Christmas is coming, and Derby City Council is working with partners to transform the city into Festive Derby, a bright and attractive place to visit in the run-up to the holiday season.
This year, while there won’t be the usual large-scale events to draw crowds into the city centre, there will be Christmas lights and two trails to follow – Window Wonderland and an Elf Trail - with surprises and delights to discover on street corners and in shop windows.
Everything has been planned to put public safety first whether current guidelines around Covid remain the same, or if further restrictions have to be introduced in Derby. Citizens are reminded to play their part and do the right thing for Derby by following the guidelines, wearing a face covering if they can, following social distancing at all times and following guidance about who they should be meeting with.
Highlights also include a Christmas Market in Derby Market Place, and two outdoor, ticketed shows. Elf Encounter, a family show by Guildhall Theatre favourites The Babbling Vagabonds, will play in the Market Place for groups of up to six at a time, while The Lost Boys will perform a one-hour show based on A Christmas Carol in the River Gardens, to a socially distanced audience seated in groups of up to four. The River Gardens is also the backdrop for the traditional sound of Christmas, with performances by a brass quintet from Sinfonia Viva, the orchestra of the East Midlands, accompanied by a choir from Derby Cathedral. Tickets for all shows go on sale at 10am on Friday 23 October. See visitderby.co.uk/festivederby for details of how to book.
Derby City Council, Derby Museums, Derby Cathedral, Derby Theatre, Sinfonia Viva, Quad, Cathedral Quarter and St Peter’s Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), and Intu are among the partners involved in bringing Christmas to the city.
Smooth Radio is Festive Derby’s media partner. Jamie Griffiths, Content Director for Smooth Radio East Midlands, said: “Smooth Radio East Midlands is proud to be putting the spotlight on #FestiveDerby this Christmas – it’s never been more important to share good news with listeners. We’ll be showing how Derby City Centre is operating safely as we start planning our Christmas shopping, and Gareth Evans will be leading the partnership for us on Smooth Breakfast – including chances to win - as we continue to share details on air and at smoothradio.com.”
Outside the city centre, enjoy Christmas in Markeaton Park with a series of weekend activities and workshops running throughout December. Although the park’s usual Family Festivities event can’t go ahead in the normal way this year, there are lots of attractions to fill you with seasonal cheer. More details will be announced soon.
Councillor Robin Wood, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “We all need something to look forward to, and while Christmas this year will be more low-key than usual, Festive Derby will be uplifting all the same. We may have to socially distance, but we can still share the togetherness of being in Derby and doing the right thing for our city, enjoying it responsibly and safely.”
Details of what to see, where and when, are below. For more information about everything on offer, see visitderby.co.uk/festivederby. From the beginning of November an online Festive Derby guide will also be live on the site, with a city map showing details of both trails, key features to enjoy along the routes, and entertainment sites.
DERBY CITY COUNCIL PRESENTS:
AROUND THE CITY
From mid-November, the decorations go up. Festive lights will begin to shine in Derby, and Derby City Council will also be working with QUAD on some new lighting displays. Christmas Trees will be in place at The Spot, Market Place and Cathedral Square. St Peter’s Quarter and Cathedral Quarter BIDs have commissioned planters containing Christmas Trees throughout the city centre, which will be in place from 21 November until early January.
Working with the University of Derby, and Banks Mill, local artists have been commissioned to create festive art installations. Look out for their work outside The Silk Mill Museum and in the Market Hall from the 27 Nov.
Window Wonderland – From Sat 14 Nov
Look out for some amazing displays in shops and businesses along city centre streets as they decorate their windows ready for Christmas. All of them will feature a festive rainbow to remember the NHS and key workers. You can vote for your favourite between 16 and 26 November as part of the Window Wonderland competition at visitderby.co.uk. A trail with a map of all the shops taking part, and details about their businesses, will also be put on the website.
Elf Trail – From Fri 27 Nov to Wed 23 Dec
See if you can spot the mischievous elves in shops and businesses around the city centre – they may be on stickers in windows or on the floor, or you might even spot one hiding on a shelf, in a shop of business. See how many you can find while you visit the wonderful city shops – a great activity for all the family. Use the map in the Festive Derby guide to help you, or follow the signposts around the city.
