What’s on in December
SHOPPING: Christmas Vintage Fayre and Hog Roast, Higham Town Band Club, 7 Wharf Rd, Higham Ferrers, Rushden, Sat 1st Dec, 11am-4pm
This fayre is set to be a cracker, with craft stalls, a scrummy hog roast and promising to pack plenty of xmas spirit, this is fab for locating those quirky gifts. Don’t worry if you miss the first Saturday, the fayre will be back before you know it on Sat 8th Dec and Sat 15th Dec.
THEATRE: The Everywhere Bear, The Royal and Derngate, throughout December
This captivating and beautiful story from best-selling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Rebecca Cobb, springs to life with rhyme, original music and delightfully expressive puppets in our fun and exciting stage adaption. Keep the Mudlets entertained with this brill bear, tickets can be bought online.
SHOPPING: Christmas Fayre, The Retro Room at Vintage Retreat, Lower Harding Street, Northamptonshire NN1 2JL, Sat 1st Dec, 11-4pm
With free entry, vintage gifts, xmas decorations and handmade gifts all on the cards, this fayre is set to be full of xmas joy! Hold your horses however as not only is there a great gift selection, but also the Raunds Ukulele Band will be performing and music man Terry. The Tea Room will also be open for refreshments and snacks. The Vintage Emporium promises around 100 independent traders offering all things vintage- sounds pretty marvellous?
CHRISTMAS: Christmas Tree Festival, Holy Cross Church, Collings Rd, Milton Malsor, Sat 1st- Sun 2nd Dec, 10am-4pm
The Christmas Tree Festival is open to all visitors with no entry fee. Marvel at 30 decorated trees, you’ll be singing ‘Oh Christmas Tree in no time’. With the addition of craft stalls and light refreshments throughout the day, you’d be mad to let the Mudlets miss out. C’mon, you might even find some xmas tree inspiration for your own?
SHOPPING: Victorian Christmas craft fair, The Umbrella Fair Pavilion, The Race Course Kettering Road, Sun 2nd Dec, 2-6pm
Handmade and Unplugged brings you another fab, FREE and fun festive event. This one will be optional fancy dress, so put on your best festive Victorian garb, perfect for steam punk or whatever you can find knocking about. There will be prizes for the best fancy dress. As always there will be beautiful unique handmade gifts and fabulous live music by the talented local crafters and musicians. Pooches are welcome, as are Mudlets, so mooch over to the Race Course for a browse this Sunday.
FAMILY: Winter Wonderland at Billing Aquadrome, starting Sat 1st Dec until Sat 15th, 10am-10pm
Billing Aquadrome is transformed into a winter wonderland, with ice skating, bars, Santa’s grotto and a Christmas market! At only £10 per car (tickets can be bought on the day), pile the family in for a fun filled day of shopping, skating and slurping on mulled wine- and that’s just for the adults! Call 01604408181 for more info.
MUSIC: Acoustic night, Rooftop Arts Centre, Chisolm House, 9 Queens Square, Corby, Wed 5th Dec, 7:30- 11pm
Did somebody say free entry? This December acoustic night is a Christmas Special featuring fantastic Northants blues and covers band, TC & The Bobcats, with guests Matt Carter and Dave Clemo & Karen Angela. Bring your dancing shoes and have a boogie.
THEATRE: Russell Brand, My life by William Shakespeare, Royal and Derngate Northampton, 4th-6th Dec
Following a sell-out run at the Bristol Old Vic in November 2018, Ian Rickson’s comedy masterpiece takes to the Royal stage. Alongside Tony Howard, the Shakespearean consultant for the show, the performance sees Brand learn some life lessons from the God of Literature. Tickets cost between £23.50-£26.50 and can be purchased online or by ringing 01604 624811.
FOOD: Christmas coffee morning, WI House, 71 Park View, Moulton, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN3 7UZ, Friday 7th Dec, 10am-12 noon
Start the Christmas season with a coffee and cake for only £2. With intricate willow twigs weaves on sale, as well as plenty of other small stalls dotted around this coffee morning will be a cracker. You can even get yourself raring for the xmas raffle!
