‘Twas the week before Christmas and, all through the North, Father Christmas was getting ready for a very busy time visiting all the North Manchester Libraries. First job up was his very special Christmas Storytimes for babies and pre-school children and parents or carers at Avenue Library in Blackley, Newton Heath Library and North City Libraries in Harpurhey, Beswick Library and Abraham Moss Library in Crumpsall. These very festive Storytimes featured  naughty elves, seasonal songs & rhymes (When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney – of course!) and Julia Donaldson’s well-loved classic Stickman – would he ever get home to his family tree?

We were so keen to make sure that no library child missed out on receiving a free storybook and gift bag for Christmas that, in the blink of an eye, and a sprinkling of elf dust, we magicked  up, not one, but TWO Santa Clauses – now we know how he gets all around the world on Christmas Eve!

Read Manchester and Salford’s Lowry Theatre played a wonderful role in enabling us to offer families a festive prize draw to win a family ticket to see Stickman at the Lowry Theatre, plus a book bag of Stickman goodies. One lucky family at North City Library won this fabulous prize.

Next job for Father Christmas to visit all our Manchester Library staff and wish them a very Merry Christmas

Best of all was Father Christmas’s special appearance at our fabulously decorated Winter Wonderland festive party for children and families at North City Library in Harpurhey. This was a fantastic family occasion where local children and parents could really kick off the Christmas holidays in style with lots of activities – a Christmas Storytime for little ones, Snowy Green Screen Fun at the North Pole for kids, plus Christmas baubles and stockings to make and decorate, a lovely prize draw to win a cuddly  Christmas Sloth, a free snack and drink,  and every child took away a Festive goody bag from Father Christmas with a free Read Manchester book and comic to enjoy. 

We had so many happy faces from children and so many enthusiastic and grateful comments from parents about the day and Father Christmas, it really sent everyone home with a warm glow and set us really looking forward to the big day! We enjoyed this so much that we’re looking forward to our next big family Fun Day for International Mother Language Day on Monday 21 February – for more information, email alison.gill@manchester.gov.uk