Street Entertainment – From Sat 28 Nov
We’re bringing city centre streets alive with some fantastic festive street entertainers. They'll brighten your day with their diverting, and sometimes cheeky routines! Look out for these great acts in the Market Place and on Cornmarket:
Sat 28 Nov - Musical Ruth Goes Jingle Jangle, Sat 5 Dec – Joy Magnet's Bouncing Snowmen, Sat 12 Dec – Maynard Flip Flap's Man in a Christmas Present, Sat 19 Dec – An Act Above's Christmas Belles, Mon 21 Dec – Circii's Lairy Xmas Fairy and the Magic Christmas Puddings, Tue 22 Dec – Artemis' Jacks of Frost, Wed 23 Dec - Reckless Invention's Bad Santas
Three shows a day at 11.30am – 12 noon; 1pm – 1.30pm and 2.30pm – 3pm
For more details of the performers see foolsparadise.co.uk/companies/
Ice Sculptures – Fri 11 and Sat 12 Dec
Watch the incredibly talented ice carvers as they turn blocks of ice into amazing festive sculptures, creating a robin, an elf, a sledge and an angel.
11am – 4pm
DERBY MARKET PLACE
Christmas Market – Fri 27 Nov to Wed 23 Dec
Derby Market Place will make a festive transformation to host a COVID-secure traditional Christmas Market. Browse a unique range of international stalls selling a fantastic array of unusual crafts, gifts, food and drink.
From the finest Baltic amber jewellery, ornaments, lamp and Thuya wood carvings to Viking drinking horns and Turkish mosaic pottery. Fresh food stalls will be selling jams, chutneys, cheeses, olives and breads and those looking for a little tipple over the festive season can sample some great gins and other exotic alcoholic drinks.
There’ll be plenty of fresh hot food on offer too including one of the best Greek Souvlaki and Gyros stalls, as well as Chinese food, Polish street food and Caribbean cuisine.
Derby Market Place will be transformed with winter themed Festive Street Art by some of the city’s top Graffiti artists, curated by Baby People. For more information see babypeople.co.uk.
FREE entry. Covid-secure measures, to assist with your safety and enjoyment, include: limited capacity, with one group allowed in as one goes out; queue management; social distancing marshals; contactless payment; only one group (up to six) allowed in front of each stall at a time; face masks for all stallholders; hand sanitiser available; one way system in place; regular cleaning of toilets. For more information see visitderby.co.uk/festivederby
Elf Encounter – a family show by The Babbling Vagabonds. Sat 28 Nov to Wed 23 Dec
Join those festive funsters the Babbling Vagabonds as they unwrap a mini festive adventure fit for the family. Journey in a magical Christmas machine and encounter an Elf with a talent for making trouble. Santa’s magical machine turns children's letters into presents - all with a little sprinkle of elf trickery of course – but one day, with Christmas just around the corner, the machine breaks down. Can you help get Santa’s machine back on track, and get a naughty Elf back on the nice list?
An intimate, exclusive Christmas treat just for you and your group of up to six, in our elf-constucted wooden cabin. For your safety, the actors will perform behind a clear Perspex screen. Audience members are asked to wear face coverings unless exempt. For more information about our Covid safety measures, see the Derby Live website.
Derby Market Place
£12 for up to 3, £24 for up to 6
A Christmas Carol – by The Lost Boys. Thu 17 to Wed 23 Dec
The much-loved Dickens Classic gets a new makeover by the much-loved Lost Boys. Following six years of sell-out shows, The Lost Boys return to Derby LIVE this festive season as the duo aim to play all the parts from the novel in 60 minutes; expect wigs, gags, laughs, gaffs, deference, and irreverence. A family treat to fill you all with Christmas cheer. Suitable for older children.
This show is in a marquee, but wrap up warm! You will be allocated a ‘box’ for your group of up to four. The metal seats provided will be cleaned between performances; you are welcome to bring your own cushion for extra comfort. For information about all our Covid measures and FAQs, see the Derby Live website.