CHRISTMAS: Wreath making, table centrepieces and floral displays, Delapre Abbey, London Rd, Northampton NN4 8AW
Why master one festive art when you can do them all!? Not only is Delapre Abbey offering wreath making workshops on December 9th, with 2 workshops from either 10.30am – 12pm or 1.00pm – 2.30pm. Hurry quick and book online as there is only space for 12! (Rather fitting with the 12 days of Xmas right?) At only £15 a ticket it’s a bargain, and yule get your money’s worth as the price includes coffee and a mince pie- marvellous! If wreath making doesn’t take your fancy, then why not try their other xmassy classes for table centrepieces or floral displays? Delapre will have your home dazzling in no time… You can check out all of the other cracking Christmas craft workshops here.
EXHIBITION: VISUALise, Contemporary Art Textiles Exhibition, Welford Village Hall, West Street, Welford, Northamptonshire NN6 6HU, Sat 8th and Sun 9th December, 10am-5pm
Fifteen textile artists will be showing their latest stitched textiles to inspire and buy, fab for an xmas gift. On display are abstract, realistic and figurative art using a wide variety of media: wire, paper, fabric and found objects. These have been hand and machine stitched, or felted to create art inspired by both the natural world and the built environment. Admission is totally free, so be both a smarty and arty pants this December.
MUSIC: A Victorian Christmas, Northampton Symphony Orchestra, Spinney Theatre, Spinney Hill Rd, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN3 6DG, Sun 9th Dec, 3pm
With their upcoming 125th Anniversary, the Northampton Symphony Orchestra invited you to join them as they travel back in time to experience Christmas! The programme will include Scrooge, narrated by Alan Bell, Dances from the Nutcracker and Selections from Oliver- all of the family classics rolled into one. Adult tickets cost £15 and can be bought online.
FAMILY: Christmas trail, Naseby Village Hall,Haselbech Road, Naseby, Northamptonshire NN6 6DE, Sun 9th Dec, 4pm
The glorious village of Naseby will transform into an advent calendar this Christmas, with decorated windows dotted about, children’s craft activities in the Village Hall, refreshments, games and our famous chocolate tombola, this is an xmas extravaganza! Join in by collecting a map and quiz ( just £5 a family) and answer the quiz questions as you spot the numbered windows! Remember your torch, you don’t want to be searching in the dark.
THEATRE: The Worst Witch, Royal and Derngate Northampton, running until 30th December
Long before Harry Potter there was Mildred Hubble. An ordinary girl who found herself in an extraordinary place: a school for witches. Now in her final year, accident prone Mildred and her fellow pupils are about to embark on their biggest adventure yet. Tickets can be purchased online. Get the Muddy squad to come witch you (pardon the pun) and buy those tickets as they will be witcha in a minute! For other shows and pantomimes this xmas be sure to check them out here.
SHOPPING: Christmas fair at Delapre Abbey, London Rd, Northampton NN4 8AW, 15th and 16th December, 11am-5pm
So you’ve heard about the arts and crafts on offer but why not kickstart the xmas season with a trip to the fair? With shopping, festive pony rides, raffles and face painting, you won’t want to miss out. If this isn’t enough to avoid you saying Bah Humbug, Delapre also boasts a proper Victorian makeover across the Bouverie suite with plenty of Christmas trees and spices in the air. This Winter Wonderland can be experienced from Mon-Fri from 11am-4pm… but best of all Mudlets go free, so there’s defo more money to spend on the grotto, no excuses. Delapre is also hosting a marvellous carol concert on the 21st December to top it all off!
FAMILY: Nature tots, Sywell Country Park, Washbrook Lane, Ecton, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN6 0QX, Tue 18th Dec
Whip out the walking boots this December and go on a wander with the tots. Ideal for parents and age 2-4 year olds, take an education ranger led themed walk followed by an exciting craft activity from 10am-11:30. It’s only £3.50 per child, but hurry quick as booking is essential. Phone 07703 160878 for more info.
THEATRE: A dramatic reading of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, Rushden Hall, NN10 9NG, Wed 19th Dec, 7-9pm
Set in the original drawing room at Rushden Hall this picturesque building is bursting with xmas spirit. At only £5 per person, you can enjoy a Christmas classic alongside wine, mince pies and a touch of British culture at the beautiful listed country house. Tickets can be bought online.
MUSIC: Madness tribute, Roadmender Northampton, 1 Lady’s Lane, Fri 21st Dec, doors open at 7:30
This is one for the pals. Experience ninety minutes of chart toppers performed live on stage by the los palmas 6, with a sound that is unmistakably mad. Grab your hats, sunglasses and dancing shoes, it’s time to move your feet to the beat of madness. Tickets are £15.
