A Magical Night with the Owls

Throughout the festive month of December, the Hawk Conservancy Trust near Andover was taken over by Santa and his high flying owls in a pantomime-style outdoor story for all ages. Ushered in by jolly elves, the nostalgic scent of delicately spiced festive biscuits and sizzling sausages immersed our senses. With full bellies and cups of steaming hot chocolate in hand we set off to encounter the feathered friends in the aviaries. The pocket-sized Burrowing owls demanded attention with their perky squawks but the colossal amber-eyed Eagle owl had his gaze firmly fixed on his prey - a sizable turkey hat modeled by one of Santa's helpers!

Then it was time for the main event. Taking a seat in the outdoor arena, we were instantly transported to the world of the North pole. The owls became part of the cast flying low over unsuspecting heads as the story unfurled before the transfixed audience. We were introduced to a cheery Mrs Claus, a young elf, desperate to prove himself and of course, the sinister but charismatic villain- Jack Frost himself, who drew boos from the engaged audience. The story was brought to life with music, smoke effects and even an impressively interactive magic portal to the North Pole.  There were many comical moments, and when Santa’s side-kick the Snowy Owl silently zoomed off into the trees unexpectedly, the voice-actor for her comically improvised to keep the show running smoothly to the delight of the audience.  The story lasted an hour which flew by with us all helping Santa return and save Christmas and banish the mischievous Jack Frost - somewhat reluctantly as we all had a soft spot for him. 

I spoke to mum of three - Victoria who said ‘the highlight for me had to be when Santa emerged from the smoke in the magic portal - my eyes actually welled up!  I love Christmas and this was the perfect start to the Christmas holidays.’

To finish the night, each child received a named present and had the chance to take photos with Santa. 

Sad you’ve missed this magic? The Hawk Conservancy Trust have a new event for the new year!  Don’t hesitate to book a slot for ‘Winter Woodland Lights’ which promises to brighten up a dreary January and raise valuable funds for their bird of prey conservation charity.