Performances 4pm and 6pm
£20 for up to 2, £40 for up to 4
Sinfonia Viva – From Sat 19 Dec
Join Grammy nominated and RPS award winning orchestra Sinfonia Viva’s brass quintet for a selection of Christmas favourites, traditional carols, golden classics and festive pop favourites. A merry mix of seasonal music and Christmas cheer, the concert will also feature a special live performance from Derby Cathedral’s stunningly beautiful choir.
Step into Christmas and enjoy the festive sound of a live brass quintet. Without a doubt this is music to make your days merry and bright this season.
This show is in a marquee, but wrap up warm! You will be allocated a ‘box’ for your group of up to four. The metal seats provided will be cleaned between performances; you are welcome to bring your own cushion for extra comfort. For information about all our Covid measures and FAQs, see the Derby Live website. The concert is 1hr 5min with no interval.
Sat 19, Mon 21, Tue 22, Wed 23 Dec, at 12.30pm
£20 for up to 2, £40 for up to 4
CITY PARTNERS PRESENT:
Don’t forget to celebrate the festive season with our partners while you’re out and about. All venues have Covid-secure measures in place; see their individual websites for details.
DERBY CATHEDRAL AND CATHEDRAL SQUARE
Mini Festive Fair – Sat 28 Nov
Pick up some lovely gifts inside the Cathedral. There will be a range of quality products available including gin, soaps, cards, candles, stationery, books and many other gorgeous things! If you fancy getting crafty, there will be wreath-making demonstrations running throughout the day which can be booked in advance through derbycathedal.org
11am - 6pm
Tree of Light – Every Sat from 28 Nov until 19 Dec
An opportunity to write a message of love, hope or memory onto a gift tag to be hung on the Christmas tree outside the Cathedral building to mark this special time of year. Come and help cover the tree with messages!
11am - 3pm
Suggested donation £2
DERBY MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY
Let's Make Christmas – Until Thu 24 Dec
A seasonal celebration of contemporary craft produced in the region. From prints and ceramics to jewellery and textiles, you’ll be sure to find the perfect Christmas gift.
Derby Museum & Art Gallery Shop
Step Back In Time To A Groovy Kinda Christmas – From Fri 4 Dec
Join Derby Museums for a psychedelic, fun-filled evening in their 19th century listed building at The Wardwick. Enjoy a fun festive evening with groovy entertainment from DJ Austin Powerz, and a fabulous three-course Christmas dinner from local celebrity chef Ralph Skripek of The Butler’s Pantry. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01332 641901
Fri 4, Sat 5, Thu 10, Fri 11, Sat 12, Fri 18, Sat 19 Dec, Jan dates on request
Derby Museum & Art Gallery
From £55 per person
Family Christmas Lunch With Santa – Sun 13 Dec
A family-friendly Christmas carvery, where you can enjoy a two-course meal, a visit and gift from Santa, plus lots of fun, and safe family entertainment. To book, email email@example.com or call 01332 641901
12 noon - 4pm
Derby Museum & Art Gallery
£20, under 12s £15, under 2s free
Christmas Films include traditional seasonal favourite - It's A Wonderful Life (U) from Fri 18 Dec and new film - Ailo’s Journey: The Amazing Odyssey of a Newborn Reindeer (cert tbc) a family friendly documentary adventure set in the stunning landscapes of Lapland, screening Sat 19 & Sun 20 Dec. Other QUAD Christmas favourites will include Die Hard Double Bill, and Muppets Christmas Carol. Tickets: Cinema tickets: £9.80 or £4.00 for ages 25 & under. For all Christmas films see derbyquad.co.uk/whats-on/cinema.
QUAD Gallery: How We Make Meaning includes exhibitions by artists Memo Akten and Mimi Ọnụọha who explore aspects of Artificial Intelligence including; the gathering and use of data to view the world in scientific, spiritual and deeply personal ways. Entry free.
To make your visit as enjoyable and as safe as possible to Derby Theatre, please be assured that social distancing and safety measures are in place. For more information about safety measures, please visit: derbytheatre.co.uk/health-and-safety-information-for-your-visit
The Little Mermaid – Wed 2 Dec to Sat 2 Jan
A new uplifting socially distanced underwater adventure perfect for ages 5 and over. A magical tale of love, loss and adventure where two fish characters take the audience on a journey with the ever-curious little mermaid, who is enthralled with the unknown world above the sea and the humans that inhabit it. The Little Mermaid longs to leave her beautiful world and chase happiness as a human… but transformation and love come at a price.