CHRISTMAS: Christmas trail, Sunday 16th- Sunday 30th Dec, 10am-6pm, Market Harborough Museum, The Symington Building, Adam & Eve Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7LT, 10am-6pm
This xmas trail will have you trembling with excitement (not just because it’s free) as based on the objects in the cases of the Story Place, the trail will lead you around the museum with a strong dose of Christmas spirit. Who says Christmas couldn’t be slightly educational?
SHOPPING: Kettering Vinyl and CD fair, Parish Church Hall, Market Place, Kettering, , UK, Northamptonshire NN16 0AL, Thu 27th Dec, 8:30am-3pm
Free admission, funky vinyls and fab memorabilia. From the 50s to the present, this fair is full of vintage treasures, with over 1,000 items on sale. With established dealers you’ll be finding a bargain in no time that’s sure to be a blast from the past.
CINEMA: Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, Oundle Cinema, Stahl Theatre, West Street, Oundle, Northamptonshire PE8 4EJ, Thu 27th Dec
The unique interpretation of the classic fairy tale has, at its heart, a true war-time romance. A chance meeting results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz. The movie magic starts at 4pm with tickets starting at £12.50 for adults and just £5 for U18s. You’ll be rushing like Cinders to her pumpkin carriage to see this film!
FAMILY: Ice skating, Whilton Locks Garden Village, Whilton Locks, Whilton, Daventry, NN11 2NH, 27th Dec- 3rd Jan
This undercover rink is open every day right through to Christmas and New Year. Thrills (and sometimes spills) with 45 fun-packed minutes on the ice, with each skating session starting promptly on the hour. It is recommended you book online to ensure your skating time slot. There’s even a cafe selling some hot choccy to warm up after your ice adventures.
CINEMA: Christmas classics at the Northampton Filmhouse, Derngate, Northampton NN1 1TU, throughout December
Films on this festive season include Mean Girls, the Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns, the romcom Disobedience, as well as classics such as Labyrinth starring David Bowie. Check out their What’s on page for all showtimes! Why not even treat a pal with the Northampton Filmhouse Membership Scheme? With a single membership costing £25 and a joint deal on offer for £40, give the Box Office a ring on 01604 624811, or swing by in person to snap up a fab xmas prezzie.
CULTURE: Histfest, London, Fri 7 – Sun 9 Dec
A brand new festival taking place in London with talks, workshops, panel discussions and live performances to entertain and educate. Award winning historian and broadcaster, Betthany Hughes, is the keynote speaker, talking about Istanbul, plus other celeb historians include Kate Williams on Mary, Queen of Scots, and Janina Ramirez on Beowulf.
CHRISTMAS: Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park London, now until Sun 6 Jan
Go big or go home when it comes to festive fun, London’s Winter Wonderland is huuuuge. Free to enter but once inside, prepare to sell a kidney. The costs can get out of control – particularly if you hit the glühwein a little too hard. What to expect? Winter markets, fairground rides and ice skating. Major attractions this year include the Magical Ice Kingdom Secret Forest, an immersive showcase of woodland animals and mythical creatures created from ice and snow; a Bavarian village offering an authentic Oktoberfest experience; karaoke cabins, ice sculpting workshops, the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club, immersive screenings of The Snowman and plus Peter Pan on Ice.
DAYS OUT: Christmas at Legoland, Windsor, throughout Dec
Legoland is all twinkly lights and snow-dusted Christmas magic. Entry price for the Christmas season includes a visit to LEGO Santa in his magic grotto for kids who’ll receive a LEGO gift to take home. Make a Lego decoration and scavenger hunt with the elves. Think of your children’s faces lighting up and the enormous gin you’ll need the you get home.
CHRISTMAS: Illuminated Christmas Lights Trail, Blenheim Palace, now until Sat 6 Jan
Blenheim’s Christmas light shows are pretty spectacular and this year’s trail has even more lasers, projections and thousands of pea-lights. There’s a new Field of Light, the scented Fire Garden, a Canopy of Light and Singing Trees. Santa and his elves will also be popping up along the way too. The house opens up this Sat decorated with the theme of Cinderella and the Christmas Market begins in the Great Court with rustic wooden chalets selling all sorts of festive gifts.