There will still be all kinds of festive cheer at Queensgate this year, but Santa's Grotto will not be going ahead.
"Christmas will look different this year, but nothing can take away the centre’s Christmas spirit. Although we sadly cannot hold our grotto this year, Santa will be here in spirit and will deliver a jolly message to all the girls and boys that write a letter to him. We can’t wait to be able to celebrate the festivities at Queensgate and put a smile on everyone’s faces", said marketing manager at Queensgate, Rebecca Keefe.
However, children can still speak to Santa, to let them know what they would like for Christmas, through the special post box located outside Schuh. Once the letter is posted, parents should scan the QR code next the the box to receive a special message from Father Christmas – each message will also feature sign language.
The Christmas lights will be switched on from November 12, and that is when the festive cheer will really hit the shopping centre.
Parents or guardians can download the letter from Queensgate’s website from November 12, or pick one up from the customer information desk. Letters need to be posted by December 16 so Santa has time to respond.
The Giving Christmas Tree will be back, but it won't be what we've seen in previous years. The tree has previously been to support Spurgeons Children's Charity, and it still is, though children cannot receive Christmas presents.
After this year’s unforeseen circumstances, Spurgeons will be supporting even more families in and around Peterborough this Christmas, so the Giving Tree will be asking for monetary donations. This will enable them to help families in need with not only buying gifts for children, but also to donate food parcels for those who are struggling this winter.
From November 1, the centre’s donation box for cash and contactless card donations will be located by the Customer Information Desk, moving up to the Giving Tree from November 12, outside JD Sports on the Upper Mall.
Every pound donated from shoppers will be used by Spurgeons to support families, and both Queensgate and Spurgeons would like to thank shoppers in advance for their continued generosity.
The shopping centre will also be running a competition on social media to give something back to those who deserve it this Christmas. Launching early December, people will be invited to nominate someone who has made an impact on them or in the community, that they are thankful for. Winners will then be chosen throughout December to receive a special treat.
As people begin their Christmas shopping, visitors of the centre are reminded to wear their face covering (unless exempt) in line with Queensgate’s #CoverUpPeterborough campaign, which launched on October 1 to keep staff and shoppers safe.
Queensgate has recently announced the change to their late night shopping hours for the festive period,
Queensgate’s opening hours from December 1 up until the New Year can we found below and shoppers are encouraged to shop at the centres quieter hours Thursday – Sunday, which are before midday and after 3pm.
Monday to Wednesday the centre is open from 9am to 6pm. Thursday and Friday will be 9am to 8pm. Saturday will be 9am to 7pm, and Sundays will be 10:30am to 4:30pm.
Exclusions include Christmas Eve (8am to 4:30pm), Christmas Day (closed), Boxing Day (9am to 6pm), New Year's Eve (9am to 4:30pm) and New Year's Day (closed).