Get in the festive spirit with top these local attractions
Take a trip to the North Pole
Now a popular festive fixture on Parker’s Piece each year, North Pole Cambridge arrived for another season of fun in November. There’s still plenty of time to enjoy this twinkling Christmas wonderland, which runs right the way through until 6 January and features a huge ice rink, stalls, rides and food and drink. Cosying up in the alpine-themed bar with a steaming mulled wine afterwards is a must. Skating tickets start at £10.50 for kids and £12.50 for adults.
See carols at King’s College Chapel
Introduced in 1918, A Festival of Nine Lessons takes place at King’s College Chapel on Christmas Eve at 3pm, and is watched by many millions more around the world on the BBC World Service. It’s been held since 1919 it always starts with Once in Royal David’s City and includes one brand new, specially commissioned carol. The advice is to get there as early as possible on Christmas Eve with some form of photo ID, as staff will begin distributing tickets from 7am. Each ticket – there are approximately 500 – will be for a specific seat and valid only for the person who collects it; only one ticket will be given per person. If you’re lucky to get one, you can go back for admission from 1.30pm for the 90-minute service from 3pm.
Catch a Christmas Show
There’s still plenty of time to catch a Christmas show here in Cambridge. The Arts Theatre offering is a classic panto, Aladdin, complete with larger than life dame, song, dance and lots of laughs. It runs until 6 January and tickets are £16 to £45. Over at the Junction is Snow White, by New International Encounter, who bring a modern twist to the well-loved fairy tale. Read our review here. Also delivering some Christmas magic will be the St Petersburg Classic Ballet, who are at the Corn Exchange from 29 December-1 January to perform both The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.
Come in from the cold and cosy up at Thirsty’s Wintergarten in the garden of the Gonville Hotel, just opposite Parker’s Piece. Returning after a hugely successful debut last year, the Wintergarten has been delighting punters since November with its twinkling lights, firepit-warmed tipis, street food and classic tunes. The drinks are top-notch too, with the Thirstybus bar serving up a selection of craft beers, cider, wines, Gluhwein, gins and cocktails. The final night of the Wintergarten will be New Year’s Eve.
Enchanted Audley End
Enchanted Audley End transforms the grounds of this Saffron Walden stately home into an illuminated new world in which you can step through tunnels and paths of fairy lights, cross an enchanted bridge and more. There’s still chances to see this stunning display on 20-23 and 27-30 December from 4.30 to 9pm.