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This week

Mon 2 - Sun 8 Dec 2019

MUSIC: Dido, The Ipswich Regent, 5 December 

close up of dido face for 2019 tour

Dido is in Suffolk! I repeat Dido is in Suffolk! Get your tickets before they all sell out. You can catch her and her incredible voice at the Ipswich Regent on 5 Dec. She’ll be singing material from her new album Still On My Mind as well as some of the old classics – Thank You, Here With Me, White Flag and Life For Rent.

CAROLS: Scratch Choir: A Ceremony of Carols, Aldeburgh, 6 Dec 

children singing carols in a church

It wouldn’t be Christmas without carols and you can get involved in the most impressive carolling scene at Aldeburgh thanks to Scratch Choir: A Ceremony of Carols on 6 Dec. Sing Britten’s most festive piece accompanied by harpist Valeria Kurbatova, led by conductor Ben Vonberg-Clark. Being able to read music is a definite help!

MUSIC: Walk Like a Man, Spa Pavilion Theatre, Felixstowe, 7 Dec 

Frankie Valli theatre show

Oh what a night this is set to be… get yourself down to Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion Theatre on 7 Dec for Walk Like A Man, a celebration of the unique falsetto sound of Frankie Valli!

PANTO: Cinderella, Cambridge Arts Theatre, until 11 Jan

cast of pantomime cinderella

You shall go the panto! And when you’re there you’ll get to see Wayne Sleep pirouetting around in his usual fabulous style as an Ugly Sister, plus other famous faces from the cobbles of Corrie, and West End shows like Les Mis and Hairspray.

THEATRE: Red Riding Hood, ADC Theatre, until 7 Dec 

illustration of red riding hood

The comedic and musical genius of Cambridge Footlights are behind this modern take on a Panto. Join Red and the Big Bad Wolf, plus her estranged father – the leader of the anti-Wolf revolutionaries (I told you it was modern!) as she explores life beyond the woods.

PANTO: Sleeping Beauty, Cottenham Village College4 – 7 Dec 

This panto comes from am-dram group Cottenham Theatre Workshop, but it’s a professional-sounding Panto with your usual comedy combo of slapstick jokes, men dressed as dames and comic villains. If you’re not a panto fan, just have a nap while the kids watch – if the main character can get away with it…! 


PANTO: Beauty & the Beast, The Key Theatre, Peterborough, From 5 Dec 

promo for beauty and the beast pantomime

From one beauty to another… this time we’re in France so expect to exclaim ‘oh la la’ a few times as you follow the tale (as old as time) of Belle and her hirsuite prince (no judgement here, some girls like their men hairy!).


XMAS: British Crafts Market, Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham, 7 – 8 Dec 

Christmas shopping event

Blackthorpe Barn is just one of those places that takes you from muttering ‘Bah Humbug’ to humming Jingle Bells within seconds, it’s just so bloomin’ Christmassy! Not only can you get your tree from here, take part in wreath workshops, visit Santa’s Grotto and shop in the Country Christmas Shop, but every weekend from 9 November the beautiful barn hosts the British Crafts Fair, where you can buy 100% British products for presents, or for yourself!


FAMILY: Illuminated Garden Trail,  Helmingham Hall, until 8 December

There’s something rather magical about a stunning stately home lit up in the dark, and both kids and adults will love walking around the glittering paths at one of Suffolk’s most spectacular houses, Helmingham Hall by night and getting in the Christmas spirit (just watch out for that rather large moat!). Hundreds of lights transform the gardens into a winter wonderland. Sounds a bit chilly? Don’t worry, there’s mulled wine by the cauldron-load, fire pits to toast marshmallows for s’mores and the Stables Shops are open for a spot of Christmas shopping!


XMAS: Lavenham Christmas FairLavenham, 6 – 8 Dec

tudor guildhall decorated for Christmas

Can you think of a more picturesque place than Lavenham for a Christmas fair? It’s like walking onto the set of A Christmas Carol with all the beautiful buildings draped with lights and Christmas trees aplenty. The Market Place will be taken over with plenty of tempting stalls and there will be food stalls and the delicious smell of mulled wine everywhere you go.

Jimmy’s Christmas Fayre, Jimmy’s Farm, 7 – 8 Dec

Enjoy a bit of the good life this festive season with a trip to Jimmy’s Farm. The farm and wildlife park is pretty awesome any time of the year, but we particularly love it at Christmas time when you can enjoy the bucolic paradise with the added bonus of mulled cider, Father Christmas’ grotto, a carousel, donkey rides, live music, and over 100 craft and local food stalls. Talking of food, it’s a good place to stretch your stomach in preparation for Xmas lunch as there’s street food, a hog roast, hot chestnuts, hot chocolate and marshmallows, fudge, mince pies and mulled wine as well as the award-winning restaurant! Enough about food, The Farm & Wildlife Park will be hosting their biggest Christmas present hunt to date as well as keeper talks throughout the day including Meet the Pigs, Reptiles, Ferrets and Capybara, Reindeer Roundup, Meerkat Madness, Coati feed, Tapir Tales and Crocodile Creek.

Mill Road Winter Fair, Cambridge, 7 Dec

This fair is organised by a small group of Mill Road residents, so it’s a great one to get behind. It’s a bit like a mini – and much more civilised – Notting Hill Carnival. The road gets closed for the thousands of people that take to the streets to see the parade – floats from local schools and children’s clubs. Not to be missed.


Anglesey Abbey Winter Lights, Lode, until 15 December

stately home light up in colourful lights

We’re spoiled for choice for stately homes in our region and another one that you’ll want to see come Christmas time is Anglesey Abbey (I mean just look at the cool picture above!). I’ve already got my tickets (just showing off as I’m never this organised!) and am looking forward to taking my toddler along to see the incredible light displays along the 1.5 mile walk. Live music comes courtesy of Cambridge Folk Festival and Cambridge International Jazz Festival and there will be screenings from the Cambridge Film Trust. So, this isn’t just a few colourful uplighters!

Kentwell Hall’s Dickensian Christmas, Long Melford, 7 – 15 Dec

Dickens knew a thing or two about Christmas, so step back to his time and experience a historical take on the holiday season at Kentwell Hall. This stately home is well known for it’s incredible re-enactments and this year looks set to be no different. As well as seeing what the house would have been like in 1869 and meeting all the staff and house owners, kids can visit a Victorian Father Christmas, trip to be an elf at the Elf and Safety Training School (see what they did there!) and assault course, watch a music hall and magic show, make Christmas crafts and join in the lantern-lit carolling. A history lesson you’ll actually enjoy.


Find more ideas here

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