discount available for pre-school children

To arrange a visit please contact Joan/Janine Tel 01324 876949 or e mail joan@firststepsnursery.uk.com www.firststepsnurserylongcroft.co.uk First Steps Day Nursery Allandale View Glasgow Road Longcroft FK4 1QN

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families central scotland / issue 13


Saturday 1st September Wednesday 31st October Central NCT Halloween Party Bridge of Allan Parish Church 10-12noon. Members and non members welcome. Contact Margo on 0844 2436079 for details. Halloween Event 6-8pm Join the Forestry Commission Ranger Service for an evening of frights and fun in Forth Valley Royal Hospital grounds. £2 per person and booking essential. Phone 01555 660190 or email Gordon. harper@forestry.gsi.gov.uk Friday 2nd to Thursday 8th November Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (U) Macrobert Saturday 3rd November Fairtrade Coffee and Craft morning 10-12.30pm Stirling Rowing Club, Riverside. Local crafts and Christmas gifts and cards. Shorts for Middle Ones (U) Bo’ness Hippodrome 11.00am. Suitable for ages 8+ Bridge of Allan Contemporary Arts Festival 10am-4pm With perfect timing for all those gorgeous Christmas presents we invite you to Bridge of Allan to browse more than 100 stalls displaying stylish handmade pieces by talented Scottish artists. www.bofaevents.co.uk Fireworks at Hopetoun House for details see www.hopetoun.co.uk Jupiter Wildlife Watch Club in Grangemouth Spotting feathered friends An autumnal walk to spot birds in amongst the woods and wetlands at Jupiter. Build your own bird feeder to take home. Booking essential phone the rangers on 01324 456475 or email jupiterranger@swt.org.uk Children must be accompanied. Sunday 4th November Little Seedlings Club at Dobbies Join Dobbies Little Seedlings Club to find out how to grow herbs that you can use for cooking. All children will plant a miniature herb garden to take home. FREE but children must be accompanied. Phone 01786 458860. Art off the Rock 2012 hosted by Beaconhurst School 6-9pm, Artlink Central’s 8th

biennial fundraising auction. Some of Scotland’s leading artists are donating works to this arts charity fundraiser. The event raises crucial funds for the delivery of innovative arts programs to adults and children who experience learning disabilities, mental illness or social exclusion. Tickets Limited. Available from Artlink Central 01786450971 or info@ artlinkcentral.org The Jack & Jill Market 10.30am – 1.30pm 40 stalls bursting with quality, nearly-new baby & kids clothes, toys, buggies, bikes, equipment, and much more! (0 -9 yrs). Snap up great BARGAINS and save plenty of £££ Grangemouth Sports Centre, Abbots Rd, Falkirk FK3 8JB: To book a stall visit www. jackandjillmarket.co.uk Monday 5th November Fireworks display in Callendar Park Fireworks display at Bridge of Allan Strathallan Park Fireworks display at Alloa West End Park courtesy of Alloa Round Table Friday 9th to Thursday 15th November Hotel Transylvania (U) Macrobert Saturday 10th November Shorts for Wee Ones (U) Bo’ness Hippodrome 11.00am. Suitable for ages 3+ Walk on the Dark Side 7-9.30pm A Family walk with the Clacks Rangers through the Ochil Hills Woodland at night. Bring strong footwear and a torch. Children must be accompanied. Meet at the Ochil Hills Woodland Park near Alva. For details email rangers@clacks.gov.uk or phone 01259 452478. Saturday 10th to Tuesday 13th November Brave (U) Bo’ness Hippodrome various times. Friday 16th to Sunday 18th November The Present Event - Hopetoun’s Christmas Shopping Fair 10am 4.30pm With over 60 stands selling a wide range of high quality and