Tickets from £12
A Christmas Carol Cinema Screening – From Sat 5 Dec
Derby Theatre is thrilled to be screening a brand new retelling of the classic family Christmas tale, A Christmas Carol as part of a nationwide cinemas and theatres tour this Christmas.
Simon Russell Beale, Martin Freeman, Carey Mulligan, Daniel Kaluuya and Andy Serkis lend their voices to the tale, whilst dance performances are led by former Royal Ballet Principle and BalletBoyz founder, Michael Nunn as Scrooge, Jakub Franasowicz, Russell Maliphant, Karl Fagerlund Brekke, Mikey Boats, Grace Jabbari and Dana Fouras.
The tale unfolds on screen in a rich tapestry of highly absorbing, haunting and theatrical drama with characters portrayed by dancers and voiced by an eclectic cast of incredible actors. This mix of danced action and spoken narration brings a completely new and exciting dimension to Dickens' characters, whilst remaining true to the beauty of his original narrative.
Saturday 5, Saturday 12 and Saturday 19 Dec at 8pm
Tickets on sale from Friday 29 October. All tickets £16.50
Santa’s Winter Woodland Experience -Fri 27 Nov to Thu 24 Dec
Wander through Santa’s Winter Woodland this Christmas. The whole family can experience a magical winter world, where you can safely meet Santa on his sleigh for a fabulous festive photo and children will receive a free gift to take home. Santa’s elves will be on hand to guide the way, and ensure everyone stays safe, socially distanced, and off the naughty list.
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN DERBY
You can be assured of a Covid-secure welcome as you enjoy your Christmas shopping. Close to Derby Cathedral is the beautiful Cathedral Quarter, home to a range of quality independent shops, salons, cafes, restaurants, bars and more. For more information visit cqlife.co.uk. In St Peters Quarter, you will find quality independent shops and renowned national names, with cafes and restaurants for a drink and a bite to eat. Visit stpetersquarter.co.uk for details. Shop indoors at Intu Derby at all the well-known names you know and love, with plenty of places to eat. For more information, see intu.co.uk/derby
For full information about everything that Festive Derby has to offer this Christmas, see www.visitderby.co.uk/festivederby
Six of Derby’s city parks have been recognised as being among the best in the world by the Green Flag Award Scheme.
And in its 180th anniversary year, Derby Arboretum has been awarded the prestigious Green Heritage Award, a first for Derby. Supported by Historic England, this award recognises sites where conservation of historic features and landscaping plays a prominent role. Derby Arboretum has also been awarded a Green Flag along with five more parks: Alvaston, Chaddesden, Darley, Sunnydale and Markeaton.
In usual times, raising the Green Flag in each park is a high-profile celebration, but in line with Covid-19 guidance, this year Derby Council House will join in the award scheme’s #GoGreenForParks initiative by being lit with green lights until 19 October. Along with landmarks such as the London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Salford’s Media City, the lights are going green to say a massive thank you to the parks staff, volunteers and the Green Flag Award Judges for all their work this year.
The contribution made by volunteers and local people has also been recognised, with the awarding of Community Green Flags to eight gardens, allotments, open spaces and nature reserves: Ashbourne Road and District Allotment Association, Chaddesden Wood Local Nature Reserve, Chellaston Brickworks Local Nature Reserve, Darley and Nutwood Local Nature Reserve, the Hydrangea Garden at Darley Park, the Walled Garden at Markeaton Park, Sinfin Moor Park and Little Chester Allotment Association.
Following lockdown, volunteers are now back in the parks and open spaces, carrying out their tasks in a Covid compliant way.
Councillor Robin Wood, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said: “It is always an honour to be recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme, but even more so this year, when our parks and open spaces have been so valuable for recreation and for enjoying the beauty of nature during a turbulent time.
