What’s on in Cambridge – December 2019

So just like that, December is here … the city is looking even more gorgeous than usual with lights twinkling and decorations everywhere.  Read on for details of all types of Christmas music and services, shopping events where you’ll find those perfect handmade presents, seasonal celebrations and activities in our wonderful museums and much more.  I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back and please get in touch if you’d like me to include your event.

The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie
Christmassy vibes at The Ivy Cambridge Brasserie

1st    12 noon – 4pm  Museum Shop Sunday.  Stalls from local suppliers including jewellery, glasswork and pottery.  Mulled wine and mince pies.  Free, drop in.  Museum of Cambridge, Castle Street.  http://www.museumofcambridge.org.uk

1st    12 noon – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Practical art making workshops, no experience necessary.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

1st    1.15 – 2pm  Cambridge University Instrumental Award Holders – a performance by the very best undergraduate chamber musicians.  Free.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

1st    6.30pm  Winter Cabaret.  A seasonal mix of jazzy, sassy, jingly and soulful songs and music from The Lucy Cavendish Singers.  Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington.  http://www.lucycavendishsingers.org.uk

4th    5 – 8pm  Rowan’s Winter Warmer.  A festive evening where you can buy handmade gifts and cards, commission artwork and get involved in Christmas workshops.  Live music, mulled wine and mince pies.  Free entry.  Rowan, 140 Humberstone Road, CB4 http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk

5th    6.30pm  Murder under the Mistletoe.  Heffers’ Christmas Crime Party.  Festive drinks, book buying and readings from crime authors.  10% off purchases on the evening.  Heffers, Trinity Street.  http://www.heffersbookshop.eventbrite.com

6th    7.30pm  A Jazz Suite for Christmas.  Tim Boniface and Polly Gibbons.  St. Paul’s, Hills Road.  http://www.stpaulsartsfest.org

6th    7.30pm  Michaelmas Concert: A Musical Selection Box, to include Tchaikovsky and Gershwin.  The University of Cambridge Concert Band.  St Giles’ Church, CB3.  Tickets on the door.

7th    8.50 – 10.30am  Mill Road History Walk with Cambridge Green Badge Guides.  Meet at the Romsey R on Cavendish Road.  http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk

7th    10am – 1pm  Family Saturday.  Get festive and make all sorts of Christmas decorations using natural materials.  Free.  Botanic Garden, Brookside.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

7th    10.30am – 4.30pm  Mill Road Winter Fair.  Live music, local crafts, art, entertainment, food.  Mill Road.  FB Mill Road Winter Fair 2019

7th    11.30am  Bridging Binaries: LGBTQ+ Tour.  Explore the spectrum of identities that exist across time, place and culture in Cambridge collections.   Free.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

7th    1 – 1.30pm  Come and Sing Carols.  An informal, friendly “come and sing” carolling session for shoppers, friends and visitors.  Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade

7th    2 – 4pm  Family First Saturday.  Activities and art making on the theme of festive fun.  Free, drop in.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

7th    4 – 5pm  Blue Christmas.  A service of jazz and prayer for everyone who doesn’t find the holidays so happy.  Michaelhouse Chapel, Trinity Street

7th    7pm  Messiah by Candlelight.  Eboracum Baroque.  A charity concert in aid of Cancer Research.  Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade.  http://www.eboracumbaroque.co.uk

8th    7.30pm  Christmas Orchestral and Choral Concert.  Dvorak, Mendelssohn and Czech Christmas music.  The Academy of Great St Mary’s.  Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade.  http://www.adcticketing.com

8th    7.30pm  A Christmas Concert by The King’s Men Cambridge.  Trumpington Parish Church, Grantchester Road, CB2.  http://www.the-kings-men-trumpington.eventbrite.co.uk

8th    7.30pm  Messiah.  Choir of Clare College with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.  Trinity College Chapel.  http://www.adcticketing.com

9th    7.45pm  Brokenness, compassion and identity in rehabilitation after brain injury.  Speaker: Dr Andrew Bateman.  Part of the Science meets Faith series.  Free admission, retiring collection.  Wesley Church, Christ’s Pieces

12th    7.30pm  Music for an English Advent: Gabriel’s Message.  Carols and estampies from medieval England.  Mediva Ensemble.  Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street.  http://www.CambridgeEarlyMusic.org

12th    8pm  A Winter Union.  Five leading lights of the British roots scene present an evening of seasonal songs, new and old.  Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington.  http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk

13th    7.30pm – 2.30am  Reach Up Disco Wonderland with DJ Andy Smith and XL Records founder Nick Halkes.  2648 Bar, Trinity Street.  https://skdl.co/kFnLqa45X0

13 – 14th    7.30pm  A Christmas Carol.  Adapted and performed by Martin Prest in a one man show.  The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road.  Wrap up warm as the Chapel can be cold!  http://www.adcticketing.com

14th    10.30 – 11.15am  Sharing Stories.  Stories from around the world told, read and sung.  Free, drop in.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk

14th    3 – 3.30pm amd 4 – 4.30pm  Michaelhouse Candlelit Carols.  Come and sing traditional Christmas carols in the candlelit chapel.  Michaelhouse Chapel, Trinity Street

14th    6 – 11pm  Cambridge African Network Christmas Party.  Food, Santa Claus, music and dancing.  Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington.  http://www.cambridgeafricannetwork.org

15th    10am – 4pm  Victorian Christmas Celebration.  Family friendly Victorian Christmas day with craft activities, music, mince pies and more.  Cambridge Museum of Technology, Cheddars Lane.  http://www.museumoftechnology.com

15th    6.30 – 8pm  Carols by Candlelight, accompanied by Cottenham Brass Band.  Hosted by Cambridge Past, Present and Future.  The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road.  Free event, donations appreciated.  http://www.cambridgeppf.org

15th    8pm  Music for Advent and Christmas.  Josquin, Howells and carols for audience participation.  Fairhaven Singers.  Trinity College Chapel.  http://www.fairhavensingers.org.uk

18th    1.15 – 2pm  The Food of Christmas Past.  A talk with Ivan Day, Feast & Fast food historian.  Free.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

19th    7 – 9pm  Mindfulness around a Campfire – Winter Solstice celebration.  Guided meditations, reflections, discussions, poetry, games and toasty pre Christmas treats around a campfire.  Milton Country Park, CB24.  Tickets from clairethompson@mindfulness-of-nature.com

19th    7.30 – 10pm  Light Up EACH Life Cambridge Concert.  We Are Sound and Evelyn Glennie perform a selection of uplifting songs in celebration of the children and families cared for at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.  Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade.  http://www.each.org.uk

20th    10.30am – 12.30pm  GPS Christmas Treasure Hunt.  Track down some special Christmas plants growing in the garden.  A family activity.  Booking essential.  Botanic Garden, Brookside.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

20th   7.30pm  Celebrate Christmas with John Rutter and Bach Choir Voices.  Traditional carols and works by John Rutter.  Our Lady and the English Martyrs Catholic Church, Hills Road  http://www.cambridgesummermusic.com

22nd    4 – 5.15pm and 6.30 – 7.45pm  Carols by Candlelight.  A traditional candlelit service of lessons and carols at the University Church.  Arrive early to be sure of a seat.  Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade

24th    4 – 5pm  Christmas Eve Crib Service.  Carols, bible stories and an impro Nativity.  For children and their families.  Come as you are or in Nativity fancy dress.  Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade

25th    11.15am – 12.15pm  Christmas Day Choral Mattins.  Favourite carols, beautiful music, scripture and story.  Great St Mary’s Church, King’s Parade

Christmas wreath by Feather & Ferns
Christmas wreath by Feather & Ferns

What’s on in November

As the nights draw in and the leaves crunch under our feet, it’s another busy month here in Cambridge.  This what’s on listing for November is by no means exhaustive but you’ll find an eclectic mix of events that have come to my attention.  Please get in touch through my Contact page if you know of an event that I can add in.  And I’ll try to update through the month, so do check back when you can.

Autumn morning on Midsummer Common Cambridge
Autumn morning on Midsummer Common, image by Harriet Kelsall

1st    6pm  Parisian Women and the Nazi Occupation, uncovering their lives and their relationships.  Part of the Liberation Literature Lecture Series.  The Auditorium, Robinson College.  Booking essential.  http://www.clarehall.cam.ac.uk

2nd    7.30pm  Michaelmas Concert.  Vaughan Williams, Stanford and Beethoven.  Clare College Music Society.  West Road Concert Hall, CB3

3rd    Remembering the First World War.  Literature Cambridge Study Day.  Stapleford Granary, CB22 5BP  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk  Read more about Literature Cambridge here

3rd    1pm  Voices and Viols, Laments of the Renaissance.  Carissimi, Gibbons, Weelkes and Byrd.  Erasmus Chamber Choir with Cambridge University Consort of Viols.  St. Clements Church, Bridge Street, CB2