unusual gifts for Christmas. For information phone 0131 331 2451. Friday 16th to Sunday 25th November Frankenweenie (PG) Macrobert Friday 16th November BBC Children in Need Saturday 17th November Christmas Craft Fair at the Dunblane Centre 11am-4pm Over 60 stalls for that Christmas shopping with beautiful gifts and presents for the festive season. SANTA will be there with lovely gifts for every ‘good’ boy and girl. Mince pies, hot drinks and festive music to get you in the mood for the big day. For information phone 01786 824224. Christmas Lights switch on in Bo’ness We have a fun filled Christmas extravaganza in Bo’ness Town Centre, from 2pm to 4pm, The Bo’ness public schools glee club will perform a medley of songs, followed by the Big Bad Wolf theatre , and children’s theatre, watch enthralled as Santa pays a visit by sleigh, accompanied by his elf, rocking robin, the toy soldiers and 2 giant Christmas trees, there will be something for everyone including a selection of goods and crafts upstairs in Bo’ness Library, SWITCH ON AT 4PM. Christmas Lights Switch on in Grangemouth Come along and enjoy Grangemouth’s Christmas Switch On, with all the fun of the fair have a go on the children’s merry go round, candy floss, face painters and balloon modeller, enjoy Christmas carols from various Grangemouth groups, also the Big Bad Wolf theatre company, the children’s theatre and a visit from Santa and his sleigh, accompanied by his elf, rocking robin, the toy soldiers and 2 giant Christmas trees, pay a visit to the Titanic Honour & Glory exhibition, and wonder in awe at the memorabilia and recreated scenes from the titanic. SWITCH ON AT 5.30PM. Christmas Fair in Grangemouth Town Hall 10– 2pm, Come along and support your local charities, and maybe pick up a bargain or two. There will also be an array of goods and crafts for sale. Take time out and enjoy a cup of tea and tasty homemade baking at the café provided.

out & about

Saturday 17th, 24th, November, 1st, 8th, 15th 22nd and 29th December

Christmas Lantern Hunt at Callendar House Follow the trail of the Christmas lanterns hidden around Callendar House. Children must be accompanied. FREE Sunday 18th November Christmas lights switch on In Falkirk Start the festive season by joining Provost Pat Reid at the Steeple in the High Street when he switches on Falkirk’s Christmas illuminations at 5pm. The entertainment starts at 3.30 with the Falkirk Children’s and Youth Theatre, the Big Bad Wolf Theatre Company. This year, come along a listen to a little bit of Christmas nostalgia in Falkirk, shoppers can take a short time out to join in with the massed choir in a selection of Christmas carols and songs. Watch out for a very special arrival of Santa to help Provost Reid switch the towns’ lights on. SWITCH ON AT 5 PM. Christmas lights switch on in Stirling Town Centre. See Santa and his reindeer parade through town on Sunday 18th November. The parade starts at 12noon from the Corn Exchange in the City and ends with the opening of Santa’s grotto within the Thistles shopping centre at 12.30pm. The reindeer will then be outside Costa Coffee until 2pm so don’t forget your camera! For details visit www. thethistles.com SWITCH ON AT 5pm. Monday 19th November to Saturday 15th November The Victorian Kitchen at Christmas, Callendar House. Sample life below stairs and find out how the Victorians prepared for the Christmas festivities. FREE Tuesday 20th to Saturday 24th November Larbert Amateur Dramatics Society present Babes in the Wood Dobbie Hall Larbert Tickets available from The Steeple Box Office 01324 506850. Saturday 24th November Shelters and Storytelling at Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre Grangemouth. 1-3pm Here is your chance to make some snug winter shelters in the woods then listen to

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out & about

aturday 1st September

Whilst every care has been taken to compile the Out and About section please remember that this magazine is printed weeks in advance of the event. Please call and check events with the venue to avoid any disappointment before setting out.

some chilling winter tales. All children must be accompanied. £2 per person. Contact the ranger on jupiterranger@swt.org.uk or phone 01324 488475. Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th November Madagascar 3 : Europe’s most wanted (U) Bo’ness Hippodrome. The Three Stooges (PG) Macrobert Sunday 25th November The Jack & Jill Market 10.30am – 1.30pm 40 stalls bursting with quality, nearly-new baby & kids clothes, toys, buggies, bikes, equipment, and much more! (0-9 yrs). Snap up great BARGAINS and save plenty of £££ West Lothian College, Almondvale Crescent, EH54 7EP, Livingston. To book a stall visit www.jackandjillmarket.co.uk Wednesday 28th November to Monday 31st December Cinderella at the Macrobert Stirling. Poor Ella, her cruel stepmother makes her work day and night. She dreams of dancing with a handsome prince, but the infamous ugly sisters are inescapable, she has nothing to wear, her fairy godmother has gone Christmas shopping and she is running out of time! Chock full of songs, laughter, magic and mischief, this enchanting tale is brought to glittering life by macrobert’s legendary panto team. Don’t miss Johnny McKnight’s hilarious take on the most popular pantomime of them all. For tickets phone 01786 466666. Saturday 1st December

