A pre-Christmas pop-up shop in Broadmead’s historic arcade promises special child-friendly delights for junior visitors to Broadmead, with activities that are guaranteed to lift their spirits when they’ve had enough of trudging around the shops.

‘The Christmas Story Box’ will be open for just one week, from 18-23 December, 12pm to 5pm, at number 5 The Arcade.

Activities include stories being read aloud on the hour – and sometimes on request – plus craft and present-making activities to keep little fingers busy, as well as a festive dressing up box. All activities are free of charge.

The Christmas Story Box is organised by the Methodist Ark Bus team, who regularly appear around Broadmead and in other areas of Bristol with creative outlets for Bristol’s youngest citizens – especially during the school holidays – together with the New Room, which is located just around the corner from the Arcade.

Jenny Bourne of The Ark Project, said: “We’ve chosen a lovely selection of festive stories, including well-loved traditional tales such as The Little Christmas Tree, The Jolly Christmas Postman and Mog’s Christmas, plus some newer festive stories.

“Our story-tellers are already practising their favourites, and the Christmassy costumes they’re planning to wear will help to create a magical festive atmosphere.”

Craft activities will fall into two categories: ongoing mini-projects such as making angels, punctuated on the hour with sessions when children to make a gift for a friend or family member, which they can take away and give them for Christmas.

While the children are busy, any adults who wish to indulge their creative streak are welcome to share their memories or stories in the pop-up shop’s seasonal ‘reflection box.’

All children will be given a goodie bag to protect their craft-work, as well as a picture Christmas story, festive chocolate and a flyer about work being done by Christian Aid.

Until 1.30pm, on 23 December only, the Christmas Story Box will have a photo-booth so that parents or carers can take a photo of their child in nativity costume.

Those who wish can then make the short trip to the New Room at 2pm for a fun all-age nativity which children and the young at heart can attend wearing nativity costume (or not, according to personal preference).

This 30 minute service is designed to appeal to children and adults alike, with a re-telling of the Christmas story shaped by the people who attend, so it’s different every year.

Shoppers are also welcome to pop into the New Room at any time to take a quiet moment for themselves in the peace of the historic chapel, or contribute to the evolving display of Christmas baubles, created by visitors, which is on display among the fairy lights in the courtyard.

Full details of the New Room’s Christmas events programme are available online at .

Both the chapel and the café at the New Room will be open until 23 December, re-opening 28-30 December and then from 2 January onwards as usual,10.30am-4pm Monday to Saturday,

Details of the Ark Bus are on