Steam engines, Morris Dancers and a choir will be part of the noisy and warm welcome to visitors to the Lion Salt Works Museum’s second Dickensian Christmas weekend on December 10-11.

The museum’s festive weekend, at its site near Northwich, will appeal to the whole family.

Almost all the events are free.

Open from 10.30-4pm on Saturday and Sunday, free activities include:

Visiting Father Christmas in his Winter Wonderland Grotto in the Museum’s Butterfly Garden. Children just need to follow the fairy lights.

Family craft activities will be available in the Thompson suite where children will be able to make a wide range of traditional items, such as Christmas cards and paper chain decorations as well as writing letters to Father Christmas.

Courtesy of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Christmas decorations can also be made.

Historic steam engines, courtesy of Clive Hearsey and local steam enthusiasts, will be in full steam during the day and their owners on hand to talk about their engines. The engines on display will be two Burrell double clutch compound speed locos, ‘Lady Louise’ and ‘Alexander’ as well as ‘Bessie’ a scale-model tractor engine. Children will be able to ride free of charge on some of these miniature engines.

Visitors will also have the chance to find out about traditional crafts such as bodging (wood-turning), weaving, spinning, felt-making and crocheting.

There will be festive story-telling with ‘Professor Josiah Mace’, soldier, explorer, archaeologist, vampire hunter and ornithologist, who will also be showing his Cabinet of Curiosities.

Christmas Igloo – the museum will be creating an igloo made from 400 recycled four-pint plastic milk containers. This fun structure is part of a drive to get British households to recycle more of the 35 million plastic bottles used every day, half of which are not currently recycled.

Dickensian family Christmas at the Lion Salt Works

Christmas shoppers can enjoy browsing in the museum’s well-stocked shop which features gifts such as a new contemporary jewellery collection, bags, books and some special items made from rock salt.

The museum’s café offers light refreshments, including its Christmas speciality Emma’s winter gingerbread latte. The cafe is ideally located overlooking the play area, giving adults a chance to have a coffee while the youngsters play.

In addition to these activities, on Saturday, December 10:

In the early afternoon, local carol singers from the Rivendell Choir, will be getting everyone into the Christmas spirit by singing traditional carols.

On Sunday, December 11, there will be a performance by the local Earl of Stamford Morris Dancers.

Cabinet member for communities and wellbeing at Cheshire West and Chester Council Louise Gittins said: “Last year’s Dickensian Christmas was magical and this year’s will be even bigger and better than before.

“This is a wonderful line-up of activities and almost all of it will be available free.

“I hope that everyone takes the opportunity of coming along to this wonderfully atmospheric site and joining in the festive spirit.”