10 things you must do this November

Autumn is truly in full swing come November. The evenings may be longer and the weather cooler but there’s no excuse to stay indoors with these great events. From fireworks and festivals to food and festive fun, we’ve got your month covered…

Skylark Firework Display

Skylar Garden Centre Firework Spectacular, 4 November

This event gets bigger every year! With fairground rides, East Anglia’s biggest bonfire, Heart FM providing entertainment and a firework display to music, it’s one not to be missed! Gates open at 5pm on Saturday 4 November and visitors are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy the fairground rides and food court. The giant bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm with the fireworks 7.30pm. www.skylarkfireworks.co.uk.

Gog Christmas Showcases, 5 & 25 November

It wouldn’t be Christmas without indulging in some of the region’s finest produce so get yourself down to The Gog, just outside Cambridge to make your selection. The farm shop will be hosting two pop up events which allows customers to meet the suppliers and taste amazing festive food to ensure you’re selecting the best for your Christmas feast! Expect the likes of Neal’s Yard Dairy, Coles Puddings, Mons Cheesemongers and Pinkster Gin… 

Cambridge Jazz Festival

Cambridge International Jazz Festival 2017, 11-26 November  

Festival season isn’t over yet, taking us into autumn with the 100th Cambridge International Jazz Festival. Focused on jazz in the UK and Ireland, the #jazz100 campaign highlights the diversity and energy of jazz today, celebrates the story of jazz music and culture and considers how the next 100 years will unfold.

Taking place at venues across the city, the festival sees music from some of its biggest stars, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. Full listings and tickets can be found at: www.cambridgejazzfestival.info

Lavenham Literary Festival, 17-19 November

Now in its fifth year, the festival boasts an impressive line-up including the Rev Richard Coles who has been announced as one of this year’s contestants in the popular BBC prime time dance show – as well as speaking at the festival’s concluding session. This year’s event, at venues including Lavenham Guildhall and The Swan Hotel, sees the return of firm favourites Tracy Borman, Clare Mulley and Tracy Chevalier – all with newly released books – as well as many highly-rated authors making their first appearances at Lavenham. The full programme can be found on www.lavenhamliteraryfestival.co.uk and tickets are on sale from the box office at www.theatreroyal.org

Tracy Borman – Lavenham Literary Festival

The Frost Fair at Hatfield House, 16-19 November

There’s no better way to get into the festive spirit than with a trip to a Christmas market. One of the biggest in the region, The Frost Fair held in the Old Palace, Riding School, Stable Yard and heated marquees on the Palace Green at Hatfield House, features up to 200 stands of gifts. There’s also craft demonstrations, a Fine Food Fair for mouthwatering treats, live entertainment throughout the day and festive workshops. www.hatfield-house.co.uk/event/the-frost-fair

Woodbridge Mind Body and Spirit Festival, 18-19 November

Before the Christmas rush begins take time to slow down and rebalance at the Mind Body and Spirit Festival. Taking place at Woodbridge Community Hall, there will be over 40 exhibitors, including ‘The Buddha Cave’ Meditation Healing Space, reader to the stars Melayne Stone and medium Maureen Flynn. Over two days there will be a number of talks where visitors can learn more about holistic aromatherapy, super foods and meditation. Tickets cost £3.50. Further details at lifearts.co.uk

Cambridge Christmas Lights Switch-On, 19 November

This year the fun-packed day includes a lively line-up of festive family entertainment. Organised by Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID), the day will feature music from local talent, performers and carols, before the big switch on. The Grand Arcade, Lion Yard and The Grafton will additionally be hosting individual activities. For those of you Christmas shopping in the city the Grand Arcade will be offering late night shopping until 8pm from 11-30 December, plus from 6 December there will be a festive choir and band performing carols every Wednesday evening, Saturday and Sunday, all under new Christmas decorations!

Pizza & Prosecco Festival, 24 November

Let’s face it, Pizza & Prosecco are probably the two best things in the world, so what could be better than bringing the two together for a festival based around the ultimate food and drink duo. Get a slice of the action from an array of pizza pop ups and Prosecco bars at The Junction in Cambridge.

Enjoy a Christmas party for dogs at Channels, Essex

Christmas party for dogs at Channels, Essex, 24-26 November

Channels, in Little Waltham near Chelmsford is hosting a fun festive day for the whole family to enjoy this month – and we mean the whole family as dogs can get in on the action too with a special ‘Doggy Christmas Party’. The event kicks-off on Friday evening at 5pm with a Christmas market brimming with original handmade and vintage gifts and gorgeous festive decorations. Santa will arrive by sleigh at 6pm to open his grotto and the Channel’s Christmas light switch-on takes place at 8pm.

It might sound barking, but the Doggie’s Christmas Party on Saturday 25 November is already generating a huge amount of interest on social media and tickets won’t last long! The party includes festive stalls with doggy gifts, a pet photographer, dog display team and a professional dog groomer. However, to get tails really wagging, the team will be running the ‘Musical Sit’, ‘Loveliest Lady’, ‘Fabulous Fella’ and ‘Best Fancy Dress’ competitions. And just to ensure that the kids don’t feel left out, on Sunday 26 November from 8.30am, Channels will host Breakfast with Santa after the big man arrives on his sleigh and opens up his grotto!  

Get your skates on at Lee Valley White Water Centre, 25 November – 24 December 

Christmas and cold days immediately drum up the idea of whizzing around an icy rink as lights twinkle in the background and the sound of carols fill the air. Festive ice rinks are somewhat far and few between in the East, but a newbie to the scene is at Lee Valley White Water Centre. The venue will be transformed into a Bavarian themed winter destination complete with an ice rink, Santa’s grotto, festive food and drink, Christmas market and fun fair, the main attraction being a state of the art ice rink which stretches over 420m². Ticket prices start from just £5pp. 

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