Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of The Snowman
Can Christmas even begin without The Snowman? So entwined with our visions of a traditional family christmas that by now we are all so familiar with classic story by Raymond Briggs; That of a young boy who builds a snowman after a heavy snowfall around Christmastime and the magic that endures when the Snowman comes to life.
An extraordinary adventure of wonder and magic with an emotional ending – this everlasting classic book first came out in 1978 with a tale told entirely through pictures. And, then of course as the festive must-see 1982 animation that takes the Snowman and the boy on a journey to meet the man in red himself!
We thought we would round up 40 ways you and your family can celebrate the 40th Anniversary of The Snowman this festive season… are you ready?
1. Re-Visit the Classic Book
Flip through the wonderful wordless pages of the original book with this extra-special 40th Anniversary Edition complete with a limited edition print, and a letter from Raymond Briggs.
2. And, then read the brand new retelling of The Snowman
Beloved children’s author Michael Morpurgo has re-imagined Raymond Briggs’ classic The Snowman for a new generation of readers as a chapter book.
One December morning, James is thrilled to wake up to see snow falling. He spends the whole day making his perfect snowman; he has coal eyes, an old green hat and scarf and a tangerine nose… just like the snowman from his favourite story. That night, something happens – the Snowman comes to life and then the magic really begins…
3. Listen to an Audio version read by Benedict Cumberbatch
Treat the children to a magical Toniebox or add it too their wish list – and then the whole family can listen to the audio version of The Snowman read by Matthew Macfadyen and Benedict Cumberbatch – like having your own personal story time night after night.
>>> The Snowman and the Snowdog on Tonies
4. Let your child fly with The Snowman in a personalised story of their own!
This limited-edition personalised Christmas book is sprinkled with personalised magic. Based on the classic Snowman adventure your child can enter the magical world through the 30 odd pages of charming illustrations. A great keepsake gift.
>> The Snowman personalised storybook from Penwizard
5. Watch the DVD at home
…preferably with all the family and a hot chocolate. First aired on Channel 4 on Boxing Day, 1982 it has been shown every year since. But, if you cannot wait until then why not get your own copy to cherish?
6. OR, Catch it on the Big Screen
See this enchanting story of The Snowman brought to life in VUE cinemas this Christmas season along with the 2012 animated sequel The Snowman and the Snowdog – would make a wonderful cinematic first for many young viewers.
>> Visit your local VUE cinema for more information
7. Book tickets to see Backyard Cinema’s The Snowman Experience at Winter Wonderland
This is more than your typical, traditional cinema. Backyard Cinema Presents: The Snowman Experience is an immersive, cinematic walk-through experience. For 45 minutes explore real life sets and encounter beloved characters. Relive childhood memories, and feel like you’re flying with The Snowman himself on a Christmas journey like no other.
>> Book Tickets from £6.95 until January 6th 2019
8. See a live version at The Peacock, London
Experience a poignant live stage-version of the classic and heart-warming tale of The Snowman withy mix of dance, ballet, spectacle, storytelling, splendid sets and music performed by a live orchestra.
>> More information on The Snowman Live Show at The Peacock Tickets from £17
9. Book tickets to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra…
Who will be playing the soundtrack live to the animation at The Royal Albert Hall on December 20th 2018. As you watch the animated film on the hall’s big screen you will be entranced by Howard Blake’s heart-melting score, including of course, the Walking in the Air music.
>> Book Tickets to The Royal Albert Hall
10. Or, go and visit an orchestra playing the soundtrack live near you
All over the country the 40th anniversary of The Snowman is being celebrated – check local listings for more details of event near you.
>> See the official The Snowman venues listing here
11. Buy a keepsake from Royal Mint
Snap up one of these British 50p Uncirculated Coin presented in fold-out packaging with illustrations by Robin Shaw – Assistant Director of The Snowman and the Snowdog – to treasure forever and ideal for your little one’s memory box.
>> See the selection of The Snowman coins at Royal Mint
12. Snuggle up with a soft toy
This collectors editions soft cuddly Snowman come sin a keepsake illustrated box – an makes an ideal gift too.
>> The Snowman Collector Edition Soft Toy from John Lewis
13. Or, make your own at Build-a-Bear
Experience the magic by bringing The Snowman to life at the Build-A-Bear Workshop! Children will love this festive treat and go home with their own friend with his own green hat and scarf too.
14. Treat Children to the Steiff Collectors Edition Teddy
From the classic bear makers this collectable teddy can be treasured for years to come from the classic Steiff character range.
