The goings on in and around Bridgend

The BIG Bridgend Christmas blog 2017

It's the most wonderful time of the year… and without a doubt the busiest! The relentless Christmas shopping, the endless invites and the need to meet a million and one dietary requirements for the family lunch can take their toll. But stress no more! With our BIG guide you needn't fuss over finding festive things to do.

From a giant snow globe experience to the annual Christmas pudding race, you won't be bored in Bridgend this Christmas.

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Christmas Lights Switch On, 25th November
This is it - Christmas officially starts here! Santa and his reindeer will be flying into town and parading around before arriving in Santa's Grotto in Carnegie House. Kids will have the opportunity to visit the resting reindeer before joining Bridge FM's Lee Jukes as he lights up Bridgend with Father Christmas and 50 little angels in toe!
Saturday 25th November, 10.30am - 5pm
www.carnegiehouse.co.uk/events/christmas-bridgend-2017/

Bridgend's 1940s Christmas! 2nd December
Bridgend's town centre will be travelling seventy years into the past to enjoy a very traditional 1940s Christmas! There will be a variety of fun and educational stalls including 1940's candle, stocking and decoration making. You can also expect kids' crafts, exhibitions, live music and much, much more!
Saturday 2nd December, 10am - 4pm
www.carnegiehouse.co.uk/events/christmas-bridgend-2017/

A White Christmas in Bridgend, 9th December
Have you been dreaming of a white Christmas this year? Well get ready for all your dreams to come true on Saturday the 9th of December! Kids will have the opportunity to slip inside a giant snow globe, have their picture taken, watch a magical ice sculpture being carved and play in the magical snowy flurries. 
Saturday 9th of December, 11am - 2pm
www.carnegiehouse.co.uk/events/christmas-bridgend-2017/

Bryngarw Reindeer Trail, 9-17 December
Santa has lost his reindeer in Bryngarw - can you help find them? Collect your map, make up your own cup of reindeer food and then head out on the trail to find the reindeer! Collect a sticker for each reindeer before heading back to make a reindeer craft to take home! £3 per child.
Weekends of 9-10 and 16-17 of December, 11am - 3pm

Merthyr Mawr Christmas Pudding Race, 10 December
The tastiest race is back! Sadly you're already too late to book a place in this popular annual race, but you're more than welcome to come and watch as a group of brave souls look to tackle a challenging 6 mile run that begins with an ascent of the mighty 'Big Dipper' sand dune. Importantly, mulled wine and mince pies will be made available to all!
Sunday 10th December, 10am
www.bracklaharriers.co.uk

Porthcawl Christmas Day Swim, 25th December
Yes, it seems people are still interested in stripping down to their trunks and wading into the UK seas in late December. Taking place on Monday 10:30am - 1pm you can join in with the 53rd annual Christmas Morning Swim to help raise money for local Macmillan Cancer Support. Fancy dress is optional but very much recommended!
Monday 25 December, 10:30am - 1pm
https://www.christmasswim.org

Kids Activities for Children in Need

Attention parents! We have some very fun children's activity ideas for you to steal and claim as your own. With Children in Need fast approaching, it's time to celebrate the joy our kids bring everyday… and find new ways to keep them busy!

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Jump for joy at Wales' largest indoor trampoline park

Jump Jam Trampoline Park will be holding two Children in Need Rock! Sessions on Friday 17th November. As well as trumping the trampolines, your kids can get lost in the tumble tracks, get fit with the cardio wall height challenge or even battle it out on the battle beam and foam pit. The best part of all? Parents are welcome to join in the fun! £10 per hour, 6pm; 8pm, with a percentage of profits going to Children in Need in Bridgend.

Get a Wiggle on to Wiggly's Fun Farm
With indoor and outdoor adventure play areas, Wiggly Fun Farm is perfect for some all-weather entertainment. Feed the ducks on a woodland walk before being introduced to some of Wiggly Farm's very own farm animals. Be sure not to miss the adorable pets corner too - you and your little ones won't want to leave! 

Roam free in the Great Outdoors
If it's not too wet outside, take a walk around Bryngarw Country Park where your kids can explore the great outdoors. While the entire park is a playground for little ones, the dedicated Children's Zone, fit with swings, slides and multi-play units, will keep them entertained for hours! Head to Cedars Tearoom afterwards for a well-earned tea and homemade slice of cake.

Bake up a storm for the BBC
BBC Children in Need are asking kids everywhere to bake up a storm this Friday. Get messy in the kitchen with this child friendly downloadable bake kit, complete with recipes, labels, decorations and score cards. Make you're your kids take their tasty creations to school the next day to help Bridgend raise money for Children in Need!

Become an angel for the day with Bridge FM
Meet Santa and his reindeer in his festive grotto at Carnegie House, Wyndham St, before taking to the streets for Bridge FM's Christmas light switch on. Bridge FM are looking for 50 little angels of primary school age to join their festive Santa parade before helping their own Lee Jukes turn on the Christmas lights. Click the link below to register your angel today.
Saturday 25th November from 11am. Christmas light switch on 4.30pm
http://bridgefm.wales/bridgend-angel-parade-and-christmas-light-switch-on/



Life's a beach... if you're a dog in Bridgend County!

Dog walkers rejoice! Winter is here which means you and your pooch can once again roam free along some of the best beaches in Wales. From grassy green cliff tops to golden sand dunes, your furry friend will love these winter walks.

Here are five top beaches you and your dog can enjoy this winter...

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Not just for sausage dogs, Ogmore by Sea
Despite hosting an attempt for the world's biggest sausage dog walk, Ogmore by Sea welcomes pups of all shapes and sizes throughout the winter months. Entertain your pooch for hours on end with a game of hide and seek in its expansive stretch of sandy dunes. If you and your pup have energy to spare, hop along the 52 stepping-stones leading up to Ogmore Castle, where dogs on leads can walk around the Norman stone-built castle on the lead. 

A rocky adventure at Newton Beach
Also known as Black Rock Beach, Newton Bay provides a rocky adventure for your dog to enjoy. With plenty of sand dunes and coves to explore, this rocky beach is filled with intriguing features for your furry friend to discover. If you are travelling from afar, the nearby Blue Seas Guesthouse welcomes dogs and even offers grooming and walking services. Its adjoining café is also dog friendly!

For the lone ranger, Sker beach
If a long and private walk in a remote spot is what you're after, Sker beach is the perfect location for you and your pooch at this time of year. One of the quieter beaches in Porthcawl, Sker beach is recommended for dogs who enjoy a beach to themselves. Wrap up warm and amble along the beach's grassy dunes or take your dog for a winter's dip in its chilly shallows.

Waterfall watch at Dunraven Bay
Often referred to as Southerndown beach, Dunraven welcomes dog walkers throughout the winter months. Walk along its soft sands and up onto low, grass-topped cliffs. Discover the ruins of Dunraven castle where you and your pooch can take in views across to Temple Bay and watch the occasional waterfall cascade down the cliff faces beyond.

Park up and go at Rest Bay
Surrounded by stretches of low, green grass-land and golden sands, Rest Bay is the perfect spot to take your dog off the lead during the winter months. If you're coming from far and wide, simply pull up with your pooch in the beach's nearby car park (just 100m from the beach) and go!

Bonfire Night in Bridgend County!

Remember, remember the 5th of November, gun powder, treason and… toffee apples? Whatever the rhyme, Bonfire night is one for the whole family to enjoy! With celebrations just around the corner, it's time to wrap up warm, get out the sparklers and admire the best firework display near you.

