Christmas, it’s the most magical time of the year and Thistles, Stirling is guaranteeing a truly unmissable experience for children and families next month with the announcement of TOY TOWN LIVE, this year’s in-centre festive activity.

Pulling out the stops to ensure the most toy-tastic experience in Scotland this Christmas, TOY TOWN LIVE will transport children into an incredible theatrical experience with live character performers, exciting interactive games, fantastic prizes and the chance to meet Santa.

Set within a vintage style grotto with giant snow-flocked trees dressed with traditional toy decorations, festive garlands, twinkling lights and shimmering floor, the atmosphere in and around Toy Town will be magical.
Upon approaching Toy Town, a series of Nutcracker characters, each named after one of six true meanings of Christmas will be positioned throughout Thistles.

Once at the grotto the children will first be welcomed by Silver Spoon the Sugar Mouse who will prepare young visitors for an enchanting and nostalgic festive fun experience. Joining her will be Captain Christmas the Toy Soldier. Always chipper and ready for action, the Captain will help the children prepare for their Toy Town experience and for meeting their first character, Dolly the Wind-Up Dancer.

A wind-up dancing doll, Dolly only comes to life when someone winds up her key. When this happens she loves nothing more than to share her memories of dancing at grand parties under the Christmas tree, and will even teach the children some of her special moves. But quick, before she winds…back…down!

The next Toy Town resident Silver Spoon will escort the children to meet is Jack! He lives in a box and is a funny old joker. Jack loves surprising people and making them laugh. In a fun game of ‘dare’, children will push a button to release him and Jack will spring into sharing a Christmas joke and a giggle before Silver Spoon puts him back in his box as she continues to lead the Toy Town journey.

An introduction to Big Bear the GIANT Teddy Bear of Toy Town follows. Take a seat, snuggle up with the cuddliest bear in town and enjoy a group reading with Silver Spoon the Sugar Mouse who will ask the children, S –A –N –T –A, what does that spell? Santa!

Together in an exciting finale, the group will call Santa out of his Christmassy wooden cabin, following which he will invite families in one by one.

While families are waiting to meet Santa, Sugar Mouse will keep everyone entertained by introducing them to Rollo the magical Toy Town train. Rollo is powered by magic and just won’t go unless there is enough Christmas kindness in the air. Can the children in Thistles make him chug into action? Oh yes they can! At this point there will also be an opportunity to enter a prize draw to win the chance to take Big Bear home!

The Toy Town experience concludes with an individual meeting with Santa where children can have their photograph taken with him before receiving a special gift.

Officially opening on Saturday 8th December, 11am – 4pm, TOY TOWN LIVE will run daily until Sunday 23rd December and admission is FREE.

In a special treat, a Toy Town teaser will go live in Thistles on Sunday 18th November as part of the Stirling Christmas Lights Switch On. Two installations: The Teddy Bear selfie bench and The King’s Men chess set will be revealed, with two guest characters, Captain Christmas and Dolly the Dancing Doll, providing entertainment throughout the day. The Captain and Dolly will both join Santa for the parade through Stirling before the day culminates with a Meet and Greet with Santa at the Teddy Bear selfie bench.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Gary Turnbull, Centre Director of Thistles said;

“This year’s Christmas at Thistles promises to be extra special. We have really pulled out the stops with Toy Town Live to guarantee magical memories are made for children and their families and everyone is invited to this unmissable free experience.

“Our retailers are ready to welcome shoppers and inspire them with their outstanding selection of gift ideas, and with extended opening hours in the centre along with plenty of convenient parking, we’re ready to put the fun into festive!”