“When everything had to stop for lockdown, the work to maintain them couldn’t, so everyone who has played a role in looking after our parks and open spaces deserves to feel proud, including the volunteers who have taken a local space to their hearts.”
As park rangers continued to look after the parks during lockdown and keep them safe and clean for visitors, the team at Derby Parks worked with volunteers and other organisations to adapt to the constantly changing situation, and make much-loved events happen in a different way.
Larks in the Park at Derby Arboretum was celebrated online by the Friends of Derby Arboretum, while Superheroes Picnic In The Park became Superheroes Picnic at Home, with online content for families to enjoy. A special broadcast online and on BBC Radio Derby brought The Hannells Darley Park Concert to audiences at home, with footage from last year’s event interspersed with new, filmed performances.
Throughout lockdown, when the parks saw a very high level of visitors enjoying their daily recreation in fine weather, the council’s Streetpride Ground Maintenance team worked to cut the grass in high priority areas, keep up with the high demand for emptying bins, and carrying out essential care to look after the city’s precious trees.
The Green Flag Awards Scheme, now in its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.
Chaddesden Park is an important focal point in the local community, offering an extensive range of sports, children’s play areas, attractive parkland and in usual years, hosting community events such as The Big One.
Darley Park is a large, picturesque and popular park within walking distance of the city centre. The park boasts beautiful gardens including the largest hydrangea collection in Britain – which has won a Community Green Flag this year - a nature reserve that provides a home to a wide range of species, and one of the UK’s biggest outdoor classical concerts The Hannells Darley Park Concert.
Sunnydale Park is a local nature reserve located in the Blagreaves ward of Derby. Covering 13.2 hectares and consisting of a variety of habitats, the park features a large balancing pond that provides a home for a whole host of animals.
Alvaston Park is a picturesque riverside park in the south of Derby that offers a wealth of activities from fishing, exploring the unique science garden, riding BMX, playing football to enjoying a walk around the historic lake.
Markeaton Park is Derby’s most visited park and one of the most popular attractions in the East Midlands. Markeaton Park offers a wide range of activities from the Mundy Play Centre, the Craft Village and The Orangery café to sports activities, walks and gardens and events throughout the year. Its Walled Garden has also won a Community Green Flag.
Derby Arboretum is known for being the first public park in England, opening its doors to the public in 1840. The modern day Derby Arboretum boasts beautiful heritage landscape, a superb collection of trees, the Heart of the Park community building, various sports facilities and events throughout the year.
Derby has over 300 parks and open spaces to enjoy, filled with things to do as a family, opportunities to get healthy, and beautiful trees and gardens. Find out what they have to offer at www.inderby.org.uk/parks.
Emergency funding from BBC Children in Need is helping Sight Support Derbyshire ensure visually impaired children do not become isolated from each other during the Covid-19 pandemic.
BBC Children in Need is the main funder of the sight loss charity’s Children and Young People’s Group for visually impaired youngsters, and school holiday club activities. However the group has been unable to meet face-to-face since the beginning of lockdown in March.
In response to the pandemic, the BBC children’s charity launched a Covid-19 Booster Fund to existing grant holders who were in urgent need of top-up funding to help adapt their usual activities.
Support from the fund means that Sight Support Derbyshire has been able to take its activities online, running workshops over Zoom for children, with parents on hand to help if needed. The grant has paid for equipment, staff training in online safety, a Zoom licence and additional staff time, to ensure two staff members are present throughout the meetings to ensure safeguarding.
So far the children have enjoyed a virtual quiz, and made brightly-decorated mug cakes to mark Dress Bright for Sight, which Sight Support Derbyshire runs during National Eye Health Week. For their next session they are holding a scavenger hunt, to find different objects around their homes.
Laura Bennett, Children and Young People’s Project Officer for Sight Support Derbyshire, said: “Visually impaired children and young people are already at risk of feeling lonely and isolated, and Covid-19 has made this worse. Meeting up regularly helps them make friends with children they can relate to, and grow in confidence.
“The children have been very engaged and are coming up with lots of ideas for future sessions. It has been great to see their smiling faces as they’ve met up with their friends again online. The feedback from parents has been brilliant - they’ve mentioned how all the children are enjoying themselves and interacting well online, not to mention how much they loved their chocolate cakes!
