Magical Elfwood Forest planned for Derry’s Guildhall

Ellie the Elf, who will transform the Guildhall into Elfwood Forest on the 9, 10, 16 and 17 December.
Ellie the Elf, who will transform the Guildhall into Elfwood Forest on the 9, 10, 16 and 17 December.

Derry’s Guildhall is currently undergoing a festive make over, with elves, Christmas films and tales from Santa’s wife all planned for the coming weeks.

On December 9, 10, 16 and 17, the Mayor has arranged for the Guildhall to be transformed into Elfwood Forest by a special elf coming direct from the North Pole.

Ellie the Elf will lead children into the enchanted forest which is being created at the Mayor’s Parlour in the Guildhall.

Over the two weekends, magical animals like Snuffleplops, the Pixielotts and the Ginormous Wrecks, will help entertain the children.

As the children arrive at the forest gates they will be greeted by Ellie and she will relate stories of Elfwood and get the children to help wake Santa, who has asleep since July, as last year’s Christmas took such a toll on him.

The children will then be given the opportunity to walk around Reindeer Road and stop off at the ice camp fire, where Santa looks into the imagination of his elves.

As each thought comes from the elves, they float like bubbles around Elfwood.

Mayor Hilary McClintock said: “It’s definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Now we have most of the lights throughout the district switched on its time to add some sparkle to the Guildhall.

“There will be events for all ages, with festive treats, films for children and adults, tall tales from the Elves and a lady I am most looking forward to sharing the Guildhall with – Mrs Claus.

“I am honoured that she has chosen to make a home for herself here and share some of her experiences living with Santa and the Elves. I would like to ask everyone to give her a warm welcome during her stop over.

“There is a full programme of events going on throughout the city and district. Be sure to check out everything that is happening. This is wonderful time of year for all communities to come together, celebrate and enjoy a very unique Christmas experience, please enjoy it.”

Andrea Campbell, Event Co-ordinator at Derry City and Strabane District Council said: “Christmas events at the Guildhall continues from December 18 to 21 when there will be Cosy Christmas Family Film Matinees from 3.30pm with refreshments included for children, and on December 20 and 21 there will be Classic Christmas Films screened from 6.45pm with mulled wine and mince pies. Admission to all films screened at the Guildhall will cost £2 per person.

“Mrs Claus comes to town on December 18 and plans to stay until December 23, just ahead of Christmas, when she’ll be taking over the Guildhall and making a cosy living room for herself to share her tales with all the children on life with Santa and the elves and giving out traditional Christmas gifts to each child.

“She’ll also be serving some homemade hot chocolate and sweet delights to keep everyone warm and snug.

‘Make sure you get your space booked for this one as everyone will want to meet Mrs Claus and unfortunately space is limited.”

Mrs Claus will visit her living room at 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm for 30 minutes of storytelling. Admission is £2 per person (including children and adults) and pre-booking can be made via Guildhall reception or by telephoning 028 71 376510.

The ‘Light up Your Christmas’ programme for the Derry and Strabane District includes everything from crafts, choirs, Christmas Wonderland’s, a Christmas Tree Festival, storytelling and a Christmas Jumpers World Record attempt. Find out more at Derry City and Strabane District Council’s website www.derrystrabane.com/christmas.