What is there do in Suffolk this weekend? Christmas craft days, Dickensian fayres and light switch on events

Alex McWhirter at Moyse's Hall Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, Future. Photo Chris Morris

Alex McWhirter at Moyse's Hall Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, Future. Photo Chris Morris - Credit: Archant

Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are some ideas. For more days out suggestions, see our packed Event guide in the paper every Friday or check out @WhatsonWayne on Twitter.

The Guildhall, decorated for Lavenham Christmas Fair. Photo: Ben Brown

The Guildhall, decorated for Lavenham Christmas Fair. Photo: Ben Brown - Credit: Archant

Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future - Moyse’s Hall Museum

Bury St Edmunds’ Moyse’s Hall is getting into the seasonal spirit by hosting a range of month-long activities.

Chief among them are the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future; the museum’s tribute to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol - being performed there by Spinning Wheel Theatre until December 5 - which have been created using the actual descriptions from the classic novel.

The writer stayed at the Angel Hotel between 1859 and 1861 and gave lectures at The Athenaeum.

Maui Waui's Foolhardy Troupe

Maui Waui's Foolhardy Troupe - Credit: Archant

Alex McWhirter, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s heritage officer, says: “It is thought Dickens first visited the town in the 1830s which gave rise to Bury St Edmunds being featured in The Pickwick Papers, the serialisation of which marked the beginning of his literary success. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future are our tribute to his classic novel and we hope people enjoy seeing them as much as we have, making them.”

A Christmas Fayre, a mini-exhibition of festive gifts past and present, storytelling and some live theatre are all on the yuletide menu too. Visitors will also be able to learn about the history of the season, meet Father Christmas...

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Mr McWhirter adds: “There will be a number of events this year through which we hope highlight the many traditions that have stayed with us over the years, from the giving and receiving of gifts, to stories and music, baubles and barrel organs.

“We have brought together artefacts from the borough’s collections illustrating the kind of presents people might have given in from the past and will be comparing them with those of today. These will include everything from an original 1950s tin car with a modern day remote control one, a 1930s Mickey Mouse with modern Disney toys and Victorian dolls with current ones.

Haverhill's Family Christmas Night will include fireworks

Haverhill's Family Christmas Night will include fireworks - Credit: Tudor Morgan-Owen

“We will also be illustrating the story and origins of Father Christmas himself, from Saxon beliefs to those of today, and have created an atmospheric grotto where youngsters can travel back in time to make their requests to our modern day Father Christmas, as they did in days gone by.

“With Christmas Past and Presents, we hope to conjure up all that is good about the season, help younger people understand the history of Christmas, and Father Christmas, while evoking memories for older visitors, surrounding this magical time of the year.”

Moyse’s Hall’s Christmas celebrations run to December 23.

Winter Wondeland in Colchester

Winter Wondeland in Colchester - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Dickensian Christmas Fayre - Lavenham

Christmas arrives in Lavenham tonight courtesy of the three-day, Dickensian-themed, seasonal fair.

It starts with the lighting of the village Christmas tree in the market place and the arrival of Father Christmas. The festivities and entertainment continues in the market place, the Guildhall and Little Hall until December 6.

Martine Crepy, of the Christmas fair organising committee, says: “We are very excited about this year’s fair. Lavenham is a magical place 365 days of the year but we are working hard to ensure there is an extra sprinkle of festive celebration for our big weekend event.”

Attractions include late-night shopping, with some 80 stalls. The big wheel returns with entertainment planned all weekend including the Lavenham Upbeat Contemporary Choir, Peter Hepworth and accordionist Martina Schwarz, Lavenham Falconery and the D’Ukes Ukelele Band.

The fair runs from 5.30pm-8.30pm tonight, 11am-5pm tomorrow and 11am-4pm Sunday.

The Maui Waui Christmas Ball is tomorrow; a fabulous, funky, event at The Old Print Works in Halesworth.

Starting at 7pm, the headliners are the swing funk ska fusion band The Slytones plus local folk legends Headspace. There will also be some madness from the Fool Hardy Circus and Suffolk’s own DJ Whirlwind Tallulah Goodtimes.

Come dressed to impress.

More information availabe here

Christmas lights - Haverhill

There’s plenty of family fun courtesy of Haverhill Town Council tonight.

The town centre will be open for late night shopping for the Family Christmas Night from 5.30pm-8pm tonight with charity stalls, street entertainment, children’s rides an evening market and more.

At 6.30pm on the Market Square Janey Lee Grace, star of Radio 2 and the Fairy Godmother in this year’s panto, will switch on the Christmas lights. Watch out for the Ugly Sisters who may try to steal the limelight and extra entertainment in the form of a special show with songs from a very icy kingdom.

The Recreation Ground hosts a free grand fireworks display from 8pm, lighting up the sky to a special soundtrack including some of the big pop hits of 2015. Tomorrow sees a range of Christmassy entertainers and attractions in the town centre from 11am.

Nick Keeble, from the town council, says: “The Christmas weekend is just the ticket for getting in the mood for all the fun and festivities ahead. Come and pick up a Winter in Haverhill brochure from the Arts Centre to see what other Christmassy stuff is going on in town.”

See here for more Christmas light switch on events taking place this weekend.

Winter Wonderland - Colchester

Planning to viisit the Colchester outdoor ice rink this weekend?

Organisers are “doing their best” to resume normal service as unseasonably warm weather has forced the attraction to close for several hours each day this week.

The Winter Wonderland and Ice Rink in Castle Park opened to the public last Friday, but skating was stopped on Monday and on Tuesday afternoon as high temperatures led to excess water on the rink.

Since Wednesday the rink has only been open from 4pm, when the temperature begins to fall, instead of at the scheduled 10am.

Ben Payne, director of Reflective Ice which runs the attraction, said he understood people’s frustration but there was nothing he could do about the weather.

“We are doing our best and hope to be back to normal next week,” he said.

See more here

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