9 things to do in the Portsmouth area this week

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If you’re stuck of what to do with the family this week, we’re here to give you some ideas - with a festive twist of course.

1- Castle Cracker

A new festive event will see families flock to Southsea Castle today.

Portsmouth City Council has teamed up with local businesses for the free Christmas Cracker event, which is in aid of the homeless charity Crisis.

Why not indulge in some mulled wine in the grotto bar, as well as beer tasting and tours at Southsea Brewing Company?

The Southsea Community Choir will lead a rousing carol singing from 5.30pm.

Find out more about the event at portsmouth.gov.uk.

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2- Out Of This World

The public gets the chance to see what makes an astronaut in a new exhibition at the Novium Museum in Chichester – Tim Peake; An Extraordinary Journey.

The exhibition will allow visitors to embark on a space journey that follows his astronomical adventure – from growing up in Chichester to becoming the first British European Space Agency astronaut.

The UK Space Agency and the Destination Space programme are also backing the exhibition, which will also explore careers in space in order to inspire young people to follow in Tim’s footsteps.

The exhibition opened on Thursday, the anniversary of Tim’s launch into space. The museum opens 10am-5pm, Monday to Saturday. Entry is free. Go to thenovium.org.

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3- Charity Gig

Things could get a bit raucous at this one – it’s a one-off fundraising gig for The Rowans Hospice from 7pm to 11pm tonight at The Loft above The Kings pub on Albert Road, Southsea.

The family of Mick Meech have put it together to raise cash in his memory. Yop Radio Saga, Outgun Empire, Versus The Tractor, The Drainz and Evil Chopsticks will be playing a selection of originals, rock/pop covers and Christmas classics.

Tickets £5 on the door. All proceeds go to the hospice.

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4- Hometown Grub

Don’t settle for a shop-bought dinner this Christmas: indulge in some of the finest local produce this weekend as Hampshire Farmers’ Market makes a double appearence.

Savour delicious local food and drink reared, baked and brewed across the county at the South Street Car Park in Emsworth today from 10am to 1pm, and on Palmerston Road, Southsea, tomorrow from 10am to 2pm.

Go to hampshirefarmersmarkets.co.uk for a full list of dates.

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5- Quirky Crafts

Arts group Crafts in the Tower is holding a Festive Fair tomorrow, at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth from 11am to 4pm.

These talented local artists and makers will be selling their wares as the perfect Christmas gift or for your own pleasure.

Eighteen artists will be showing their work, including blacksmith Lucille Scott, jewellery-maker Sharon Justice and Di Wren’s quirky ceramics.

The vintage tea room will also be open.

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6- Get In The Grooves

For 13 years, its sessions have offered a platform for Portsmouth’s poets and musicians to thrive.

Now community group Tounges and Grooves is holding its end-of-year celebration, Sauce for the Goose, at the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth tonight from 7pm.

There will be live music as ever from T&G’s house band, Les Kazoos D’amour, open-mic opportunities and a limerick competition.

Tickets are just £4, head to tounguesandgrooves.com for more information.

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7- Family Festivities

Tomorrow, Family Church will be spreading the Christmas spirit across Hampshire with a triple bill of festive services and celebrations.

Family Church Gosport’s Christmas Around The World event will begin at 10.30am at Brune Park Community School, featuring a culturally diverse carol service.

At 4pm, The Portsmouth Academy will host Family Church’s Portsmouth congregation, with a real-life nativity with animals, brass band, and loads more.

Finally, Family Church Havant will invite community members to their Christmas celebration at the Empower Centre from 5pm.

The evening will involve traditional carols, an interactive nativity, and the annual Christmas jumper contest.

For more information on the services call (023) n9266 2257 or go to family-church.org.uk.

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8- In The Swim

Anyone wearing a Christmas jumper to Blue Reef Aquarium this weekend will save 20 per cent on the door admission price for adult, child, senior and student tickets.

And they will be helping raise money for Save The Children – anyone making a donation to the charity will be entered into a draw to take part in either an ocean tunnel feed, a stingray feed or a shark feed. The Southsea aquarium is open from 10am daily.

Visit bluereefaquarium.co.uk.

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9- Victorian Christmas

Visitors are invited into the garrison kitchen at the Royal Armouries museum at Fort Nelson on Portsdown Hill to experience the sights, smells and sounds of a traditional Victorian Christmas.

Sessions cost £2.50 per adult, children free, and run at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm from Monday to Friday. Go to royalarmouries.org.

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