What’s On in Cambridge – April

Spring has sprung and the sun is shining!  There’s plenty happening in the city and I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back when you can.  Please get in touch if you know of an event that I could add in here!

Willow at Fort St George bridge Cambridge
Fresh green willow at Fort St George

1 – 7th    Love Cambridge Restaurant Week.  Menus at £5, £10 and £15 in a variety of cafes and restaurants across the city.  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/restaurant-week   Read more about Love Cambridge Restaurant Week here

2nd    7 – 9pm  Cambridge 1888 – 1988 – Chronicle of an English University City.  Mill Road History Society.  The Bath House, Gwydir Street.  http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk/events

5th    7.30pm  Dining in the Dark.  Identify key ingredients of your starter and dessert while blindfolded.  Fundraiser for Cam Sight.  The Red Lion, Hinxton.  http://www.camsight.org.uk  Read more about Cam Sight here

5 – 7th    Cambridge Literary Festival.  http://www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com  Read more about the Festival here

6th    10am – 1pm  Family Saturday – Nature Weaving.  Have fun, play and weave amazing creations using natural material from the Garden.  Free event.  Cambridge University Botanic Garden.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

6th    12 noon – 3pm  The Leper Chapel Opening.  A chance to see inside one of the oldest buildings in Cambridge.  The Chapel is not usually open to the public.  Free entry, donations appreciated.  Cambridge Past, Present and Future.  The Leper Chapel, off Newmarket Road.  FB: @CambridgePFF

6th    2 – 4pm  Family First Saturday.  Activities and art making on the theme of “coin it”.  Free, drop in.  Fitzwilliam Museum.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

6th    7.30pm  Movie Music Spectacular.  Cambridge Wind Band.  West Road Concert Hall.  In support of Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.  http://www.adcticketing.com

6 – 22nd    April Easter Trail.  Pick up a free trail from the Ticket Office, go on a springtime adventure and collect an Easter prize at the end.  Drop in, self led trail.  Cambridge University Botanic Garden.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

8th    7.30 – 10pm  Louise Jordan – The Hard Way.  One woman performance of live music and theatre charting the rise of a working class suffragette.  St Barnabas Centre, Mill Road.  http://www.cambridgefolkclub.co.uk

9th    2 – 4pm  Printing Workshop for 8 – 12 year olds.  Design your own T shirt to take home with you.  Booking required.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

9th    7.30pm  Concert for Cam Sight.  Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Nielsen.  Easter Concert Orchestra.  All ticket receipts and donations go to Cam Sight.  West Road Concert Hall. http://www.adcticketing.com/whats-on/concert/concert-for-camsight   Read more about Cam Sight here

10th    7 – 8.30pm  Personal medicines: all in your genes?  Talk from Cafe Sci Cambridge.  Espresso Library, East Road.  FB @cafescicambridge

11th    1 – 3pm  What can art do?  Explore environmental activism for 13 – 19 year olds.  Free, booking required.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

12th    10am – 1pm  Cambridge Jobs Fair.  Speak with potential employers face to face (don’t forget to bring your CV!). The Guildhall, Market Square. http://www.thejobfairs.co.uk

13th    1.30 – 4pm  Toy Swap.  Bring toys to swap.  Also a pilot books (fiction/children) and clothes (women/children) swap plus Full Circle, Cambridge’s own zero waste shop, will be there.  Free event.  Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington Avenue, CB3 1AA  http://www.atoyslifeandbeyond  Read more about Full Circle Shop here

13th    5pm  “Waste Not, Want Not: How to live zero waste and plastic-free”.  Talk by Full Circle Shop.  Free entry, donations welcome.  Stir Cafe, Chesterton Road.  FB @FullCircleShopUK  Read more about Full Circle Shop here

14th    12 – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Art making workshops for families with children of all ages.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

19 – 20th    10am – 5pm  Botanical Days.  A botanical themed event and pop up shop from Cultivate Gardens with refreshments by Caffiend.  Hope Street Yard, off Mill Road.  http://www.cultivategardens.co.uk

19 – 22nd  12 – 4pm  Action Drawing.  Drawing activities inspired by the Oscar Murillo Violent Amnesia exhibition.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

22 – 23rd    7.45pm (and 2.30pm on 23rd)  Ballet Central.  ADC Theatre.  http://www.adctheatre.com

24th    7.30pm  True Stories Told Live.  NCI Club, Holland Street.  FB:@cambridgetruestories

