With Richard Thomas
...IF THE WEATHER'S GOOD
The familiar green and red wooden chalets have returned again to Oxford Street in Swansea, transforming the city centre into a Christmas Market for the festive season. At the Swansea Christmas Market you’ll find all the ingredients for a perfect Christmas this year, including food, spirits, cheeses and handmade gifts available from Welsh and continental traders.
WHERE? Swansea Christmas Market is located on Oxford Street and Princess Way in the city centre, just outside Swansea Market and Quadrant Shopping Centre.
WHY? With over 40 stalls selling everything from glassware and jewellery to perfumes and luxury chocolates, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect Christmas gifts for friends and family. And to keep you entertained while you shop, school choirs and street dance groups will be performing at the market.
WHEN? The Swansea Christmas Market will be doing business until 22 December. The market's open hours are 10am to 5.30pm each day, except Thursdays when the market will be open late until 8pm.
CONTACT? More information can be found at www.swanseachristmas.com.
HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE? As long as you need to find the perfect gift.
WHO WILL ENJOY IT? There's a lot of entertainment, promotions and events being held in the city centre in the build-up to Christmas.
WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS? A snow globe will be on hand for people to have photos taken in a snowy winter wonderland and live entertainment will be taking place on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 2pm.
LUNCH? Once you’ve worked up an appetite shopping there are some tasty treats to try along the way, from hot crepes, doughnuts and hot drinks to a delicious hog roast and exotic burgers.
WHERE CAN I PARK? To complement late-night shopping, parking after 5pm in the St David's and Quadrant multi-storey car parks only costs £1 on Thursdays.
ANYTHING ELSE IN THE AREA? Don’t forget to call into Swansea Market. Inside the steel and glass building you will find over a hundred stalls offering a huge selection of traditional Welsh cuisine, as well as cards, flowers, clothes, sweets and other gifts. Waterfront Wonderland is also nearby where you can enjoy ice skating on the main Admiral Rink and child friendly Rocky's Rink, visit Father Christmas in his Grotto, as well as enjoy the funfair rides like the brand new Sky Ride replacing the Big Wheel this year.
...IF THE WEATHER'S BAD
The Taliesin Arts Centre is a very popular venue presenting a wide variety of performances and exhibitions. First opened in 1984 and is named after the 6th century Celtic poet of the same name. the centre host a broad programme of events including cinema screenings and a wide variety of live performances all year round.
WHERE? The Taliesin Arts Centre can be found on the campus of Swansea University at Singleton Park. For sat nav users the postcode is: SA2 8PZ.
WHY? The Taliesin hold over 50 live performances per year. Next Saturday (December 14) the Taliesin will be screening The Nutcracker performed at the Royal Opera House.
WHEN? The Taliesin is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. On Saturdays the centre is open 10am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 4pm. The box office remains open until 8pm on performance evenings, unless otherwise stated screenings begin at 7.30pm.
CONTACT? To book tickets call: 01792 602060.
HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE? More information about event times and dates can be found on the Taliesin website. Just go to www.taliesinartscentre.co.uk and click "diary".
WHO WILL ENJOY IT? With a programme ranging from children's events to opera, there's something to suit all tastes. The Taliesin is also home to the Egypt Centre; a museum of Egyptian antiquities. The funerary items on display in The House of Death downstairs include: amulets, shrouds, statues, coffins and fragments of coffins, and even canopic jars, which were used by the Ancient Egyptians to store and preserve the internal organs of the deceased for their journey through the afterlife. Upstairs is the House of Life, where visitors can handle actual Ancient Egyptian artefacts under the supervision of one of the museum's excellent volunteers.
WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS? Children will want to pick something up in the Egypt Centre Shop. As well as pens, pencils and key-rings, also on sale are a wide range of statues, recycled glass, papyrus from Egypt, and exclusive hand-made jewellery.
LUNCH? The Taliesin cafébar offers a full menu, including a selection of tapas and snacks for all different appetites.
WHERE CAN I PARK? There are some car parks close to Swansea University, the Foreshore car park opposite St Helens Rugby ground and the Recreation Ground Car Park on Mumbles Road.
ANYTHING ELSE IN THE AREA? The Taliesin also houses The Ceri Richards Gallery, which stocks an excellent range of greetings cards as well as jewellery, ceramics and other craft items.