All eyes will be on Queens Court at centre:mk on Friday (November 11) from 5pm as Milton Keynes launches the festive season with Santa’s arrival and the annual lights switch on.
Kick starting the festivities will be Santa; arriving on the roof of centre:mk to officially open the Grotto and switch on the lights which have been specially curated by renowned light designer James Glancy, (who has created the light installations for Regent Street this year, as well previously for London’s Leicester Square and Birmingham).
The legendary designer will be bringing his talents to Milton Keynes for the second year running, as part of centre:mk’s Christmas lights scheme.
Heart Four Counties Breakfast favourites Stuart Miles and Katy Hill will host a short ceremony, as crowds gather for Santa’s spectacular rooftop arrival.
Santa will board his sleigh on Midsummer Arcade, where thousands of children will be lining the route. On arrival in Middleton Hall, Santa will enter the Grotto Kingdom and light up Middleton Hall with a countdown and button push, illuminating the thousands of lights in Queens Court as well as the centre’s impressive Christmas tree.
Following the lights switch-on, centre:mk will open the UK’s largest shopping centre grotto experience until Saturday 24th December.
The almost 20,000 sq ft, 25 minute fully interactive experience is sure to not disappoint. Featuring a double height carousel, traditional nativity scene and speciality craft cabins; it will provide the perfect backdrop to the extraordinary home of Santa. Festive activities include arts and crafts group workshops, where children can enjoy making Christmas wreaths and decorating wooden angels.
Following a visit from Santa and his elves, every child will receive a gift; creating the ultimate family day out.
“At the heart of Milton Keynes, Santa’s arrival and our annual Christmas lights switch on is always a key attraction for festive shoppers from the city and beyond," says centre:mk director Kevin Duffy.
"We hope to make this year even bigger and better, with lots of exciting in centre activities from Santa’s Grotto to the Christmas Market, making it the ultimate fun-filled day for the whole family. With Queens Court being a much loved space, it seemed like the perfect location to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
"We are confident that Santa’s arrival will be a memorable moment and his parade up the mall.”