Try this

29th November 2002 at 00:00
Christmas conundrums

Test yourself against the professionals at the annual National Theatre Christmas quiz on December 20. Emma Freud will take the chair and team members will be drawn from luminaries of the stage. Previous participants include Samantha Bond, John Mortimer and Julie Walters. Information: 020 7452 3020;

Hands on

Experience touchy-feely tripe at Touchstones, Rochdale, the borough's newly restored arts and heritage centre. Interactive displays are arranged in three areas: Millstone Grit, which uncovers the local landscape, shaped by glaciers, rivers, weather and people; Same Difference, which looks at everyday life in the area, including a "rites of passage" section and artefacts from wartime; and People and Places, where visitors can try the "love seats" in the Gracie Fields cinema. Information: 01706 864 986.

Victorian festivities

Let the Duke of Wellington's butler show you how to prepare a traditional Christmas, upstairs and downstairs, at Apsley House in London. Admission is free during the weekend of December 7 and 8 when children can be assessed for suitability to join the household as servants, and learn how to make lanterns before taking part in a pantomime and singing carols round the piano. Information: 020 7499 5676.

Web wonders

Aimed at a wide audience of adults and children, sodarace gives players the chance to compete against artificial intelligence in designing virtual racing robots. Physics and engineering principles come into play as the game proceeds. Schools can take part in online time trials at before the official launch next year.

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