This December Family Festivities returns to Markeaton Park for two weekends full of free family fun. This year Family Festivities will run two themed weekends; on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December the Craft Fair Weekend will give families the opportunity to find that extra special gift that’s unique and locally made. On Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December the Family Workshop Weekend is the perfect opportunity for families to spend quality time together over the Christmas period.
This year parents can relax in the knowledge that their kids can have plenty of fun without any strain on their pockets, with Family Festivities’ free activities. Over both weekends kids can try out the Elf Trail, following the map around the park to find the elf houses. Completed entries will be put into a prize draw, to be in with the chance of winning some treats. Once they have found the elves, they can visit Markeaton Park Craft Village to try and spot Father Christmas’s nine reindeer who are playing hide and seek.
The ever-popular Derbyshire Rocks will be making an appearance over both weekends, so families can bring along their home decorated stones and rocks and hide them along their walks for others to find. In Markeaton Park Craft Village, kids can post their letters to Father Christmas at the North Pole post box, enjoy playing with the free games set up outdoors and snap a selfie with the Christmas Tree.
National Tree Week is celebrated on 24th November – 2nd December, annually launching the start of the winter tree planting season. To celebrate the end of National Tree Week, Markeaton Park will have a Rainbow Ribbon Tree which visitors are encouraged to place a ribbon around. Ribbons for the tree can be bought from Little Tins of Loveliness in the Craft Village.
Visitors to this year’s Family Festivities can come along and view the work of Andrew Frost, a renowned Wood Sculptor. Andrew combines outdoor work with creativity in the form of wood sculptures, mostly carved with the sole use of a chainsaw. Over both weekends Andrew will be working on a piece which will be located in Markeaton Park for many years to come.
Families are invited to browse the Friends of Markeaton Park Craft Fair on the first weekend of this year’s family festivities. With plenty of stalls, this weekend provides the perfect opportunity to purchase some bespoke gifts and handmade items including cards, decorations, candles and much more.
This year’s Family Workshop Weekend is a great way to spend time together as a family this Christmas, with plenty of free workshops the whole family can enjoy. Duncan Pass, a painter and award-winning printmaker, will be running a free drop-in printing activity for those with a creative flair. The outdoors loving family may fancy having a go at Nordic Walking, joining the free Nordic Walking session around Markeaton Park, they best watch out for those pesky Elves along the way.
After a great demonstration at last year’s event creating a dragonfly for Markeaton Park, this year Emma Parkins will be running free drop-in willow weaving workshops. Families can come along on the 8th and 9th December between 11.00am and 3.00pm to create their very own willow Christmas tree to take home!
Adult Learning Services will be running several free workshop activities based around Markeaton Memories in the Markeaton Park Community Room. Visitors are encouraged to come along and help create a textile map of Markeaton Park, recording their favourite places, memories and activities they have enjoyed. Visitors can be inspired by Markeaton Parks bygone days and stunning images from its past, and create a simple Christmas card to share with family and friends. In this workshop attendees will explore and learn different card making techniques, decoupage, die cutting, stamping and layering.
With Adult Learning Services visitors can also join acclaimed writer, poet, and lyricist Jamie Thrasivoulou who will guide them through sharing stories and personal memories of Markeaton Park. Start sharing memories of Markeaton Park now on social media by using the hashtag #MarkeatonMemories.
Visitors to Markeaton Park on the Family Workshop weekend will be sure to spot the two cheeky elves of Markeaton Park, Markie and Parkie. They like throwing snowballs at each other, as well as at unsuspecting visitors.
Family Festivities will be accompanied by a host of talented local musicians to add to the festive experience. Whilst browsing the market or tracking down reindeers in the Craft Village, families can enjoy live and festive music.
Families will not want to miss visiting Markeaton Park’s Craft Units to browse or take part in festive activities.
Over both weekends families can get creative at Jumping Clay who will be running drop-in make your own Snowman, Santa Tree Bauble, or Magnet workshops for the special price of £2. They will also be running several bookable workshops over both Family Festivities weekends.
Visitors can make their own Christmas bauble or print hand or footprints onto special keepsakes for those special personalised gifts. Studio in the Park, Original Monkey, Lilac Joinery, Matthew Morris furniture, Little Tins of Loveliness and Susan Hill Jewellery will all be open during the Family Festivities weekends.
This year Family Festivities is an opportunity to celebrate the completion of Markeaton Park’s restoration project funded by Big Lottery Fund through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Family Festivities will be running additional free activities this year thanks to players of the National Lottery.
Councillor Alan Grimadell, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said:
“We are looking forward to putting on these two weeks of free activities for the people of Derby. The Heritage Lottery Fund has helped us develop Markeaton Park as a destination and there is no better time than this festive period to celebrate the work of lottery funders and players. Thanks to the funding from the Big Lottery Fund, we are able to provide families with fantastic facilities as well as fun and free activities over Christmas period.”
Find out more information about Family Festivities and keep up to date with all the activities on the InDerby website.