CHRISTMAS came early for hundreds of excited youngsters as a town attraction was transformed into a hive of festive fun.
Santa’s little helpers held yuletide crafts activities, dance groups took to the stage with fantastic festive-themed performances and children enjoyed enchanting Christmas storytelling.
It was smiles all round for youngsters as Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience held its hugely popular Christmas Crackers event last night.
And just when the children were thinking it couldn’t get any better, Santa made a grand entrance by boat and spent the rest of the evening strolling around the quayside meeting children and their families.
And the good news for the town’s youngsters is Santa doesn’t plan on leaving the Maritime Experience until Christmas Eve. Children can now visit him in his grotto from 2pm-4pm every day and won’t leave without receiving an early festive gift.
While Santa’s appearance stole the show at last night’s event, families also enjoyed a host of outstanding performances.
The award-winning students of the Nadine Kennedy Academy of Dance wowed the crowds with their moves while people were mesmerised by Mister Twister’s magic shows. The Bread and Butter Theatre Company also made the trip to the town for the event and put on a show.
If that wasn’t enough, the children also enjoyed rides and games while adults got the chance to cast their eyes over a number of market stalls selling festive treats and gifts.
Due to the popularity of Santa’s grotto in the build up to Christmas, people are advised to book a slot in advance. That can be done from Hartlepool Art Gallery, in Church Square, or from Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience. Entry to the grotto costs £4.50.