The Singing Ringing Tree (U) Hippodrome 11am. Christmas Fayre at Beaconhurst School, Bridge of Allan. 11am – 2pm in the School Dining Hall. Entry is free and open to all. Stalls include Christmas gifts and goodies, tombola, raffle and the S6 Young Enterprise Stall. Other attractions include a Bungee Run, Giant Slide, Bucking Reindeer and a Tuck Shop. Mince pies, mulled wine and other refreshments are also available. www.beaconhurst.com Santa and his reindeer in Denny Take time out of your busy preChristmas schedule to pop into Denny town centre to see this year’s visit by Santa and his herd of

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reindeer between 11am and noon. From 12 noon until 4pm musical entertainment will be provided by the Forth Bridges Accordion Band, the Falkirk Children’s and Youth Theatre, the Big Bad Wolf Theatre Group, the Denny Primary School carol singers and Frank Currans Big Christmas Band Sound. This year we have a Giant Snow Globe- “New for 2012”try out our fabulous snow globe where you and the family can enter the unit and have your very own experience, in the snow globe with a complimentary picture as a keep sake. Festive fun for all the family. Santa and his reindeer in Stenhousemuir Join Santa and the Aviemore Reindeer in Stenhousemuir from 2 – 4pm in the precinct. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Forth Bridges Accordion Band, the Falkirk Children’s and Youth Theatre, the Big Bad Wolf Theatre Company, Stenhousemuir Primary School carollers. Walkabout Christmas characters, Christmas Explored interactive Nativity presentation by the Tryst Community Church also being staged on Saturday 1st December. SWITCH ON AT 5pm. Jupiter Wildlife Watch Club Christmas Crafts10.30-12.30 Stuck for Christmas presents? This is your chance to make some great crafty presents also a look over what has been happening at Jupiter over the year. Booking essential phone the rangers on 01324 456475 or email jupiterranger@ swt.org.uk Children must be accompanied. Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December Celebrating St Andrew’s Day at The Wallace Monument Activities and entertainment for everyone to enjoy. Admission is FREE on both days. www. nationalwallacemonument.com Christmas Festival at Mugdock Country Park Enjoy a great two days of festive theme including food & craft, family events and fun to get us all into the seasonal spirit. www. mugdockcountrypark.org.uk Saturday 1st, 8th and 15th December Christmas Decoration and Lantern Making Workshop at Callendar House. 2-4pm. Children must be accompanied. FREE

families central scotland / issue 13

Saturdays & Sundays 1st - 23 rd December Santa Specials at Bo’ness Steam Railway Santa travels by Steam Train, giving a gift to each of the young passengers. Christmas decorations and Christmas songs create a festive atmosphere. Special timetable and special fares apply. Advance booking essential. Please note that the Museum of Scottish Railways is not open. For tickets phone 01506 825855. Sunday 2nd December Santa and his reindeer in Falkirk 2-4pm One of the highlights of the town centre event calendar, the famous Falkirk reindeer parade! Santa and the reindeer will arrive in town for a walk from the east end and back down the High street (please stand anywhere on the High Street from the bandstand to Lint Riggs to get the best view) to Callendar Square where they will be penned until 4pm. Please remember to bring your camera! Little Seedlings Club at Dobbies One Snowman said to the other... Can you smell carrots? Join Dobbies Little Seedlings Club for its annual Christmas party. There will be fun and games for all to enjoy and a little visit from a festive character. FREE but children must be accompanied. Phone 01786 458860. Kippen Playgroup Christmas Market 2-5pm Kippen Village Hall. All welcome. The Jack & Jill Market 10.30am – 1.30pm 40 stalls bursting with quality, nearly-new baby & kids clothes, toys, buggies, bikes, equipment, and much more! (0 -9 yrs). Snap up great BARGAINS and save plenty of £££ Grangemouth Sports Centre, Abbots Rd, Falkirk FK3 8JB: To book a stall visit www. jackandjillmarket.co.uk Tuesday 4th to Monday 24th December Multi-Coloured Blocks From Space at the Macrobert Stirling An alternative festive treat for ages 0 – 2. A visual art and sound installation for babies and toddlers and their families.Together they will enter a magical world of colourful, dancing projections underscored with tinkly electronic music. Given space to explore and play, the children are free to let the environment spark their imaginations.This is an environment with no instructions. It has been designed as a space for adult and child to explore together.