28th    2 – 3.30pm  Writers in Conversation.  Jill Dawson in conversation with Dame Gillian Beer.  Stapleford Granary, CB22.  Literature Cambridge. http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk  Read more about Literature Cambridge here

30th    6.30 – 9pm  The Tasting Table with Dulcedo, The Baking Jin and Bumble & Oak.  Innovative dishes, fusion bakes, high end patisserie and artisan chocolate.  Dulcedo Patisserie, Hills Road. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-tasting-table-with-dulcedo-the-baking-jin-and-bumble-oak-tickets

Blossom Cambridge
A froth of blossom on my neighbour’s tree

Cambridge Science Festival 2019

Cambridge Science Festival is celebrating its 25th year and runs from 11 – 24 March, this year exploring the theme of “Discovery”.  Hosting over 350 events, it will investigate a range of issues that affect our world today, from challenges around climate change policy, improving safety and quality in healthcare and adolescent mental health and will take a look at what the next 25 years holds for us.

There’s a packed schedule with events for all ages, most of which are free and which range from  debates, talks, exhibitions, workshops, interactive activities, films, comedy and performances, all held in lecture theatres, museums, cafés and galleries around the city.

Cambridge Science Festival
Image credit: Dan Clarke

An enthusiastic audience clocks up over 60,000 visits to Festival events each year to explore the world of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.  Run by the University of Cambridge, the Festival draws together independent organisations as well as University departments, centres and museums.

Cambridge Science Festival
Image credit: Cambridge Philosophical Society

Significant scientific milestones to celebrate in 2019 include the 200th anniversary of Cambridge Philosophical Society (Cambridge’s oldest scientific society) and 150 years since the publication of the modern Periodic Table.  This year’s Cambridge Gravity lecture will be presented by Sir Gregory Winter, a molecular biologist and 2018 Nobel Laureate, whose research has led to antibody therapies for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Cambridge Science Festival
Image credit: Jacqueline Garget

Events for children and families include “Hands-On Science” at Cambridge Science Centre with fun workshops that encourage creative thinking and which will lead to some inspiring scientific and engineering memories, “Moonwatch” at the Institute of Astronomy and “Little Explorers: Ice and Anti-Freeze”, a sensory story session at the Polar Museum for the under 5s with storyteller, Marion Leeper.  Dr Tom Crawford will bring the history of maths to life, with the aid of live experiments and togas, in “It’s all Greek to me!” while Channel 4 presenter, Dr Hugh Hunt, plays with blocks, balls, bikes and boomerangs in “An engineer plays with toys”.

Cambridge Science Festival
Image credit: Amelie Deblauwe

Events that are going in my diary include a talk from Jesus College Intellectual Forum on “Is technology making us miserable?”, “Gene eating: The truth about diets” with Dr Giles Yeo on how to break the cycle of pseudoscience and misinformation about dieting and “Truffle Hunt” in the Botanic Garden.  You can don your dancing shoes to celebrate the Festival opening at a ceilidh and wrap up the festivities with “Sunday Papers Live”, a sociable mix of food, newspapers and science.

Download and browse the full Science Festival programme at www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk.  You can pre book events through the website or via the Festival booking phone line on 01223 766766.

Half term break in Cambridge … some ideas!

As I write this post, Spring is very definitely in the air, the sun is shining in a blue sky and we hope for beautiful weather next week for the half term break.  I’ve put together a few details of events in the city, many of which are free, both indoors and outdoors so you’re covered whatever the weather!

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

One of my favourite green spaces in the city is the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and there’s lots to do here for all ages.  Spring into Yoga on 19 February offers springtime yoga sequences for 8 – 12 year olds to get bodies moving and minds focused and calm.  The Red Alert Twilight Event on 20 February is a free, drop in session where you’ll see some of the world’s most endangered plants and meet the people helping these plants to survive.  Flowers, Friendship and Wild Wonders on 22 February tells the story of a friendship – expect dancing, drama and lots of fun for 5 – 7 year olds.  And if you’re free ranging around the Botanic Garden at any time, children will love the Crazy Cone Caper, a self guided family trail.  You’ll find details of all these events on http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

twilight_17_preview
Image Credit: Martin Bond

If you’ve seen the movie “Night at the Museum” and wondered how it feels to wander round a museum after hours, now’s your chance to find out at Cambridge University’s “Twilight at the Museums” event.  Explore fourteen local museums and collections after dark on 20 February from 4.30 – 7.30pm and experience these spaces and collections in a different way.  This is a free, drop in event for families with activities and themed trails across the venues, most of which are just a short walk apart.  So wrap up warm and bring a torch to help you explore those darker corners.  Visit www.museums.cam.ac.uk for full details.