6th    Translation as Music, Music as Translation.  Part of Women, Languages and Translation in the Italian Tradition Conference.  Talk 4.50 – 5.30pm.  Concert 6 – 7pm Bach, Chopin and Brahms.  Clare College.  Advance registration required on womenandtranslation2018@gmail.com

7th    5 – 9pm  Late at the Fitzwilliam: Feminist Takeover.  Fitzwilliam Museum  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/calendar/events

9th (until 12th Dec)   10am – 6pm Metamorphoses & Other Prints, an exhibition of art works by David Brown.  http://www.clarehall.cam.ac.uk

9 – 10th  Cambridge Festival of Ukrainian Film.  Winstanley Theatre, Trinity College.  http://www.CambridgeUkrainianStudies.org

9th    7pm  West Road Remembers, a remembrance concert.  West Road Concert Hall, CB3

10th    3pm  History of Tango.  Talk and dance demonstration by Cambridge Tango Academy.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road, CB2.  http://www.cambridgelivetickets.co.uk

10th    3.15pm  O Nata Lux.  London Oriana Choir.  Monteverdi, Vaughan-Williams, Britten, Andrew, Hagan and Dale.  Queens’ College Chapel.  Free entry.  http://www.londonoriana.com

10th    7.30pm  Pujol Plays Tango.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road, CB2.  http://www.pujolcambridge.com

10th    7.30pm  A Farewell to Arms, an evening of music to reflect on war and peace.  Fairhaven Singers.  Queens’ College Chapel.  http://www.fairhavensingers.org.uk

10th    8pm  The Seraphin Chamber Orchestra.  Mahler and Schubert.  Emmanuel United Reformed Church, CB2  http://www.seraphinchamberorchestra.com

11th    8.30pm  An evening of new choral and orchestral music to commemorate the WW1 armistice centenary.  The Phoenix Choir and The Phoenix Ensemble.  Great St Mary’s Church, CB2.  http://www.adcticketing.com/armistice or tickets on the door

12th    7.45pm  Science meets Faith: Issues concerning palliative and end of life care.  Dr Stephen Barclay.  Wesley Church, CB1

13 – 27th    Cambridge International Jazz Festival  http://www.cambridgejazzfestival.info

14 – 17th    Cambridge Beer Festival.  University Social Club, Mill Lane, CB2  http://www.cambridgebeerfestival.com

14 – 26th    Cambridge Music Festival  http://www.cambridgemusicfestival.co.uk

16th    7.30pm  A Courtly Garland.  Orpheus Britannicus.  Grossi, Handel, Finger and Torelli.  Trinity Hall, CB2  http://www.trinhall.cam.ac.uk/news-events/events

17th    The North Pole Ice Rink opens.  Parker’s Piece, CB1.  http://www.thenorthpolecambridge.co.uk

17th    11am – 4.30pm  Sustainable Fashion Festival.  St Barnabas Church, Mill Road, CB1  http://www.circularcambridge.org/fashion.  Read more here

17th    8pm  Trinity Singers Concert.  Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonnelle.  Trinity College Chapel.

17th    7.30pm  Raise your Voices Cambridge.  A variety of musical styles and songs, raising money for Church Urban Fund.  Great St Mary’s Church, CB2  http://www.raiseyourvoices.org.uk

18th    11am – 4pm  Naomi Davies Art Winter Open Studio.  Cake, carols, cards, gifts and paintings.  151 Hobart Road, CB1 http://naomidaviesart.co.uk/winter-open-studio-on-18-november/

18th    5pm  Christmas Lights Switch On.  Market Square, CB1

23 – 25th    Cambridge Literary Festival  http://www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com

24th    8pm  Enchantment and Passion.  Delibes, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Khachaturian.  Cambridge Graduate Orchestra.  West Road Concert Hall, CB3.  http://www.cambridgegraduateorchestra.com

29th – 1st Dec    Cambridge Made Christmas Fair.  St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, CB2   Facebook: Cambridge Made Christmas Fair 2018  Read more about Cambridge Made and last year’s Christmas Fair here

30th    6 – 8pm  Pots for Poverty.  Charity sale raising funds for Jimmy’s Night Shelter.  The Locker Cafe, King Street, CB1.  Read more about last year’s Pots for Poverty here

30th    6 – 9pm  Late at Kettle’s Yard.  Kettle’s Yard, CB3.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/events/late-at-kettles-yard

Autumn colour in Trumpington Street Cambridge
Autumn colour on Trumpington Street