A dozen things to to around Milton Keynes this weekend
Whatever you're into, there's probably something for you...
1 Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band, The Stables, Wavendon, December 18
Renowned folk singer Maddy Prior joins up once again with the Carnival Band for a festive treat. The show is called Carols & Caper and mixes renaissance, modern and ethnic instruments with a cavalier attitude and plenty of humour. With an extensive experience in folk, medieval, world and classical music between them, the singer and players tell the Christmas story in a variety of ways, putting their own distinctive stamp on songs both familiar and lesser known.
2 A Christmas Carol, The Chrysalis Theatre, Japonica Lane, Willen Park South, Milton Keynes, December 16 and 17
An enchanting adaptation of Dicken’s classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his redemption from a life of greed and sadness. When four ghosts visit Scrooge, he is forced to look at his life, the past, the present and the future to witness the effect he has on others.
3 Victorian Christmas, Milton Keynes Museum, December 16 to 18
The museum’s seasonal spectacular takes visitors back in time to an enchanted Victorian Christmas, with carols by candlelight in the parlour, a Christmas market and the chance to meet Santa and his elves.
4 Dick Whittington, Milton Keynes Theatre, until January 15
Cross-dressing, thigh-slapping fun return with this festive family treat. Swarming the streets with her rodent army, Samantha Womack, best known as EastEnders’ Ronnie Mitchell, will be putting on the coveted furry crown as the evil Queen Rat.
Trying to put a stop to her plan will be Loose Women panellist, X Factor finalist and winner of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here Stacey Solomon. Details: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes
5 An Audience with Father Christmas, Wrest Park, December 17 and 18
Little ones will get to join in with festive fun and crafts before meeting the main man himself as he recounts some magical tales of Christmas past and hands out festive treats.
6 The Bradwell Silver Band, St James Church, New Bradwell, December 17
Musical director Brian Keech holds the reins as the Band entertains the audience with classic and new
Christmas-inspired music. The evening includes a euphonium solo of O Holy Night and a tuba solo of Frosty the Snowman.
7 Festive Market, MK Gallery, until December 23
Pick up a unique gift this Christmas while supporting local artists and makers.
8 Willen Hospice Santa Dash
Join a sea of Santas taking part in the event at 10.30am on Sunday. People from all over the MK area will walk or jog around Willen Lake North dressed as Father Christmas, to raise funds to support the care at Willen Hospice. Last year, more than 600 people took part, raising over £12,000 for the hospice. All ages and dogs are welcome.
9 Wolverton Town Band, St George’s Church, Wolverton, December 17
Join the Wolverton Town Band for their traditional seasonal show, promising all your festive favourites.
The band go live at 6.30pm on Saturday night, with interval refreshments and a raffle, and best of all, admission is free.
If you miss this, you’ll be brassed off!
10 Oxjam Christmas Party, Unit 9, Old Wolverton, December 17
A big night for charity has been pieced together by MK formed rock mob Toffees, who are also taking a starring role in the event.
It’s for a great cause too, with Oxjam benefiting from the bash.
Anything that helps stick it to poverty is worthy of support, we reckon.
“Every time we step onto the stage, whether it be to a crowd of five or 5000 we always aim bring our best!” promise Toffees.
“For us to be able to put together a list of bands we love and help such an incredible cause, is the perfect way to end the year!
“The very reason we got into music was to change peoples lives for the better, so when we were putting this event together, it had to be for Oxfam!”
The Hallows, Wesley and Crabtree, Monarch and Huntsman are all confirmed.
11 Paraffinalia, Cambell Park, Saturday, 6pm to 8pm
All the family are invited to enjoy Festive Road’s third annual festival of fire – Paraffinalia 2016.
Expect extraordinary light installations, a lantern parade, interactive activities and an amazing finale spectacular. There will be lots to see and do, with live performance, giant puppetry, pyrotechnics and specially created music.
The main show will take you into ‘the other world’, where you will find the Red Knight on his winter throne. The fire will be brought into his cold, blue world before the great dragon of all dragons is called.
12 Minecraft event, MK Gallery, Sunday 1pm to 3pm
Join MK Gallery’s Family-in-Residence, the Pozzutos, for a fun Minecraft-inspired event for children aged up to 11. Over the past months, the family has worked with artist Willow Mitchell to devise this one-off public event which will see participants explore a land of gaming and pixels through playful, creative activities. Tickets £1.
Reserve at www.mkgallery.org