“At the moment it’s difficult for us to meet face-to-face. Government regulations aside, going outside the home is difficult for our children as they often rely on touch to get around, or may need to be physical guided. It’s also harder to follow social distancing when you have sight loss. So we’re very grateful to BBC Children in Need for helping us to find a way to still meet up and enjoy the benefits of the Children and Young People’s group.”
For more information about Sight Support Derbyshire, visit their website: www.sightsupportderbyshire.org.uk.
Find them on Facebook and Twitter: @SightSupDerbys
It’s more important then ever to access the Free vaccine this Flu season
Do I have to pay?
No! The NHS offers a free nasal spray flu vaccine to all eligible children in England aged 2 and 3 years old, school children in Reception to Year 7, and those eligible between ages 2-17 years.
Why should I vaccinate against flu?
Flu can be an unpleasant illness and sometimes causes serious complications. Vaccinating your child will not only protect them but it will also stop the spread among vulnerable friends and family.
How do I access the Flu vaccination?
Contact your child’s GP if your child was two or three years old on 31 August and if you haven’t heard from them by early November.
If your child is at primary school you will need to fill in an electronic consent form. Contact your child’s school for more details.
Volunteers funded by Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, trained and coordinated by the The Breastfeeding Network (UK) run virtual drop in groups Monday to Friday.
The groups offer evidence based support, companionship and answer any questions parents may have about feeding their babies during these difficult times. 80% of families tell us they finished breastfeeding before they were ready to, and our peer supporters, who have all breastfed their own babies, support all mums and families to make their own informed decisions, providing empathetic, non-judgemental support.
This autumn, join Derby Libraries for our Big Family Read. Taking place until 30 November 2020, you can rediscover the joy of reading and encourage all of your family to join in too. Enjoy reading together again and talking about all the great books you have read.
The book chosen by Derby Libraries this year is Let Sleeping Dragons Lie by Garth Nix and Sean Williams:
“A funny fantasy triumph!
“Sir Odo and Sir Eleanor are now officially knights, helped (and sometimes hindered) by their magical, but rather difficult to control, talking swords. However, if they thought life as a knight was going to be easy, they were wrong! When their kingdom is threatened by forces of significant nefariousness, they and their talking swords join a bold quest to rescue a monarch, vanquish deadly beasts, confound a prophecy, and (if they are lucky) avoid stepping on the tail of a very powerful dragon.”
Throughout the Big Family Read, Derby Libraries will have multiple downloads of both the eBook and eAudiobook of Let Sleeping Dragons Lie, as well as hundreds of other books, available online through our BorrowBox App. Hard copies of Let Sleeping Dragons Lie are also available from your local library.
Also as part of this year’s Big Family Read, Derby Libraries are holding an online writing competition for 6-12 year olds. Due to Covid-19, all entries must be online and we cannot accept any hard copy entries at our libraries. To enter, we are asking you to write a short, 300-word story about a Magic Sword. The competition closes on Sunday 10 January 2021. To enter, please visit our website.
We are looking for creativity, imagination and originality. The winner will be notified at the latest by the end of January 2021 and the prize will be a collection of family friendly books and audio books. Derby Libraries encourages families to read our chosen book, Let Sleeping Dragons Lie, together and actively support their child in writing their story.
You can also once again place holds on the Derby Libraries catalogue. Visit the Derby Libraries online catalogue to request and place a hold on your book, and then collect it from one of our four open Libraries. Currently Riverside and Mickleover Libraries are open to the public, and Alvaston and Normanton Libraries are open for the click and collect service only. Staff will email you when your book is ready for collection. Holds remain free temporarily at Normanton and Alvaston as part of the Click and Collect offer, and there is a small charge if you collect your holds from Mickleover or Riverside.
Holds can also be collected from the Community Managed Libraries (except Mackworth). These libraries are currently operating a Select and Collect service.
Any books on loan from pre-lockdown will be renewed until Monday 7 December. Customers will need to return or renew their books before that date to avoid late fees. Books loaned since Monday 14 September have the standard 3-week loan period and will need renewing or returning by the due date. Late fees are now being applied to overdue books.