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Posted 04.12.18

What’s on in Plymouth - December 2018

By Kat Peberdy

Christmas fabric wreath making workshop at Make @ 140

There’s no escaping it, this month our list of the top things to do is mostly Christmas markets and festive fairs, but we’ve done the legwork for you and put together a hand-picked selection of the best eco events, local maker markets and sustainable shopping! Keep on reading for our list of some of the top workshops, exhibitions and events happening across the city in Plymouth's cultural calendar.

Want to give us a heads up for a forthcoming event? Email or let us know on Twitter.


1. Enchanted Saltram at National Trust Saltram

Brighten up dark winter nights with a stroll around the enchanted illuminated gardens and see the house magically decorated throughout. Bobble hat at the ready, this Christmas the garden will be glowing as some of its most loved areas are lit up with a rainbow of colours and installations. The illuminations in the garden turn on at dusk each evening.

Some of the rooms within the house have been visited by our most loved fairy tales. For the first time at Christmas the grandest room at Saltram - the Saloon - will be transformed into a magical fairytale with decadently decorated trees and magical interventions to make the house feel enchanted. The house will be open from 12pm each day.

What makes you feel more festive than settling down to a twilight winter warmer under the stars in the giant tipi? Grab a blanket and a festive treat in the winter courtyard café.

Enchanted Saltram – 1 to 30 December


'I felt like the sound of a harp', image credit: Pip Raud

2. Autoscopic Pneumatic Therapy screening event at Plymouth College of Art

Laura Phillips presents a screening of artists films which extends ideas addressed in Phillips’ inaugural solo show ‘I felt like the sound of a harp’. This programme includes works that have influenced Phillips’ practice and question ideas of subjectivity, subcultures and dissociative states.

Phillips’ work investigates obsolescence and precarity as narrative devices. Questions about how we come to know an object; its temperament, texture, colour, hue and smell. The work aims to explore the complexity of resonance and incongruence between sound/image, often using a mixture of photochemical processes, found sounds and digital imagery. Recent performances include live editing of her video and 16mm prints in a dialogical performance with the musicians Viridian. Key structures to the work include improvisation, polyphony, and collaboration.

Join us in the Studio Theatre on Wednesday 5 December 2018 at 5.30pm-7pm.

Autoscopic Pneumatic Therapy – 5 December


3. Christmas fabric wreath workshop at Make @ 140

Spend a festive few hours making a fabulous fabric wreaths, using scrap fabrics. This sustainable process uses old tea towels, old sheets, or any fabric that isn't too thick. Perfect for decorating the house, your office or gifting to friends and family for a Christmassy handmade treat.

Christmas fabric wreath workshop – 6 December


4. Winter Crafts Fair at Plymouth School of Creative Arts

There's plenty of family fun lined up for this event, including music performances, carols, dancing, food, drink, craft activities, face painting, raffle, tombola, photo booth and Santa's Grotto. The craft market has an assortment of 40 local, independent artists, crafters, small businesses and even some students selling a fantastic range of goods. Make this top of your list for your Christmas shopping, support local and independent sellers, get into the festive spirit and enjoy a fabulous afternoon for the whole family.

You can also take your child's outgrown or unwanted clothes to donate, or bring along some new garments to decorate at their festive crafts table.

Plymouth School of Creative Arts Winter Crafts Fair – 8 December


5. Native Makers craft market at Royal William Yard

Native Makers are returning with their two-day festive makers market at Ocean Studios, Plymouth. With the return of Native Cubs Craft, delicious snacks, fun and free activities, over 60 local, emerging makers, plus plenty of Christmas sparkle, there's no reason not to pop by!

Native Makers is a platform for creative people in Devon, curating quality makers markets to support artisan craft in the South West. Donations welcomed on the door.

