What’s on this week
MON 1 – SUN 7 JAN
Make 2018 Our Happiest Year Yet, FastTrack Fit Camp, Wokingham Cricket Club, Sat 6 Jan
It’s time to drag yourself off the sofa, ditch the overly ambitious resolutions and focus on YOU. Heidi Strickland-Clark of FastTrack Fit Camp is running a free (yup, totes FREE) 3-hour event that helps you see through the fog and focuses on the positives, helping you see what’s holding you back, why and what you can do about it – from family to food, fitness to fun and finances. Space is limited, book up.
Where I Come From Exhibition, Cumberland Lodge Windsor, until Sat 6 Jan
In other news… while we fighting a losing battle with wrapping paper and sticky tape the ghost of Christmas present know as Brexit continues, so there’s no better time to see portrait photographer Bill Knight’s new exhibition Where I Come From – a celebration of freedom of movement and immigration in Britain. Positive stories rather than hysterical headlines.
Winter walk, National Trust Cliveden, throughout 2018
If you’ve been cooped up for days at the relis or nursing a monumental NYE hangover, pop some pills get some fresh air at Cliveden. There’s s stonking 375 acres of gardens, woodland and riverside walks to explore. Plus the hotel is on hand for a coffee or hair of the dog.
Peter Pan, Hexagon Reading, now – Sun 7 Jan
Mr TUUUUUUUUUMBBBBBLE! The irrepressible CBeebies demi-god Justin Fletcher may make you reach for the gin bottle but any small people in your charge will surely go insane in the membrane at the prospect of seeing him live on stage. He plays hapless trainee pirate Mr Smee in his 6th panto for The Hexagon – and it’s a cracker. Tickets are selling fast, so book now.
Windsor On Ice Alexandra Gardens Windsor, until 7 Jan
Windsor On Ice is back for the winter and whether you’re Olympic standard or a ‘cling on’ like me, they’re great for a family day out, or a fun slippy-slidey Christmas party. There are two rinks here. The main one is under cover and there’s a smaller open-air rink. There’s also food and other attractions including an ice bar and grill. Sessions are for 45 mins. See you in A&E, I mean on the ice.
Winter Magic, Savill Garden Windsor, Mon 1 Jan
While you’re trying to keep a lid on the bubbling excitement this week, why not trot along to The Savill Garden for bit of fresh air and Winter Magic. Let the kids run riot on the Gingerbread Trail, take a spin on the Edwardian Carousel, throw in some face painting and finish off with sweet treats in the Savill Garden Kitchen. Then hit the bottle by bedtime.
My Fair Lady, Mill at Sonning, until 27 Jan
Can you Adam and Eve it, it’s not panto, it’s not a Christmas show, but it is a classic. Eliza Dolittle will be breaking into song for the musical My Fair Lady at the Mill at Sonning. If Crimbo theatre doesn’t get your jingle bell ringing, then this just might. Make a date with your mum… Wouldn’t it be Loverly?
Christmas at Windsor, Windsor Castle, until Fri 5 Jan
Visit the post where Harry and Meghan will say ‘I do’ – currently all decked out for Crimbo. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Windsor Castle restoration following the fire of Nov 1992, the State Apartments will be dressed with gold decs inspired by the intricate gilding work that was undertaken to restore the Castle’s interiors to their former glory.
Gourmet Picture Company, Bisham Abbey Berkshire, until Fri 5 Jan
Following the sell out screenings at Cliveden House this Summer, Tom Kerridge is back with his pimped up daddy of pop-up cinemas. The stunning Tudor grandness of Bisham Abbey will be the setting, Atol Kochhar and Rick Stein will be cooking, while you settle in for classics like Romeo & Juliet, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Great Escape, Life of Pi, to name a few.
Beauty & The Beast, Corn Exchange Newbury, until Sun 7 Jan
Not one but two Beauties in Berkshire. You won’t find big name celebs here, but you will find a talented bunch of actors who bring the feel-good fun, festive cheer, panto clichés and pop songs. Cue much swaying in your seats (a few too many wines, in my case). Proper Crimbo vibes right here.
Beauty & The Beast, South Hill Park Bracknell, until Sun 7 Jan
There’s nothing like a dame, so brace yourselves for the OTT panto season of fake boobs, heavy slap, innuendo and lots of daft fun knitted into the Disney classic, Beauty & The Beast. Brad Clapson as the Good Fairy and Faye Allen as Belle will be rocking the big frocks, fighting over the blusher backstage to bring Christmas alive at the Wilde Theatre. Adults only, signed and autism friendly performances available.
War Horse, New Theatre Oxford, until Sat 6 Jan 2018
Soooo excited that the outstanding National Theatre production of War Horse is coming to Oxford New Theatre this month. Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and featuring those incredible, life-size puppets of the horses, it’s nearly sold out, so please don’t leave it too late to book.
New Theatre, George Street, Oxford, atgtickets.com
Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, now – 4 Feb
Hogwarts in the Snow – as regular as Christmas! The festive makeover will see Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors will even be able to touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice. Trust me, your kids will love it.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk
The BFG in Pictures, River and Rowing Museum, Henley, now – 21 Jan 2018
Curated by Quentin Blake himself, the exhibition of everyone’s favourite giant includes unpublished illustrations that have never been exhibited in public before. The exhibition includes Blake’s first designs that weren’t included in the book, and provide a glimpse of a BFG that might have been in 40 original artworks. Don’t forget there’s the permanent John Piper exhibition at the museum too – that’s well worth seeing in its own right.
North – Fashioning Identity, Somerset House, now – Feb 4 2018
Forget the north/south divide, London doffs its hat to Manchester, Newcastle et al in this new exhibition. Social documentary film and photography detailing life in the north of England in the mid-20th century sits alongside works by photographers, designers and artists inspired by the parts of our green and pleasant land beyond the Watford Gap. Contributors include Nottingham’s finest Paul Smith and Manchester’s Factory Records designer Peter Saville. If you visit after 15 Nov, you can also take a twirl on Somerset House’s gorgeous outdoor ice rink.
Twelfth Night, RST, Stratford, now – Feb 24 2018
Winterville, Clapham Common, Mon 1 Jan 2018
If you’re in Sarf London over Christmas, Winterville on Clapham Common’s is well worth a look. There’s everything from an outdoor Ice Rink to a fairground, roller disco and free kids’ entertainment, but there’s lots more unusual stuff than at your standard Christmas Fair. We’re particularly loving the sound of the Spiegeltent, where you’ll find cabaret, bingo, kids raves and, er, Mexican wrestling. What next, ‘Yoga On Ice’? Oh, I see, they have that too.
Slava’s Snowshow, Southbank Centre, London, now – Thurs 4 Jan 2018
Southbank Centre, Lambeth, London SE1, southbankcentre.co.uk
Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens, London, Mon 1 Jan 2018