Celebrate Christmas at our three wonderful museums this year. There’s a whole host of ways to get into the festive spirit with us, including a range of fantastic gifts in our museum shops, free crafts where you can make a token to give to someone special (or keep for yourself!) and beautifully-made items on show in our annual exhibition Crafted For You 2019. Read on for all this, plus opening times for our three museums over the holiday period.

Find the perfect gift

Christmas Shopping at The Commandery

With unique souvenirs, beautiful gifts for the home, and fascinating books, The Commandery‘s shop is the perfect place to find a Christmas present for those hard-to-please friends and family members. Whether you’re looking to splash out on something luxurious or searching for a the perfect stocking-filler, we have a range of high-quality items including delicious wine, beautiful jewellery, retro toys, and toffee and candy-canes.

On Sunday 1st December, The Commandery is taking part in Museum Shop Sunday. Visit us to get a great bargain and enjoy special discounts. Please note: The Commandery is open between 1:30-5pm on Sundays including Museum Shop Sunday.

Shopping at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum

Delight your loved ones with unique gifts inspired by our world-class collections at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum. Take a piece of history home with our mugs, tea-towels and coasters featuring retro posters and stunning artworks from our collection. There are also plenty of Christmas must-haves like beautifully-designed greetings cards, festive decorations, and quirky wrapping paper. Don’t forget, every purchase you make at any of our museums directly supports the work we do to protect and celebrate local heritage. Happy shopping!

The charming Balcony Café will also be getting into the festive spirit serving a special seasonal menu including warming lunches, Method-Roastery coffee and delicious home-made cakes.

Things to see and do this Christmas

Crafted for You exhibition 2019

Our annual exhibition of hand-crafted items returns to Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum on Saturday 16th November 2019 and runs throughout the Christmas period until Saturday 4th January 2020. Featuring cherry-picked local artists and craftspeople, this year’s exhibition will showcase stunning jewellery, woodwork, ceramics, textiles, and prints. Objects will range from jewellery and sculpture made from recycled tin to framed textile artworks, but all of them are hand crafted and therefore totally unique.

You will also have the opportunity to take these locally-produced masterpieces home with you, as items in the Crafted for You exhibition are available for sale. Sales support the Art Gallery & Museum as well as the artist who’s work you have purchased, making it a more ethical gift choice this Christmas.

Visit our special Christmas event on Saturday 7 December (11am – 1pm) to enjoy a festive drink and mince pie with the bonus of 10% off purchases all day in the Crafted for You exhibition, Society of Artists exhibition and purchases from the Art Gallery & Museum Shop!

Seasonal Activities

This December, get hands on at The Commandery and add a personal touch to your festive gifts with our free craft sessions*! Christmas crafts run over two weekends (7th-8th and 21st-22nd December), so you can make a beautiful Christmas Candle holder and design your own Christmas card.

Our New Years craft sessions will run during Twixmas time (27th, 28th and 29th December), a great opportunity to recycle used wrapping paper into gift bows and create a fireworks-themed New Year’s Card. A 12 Days of Christmas scavenger hunt is also available in The Commandery on these dates.
*Admission charges apply, no extra charge for crafts.

At Hartlebury Castle, there’s a seasonal celebration on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th of December with Christmas at the Castle, where you can meet Father Christmas, explore seasonal gift & craft stalls, enjoy horse & carriage rides and musical performances! There’s also an Elf hunt at the Castle throughout December.

At Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, under 5s can make their own Christmas Wreaths at Young at Art on Thursday 12th December. On Saturday 21st December get involved in Family Christmas Crafts: drop-in from 11am – 3pm to create pots of Christmas Magic by decorating a pot, rolling a beeswax candle and wrapping it to make the perfect hand-made Christmas gift!

Opening Times this Festive Period

The Commandery

  • Open regular opening times (10-5pm Tuesdays – Saturdays, 1:30-5pm Sundays) up to and including Sunday 22 December
  • Closed 23-26 December 2019
  • Open usual times Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 December (with free crafts)
  • Closed from 30 December through to 31 January

The Commandery closes for the month of January and re-opens from Saturday 1 February 2020.

Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum

  • Open regular opening times (10:30-4:30pm Mondays to Saturdays) up to and including Tuesday 24 December (we close at the earlier time of 1:30pm for Christmas Eve).
  • Closed Wednesday 25 – Friday 27 December 2019 inclusive.
  • Open regular times Saturday 28 and Monday 30 December. Open on 31 December (we close at the earlier time of 3:30pm for New Years Eve).
  • Closed Wednesday 1 January 2020.

Hartlebury Castle

  • Open regular opening times (10 – 5pm Tuesdays to Fridays, 11-5pm Saturdays and Sundays) up to and including Sunday 22 December.
  • Closed from Tuesday 23 December until Friday 31 January 2020.

Hartlebury Castle closes for the month of January and re-opens from Saturday 1 February 2020.

A Stunning Setting for You…

Did you know The Commandery has a selection of rooms available for hire? The whole building, including the stunning Great Hall and gardens, can be would make the perfect setting for your Christmas party. There are also smaller rooms with desks and chairs for meetings and conferences. Find out more here.