>> The Snowman by Steiff
15. Celebrate baby’s First Christmas with JoJo Mamam Bebe
With this adorable white motif baby seep suit from newborn to 18mths – just perfect for those first family pictures.
>> The Snowman Embroidered Baby Sleepsuit from JoJo Mamam Bebe
16. While older children sport the PJ’s
Exclusively from Harrods. These subtle and stylish character pyjamas are just perfect for Christmas Eve and come in sky blue and blush pink colour ways.
>> The Snowman Pyjama Set from Harrods
17. Wear the Barbour X The Snowman collection
Whether it’s a Christmas jumper for yourself, a casual jersey top for the children or even some festive sock for the men in your life. This Barbour X The Snowman collection is an investment that you can wear year after year.
18. And, watch the Barbour Winter Campaign Film too
The bespoke campaign features a 110 second bespoke film using real life people to depict the impact that The Snowman has had on one family and like the original film, it focuses on actions rather than words. It tells the story of little Evie watching The Snowman with her family on Christmas Eve before heading off to bed.
Christmas Day dawns and with it, fresh snowfall. Inspired by watching the film the night before, Evie ignores her presents and goes straight out to the garden, clutching her Snowman book, passed down from her father. She sets about building a beautiful snowman and then sits down to patiently wait for him to come to life. She waits and waits and as night descends, she continues to believe that her snowman will come to life.
Evie’s father supports her with gentle encouragement and wraps her in his beloved Barbour jacket to keep her warm. The film ends with a shadow flying over the house – has The Snowman come to life? Is Evie flying with him? Maybe just maybe magic has happened ……
19. And, finally create a signature image with The Snowman
Just for fun create a picture of an adult or child with The Snowman – dressed in a classic Barbour raincoat and wellies no less. A cute little image that would be sweet on homemade Christmas cards and gifts.
20. Get the advent calendar from Thortons
And, start each day with some creamy chocolate . With three cute milk chocolate snowmen and a milk chocolate plaque that can be personalised for the 24th day treat.
>> Large Snowman Advent Calendar from Thorntons
21. Eat the special Biscuits from Biscuiteers
This keepsake tin features nine beautifully shaped and iced biscuits from the talented team at Biscuiteers – making them the ideal treat or gift.
>> Get The Snowman Biscuit Tin from Biscuiteers
22. Or, visit the cafe and ice your own
At Bicuiteers you can have a go at icing your own Snowman biscuits at its School of Icing. A great festive activity for families – rounded off with plenty of tea at the Notting Hill or Northcote Raod shops in London.
23. Get the children to decorate the Christmas Cake
Just pick up a ready white iced cake/fruitcake and ready-made icing or fondant and adorn with these cute The Snowman themed cake toppers from Creative party. A great afternoon activity and makes for an instant party table centrepiece too.
>> Creative Party Christmas The Snowman, Snowdog, Penguin and Santa Cake Topper Set from John Lewis
24. Enjoy a Snowman afternoon tea at Healing Manor, Lincolnshire
This year, Healing Manor have launched a delicious Christmas Afternoon Tea, inspired by The Snowman. With miniature cups of warming spiced butternut squash soup, followed by Lincolnshire Sausage rolls, miniature Yorkshire pudding with roast beef, horseradish mashed potato and gravy and traditional Christmas sandwiches.
Its’ all finished off stollen-infused scones with mulled wine jam and clotted cream and 4-miniature desserts with a nod to the original film – a white chocolate and terry’s chocolate orange truffle stands tall as the snowman, an eggnog donut, peppermint macarons and some classic gingerbread characters cookies.
>> Book Afternoon tea at Healing Manor, Lincolnshire from £12.95 for under 12’s on from now until 6th January 2019
25. Or, create you own tea at home from Children’s Party Shop
From scene setters to sugar decorations and party plates and treat boxes creating a Snowman themed tea party at home couldn’t be easier – and a great theme for any Christmas time birthdays too.
26. Add some Luxury Crackers
To the kids party table or Christmas lunch setting with these luxury Snowman themed crackers by Nancy & Betty Studio. Using the original Raymond Briggs artwork these six stunning crackers are finished with handsome silk bows and contain a selection of lovely treats like crayons, christmas tree origami, marbles, The Snowman badge, pencil sharpener and chalk sticks along with the traditional metallic foil paper hat, joke and of course, the snap!
