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The Queensgate Shopping Centre Christmas spectacular arrives in true festive fashion this year as Peppa Pig and her family visit the Centre for the seasonal Christmas light switch on, on Friday November 7.


From 2pm to 5pm, on the hour, Peppa Pig, George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig, will be appearing during Story Time sessions (led by a narrator) in Central Square, which is completely free for everyone to watch and join in.

From 6pm, join Heart FM presenters; Kev and Ros as well as cast members from the Cresset’s panto ‘Aladdin’, to begin the countdown and press the big button to illuminate the Centre’s Christmas lights – Peppa Pig will be there too!

To top it all off, the biggest star of all, Father Christmas will take up residency in his grotto on the night. Based in North Square, he’ll meet and greet all the good boys and girls, listen to their Christmas wishes and send them off with an early present. Santa will take to his chair next to the fireplace until Sunday November 9, and then daily from Saturday November 15 until Christmas Eve. Tickets cost: £4.50 per child.

This year the Giving Tree returns; shoppers are invited to take a tag from its branches and donate a present to local charity, Spurgeons, by leaving it at the Customer Information Desk.

More good news is that parking is FREE after 5.30pm until 11.30pm from December 1 until December 23 and trading is until 9pm on weeknights. Plus, to help shoppers during the Christmas rush, the Kidney Research Charity Gift Wrap is back from Thursday November 27 until Christmas Eve. The jolly team of wrapping experts are on hand to cut, fold and stick around presents of all shapes and sizes – even the tricky ones. See the Queensgate website for full details and timings.


This year, Black Friday returns to the shops on Friday November 28. The American shopping phenomenon has grown year-on-year and 2014 is expected to be bigger than ever. On this day, stores will offer their biggest pre-Christmas discounts, giving plenty of opportunity to snap up a bargain or two for the family – or even a cheeky treat for yourself. Look out for discount details on social media channels nearer the time.

Finally, the perfect Christmas package is complete with the Salvation Army Brass Band guaranteed to be in full fine form, playing Christmas songs on Saturday December 6, 13 and 20 from 10am until 2pm.

Sam Eastwood, Centre Director at Queensgate Shopping Centre, told ESP: “We are all very excited to see the start of Christmas launch in such spectacular fashion and bring some festive spirit to Peterborough. There is plenty for all the family to get excited about this year and our wonderful mix of 90 stores and thousands of brands means you can do all the shopping you need to under one roof.”

Santa’s Grotto is open daily from Saturday November 15:

Monday – Friday 10am to 6pm

Saturday – 9am to 6pm

Sunday – 10.30am until 4.30pm

Grotto tickets are available on arrival and tickets cost £4.50 per child (which includes a present).

For gift ideas, all the latest news, Christmas opening hours, parking information, events and competitions, visit:

Photos: 2013 Christmas lights switch on, Emma Bothamley for ESP Magazine



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