Here are some you'd be crackers to miss:

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Brackla Firework Sound and Light Show, 3rd November
Prepare your senses for Brackla's annual sound and light show at Archbishop McGrath Comprehensive School this month. Starts at 5.30pm. Admission is £1 for adults and children go free.
For more information visit http://www.bracklacommunitycouncil.gov.uk

Coity Bonfire and fireworks display, 4th November
Head to the picturesque Coity Castle where the village will be lighting its annual bonfire and firework display. Starts at 5.30pm, bonfire at 6pm and fireworks at 6.30pm. £5 for adults. Children under 12 go free. For more information visit: http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/coitycastle/?lang=en

Heol Y Cyw fireworks, 4th November
Coychurch Higher Community Council and Heol Y Cyw RFC will be hosting another cracking display this year with fireworks starting at 6.30pm. Head to Heol Y Cyw RFC playing fields to catch the show. Admission is free.

Laleston Firework and laser display, 4th November
Prepare to be amazed at Bryntirion and Laleston Community Centre playing fields, with an incredible laser light and firework display. Starts at 6.30pm. Admission is free. For more information visit: http://lalestoncommunitycouncil.gov.uk

Coney Beach Charity Fund bonfire, 4th November
Help raise money for the Coney Beach charity fund! Exploding with entertainment from 6pm, this Porthcawl bonfire is one for the whole family. Bonfire will be lit at 7pm, Salt Lake Car Park. Admission is free.

Seafront Display, 4th November
The Hi Tide Inn is set to make Porthcawl seafront sparkle this November, hosting a night of fireworks starting at 7pm. Admission is free. For more information visit: http://hi-tide.co.uk

Pencoed Firework display, 5th November

Head to Felindre Road playing fields for an evening of fire cracking, family fun. Starts at 6.15pm. Admission is free. For more information visit: http://www.pencoedtowncouncil.gov.uk/Pencoed-TC/Default.aspx

Bridgend Festival of Light and Lantern Parade, 11th November
See Bridgend in a whole new light with its illuminating light and lantern parade. Join circus group Organised Kaos with your own lantern or simply come along to marvel this fun, family event. Head to Carnegie House at 4pm, Admission is free. http://www.carnegiehouse.co.uk/events/bridgend-festival-of-light-and-lantern-parade/

Remember to stay safe this bonfire night and follow the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents' safety code:

  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time.
  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.
  • Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back.
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
  • Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
  • Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.

Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving.

 

October Half Term Fun!

Parents beware: October Half Term is just around the corner, which means an army of children demanding entertainment! Lucky for you that there's plenty to keep the whole family entertained in Bridgend County this Half Term - read on and enjoy…

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Firstly, given that it is spooky season once again, there will be plenty of things going bump in the night! These include:

- A Family Fun Halloween Party at Tondu House Farm (Friday 27th October)
- Bryngarw Spooktacular (Saturday 28th October)
- Porthcawl Halloween Ball (Saturday 28th October)
- A Halloween event with Porthcawl Harbourside
- A Hi Tide Halloween kids disco (Tuesday 31st October)

Other options:

Oskar's Amazing Adventure at Carnegie House

Desperate for some fun, Oskar leaves his snowbound little house on top of the mountain to try to find a friendly animal to play with. But where are all the animals? And why does Oskar have to wait till spring to play his favourite game again?
An original, heart-warming play for young children and their families. Full of good humour, adventure, music and song, this is the perfect treat for your little ones. Ages 2-7 years old.
Tickets cost £6
http://www.carnegiehouse.co.uk/events/oskars-amazing-adventure/

Walk the Wales Coast Path
We're home to a beautiful stretch of the Wales Coast Path along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Porthcawl has seven beautiful beaches to choose from, ranging from the surfing territory of Sandy Bay to the Merthy Mawr sand dunes at Newton Beach, which has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

On Your Bike!
If you explore to spend a crisp autumn day exploring on two wheels, you're in luck! Choose some adrenaline fuelled mountain biking in the Garw Valley, or alternatively opt to follow the cycling tracks at Ogmore Valley or Llynfi Valley.