Kettle's Yard Studio Sunday
Image credit: Kettle’s Yard

Kettle’s Yard On Castle Hill has plenty lined up for the break, starting with Studio Sunday, a free, drop in artist-led workshop for families on 17 February.  On 19 February, they are running a Collage Workshop for 8 – 12 year olds and a free Portfolio Afternoon for those aged 13+ who’d like to work with a professional artist to develop their drawing practice and their portfolio.  From 21 – 24 February there’ll be free drop in drawing activities each afternoon, suitable for all ages and abilities, in the Clore Learning Studio.  Or come and explore spirals, webs and weaving at the free, drop in Dream Weaver Community Day on 23 February.  Further details of all these and booking, where booking is necessary, on http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

Heffers Bookshop Cambridge

Heffers Booksellers are a Cambridge institution – they’ve been selling books in the city for over 140 years.  Children’s at Heffers is offering a number of free events over half term so you can meet authors, join in fun activities and enjoy Story Time.  See the photo for details and book your place via http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/heffersbookshop

Have a great half term break!!

 

 

 

 

What’s on in Cambridge – February

It may be midwinter out there but there’s still plenty happening in the city!  I’ll add to this listing as the month unfurls so please do get in touch if you know of an event that could be included.

Snowdrops at Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Snowdrops at the Botanic Garden

2nd    10am – 1pm  Family Saturday – Prehistoric Plants.  Find out about the plants that were around at the time of the dinosaurs and make your own plant fossil to take home.  Botanic Garden.  Free event.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk  Read more about the Botanic Garden here

2nd    2 – 4pm  Family First Saturday.  Art activities on the theme of Chinese New Year, in collaboration with Cambridge China Centre.  Fitzwilliam Museum.  Free event.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

2nd    7.30pm  Impromptu Shakespeare.  A semi-regular meet up for Shakespeare lovers to explore their theatrical side.  Salisbury Arms, Tenison Road.  http://www.facebook.com/groups/impromptushakespeare or email shakespearereadthrough@gmail.com  Read more about this Shakespeare group here

3rd    7.30pm  “Romantic Russia” concert.  Sampson Orchestra.  Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Gliere.  West Road Concert Hall.  Tickets bought from Cam Sight will be donated to the charity.  http://www.camsight.org.uk  Read more about Cam Sight here

4th    7pm  Curry Night, raising money for Cam Sight.  Prana, Mill Road  http://www.camsight.org.uk  Read more about Cam Sight here

7 – 9th    7.45pm  The Mikado.  Cambridge University G & S Society.  West Road Concert Hall.  http://www.adcticketing.com

9th    2 – 5.30pm  An Introduction to Nature Poetry.  Study day with Cambridge scholars Paul Chirico and Oliver Goldstein.  How does 19th century poetry speak to us now, in a time of climate change?  Stapleford Granary CB22.  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/nature/  Read more about Literature Cambridge here

9 – 10th    11am – 4pm  Rowan “Cambridge Seen” Art Exhibition and sale.  Works created by local artists, on sale at £45 each, raising funds to help Rowan’s student artists lead a more fulfilled life.  Long Road Sixth Form College, CB2  http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk  Read more about Rowan here

11 – 17th    10.30am – 6pm “Illuminating Cambridge Libraries”, a pop-up exhibition by photographer, Sara Rawlinson.  Heong Gallery, Downing College.  http://www.sararawlinson.com  Read more about Sara and her work here and here

13th    7.30pm  Spanglish Speed Dating – Valentine Special.  The Emperor Tapas pub, Hills Road.  Facebook: @SpanishCentreUK

13th    7.30pm  An Evening with Preti Taneja, author of “We That Are Young”, a dazzling re-writing of King Lear, set in modern India.  Stapleford Granary, CB22.  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/taneja/   Read more about Literature Cambridge here

15 – 17th    Ahbab Festival, celebrating Middle Eastern and North African culture in music, film and food.  Cambridge Junction.  http://www.junction.co.uk

15 – 16th    Sat noon – 6pm/Sun 10am – 5pm  Cambridge Book Fair.  85 booksellers and refreshment by Indigo Cafe.  The Guildhall, Market Square.  http://www.pbfa.org

16th    11am – 5pm  Cambridge Climate and Sustainability Festival, “Affecting Every Existence”.  Fisher’s Building, St John’s College.  Facebook: @CambridgeClimateForum