Created by Katy Wilson and Ewan Sinclair, with music by Dougal Marwick. Entry on the hour £5 One Adult & One Baby. Limited capacityearly booking recommended. Phone 01786 466666 for tickets. Tuesday 4th to Sunday 30th December Fish & Game and Macrobert Present The Polar Bears Go Wild If you’re aged 5 or under. Then here’s the show for you, Get here on your skis/snowshoes/ tractor or paddle your canoe… Brave explorers wanted to join two friendly (but slightly naughty) Polar Bears on the adventure of a lifetime. Where are they going? What will they get up to next? And have they got enough sandwiches (Polar Bears love sandwiches, everyone knows that)? With music, comedy and quite a lot of cheekiness, The Polar Bears Go Wild is the perfect festive treat for young audiences. Remember to keep hold of your ice cream Polar Bears are always hungry! For tickets phone 01324 466666. Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th December Dick Whittington at the Dunblane Centre Traditional panto with everything from cats to rats, pirates to princesses and a whole load of hit songs. Performed with over 50 local children and a fab adult cast! £7 per adult and £4 per child/ concession. Phone 01786 824224 for tickets. Friday 7th December Christmas Memorial Service organised by Forth Valley SANDS 7.30pm St Marys Church Upper Bridge Street. For more details contact www. forthvalleysands.org.uk or contact Caroline on 07948 562321. Friday 7th to Sunday 9th December Ice Rink in Alloa Town Centre 10-6pm. Friday 7th to Saturday 15th December (ex Sunday) Falkirk Children’s and Youth Theatre present Cinderella at Falkirk Town Hall Sparkling songs, dance, local laughs and a sprinkle of traditional panto magic a fun filled family panto. For tickets and information phone the Steeple Box office on 01324 506850.


Saturday 8th December Santa and his reindeer in Bo’ness Join Santa Claus and his live reindeer for their annual walk into Bo’ness town centre along with the Forth Bridges Accordion Band to Market Square where the reindeer will be penned between 2-4pm. Make a note of this wonderful family event in your diary and bring the kids, the grandkids and youngsters of all ages! Santa and his reindeer in Grangemouth The annual visit by the sensational Aviemore Reindeer and Santa Claus right in the heart of Grangemouth town centre. See the reindeer parade walk around the town centre along with the Forth Bridges Accordion Band before the reindeer are penned in La Porte Precinct between 10-12noon. The Annual Jupiter Mid-winter Lantern Parade Jupiter Wildlife centre, Grangemouth1-5pm Celebrate mid winter by constructing some wonderful willow and tissue paper lanterns. The afternoon will finish with a twilight walk in the woods lit by your own creation. All children must be accompanied. £2 per person. Contact the ranger on jupiterranger@swt.org.uk or phone 01324 488475. Christmas Fair at Bridge of Allan Primary School, 12-2pm. All welcome. Stalls include tombola, raffles, toy and book sale, face painting and much more. Refreshments are also available. Craft fair Springkerse view Stirling 11-5pm Saturday 8th to Monday 24th December Puss in Boots at Mugdock Country Fizzgig Theatre Company have the PURRfect show FUR you! Cost £9 per adult/£6 per child. Booking essential 0141 956 6100. www.mugdockcountrypark.org.uk/makeabooking Sunday 9th December Bird watching from the Blackness Battlements 11-4pm Join Historic Scotland ranger Service and RSPB for a look out over the Firth of Forth. Children must be accompanied. Normal admission prices apply. Contact the rangers on hs.rangers@ scotland.gsi.gov.uk or phone 01506 842065. Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th December Christmas Pantomime – A Christmas Carol – at Beaconhurst School, Families Central Scotland Magazine now on facebook.Visit us for regular what’s on updates. www.facebook.com/FamCS

Bridge of Allan. 7.30pm in the School’s Cameron Hall. The show is open to all so please contact the School on 01786 832146 for tickets or more information. www.beaconhurst.com

out & about A macrobert production

Stirling’s Five-Star Family Pantomime...