Native Makers Christmas Market – 8 & 9 December

6. Rewriting Herstory: Feminist Creative Writing Workshop at Devonport Guildhall

Hosted by Dreadnought SW and the Feminist Archive South, this is a free feminist creative writing workshop with acclaimed playwright Natalie McGrath and the Feminist Archive South. Drawing on feminist writers, archive materials from Suffrage to the Women’s Liberation Movement and oral herstory, this workshop will ask what it means to rework the words of a century of feminist activists.

Taking inspiration from writers such as Kathy Acker, Audre Lorde and Hélène Cixous, experiment with DIY counter-cultural methods such as cut-up poetry, adaptation and collage to explore contemporary feminist issues and imagine feminist futures.

Rewriting Herstory: Feminist Creative Writing Workshop – 8 December


7. Santa Fun Run for Jeremiah’s Journey and other local charities

Fancy watching hundreds of runners, young and old of all shapes and sizes, running through the city centre dressed as old Saint Nick? Then the annual charity Santa Fun Run sounds like your kind of thing.

The charities supported by the fun run this year include our charity partner Jeremiah's Journey, along with Dame Hannah Rogers and Shekinah. The entry fee for runners goes to charity, along with any money they fundraise through friends and family sponsorships, and no doubt there will be opportunities to donate your spare change on the day.

Santa Fun Run – 9 December starting at 11am


8. Le Navet Bete’s Aladdin at Barbican Theatre

Soar over the rooftops in this fast-paced festive frolic for all the family…

The inimitable Le Navet Bete are back for their eighth Christmas in Plymouth with their physical off-the-wall comedy version of the tale of a poor street boy, a magic lamp and a mystical genie who triumph over an evil sorcerer. Co-produced with Barbican Theatre, Aladdin is a unique festive experience for the whole family featuring some truly magical effects.

"Ingenious and effortlessly hilarious" - The Stage (Robin Hood & His Merry Men)

"Le Navet Bete create something unforgettable with their own polished brand of physical comedy." - Reviews Hub (Dracula: The Bloody Truth)

Aladdin – 13 December to 6 January


9. Print your own eco wrapping paper at Ocean Studios

Join Common Sense Studio to design and print your very own recyclable Christmas wrapping paper at Ocean Studios.

You'll use various creative block print and painterly techniques give your pressies a personal touch in this relaxed, festive workshop. The workshop costs £15, and will include all materials, a cuppa and a mince pie as well as lots of ideas and inspiration. 

Print your own eco wrapping paper – 15 December


10. Artisan Christmas Fair at The Bread and Roses

This festive fair is working to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and their continuing work supporting those afflicted by Cancer.

With a variety of stalls with high quality arts and crafts by local artists, this is a perfect place to buy stocking fillers and gifts, even a present for yourself! Of course there will also be the traditional mulled wine and mince pies for you to warm your bellies as you enjoy the cosy enclaves of this local pub.

Sticking around until the evening for their festive board game compendium, including classics like scrabble, cluedo, monopoly and chess.

Artisan Christmas Fair – 16 December


11.No Whey! It’s Christmas! at Union Corner

This cruelty free, plant based and vegan market can cater for all your wholesome needs!

From 11am til 4pm, the market will showcase food, art, illustration, jewellery, treats and gifts for all by cruelty free makers, crafters, bakers and creators from all around the South West.

No Whey! It’s Christmas! – 16 December


12. Freelancers Christmas Lunch at Thinq Tanq

It's become a tradition at THINQTANQ to welcome home-workers, freelancers, remote workers and anyone else who doesn't have a traditional work place for a traditional Christmas work party. You don't have to be based at THINQTANQ, in fact, you don't even need to have set foot in the place before as they are all about a vibrant create community where everyone is welcome.

Nibbles and drinks will be provided, but you can make this a truly special event by bringing a plate or two of something amazing to eat and something to drink. Share your favourite snacks in the spirit of the season and enjoy the heavily Michael Buble influenced Christmas playlist.

Freelancers Christmas Lunch – 21 December


... And, if you're interested in creative study, you can also visit us at our Open Day for Undergraduate and Pre-Degree programmes on Saturday 5 January 2019. Register online to secure your place!