Things to do this weekend
FRI 8 - MON 11 DEC
Northamptonshire Guild of Designer Craftsmen’s Christmas exhibition 10am – 5pm, Tue 14 November – Sun 17 December
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)
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
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
Heading into wintry London, me hearties? Yup, me too. A few hours’ in Harvey Nicks followed by cocktails at 5 Hertford Street and then…Woah, stop there girl! I’ve got kids in tow, which means trying to stay dry and stay perky whilst contending with the other ‘out of towners’ in the Capital’s museums, shops and all the usual attractions. But then, what about the prospect of warm welcoming seat and a cold glass of what you fancy in the darkness whilst you’re all being entertained? Although there won’t be much time for quiet thought with these blockbuster show tunes to admire– you’ll be toe-tapping and singing along before you know it. Check out the Muddy guide to 5 of the best West End Shows to keep kids of all ages amused this autumn.
Annie, Piccadilly Theatre
Heads up on this one – tickets are going fast so book yours now to see the best diva for the job – Meera Syal (!) high kicking, falling over and passing out as Miss Hannigan. It’s a 10 from us Meera. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some legwarmers to put on…
Matilda The Musical, Cambridge Theatre
Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, Matilda revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny (and entertain us all in the process). Tim Minchin’s award winning score will have you humming his tunes for weeks after the performance. Love it.
Young Frankenstein, Garrick Theatre
Perhaps one for families with slightly older kids for this Mel Brooks classic farce. So it goes, Grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced ‘Fronk-en-steen’) inherits a castle in Transylvania leading him to fulfill his grandfather’s legacy by bringing a corpse back to life. With help and hindrance from hunchback henchman Igor, buxom assistant Inga and needy fiancee Elizabeth, his experiment yields madcap success and monstrous consequences. Lesley Joseph ditches last years Strictly sequins for the greasepaint, alongside funny man Ross Noble. It’s gonna be good.
Disney’s Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre
You ain’t never seen a show like this. Breathtaking sets, mind-blowing special effects, over 350 lavish costumes and a fabulous cast and orchestra bring the magic of Disney’s Aladdin to life on the West End stage. Featuring all the songs from the classic Academy Award®-winning film including ‘Friend Like Me’, ‘A Whole New World’ and ‘Arabian Nights’, prepare to experience the unmissable ‘theatrical magic’ (Daily Telegraph) that is Aladdin.
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Criterion Theatre
A priceless diamond has been entrusted to the city bank, but in a town where everyone’s a crook and even security guards can’t be trusted, what could possibly go wrong? Basically, everything goes wrong. Delivering swag loads of laughter, Ocean’s Eleven meets the Marx Brothers in this dynamite new comedy from the team that brought us ‘The Play that goes wrong’. Hilarious.
Invaders – Sea Life London Aquarium (ongoing)
The London Aquarium never disappoints. The beautiful, bonkers and plain ugly get the full point and stare treatment. This month jellyfish joins the celebrity gold fish bowl with a new permanent exhibition dedicated to Ocean Invaders’. Discover the most dangerous species and create our own digital jellyfish. It’s cheaper to book in advance, £19.50 for adults, £14.50 under 16s and under 3s for FREE!
Sea Life London Aquarium, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB
KidZania – Westfield (ongoing)
Those who’ve been rave about this place at Westfield. A friend from overseas bought her sons for a rammed fortnight in London during which they saw pretty much every museum and attraction and this was their favourite. It’s a child-size ‘city’ where the kids are in charge (scary, no?). It provides real life role play experience for 4-14 year olds, blending learning and reality with entertainment. They can try more than 60 role-play activities (actor, doctor, police officer etc) with each experience crafted to teach kids essential life skills like team work and independence. Younger kids can hang out in the dedicated Early Years area. And you can, you know, go shopping.
KidZania, Westfield London Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 7GA
Science Museum, Kensington, London (ongoing)
Masses on at this ever brilliant museum – spend the whole day here – including the new exhibit of Tim Peake’s Spacecraft – Soyuz TMA-19M. Also on is a brand new exhibition Robots, which reveals our 500-year quest to make machines human, from a 16th century mechanised monk to some of film’s most iconic robotic creations and the very latest humanoids. Finally, your kids will love Wonderlab, the newest and most spectacular interactive gallery in the world.
Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington, London SW7 2DD
London Zoo, Regent’s Park London (ongoing)
Visit the amazing London Zoo and see Land of the Lions, a new immersive exhibit with walkways from where you can explore Indian-themed areas – including a train station, crumbling temple clearing, high street and guard hut. No extra charge – it’s all included in entry to the Zoo.
London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY