Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 09:00

Lantern parades, live music, ice-skating, festive food and crafts make up a fabulous Christmas at the Eden Project right through to the end of December.

Eden is open for its special Time of Gifts evenings from 6pm every Friday and Saturday from now until December 17 and every night from Tuesday, December 27 through to Friday, December 30.

As well as glittering lantern processions, Christmas crafts and ice-skating, this year there are special activities in the Biomes inspired by the season of giving.

Love and friendship are celebrated in the Mediterranean Biome where couples, friends and family have a chance to win a ride through the olive groves on a 'love rickshaw'.

On the journey they can enjoy the music of the Carey Collective led by acclaimed Cornish-based composer Jim Carey and chill out to the mellow sounds of the Eden Choir. Both come together in the form of the Eden Ensemble for the lantern processions.

Fun is the theme in the Mediterranean Café where the Diddy Daves' Puppet Show and 'laughter booth' are sure to bring a smile to visitors' lips.

In the Rainforest Biome there'll be magical storytelling and singing from a helium balloon and a beautiful candlelit display on the Malaysian pond to symbolise hope.

Elsewhere in the Biome health and wellbeing are on offer by the pineapple area in the form of back rubs and demonstrations about the remedial properties of plants, and between the Biomes in the Link Shop there'll be tips on living a greener life and helping the planet.

The themes of all the activities are reflected in the beautiful giant lanterns, made by local artists and St Austell schoolchildren, to be carried on the processions, when visitors, musicians and singers will come together for a grand finale at 8.45pm.

There's more festive fun during the day in the Mechanical Theatre where visitors can learn to make seasonal decorations, origami gifts and Christmas stockings. The Hive of Activity takes place every Friday and Saturday from 11am to 8pm and Sunday from 11am to 6pm until December 18.

Plus there's delicious seasonal food in the Eden Bakery and Mediterranean Biome throughout the Christmas period including the evenings.

Emma Hogg, Eden's programme producer, said: "This Christmas at Eden we're celebrating seven types of gifts and wishes for you to receive or pass on to others; time, hope, love and friendship, health and wellbeing, the planet, music and laughter.

"Throughout our Time of Gifts evenings there will be moments of spontaneous entertainment through storytelling, activity, music and performance. Plus The Hive of Activity returns to help you with preparations for Christmas, to deck the halls or entertain your guests. Come along and enjoy our fantastic range of festive treats."

All the winter festival activities are included in the price of admission except for a small charge for the back rubs. Standard prices apply for ice-skating.

Information about Christmas at Eden is available at

* For even more festive celebrations, the Eden Shop is hosting a 15 per cent discount evening on all purchases on Thursday, December 1, from 6pm-9pm. There's a chance to meet the project's local suppliers and enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie plus entertainment from a Cornish choir. To book a place, email or call 01726 811932.