My December is usually full of festive events, pantos and Christmas light switch-ons but this year all the usual activities have been cancelled, leaving my calendar rather blank. So I’ve decided to make the month as festive as possible by searching for live events and entertainment ideas that I can enjoy from the comfort of my own home. Here are some fabulously festive activities you might want to try…
I recently said to my family that it’s a shame we couldn’t find a live stream panto or Christmas show to watch but now there’s a solution – the ChristMESS Carol by Open Bar Theatre. It’s playing live online on various dates in December and there are even opportunities for audience participation if you want to get involved. Otherwise, you can simply sit back and enjoy the comedic performances.
Another plus is that you only need to book one ticket per household, which saves you money on the usual price of a family ticket in the theatre, and this show offers ‘pay what you can’ pricing with profits shares equally between the cast and creatives.
Book tickets for A ChristMESS Carol here. Showing at 7.30pm on Fri 11th // Thurs 17th // Fri 18th // Mon 21st // Tues 22nd December
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH-ON
While many towns have still made the effort to be beautifully illuminated this year, their traditional Christmas lights switch-on events have been cancelled. But did your local town filmed their lights this year? In Ipswich, the local council made a video of the lights being put up and switched on this year so that we can all enjoy them – even if we can’t get out of the house to do so.
An added bonus is that you don’t have to go out in the cold to enjoy the Christmas lights this year, you don’t have to jostle your way through a crowd, and you can watch the video whenever you like. Make yourself a hot chocolate and search online to see if your local town has published a video on YouTube. Or at the very least, you can watch the 2020 Christmas lights switch-on in Ipswich in the video above!
We would usually gather together to enjoy games nights with our friends at this time of year so, in the absence of physical meet-ups, you can plan a virtual games evening. Join your friends on Zoom and then log in to an online game such as the awesome festive escape room by Bewilder Box. They’re the creators of the official Peaky Blinders escape room (in real life) and this year they’ve gone digital to bring you a Christmas themed virtual escape room that you can complete with 2-6 friends.
Families and friends can now jump online and experience a socially distant festive caper in which they must rescue Santa and save Christmas – I’ll be taking on the challenge with my pals in the run-up to Christmas and, as a big fan of escape rooms, I can’t wait!
Earlier this year I wrote about the live comedy shows you can watch online after I watched a live performance by Britain’s Got Talent star Myra DuBois. The great news is that she is also hosting a performance of her online tour ‘A Problem Shared’ on Christmas eve so you can still enjoy the event and have a good giggle before Santa arrives.
Book tickets for ‘A Problem Shared’ by Myra Dubois for 24th December 2020.
LIVE STREAM FESTIVE THEATRE
One of the things I’ve been enjoying this year is the increase in the popularity of live stream events and, in particular, being able to watch shows live through my local theatres. I’ve previously attended live streams with Monty Don and Tom Allen, and earlier this week we watched A Christmas Celebration with John Rutter and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, via the Norwich Theatre Royal, which I think is still available to watch on-demand.
Most live stream events are available through your local theatre in the first instance, or you can check the Fane website for events such as an afternoon of Christmas storytelling with Michael Morpurgo and ‘A Swinging Christmas’ by Gary Williams, both on 20th December 2020. I love that I can still support venues and performers by buying a ticket to a live show through my local theatre, safe in the knowledge that it won’t be cancelled as it is delivered through Fane’s live stream service.
There are SO many different live stream Christmas shows and pantos available so check your local theatre to see what they are showing and when. And, of course, you can buy live stream tickets from ANY theatre around the country as you’re not limited by location. For example, the Red Road Chain theatre company’s online production of Alice in Wonderland will premiere on 18th December and is available to watch until the 3rd of January 2021. Again this show has ‘pay what you can’ ticket prices starting at £10 per household and your donation will benefit their community projects for disadvantaged young people and adults with disabilities.
Get tickets for Red Rose Chain Theatre Company’s Alice in Wonderland here – from 7pm on 18th December.
I hope these ideas will help you feel festive in December. Let me know if you come across any other festive entertainment that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home in the comments below – I’d love to hear what you’ve got planned and maybe add some more events to my calendar this month!
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