DO Making Christmas
This year, Christmas with family may look a little different. Many of us are planning ways to celebrate in different ways; outdoor picnics and bonfires (find some ideas here and here, winter walks with grandparents or virtual parties and games with friends. If you’re feeling particularly bold, you might even try cooking your whole Christmas dinner in the middle of a forest; find inspiration here
EVENT Dream Time
The three-week Big Dreamers Winter Festival harnesses the joy and wonder of the festive season. At a time when families might usually have been making starry-eyed trips to the theatre, this event brings thought-provoking and magical performances online. Enjoy stories of women going to the moon in Valentina’s Galaxy, join Leapa the Hare and the Arctic Animals gang as they band together to save the Sun, and join in David Gibb’s winter song written for the festival. All free, but if you want to support the festival, you might buy some of their stylish and cheery merchandise (we love their castle bauble)
DO Listen In
Aching to step off the Christmas juggernaut for a while? Craving some culture? Artichoke’s new sonic experience, reworked from the original made by composer Mel Mercier for London festival Peace Camp, celebrates love, poetry and landscape. Designed to be broadcast from glowing, murmuring encampments across the UK, the composition weaved extracts of poems by Shakespeare, WB Yeats, Virginia Woolf, Nick Cave and Carol Ann Duffy with natural sounds into a 60 minute work. Meditative, calming and thought-provoking, this is the perfect escape. Find out more here. Free.
EVENT Animal Magic
The Natural History Museum’s blockbuster new exhibition, Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature opens this week. The perfect Christmas treat, the exhibition proves that the natural world is just as magical as those creatures imagined into existence by JK Rowling. Discover legendary beasts through the eyes of Rowling’s character Newt Scamander, compare their behaviours to real-life animals such as jaguars and peacocks, and find out about some of the great animal-related myths and hoaxes. See exhibits such as preserved giant squids as well as real-life props from the Potter World films. The aim of the exhibition is to instil a clear understanding of why it’s now more important than ever to protect the rich biodiversity of the planet. Ticketed, but the rest of the museum is free. Find out more here
MAKE It’s A Snip
While we’re at the Museum, check out their instructions for making animal paper snowflakes, a creative, cute and thought-provoking activity. Make polar bear, stegosaurus, squid, hummingbird or elephant paper creations using downloadable templates. A festive celebration of the world around us. We also love their orange-peel star garland!
What we’ve been reading this week: