alice (marshall) in wonderland

February 22nd, 2010

© NTPL/Cristian Barnett and Andrew Butler; © Walt Disney Pictures

© NTPL/Cristian Barnett and Andrew Butler; © Walt Disney Pictures

You’re late, you’re late, for a very important date! Don’t miss out on an eight-month celebration of Tim Burton’s new Alice in Wonderland movie at The National Trust’s Antony House in Cornwall near Plymouth. The classic, 18th-century mansion was THE ONLY ‘real’ site for the filming of the motion picture.

To commemorate the movie (which debuts on March 5) the National Trust is transforming Antony into the fantasy land envisioned by Lewis Carroll.

In collaboration with the Dodgy Clutch Theater Company, the National Trust has created a family-friendly extravaganza showcasing key elements of the stories of Alice. Visitors will enjoy imaginative installations set amidst the lush Antony gardens, Alice-inspired events, and extended hours.

Take a trip down the rabbit hole for the stunning gardens and vistas that inspired Tim Burton to choose Antony for the film. As always, members of The Royal Oak Foundation – the U.S. affiliate of the National Trust – get in FREE to the grounds and house (although some events may cost a small fee). Read through a selection of wonderland highlights below:

Alice and Alistair Day
March 6
Any child named Alice or the male equivalent of Alastair (American boys might be at a slight disadvantage), or anyone decked out as a character from Alice in Wonderland, will be admitted free. Can’t make it to Antony? Check out the 13 other participating sites across Devon and Cornwall.

Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties
March 6-7, every weekend, and Bank Holidays
Families will enjoy workshops, games, and dressing. Take time for tea and snacks in the tea-party marquee on Antony’s vast Cork Oak Lawn. Cost is an additional £5 per person.

Antony House Opening
When: March 16
Begin at the beginning and go on ‘till you come to the end: then stop. Heed the King’s expert advice and explore Antony House for a sneak peek of the rooms appearing in scenes of the film, including Alice’s bedroom.

The White Rabbit Easter Trail
April 2-9
What: Follow the trail of the elusive White Rabbit throughout Antony’s magnificent landscaped gardens. (Attention chocoholics the trail is hosted by Cadbury so it has to be good!) Cost is an additional £1.50 per child.

Explore Your Own Wonderland
May 29-June 3
I’ve often seen a cat without a grin; but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in my life! Make friends with the Cheshire Cat and the rest of the Alice in Wonderland gang with a week of Alice themed children’s activities. Seek out the giant chessboard and become a queen, king, or knight in your own life-size game of chess.

Weird and Wonderful Tea Parties
June 27
Look for special tea parties being held all across Devon and Cornwall at the following participating National Trust properties: A la Ronde, Castle Drogo, Killerton, Lydford Gorge, Park Estate, and many more.

Croquet Workshops
July 21, 28; August 5, 19, 25
What: Learn how to play croquet on the lawn at Antony (but without a flamingo as your mallet!) Let off some steam in a Caucus Race – no rules or instructions just run at random per Lewis Carroll’s direction.

The Royal Oak Foundation is the United States affiliate of the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Royal Oak members gain free entry to over 300 important historic houses and gardens. The Foundation supports National Trust conservation projects and offers a series of lectures and other public programs in U.S. cities on topics including British history, architecture, gardens, the fine and decorative arts – as well as other programs in the UK.

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