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Things to do in December

Inklings Christmas Show, Banbury, Fri 1 – Sun 3 December

Visit this unique art exhibition at Canons Yard and enjoy looking at original art, portraits, print books and crafts and there’s an opportunity to buy or commission any that really stand out to you.

Canons Yard, Williamscot, Banbury OX17 1AB

Kingsthorpe College Christmas Fair, Kingsthorpe, 12 – 3pm, Sat 2 December

Christmas lights olney

The Kingsthorpe College Christmas Fair is back again for its fourth year. There will be over 60 stalls with a huge range of goods, creating an exciting and diverse Christmas experience. It will be the perfect place to find unique Christmas gifts, homemade decorations and delicious food treats. A variety of attractions will be available including: a Performance Arena, Animal Zone and fete games & children’s activities. Free parking and free admission.

Kingsthorpe College, Boughton Green Road, Kingsthorpe, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN2 7HR

Olney Victorian Christmas Markets, Olney 10am – 4pm, Sun 3 December.

WHEN: High St, Sun 3 December

TIME: From 10am – 4pm

WHAT ELSE: Traders dressed in Victorian clothes will pack Olney’s Market Place and High Street with stalls offering treats for your festive table and under the tree. Everything from an array of gifts, holly wreaths and wrapping to handmade crafts. Sample delicious mulled wine, hot chocolate and turkey rolls as well as other tasty food and drink on the day. The Farmers market offers delicious local produce.

Oundle Christmas Markets, Oundle 12 – 7pm, Sun 3 December

WHEN: Sun 3 December

TIME: 12 – 7pm

WHAT ELSE:  Where better to experience a festive and fun-filled Christmas Market this winter than in the beautiful, historic town of Oundle? Starting at 12 noon on Saturday 3 December the fun will last all afternoon until 7pm. Join in with all the fun and switching the lights on at 5:30pm. Masses of mulled wine and mince pies and other street food delicacies will keep you warm. With the town’s fabulous independent shops and cafes there is plenty of opportunity to relax, soak up the atmosphere and to find that ‘perfect’ gift.

Frost Fair and Christmas parade, Northampton, 11am – 4pm, Sun 3 December

Christmas tree lights

Have a browse around more than 45 local produce and craft stalls to find unique gift ideas and seasonable treats. Music and entertainment will help to provide a festive background getting you into the mood. Be apart of the parade which sets off at 1pm from The Deco Theatre as it makes its way to Market Square ready for a festive sing-song, you may even get to see Santa himself!

Market Square, Northampton NN1 2DF

Northamptonshire Guild of Designer Craftsmen’s Christmas exhibition  10am – 5pm, Tue 14 November – Sun 17 December

Northants guild of craftsmen

An exhibition of members work a wide selection of quality hand made crafts something for everyone. Ceramics, glass, jewellery, felted textiles, wood, basketry, woven textiles, stained glass and so much more. Come and treat someone with something of quality.Free entry

The Mackintosh house, 78 Derngate, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN1 1UH

Beauty of light, Alfred East Gallery, Kettering 10am – 4pm, Sat 18 November – Sat 13 January

This one is close to my heart.  When the Muddy Clan moved up to Northants nearly 20 years ago, two of the things we loved were the big skies and the early morning light.  This exhibition at one of the county’s most creative but hidden gems shows photo’s of mostly early morning light in and around Kettering and it’s absolutely free to all visitors.

The Jungle Book, Royal & Derngate, 29 Nov – 31 Dec (Check box office for the variable performance times)

Jungle book royal and derngate

A co-production with Children’s Touring Partnership. This is a vivid new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s family classic for the Royal stage this Christmas. A wild and funny tale of family, belonging and identity, this production is packed with memorable characters, new songs and brilliant storytelling. Mowgli the man cub battles for survival in this heartwarming coming-of-age story about a boy raised by wolves in the jungle. With the help of his animal friends, including Bagheera the panther, Baloo the bear and Kaa the python, Mowgli outwits the cruel and powerful tiger, Shere Khan, and learns the law of the jungle. Adapted by the Olivier Award-winning Jessica Swale (Nell Gwynn), and directed by Max Webster (The Lorax, The Old Vic), The Jungle Book receives its premiere at Royal & Derngate before a major national tour. It promises the perfect festive entertainment for all ages.

Royal & Derngate, 19-21 Guildhall Rd, Northampton, NN1 1DP.

Christmas crafts and activities at Wyevale Garden Centres, now until Sun 24 Dec

Throughout December, Wyevale Garden Centres are helping to get you in the Christmas spirit with events from a Victorian Fayre to food tastings. There’s craft workshops for kids too so it’s something the whole family can get involved in. Visitors can also see Santa in his grotto all the way up until Christmas Eve and Santa’s little visitors will have the chance to plant or grow a real magical mini Christmas tree to decorate and take home; tickets are £10 for children and supervising adults go for free. If you feel a bit hungry during your visit, you can have breakfast, tea or lunch with Santa where you can decorate a festive biscuit and then choose a present to take home; tickets range from £4.50 – £6. There’s 10 centres around the Northants so there’s bound to be one near you.

