Judge Santa will be deciding who has been naughty and nice at Dorchester’s Christmas Cracker

Calling all kids – have you been naughty or nice? Judge Santa will be holding court at Shire Hall to find out!
Father Christmas has been making a list and will be checking it twice when he arrives at Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum on Dorchester’s Christmas Cracker night.
He will be holding court in the Judge’s seat in the courtroom from 4pm-8pm on Thursday, December 6th, to find out which Dorset children are on the naughty and nice lists. Every child who visits will receive a special Christmas Gift, and the museum Elves have promised that no children will get ‘sent down’ to the cells.
At the start of Cracker night, the New Hardy Players will be singing carols outside Shire Hall on High West Street dressed in Victorian costumes. To add a touch of Christmas magic, whatever the weather, the elves have found a snow machine.
Judge Santa will be then be joining the museum every Saturday and Sunday until December 23, as they celebrate their first Christmas. The theme will be a Victorian Christmas and see a host of activities from carol singing to film nights and special festive treats in the café.
Every Wednesday in December until the 19th at 4pm, there will be a Christmas movie being shown, including Arthur Christmas, The Polar Express and for the last film, it’s up to the visitors to choose. Popcorn and hot chocolate will be provided so film fans just need to bring their onesies, blankets and pillows to get comfy.
There will also be traditional music in the courtroom, with cellist Sally Flann and violinist Russell Dawson performing a lunchtime concert of well-known Christmas favourites on December 8th at 1pm. The Crossways Handbell Ringers will be performing in the café on December 15th at 3pm and the Purbeck Village Quire will be performing in the acoustics of the Georgian courtroom at 1pm on December 16th.
Finally, the New Hardy Players will be hosting a special fundraiser ‘Christmas in the Courtroom’, for charity Mind in the courtroom on 13 December at 7.30pm. This will include a selection of Christmas carols, midwinter poetry from Thomas Hardy and William Barnes, dramatic scenes from the Mayor of Casterbridge and Under the Greenwood Tree and a Christmas Mummers play.
For those with an artistic edge, there will also be a wreath making workshop on December 1 at 2pm and jewellery making on December 8 from 10am – 4pm. For tickets, and to find out more about all the events at Shire Hall visit shirehalldorset.org.uk or call 01305 261849.