>> Nancy & Betty Studio Luxury Cracker from NotontheHighStreet
27. Adorn the tree with a Snowman bauble
While you setting the table why not add some Snowman decor to the Christmas tree too? This special anniversary bauble from Fenwick can be used year after year too. If you live up North Visit Fenwick in Newcastle and check out their magical Snowman window too.
>> Snowman 40 Year Anniversary Bauble from Fenwick
28. Or, a glass one from Harrods
This Harrods-exclusive Snowman bauble shows the beloved character with the Harrods logo – a great souvenir if you are visiting London this Christmastime to see the christmas windows. Check out the rest of the collection including snow globes, collectors mugs and it’s signature printed tote bags.
>> See the full Snowman collection at Harrods
29. DIY your own Snowman decorations
Visit the dedicated Snowman website where you can download step-by-step tutorials that are ideal for christmas crafts and lazy afternoons. Chose from a hanging paper star, a snowman garland and sewing cards.
30. Go Walking with The Snowman in Manchester
Take a walk around MediaCityUK in Manchester with the to see the first ever sculpture ‘Walking with The Snowman’ trail inspired by the nation’s favourite Christmas story.
There are twelve giant Snowman sculptures dotted around – each based on the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, as well as some smaller Snowmen decorated by local schools and groups.
>> Visit for more information and a map to spot all 12 Snowman in MediaCity in Manchester
31. Play a game of Snowman Skittles
This simple, yet classic, game of knock-down would add a burst of timeless fun to your tot’s play time featuring little boy Billy, The Snowman, The Snowdog, Father Christmas and of course a Penguin these beautiful wooden hand painted skittles design from Orange Tree Toys will last forever.
>> Orange Tree The Snowman Skittles Set from John Lewis
32. Check out the giant Snowman in Waterstones, London
Visit Waterstones in Piccadilly, London to see the incredible giant Snowman – and take a selfie.
>> Visit Waterstones for more information
33. Or, meet the Snowman!
At various shopping centres, events and book signings around the country you can meet a live version of the lovable Snowman right up until Christmas.
>> For events near you visit the listing here from 1st December 2018
34. Inflate your own Snowman!
Check out The Range for a selection of The Snowman ideas including a large inflatable Snowman you can place in your garden or pathway. There is also a selection of LED lights, canvas prints and children crafts.
>> Large Inflatable Snowman from The Range
35. Check out the Exhibition of Raymond Briggs artwork at Brighton Museum
See the original artwork by the author himself and how it was adapted for the screen with some of the original hand-drawn cels, celluloid sheets used for traditional animation, that are also on display.
>> Visit the exhibition in the Brighton Museum now until 6th January
36. And, while you are there check out ‘My Snowman’ tribute pieces to Raymond Briggs from artists in the anniversary year
This second gallery includes a giant mosaic, created by The People’s Picture and made up of thousands of festive photographs and memories submitted by members of the public with a staggering 2,626 photos submitted in just over just 6 weeks – who knows you may spot someone you recognise!
There is also a digital version for you to view online. In the same gallery are 9 artworks from leading children’s book illustrators who have paid homage to Raymond Briggs by redrawing The Snowman in their own style. Including work by Quentin Blake, Helen Oxenbury, Chris Riddell and Shirley Hughes, these pieces will be auctioned online to raise money for Chestnut Tree House, Raymond’s charity of choice, so for your chance to own a piece of original artwork visit here.
37. Send a Musical Snowman Card
The front of the music box card may look like any other conventional Christmas card, but open it to reveal a magnetic dancing character which moves around the card to the ‘Walking in the Air’ music when you press play.
>> My Design Co. The Snowman Music Box Card at NotontheHighStreet
38. Leave a special sack out for Father Christmas
Harrow & Green has collaborated with Penguin Random House and Harrods to produce alimited edition, luxurious festive sack – that is large enough to cater for even the most generous of Christmas presents.This stunning, premium quality hessian sack can be personalised with a name and a choice of festive fabric trim to add a festive touch for an everlasting gift.
>> Get a personalised sack from Harrow & Green
39. Take The Snowman with you on a trip to Lapland!
Grab your Snowman book, teddy or toy and really be walking in the air with a once in a lifetime trip to Lapland. One day trips or sleepovers not only mean real snow but a meeting Father Christmas too.
>> Trips to Lapland with Thomas Cook
40. Build a Snowman!
Obviously, this is dependant on the British weather!
Main Image © Snowman Enterprises Ltd 2018