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What’s On this week 6 – 18 Jan

6 - 18 Jan

Circus of Horrors, The Hawth, Crawley, Wed 10 Jan/ Theatre Royal Brighton, Tues 16 Jan

The burlesque-slanted Circus of Horrors started 22 years ago and has toured all over the world; and were even Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists back in 2011. In its latest incarnation ‘Voodoo’. The bizarre and amazing circus acts that rule the underworld are awoken by a Ouija board. A sensational horror story ensues with feats performed to devil-driven Rock n Roll. Ooerr. Not advisable for under 16’s. Tickets from £21.

National Trust Snowdrop spots, West Sussex, Jan & Feb 

Image: National Trust, Meghan Doran

In January and February snowdrops cheer up the winter landscape. Wakehurst’s displays of snowdrops form huge drifts as you walk from the Visitor Centre and around the trees near the Mansion Pond. A new Winter Garden will be opening in February featuring snowdrops among the 35,000 plants. Volunteer guides lead a tour daily at 11.30am.  At Nymans, Handcross, near Haywards Heath visitors can spot snowdrops, camellias and magnolias underplanted with daffodils and grape hyacinths. Snowdrops can also be found in the bulb meadow in the walled garden. By Valentine’s Day, over 150 different types of plant will be flowering at Nymans.

Special offers, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Winchester and elsewhere, Jan, Feb, March

Hotel du Vin and Mal Maison always decent new year offers on. This time round there’s 50% off al la carte dining at Malmasion when you use an e-voucher from now until 3 Feb – which happens to be my other half’s birthday week… hmm handy. There’s also a current 50/50 room offer (stay for £50 when you spend £50 in the brasserie). The nearest Mal is at Brighton Marina. At sister chain Hotel du Vin meanwhile check out the ‘Weekend Starts Early‘ Friday stay offer where your room is from £75 when you spend £75 in the bistro. They also have a similar Settle in Sundays deal which I’ve used myself several times where the rooms are from £30 – £50. The nearest Hotel du Vins are Brighton, Tunbridge Wells and Winchester.

Lumiere London 2018, various London locations, 18 – 20 Jan

Umbrella Project by Cirque Bijou. Courtesy of Artichoke

Lumiere London was a huge success in 2016 and for those of us kicking ourselves we missed it – hurrah, it’s back for 2018. Over 40 artists have created light installations and illuminations around the capital for a nightime festival. Key areas include Westminster and Victoria, and South Bank and Waterloo (particularly handy for those of us arriving by Southern or Thameslink) plus the West End, King’s Cross, Fitzrovia and Mayfair. Check out the full programme on the website. There’s also a handy app.

Bring Your Own Baby comedy, Komedia, Brighton, Tues Jan 16, 20 Feb and 13 March

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picture by Elyse Marks

Great idea – something you can enjoy with a baby that doesn’t involve being made to behave like an infant yourself. Bring Your Own Baby is coming up the next few months at Brighton’s Komedia. It’s a proper adult, sweary daytime stand-up show with toys, lights and the like to distract under 12-month-olds. You enjoy comedy without having to book a babysitter and they are none the wiser about any filth beyond that they are filling their nappy with. It sells out in advance so get cracking. Tickets are a tenner.

Little Wild Things, Pulborough Brooks, fortnightly from Tues 6 Jan – Tues 26 June

If you’ve got wee ones, check out this RSPB nature group aimed at pre-schoolers. Each morning session involves exploration – looking for mini beasts, worm charming, outdoor games etc – plus a story and a craft to make and take home. It runs fortnightly at a cost of £6 per child per session, including a drink (accompanying adults free) and is aimed at two and a half to five-year-olds. Booking is essential.

Omid Djalili: Schmuck for a Night, Chichester Festival Theatre, 15 and 20 Jan 

Last time he graced the CFT stage he was starring in Fiddler on the Roof, now award-winning comedian and actor Omid Djalili is back on his nationwide stand-up tour tour. The smart, sometimes provocative stand-up is in town for two nights on the 15 and 20 Jan. Tickets are £28.


Ice skating at Priory Meadow, Hastings, until  7 Jan/ Royal Pavilion, Brighton, until 14 Jan 

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The rink at Priory Meadow shopping centre, Hastings has midweek BOGOF deals and kids’ loyalty cards get you discounts until 7 Jan. beneath the onion domes of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion the ice rink has a covered cafe/bar terrace open till late with mulled wine and meals including stone-baked pizzas until 14 Jan.

Lego brick animal trail and ‘make and take’ until 14 Jan

You can’t fail to spot birds at Arundel Wetland Centre at the moment because besides the real ones are giant colourful creatures on the Lego Brick Animal Trail. The 1.5 metre creations include a Hawaiin goose, a kingfisher and an otter. Various Lego ‘make and take’ sessions are also available in which kids can create a frog and a fly (£5 + centre admission).


War Horse, Brighton Centre, Thurs 25 Jan – Sat 10 Feb 

I can’t believe this hasn’t sold out already but you’re in luck – there are still a good amount of tickets left for weekdays during its run. The outstanding National Theatre production at the Brighton Centre this month is based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and features those incredible, life-size puppets of the horses. I took my mum to see it in London and it really is as good as the hype. It’s suitable for older children upwards and tickets are from £22.30. See a review by Muddy Oxon here.

Burns Night suppers and events, various Sussex locations, Thurs 25 Jan 

We may be the other end of the country but that doesn’t stop Sussex breaking out the whisky and shortbread and even a haggis or two for Burns Night. Jeremy’s Restaurant at Borde Hill Gardens, near Haywards Heath is laying on a five course menu with a wee dram, the toast to the haggis and a piper.  The Sussex Produce Company in Steyning has three courses, piper and peoms for £40 – or turn up a couple of days before for a supper with Scottish crime author Peter May (£30). The Kennels at Goodwood has three courses, wine, whisky and the usual customs for £70.  There’s a budget Burns supper at Lewes Con Club at £15 a head for two courses plus whisky (vegetarian option available). Brighton’s i360 is putting on an extended 40 minute flight for Burns night with Scottish-themed canapes and a shot of Harvey’s Lewes Blend Whisky (£25, or discounted for local residents)

Find more ideas here

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