What’s On: Muddy Herts Guide 22 Dec 2016-4 Jan 2017
Ah, Christmas… If you fancy venturing out from under that pile of mincepies — or need a break from visiting relatives — there are some cracking bits and bobs going on around and about over the coming festive fortnight. Have fun, lovelies. And bring on the New Year!
David’s Christmas Quiz, David’s Bookshop, Eastcheap, Letchworth Garden City, Weds 28 Dec, 6pm
This is how I really want David’s Christmas Quiz to look! Test your general knowledge at David’s annual Christmas Quiz! Grab you friends, bring some drinks and have a jolly old time. This event usually sells out so get your (ice) skates on and book in, quick.
Lily and the Little Snow Bear, The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 22-24 Dec, 11am, 2pm and 4.30pm
This gorgeous puppet show is complete with enchanting music and snowy setting, a modern-day fairy tale perfect for the littlies. Lily is in for a surprise when she sets out exploring in the snow, discovering mysterious footprints. Hiding at the bottom of her garden, she finds a little lost snow bear who is missing his mummy! Time for a Christmas rescue mission to reunite the bear with his mother.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Highlights, Natural History Museum, Tring & London, until 22 Jan
Feeling inspired by Planet Earth II?! I just don’t know how they manage to get those shots. If you haven’t already caught a glimpse of this exhibition, do catch it if you’re in limbo between Christmas and New Year. There are some breathtaking images, with this year’s competition being the most competitive to date.
Children’s Christmas Craft, Ashridge Estate, 22 & 23 Dec, 10am – 3pm
Last minute Christmas Crafts, anyone? Go on, you know you want to! How about heading to the woods to make your very own woodland themed decoration to adorn your tree? You can’t beat a home-made decoration.
Children’s Christmas Trail, Ashridge Estate, 31 Dec & 1 Jan, 10am – 3pm
And if you want to blow away the cobwebs after Christmas, take the kids to Ashridge for a Christmas trail, joining Mr Robin as he visits his woodland friends. Get your card stamped along the way and receive a special gift at the end.
Christmas Pudding Walk, Ashridge Estate, 22 Dec – 7 Jan, 10am – 3.30pm
Unfortunately, I don’t think this actually involves the consumption of said Christmas puddings. It’s one for the grown-ups – I assume this will be a bit more of a testing walk, so lace up your boots good and tight. It probably depends on how much Christmas pudding you consume on the big day, mind you. I might just stick to taking the kids to the Christmas Trail, to be on the safe side…
Hertfordshire Festival of Music: Heigh Ho Holiday!, All Saints’ Chruch, Queens Road, Hertford, 31 Dec, 2pm
Guess who is coming to town this New Years Eve? Only The City Musick, the premier Renaissance wind band in the UK. They will be performing on instruments of the 17th century, along with wassails, dance music and seasonal readings from Shakespeare to Hardy. Andrew Havill, a well-seasoned actor himself, from the Royal Shakespeare Company to Doctor Who with Kylie Minogue (and *so* much more – wowza!) will also be getting in on the action. This concert is the perfect way to celebrate the festive period. I’ve always thought that nothing says Christmas better than a good traditional carol. And a large mince pie, of course…
New Year’s Eve Comedy and Party, Watford Comedy Loft, 31 Dec, 8pm
If a Renaissance wind band isn’t quite up your street, perhaps a spot of comedy would help to ease in the new year? With a line up of four comedians, from comic songs, to spot on observations, gags galore, and brilliant story-telling, you know where to go! And you’re guaranteed a seat for the most important night of the year!
Turner Prize 2016, Tate Britain, Millbank, London, until 2 Jan
It’s your last chance to check out 2016’s Turner Prize nominees and this year’s winner. It’s been running for over 30 years now, and it’s a corker. I just *love* the look of Michael Dean’s work, which begins as writing, which he then gives a physical form. His sculptures use everyday materials and recognisably illustrate an element of language. Dean’s installation includes £20, 436 in pennies – the amount of money the government states is the minimum that a family of four needs to survive for a year. He removed a penny when installing the work, meaning the amount you see before you is one pence short of the poverty line. Thought-provoking stuff. Oh, and there’s also a rather large bottom, courtesy of Anthea Hamilton, whose work is larger than life. Winner, Helen Marten uses gorgeous collage like gatherings of objects and images, creating poetic visual puzzles that draw you in. And there’s some gorgeous photography from Josephine Pryde.
Ice Rink, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, until 8 Jan, 11am – 9pm
Dippy the Diplodocus has gone, but fear not – there will a fantastic new installation of a 25-meter-long blue whale in 2017. Before then, why not have a go at ice-skating against this magical sparkly back drop while you still can. All good things must come to an end. *Sigh.* I bet that’s what poor Dippy must have been thinking…