Find your nearest centre here.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Kettering, Fri 8 – Sun 31 December


Kettering panto is the fairest of them all! Don’t miss this fun-filled family pantomime running from Friday 8th until Sunday 31st December. Starring Matt Lapinskas, best known for his role in Eastenders, Natasha Grey from Emmerdale, West End star Hannah Boyce, and back by popular demand, Mark Pearce and Michael Neilson.

Show Times and Prices Vary – Please ring the box office for further details.

The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive, Kettering, Northamptonshire NN15 6PB

Oundle Cinema screenings, Oundle, Thurs/Sat 14/17 December

Oundle cinema are showing 2 unmissable films to provide pre-Christmas entertainment. With a viewing of Their Finest on Thursday 14 at 7:45pm and Beauty and The Beast on Saturday 17 at 5pm, it’s the perfect way to have an evening out with the family. Tickets cost £6 for adults and £3 for under 18s making this affordable for all. The doors and bar open half an hour before each screening and tickets can be purchased online or even at the door.

Stahl Theatre, West Street, Oundle, Peterborough PE8 4EJ

Pantaloon’s Theatre Company: A Christmas Carol, Kettering, Sat 16 December

It’s Christmas Eve and tight-fisted Ebenezer Scrooge is meaner than ever. He is shunning his only living relative, underpaying his clerk and refusing to acknowledge the plight of the poor… but will timely visits from the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future change his miserly ways before it’s too late? The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company present a brand-new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ fantastical festive fable. It’s Christmas Eve and tight-fisted Ebenezer Scrooge is meaner than ever. He is shunning his only living relative, underpaying his clerk and refusing to acknowledge the plight of the poor… but will timely visits from the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future change his miserly ways before it’s too late? Performed by a multi-talented cast in The Pantaloons’ own inimitable, hilarious and moving style, this will be an evening out to remember.

Saturday, 16th December 2017 Tickets £11 (Concessions £10) Door Prices: £12 (Concessions £11) Doors open 7pm. Show starts 7:30pm.

Kettering Arts Centre, St Andrews Church,  Lindsay Street, Kettering, Northamptonshire NN16 8RG

Christmas Trail, Barnwell Country Park, 10 am – 4pm, Thurs 21 Dec – Tues 2 Jan

Can you help Father Christmas find all the lost gifts around the park? Pick up a trail sheet from the Visitor Centre. £1 recommended donation. Includes a small prize.

Barnwell Country Park, Barnwell Road, Oundle, Northamptonshire PE8 5PB

Christmas Eve Carol Service, Wellingborough, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Sun 24 December

Join the United Reformed Church for their annual All Age Christmas Eve Carol Service to get into the spirit ready for Christmas. With a traditional service of carols and readings, including activities for the young ones, this is an service the whole family can enjoy.

United Reformed Church, High Street, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire NN8 4HW

Mince Pie Specials, Rushden Station, 11am – 4pm, Thurs 28

Eaten too much turkey? Fed up with the washing-up? Go for a ride on a diesel hauled train and have a mince pie and a drink! Enjoy real ale bar, buffet car and model coach , all passengers receive a mince pie and prices are £4.00 adults and £2.00 children.

Rushden Station, Station Approach, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 0AW

A Christmas Carol, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, until Feb 4 2018

A brand new adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic – one of the most loved short stories ever written. In one ghostly Christmas night, cold-hearted businessman Ebenezer Scrooge learns to pity himself and to love his neighbour – but is that enough? A festive tale of redemption and compassion.

David Edgar is one of their greatest living writers. His rich history with the RSC stretches from Destiny in 1976 through the multi-award-winning adaptation of Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby, to Written on the Heart (2011). Now he returns to Dickens to rediscover the social conscience of this timeless tale.

Rachel Kavanaugh (Alice in Wonderland, 2001; The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2003) directs, fresh from stunning the West End with her award-winning production of Half A Sixpence.

Suitable for ages seven and over and children go half price. Find out more about ticket prices and discounts.

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside, Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6YF

Dick Whittington, Palladium Theatre, Sat 9 December – Sun 14 January

The iconic Palladium theatre pantomime returns with an enchanting production of Dick Whittington. Produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, and the team behind the smash-hit Cinderella at the London Palladium.

London’s streets of gold are calling and, with his faithful cat by his side, our hero Dick goes searching for his fortune in the big city. But he won’t make it without your help! Be there to cheer Dick on along his journey, ‘boo’ at the biggest baddie of all time – King Rat – and ?ahh’ at the object of Dick’s affections, the beautiful Alice. Packed full of fabulous tunes, stunning dancing, fabulous costumes plus lots of festive sparkle and chances to join in, this is going to be one Christmas panto not to miss.

With an all-star cast, spectacular sets and plenty of laughs, you’ll need to book early to secure the best seats for the greatest pantomime adventure of them all! 

Find more ideas here

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