EVENT SPARKLE AND JOY
Nothing says ‘holidays are coming’ more than twinkly lights, and this weekend trails, festivals and installations are popping up all over the country. The big hitters – Kew, Bedgebury, Killerton. and Edinburgh Castle are ticketed, (find a full list of trails and shows across the country here) but there are plenty of free sparkles too. Stand inside a 25m LED Christmas tree in Wembley, find an eerie graveyard filled with illuminated car wrecks and electric trees on London’s South Bank or take the top seat of the bus up Oxford and Regent Streets, then hop off for a walk under the canopy of colours at Carnaby Street. Hebden Bridge is lit up this weekend with a parade, live entertainment and ice sculptures, while, of course, Blackpool Illuminations twinkle from September to January.
MAKE CRAFTY CHEER
Making seasonal decorations together is a magical way to spend time together as a family. Put on your favourite wintery records and take down your art box. We love this simple star garland that can be used for all manner of celebrations, or just to jazz up a wall, home-made crackers, spice-scented pomanders to hang on doors or give as gifts, tiny trees made from pine cones and corks and this hand-print tree (you’ll want to keep those tiny prints forever!)
EVENT NEW BALLS PLEASE
Always fun, yet with a sharp, satirical edge, David Shrigley’s work is as accessible to kids as it is adults. His new piece, Mayfair Tennis Ball Exchange is exactly that; a room at the Stephen Friedman gallery in London – initially – filled with new tennis balls. Visitors are invited to bring an old ball to swap with one of the fresh ones on the shelves. Eventually all the bright yellow spheres will be replaced with dog-chewed, misshapen forms. It’s fun yet poignant; why not take a ball along? Free
EVENT GOOD GRIEF
It’s National Grief Awareness week, organised by the Good Grief Trust (an umbrella organisation of over 800 support agencies), with the aim to normalise grief, to break taboos, and to encourage us to get talking about death and bereavement. They have produced guides of what to say and what to do to help those who’ve had someone close die, and run campaigns encouraging us to check in on our neighbours, stop for a chat, put the kettle on or go for a walk and talk. Find resources here and events including pop-up grief cafes and workshops here
EVENT PARTY LIKE IT’S 1899
Put on your top hats, pull on your crinolines and take a trip back in time at Robin Hood’s Bay Victorian Weekend. The picturesque seaside village is decorated in lush, traditional fashion, and the streets are filled with chimney sweeps, smugglers and gentry. Events include a letterpress workshop, a lantern trail, treasure hunt, music, an interactive show about Michael Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetism, craft fairs, guided walks, storytelling and silhouette artistry. Indulge in some cosy winter time by the sea.
WHAT WE’RE READING Is communal living the future of parenting? “Treehouse inhabitants enjoy weekly suppers, communal working space and the comfort that their co-residents share the five Treehouse core values: being kind, present, curious, responsible and candid. I intuitively understood the pull of co-housing for a young single person, the college-dorm-for-adults feel. What I selfishly wanted to know was: can you successfully construct community for young families, those members of society I believe are in desperate need of a literal village, but so often cut adrift from them in the modern world?” Read more here
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING Science Sparks From conker cars to eggs in bottles, catapult making to DIY lava lamps, you’ll find science-based projects for all ages at the YouTube channel that brings fun to STEM. Great for home-ed or post-school mayhem! Watch here