16th    8pm  Stravinsky “The Rite of Spring” and Rachmaninov “Symphonic Dances”.  Cambridge University Orchestra.  West Road Concert Hall.  http://www.adcticketing.com

20th    4.30 – 7.30pm  Twilight at the Museums.  Explore 14 local museums and collections after dark.  Free, drop in event with activities and themed trails across the venues.  http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk

21st    6.30 – 8.30pm  Cam Late: Botanic Nights.  An evening in the Glasshouse Range with craft beer and atmospheric light displays.  Over 18’s only.  Botanic Garden.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk  Read more about the Botanic Garden here

26th    7.30pm  Academy of Ancient Music, Lucie Horsch with Richard Egarr.  Vivaldi and Bach.  West Road Concert Hall.  http://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/tickets

Glasshouse at Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Glasshouse at the Botanic Garden

 

A Winter Day at Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Now I’ll admit that at this time of year, I have an overwhelming urge to hibernate until Spring arrives.  But one bright, sunshiney, blue sky day last week, conscious of my dwindling Vitamin D levels and general seasonal pallor, I wrapped up warm and headed to the Botanic Garden which has to be my favourite green space in the city.  Home to one of the region’s largest tree collections, it’s a magical place in every season, even – and maybe especially – in Winter.

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Snowdrops are one of my favourite flowers and it always makes me smile when I come across their cheerful white blooms in midwinter.  You’ll find around 30 different varieties of snowdrop dotted through the Garden and there’s a map to show you the snowdrop “hot spots”.  These little white flowers look so delicate and yet they are so strong; they have anti-freeze proteins to inhibit ice crystals forming and causing damage to the plant plus they have seriously hard leaf tips which help them to break through frozen soil.  This drift of snowdrops under Isaac Newton’s apple tree is just beautiful and reminds me that Spring must surely be around the corner.

Snowdrops at Cambridge University Botanic Garden

The Winter Garden is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and is stunning with textures of coloured stems, bark and foliage alongside winter flowers and scented blossom, all highlighted in the brilliant sunshine.  I find wandering through this space is restorative in itself but to get to grips with more detail of the planting, I’ll sign up for a free 60 minute tour of the Winter Garden, which happens at 2.30pm every Sunday in January and February.

Winter Garden at Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Crazy Cone Caper at Cambridge University Botanic GardenThe Botanic Garden runs a terrific range of events for all ages year round.  Children will love the Crazy Cone Caper, a self guided family trail where they become a secret agent and track down six trees in the Garden to solve a mystery, collecting a prize once they’ve successfully concluded their investigation.  Crazy Cone Caper has been created by the Garden’s Learning Team and runs until 1 April.

For adults, Cam Late in the Glasshouse Range on 21 February offers craft beer, mulled wine and atmospheric light displays in these amazing glasshouses, where you’ll find plants ranging from tiny alpines to spiny cacti to exotic tropicals.  Day or night, the glasshouses are spectacular whatever the time of year.  And they’re also nice and warm if you get chilly outside on a cold day!

Glasshouse at Cambridge University Botanic Garden

With my appetite sharpened by the fresh air, I popped in to the light, airy Garden Cafe for lunch.  Its menu of home made goodies includes warming soup, delicious cakes and children’s meals.  Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options are always available.  High chairs, baby changing facilities and a selection of children’s books to borrow make this this a truly family friendly spot.

Winter Garden at Cambridge University Botanic Garden

For more information on Cambridge University Botanic Garden including their 2019 programme of courses and workshops as well as details of special events planned for the February half term break, take a look at the website.

http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

 

Coming up in Cambridge …..

 

Cambridge Festival of Ideas logo 2018

The University of Cambridge opens its doors from 15 – 28 October for the 11th annual Festival of Ideas which this year explores the theme of “extremes”.  Celebrating the arts, humanities and social sciences, a packed programme of over 200 events includes talks, exhibitions, films, debates and performances held in galleries, museums and lecture theatres across the city.  There’s something here for everyone, whether your interest lies in politics, history, the arts, literature or music or whether you just want to open your mind to new ideas and to question the status quo.  Most events are free, some need to be booked in advance which you can do through the Festival website.

www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk

 