Thursday 13th December Beaconhurst School presents its Carol Concert performed by the School Choir at Dunblane Cathedral 7.30pm9pm. The concert is in aid of charity contact the School on 01786 832146 for tickets or more information. www.beaconhurst.com Saturday 15th December Family Christmas Craft Workshop at Hopetoun House 10.30am - 12noon Cost - £6 Get into the Christmas spirit and go Christmas crackers at Hopetoun! Come along for a day of family fun, making various Christmas decorations. Booking is essential please call the Ranger on 0131 319 3956 or email ranger@hopetoun.co.uk

Written by Johnny McKnight

TicketsDon't onbesale now! late for the ball!

28 Nov31 Dec

Tic from kets £11 only .50

Santa and his reindeer will be in Alloa High Street 10-2pm. Sunday 16th December The Story of Christmas at Stirling Castle12.30-3.30pm Experience 500 years of Christmas. Discover how our celebrations have evolved through history and where some of our modern traditions come from, through a series of amusing and entertaining shows. The event is included in the admission price to Stirling Castle www.stirlingcastle. gov.uk

A cheeky festive adventure perfect for ages 5 & under.

c e D 0 4-3

Saturday 22nd December Christmas Train in Alloa High Street 104pm www.atcbid.com Sunday 23rd December Wee Boppers Disco Come and meet Santa while having loads of fun and dance. 11-1pm and 2-4pm. The Scotts, Wood Street, Grangemouth. For tickets and information see www.weeboppersdisco.co.uk Thursday 27th and Friday 29th December Fairytale Christmas with The Singing Kettle. Albert Halls Stirling. The Singing Kettle’s sensational Fairytale Christmas is overflowing with superb audience participation, non-stop favourite songs and amazing costumes. For tickets phone 01786 473 544.

and al art tion u s i v A a install sound es and bi for ba d rs age toddle d their n 0–2a . s 4 - 24 Dec 10am 2pm familie Entry on the hour. £5 for adult

MACROBERT, UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING

01786 466666 MACROBERT.ORG

& baby


Bo’ness

Saturday 17th November

We have a fun filled Christmas extravaganza in Bo’ness Town Centre, from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Entertainment will be provided by: • Bo’ness Public Schools Glee Club • Big Bad Wolf Theatre and Children’s Theatre • Santa pays a visit by sleigh, with his Elf, Rocking Robin, the Toy Soldiers and Giant Christmas Trees • Bo’ness Shop Crawl from 12th Nov til 24th Dec LIGHTS SWITCH ON AT 4.00PM

Grangemouth

Saturday 17th November

Come along and enjoy Grangemouth’s Christmas Switch On. Entertainment will be provided by: • Children’s Merry Go Round, Face Painters and Balloon Modeller • Christmas Carols • Big Bad Wolf Theatre and Children’s Theatre • Santa and his sleigh, accompanied by his Elf, Rocking Robin, The Toy Soldiers and two Giant Christmas Trees • The Titanic Honour and Glory Exhibition LIGHTS SWITCH ON AT 5.30PM

Falkirk

Sunday 18th November

Start the festive season by joining Provost Pat Reid and Santa at the Steeple in the High Street when they switch on Falkirk’s Christmas illuminations. Entertainment starts at 3.30, featuring: • Falkirk Children’s and Youth Theatre • Big Bad Wolf Theatre Company • Massed Choir singing Christmas Carols LIGHTS SWITCH ON AT 5.00 PM

Denny Saturday 1st December Santa and his live reindeer visit Denny town centre between 11am and 12 noon. From 12 noon until 4.00pm. Entertainment will be provided by: • The Forth Bridges Accordion Band • The Falkirk Children’s and Youth Theatre • The Big Bad Wolf Theatre Group • Denny Primary School Carol Singers. • Frank Currans Big Christmas Band Sound • Giant Snow Globe and Giant Bungee Trampoline LIGHTS SWITCH ON AT 4.00PM

Stenhousemuir

Saturday 1st December

Join Santa and the Aviemore Reindeer in Stenhousemuir from 2 - 4pm in the precinct. Entertainment will be provided by: • The Forth Bridges Accordion Band, • The Falkirk Children’s and Youth Theatre • The Big Bad Wolf Theatre Company • Stenhousemuir Primary School Carollers • Walkabout Christmas Characters • Christmas Explored Nativity Presentation LIGHTS SWITCH ON AT 5.00PM

as

Christm Merry

Families Central Scotland Nov-Dec 2012  

Families Central Scotland Nov-Dec 2012

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