What’s on in Cambridge – February 2020

Well, it’s grey and gloomy as I write this but we got through January and there are definite signs of Spring now.  I’ve noticed buds on the trees, little froths of blossom and the birds are chirping morning and evening.  Read on for details of what’s happening in the city this month … this listing is not exhaustive but is an eclectic mix of events that come to my attention.  I’ll update it through the month so do check back and if you are involved in an event that you’d like me to include, please get in touch via my Contact page.

River Cam Cambridge
A winter day on the towpath

1st    10am – 1pm  Family Saturday: Plant Fibres.  Create your own wall hanging to take home.  Free activity for children, drop in event.  Botanic Garden, Brookside.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

1st    10.30am – 12 noon  Learn 5-a-side chess.  Free, drop in event, all welcome.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Milton Road Library, CB4.  http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk

1st    10.30am – 4.30pm  Cambridge’s Affordable Vintage Fair.  Vintage, handmade, reworked and retro.  Fashion, accessories and collectables from the 40’s to the 90’s.  Guildhall, Market Square.  FB: Cambridge’s Affordable Vintage Fair

1st    12 noon, 1pm and 2pm  Children’s Workshop: Chinese Calligraphy.  Celebrate Chinese New year and learn how to create characters with Chinese brushes and ink.  For children aged 8+, must be accompanied by an adult.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

1st    12 – 4pm  Family First Saturday: Chinese New Year.  Celebrate Chinese New Year with family activities which include lion dance, animals of the zodiac trail, lantern making, paper cutting.  Free, drop in.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

1st    2 – 4pm  “Undiscovered beauty spots within an hour’s drive of Cherry Hinton”.  Talk from Peter Green, Walks Co-ordinator, National Trust.  All welcome, free entry, contribution invited towards expenses.  Food for Thought Cafe, Cherry Hinton Baptist Church Building, corner of Fisher’s Lane and Cherry Hinton High Street.

1 – 23rd   Snowdrop Trail.  Discover more about snowdrop science, history, folklore and cultivation when you follow the Garden’s snowdrop routes.  Botanic Garden, Brookside.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

2nd – 28th    The Minerva Festival.  A city wide celebration of music composed by women and non-binary people.  http://www.theminervafestival.org

3rd    7 – 10pm  An evening at The White Hart Country Inn, Fulbourn.  A two course meal and live entertainment for £20.  Fundraiser for Camsight  http://www.camsight.org.uk

4 – 8th    7.45pm  My Fair Lady.  Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society.  ADC Theatre, Park Street  http://www.adctheatre.com

6th    11am – 1pm  Twentieth-century First Editions Exhibition.  The Old Library, Magdalene College will be open for visitors to these historic book-lined rooms, with displays of items from the College’s special collections and archives which are rarely seen in public.  Free entry, no need to book.  Magdalene College, Magdalene Street.

7 – 16th    Ahbab Festival.  A festival of music, film, food and culture from the Middle East and North Africa.  Cambridge Junction and multiple venues across the city.  FB: @AhbabFestival

8th    1 – 4pm  Chinese New Year Crafts.  Celebrate Chinese New Year with CFT Chinese School.  Decorate a paper lantern, paint a panda and try your hand at Chinese calligraphy and pictograms.  Free, drop in event for families.  Parents/carers must stay with children.  Cambridge Central Library, Lion Yard

8th    7pm  Hungarian Music for Cello and Accordian.  Cambridge Szeged Society.  Free entry, retiring collection.  Church of Our Lady and English Martyrs, Hills Road.

8 – 9th    11am – 4pm  Rowan Art Exhibition.  Buy original art at this “Celebrate Your World” art exhibition.  Pictures from amateur and professional artists on sale at £45 each, raising funds to support Rowan’s student artists.  Chesterton Community College, Gilbert Road, CB4  http://www.rowanhumberstone.co.uk

9th    8.30pm  King’s Voices Lent Concert.  Haydn, Beethoven and Reger.  King’s Voices with the King’s College Symphony Orchestra.  King’s College Hall  http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk

10th    7.45pm  Seeking to know: A humane philosophy of science and religion.  Speaker: Professor Andrew Steane, Physics Department, Oxford University.  Part of the Science Meets Faith series.  Wesley Church, Christ’s Pieces.  Free entry, retiring collection.

15th    1pm  Come and Sing Faure Requiem.  For singers of all ages and abilities who can read music.  St Catherine’s College Music Society.  McGrath Centre, St Catherine’s College, Trumpington Street  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk

15th    7 – 9.30pm  Winter Mindfulness around the Campfire.  Simple guided meditations, opportunities for reflection, discussions, poetry and games exploring our relationship with the natural world, around a campfire.  Byron’s Pool, Trumpington  http://www.mindfulness-of-nature.com

18th    7 – 8.30pm  Cafe Sci Cambridge: The Genetics of Depression.  Free, non ticketed.  Espresso Library, East Road.   FB: Free event: The Genetics of Depression

19th    4.30 – 7.30pm  Twilight at the Museums at the Botanic Garden.  Bring your torch for a night time adventure around the Glasshouses and discover some seriously freaky plants.  Free, no charge for entry after 4.30pm, no need to book.  The Garden Shop and Cafe will be open until 7pm.  Botanic Garden, Brookside  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

19th    4.30 – 7.30pm  Twilight at the Museums: De-lightful!  Take a journey through light and dark at this annual Twilight event which takes place across University of Cambridge Museums.  Discover torch lit treasure, sensory activities, interactive theatre, stories, dance and studio art creativity.  Free event.  http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk/events/twilight_museums

21 – 22nd  12 – 5pm  Cambridge Antiquarian Book Fair.  Old books, prints, maps and manuscripts.  Guildhall, Market Square

21st    6.30 – 8.30pm  Cam Lates: Garden Kitchen Takeover.  Explore the diverse plant collections in the Glasshouse Range which will be filled with imaginative illuminations.  Food and drink from The Garden Kitchen.  Booking essential.  Botanic Garden, Brookside  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

21st    8pm  St John Passion.  St John’s College Music Society with Trinity College Music Society.  St John’s College Chapel.  Tickets on the door.

22nd    11am – 5pm  Cambridge’s Craft and Flea.  Local produce, street food, collectables, crafts, vegan and more.  St Barnabas Church, Mill Road

22nd    2 – 6pm  Board Games Afternoon.  LGBTQ+ board games social afternoon.  Free admission.  Cambridge Central Library, Lion Yard

27th    6 – 9pm  Student LATE: Love Art After Dark.  A dynamic programme of art events, performances, live music, pop up talks, behind the scenes tours plus creative arts and crafts activities.  Cash bar and snacks in the Courtyard Cafe.  Free but booking essential.  Student ID card required.   Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street    http://www.loveartafterdark-event.getqpay.com

29th    6 – 9.30pm  Mastana.  South Asian cultural performances ranging from dance to music to fashion, acting, magic and more.  Guildhall, Market Square  http://www.fixr.co/event/82327218

29th    7.30pm  Harmony in Harlem Jazz Orchestra.  Duke Ellington’s Primping for the Prom.  St Andrew’s Baptist Church, St Andrew’s Street.  Tickets on the door or from http://www.hhjazz.co.uk

Spring flowers
Spring flowers in my kitchen

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 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