Apples in a box
Image credit:  Will Greenfield

In this season of mist and mellow fruitfulness, don’t miss Apple Day at the stunning forty acre Cambridge University Botanic Garden on 21 October.  It’s a wonderful celebration of all things appley with tastings, advice on cultivation, children’s activities, free guided garden tours and a marquee full of locally produced edibles.  Come hungry as you’ll find a wide choice of refreshments from a variety of food trucks and the Garden Café.  And if you have a mystery apple tree in your garden, you need the apple identification service.  Just bring along a couple of apples with a leaf and stalk attached and who knows, you may bring a lost heritage variety to light!

www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

People apple tasting
Image credit: Will Greenfield
Autumn Botanic Garden
Image credit: Will Greenfield

This post is part of my October “New in Cambridge” column in Velvet magazine.  Read more on http://www.velvetmag.co.uk

What’s on in October

Well, Cambridge feels a little bit different now ….. there’s a nip in the morning air, the evenings are drawing in and the rhythm of the city changes as the students return.  There’s plenty going on and I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back when you can.

Sunny autumn morning on the River Cam
Sunny autumn morning on the River Cam

5th    8pm  Fresher Brass.  A “Meet and Greet” concert with the City of Cambridge Brass Band.  St Giles Church, Castle Street, CB3.  Free entry.

6th    7.30pm  The Fishermen.  Mumford Theatre, Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, CB1.  http://www.anglia.ac.uk

7th    10.30am – 4pm  Cambridge Vegan Market.  Guildhall, Market Square.  http://www.vegfest.co.uk

7th   2 – 4pm/5 – 7pm  Cambridge Wine Fair.  Royal Cambridge Hotel, Trumpington Street, CB2.  Meet local independent wine merchants.  http://www.cambridgewinefair.com

8th    7.45pm  Climate Change: A Scientific Update.  Speaker:  Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE.  Part of the Science meets Faith series.  Wesley Church, Christ’s Pieces, CB1.  Free admission.

15 – 18th  Cambridge Festival of Ideas  http://www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk  Read more here

15th    7pm  Oompah Brass.  The Leys School, Fen Causeway, CB2.  http://www.theleys.net/boxoffice

18th    7pm  Cambridge Breast Cancer Appeal Fashion Show.  Grand Arcade, St Andrew’s Street, CB2.  Tickets include welcome drink and canapes.  http://www.cambridgebreastcancerappeal.com  Read more here

19th    8pm  The Choral Pilgrimage 2018.  Music by Cornysh and Britten.  The Sixteen.  St John’s College Chapel.  http://www.thesixteen.com

20th    11am – 4pm  Volunteer for Cambridge.  Free showcase for the diversity of volunteering opportunities in the city with around 90 organisations attending.  Guildhall, Market Square, CB2.  http://www.cambridge.gov.uk/volunteer-for-cambridge

20th   2 – 5.30pm  Understanding King Lear.  Study Day with Literature Cambridge.  Stapleford Granary, Stapleford, CB22.  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/lear/  Read more here

20th    7.30pm  Let there be Light.  Charity concert for CBM UK, the overseas disability charity, showcasing local musicians and voices.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road, CB2.  http://www.ticketsource.co.uk

21st    10am – 4pm  Apple Day.  Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Brookside, CB2.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk  Read more here

22nd    1 – 3pm  The Fitzwilliam Museum.  Disability friendly opening.  A relaxed afternoon aimed at children with sensory sensitivities along with their families, siblings and carers.  Free entry but please book in advance.  Trumpington Street, CB2.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

23rd    11am – 5pm Tues – Sun.  Richard Pousette-Dart: Beginnings.  Abstract Expressionist.  This exhibition runs until 6 January 2019.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

24th    7 – 10pm  Plague Late.   Part of the Cam Lates season.  Get up close and personal with the past and present of the Plague.  Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Downing Street, CB2.  Book in advance.  http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk

24 – 27th    7.30pm plus two matinees at 2.30pm.  West Side Story.  Cambridge Theatre Company.  The Leys School, Fen Causeway, CB2.  http://www.camtheatrecompany.co.uk

25 – 1 Nov    Cambridge Film Festival.  http://www.cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk  Read more here

26th    9.30am – 12.30pm  Kids’ Repair Cafe.  Fixing children’s games and toys.  Arts Picturehouse, St Andrew’s Street, CB2.  http://www.cambridgecarbonfootprint.org  Read more here

26 – 28th    7.30pm  Ghost Stories for Halloween.  The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road, CB5.  http://www.nunkie.co.uk

28th    1pm  Cambridge Halloween Dog Parade.  Facebook: Cambridge Halloween Dog Parade  Read more here

Autumn colours on Trumpington Street, Cambridge
Autumn colours on Trumpington Street, Cambridge