What’s on in Cambridge during the festive season

Christmas Lights Switch On

At 4pm on Sunday 17th November, Grand Arcade will be switching on the Christmas decorations to bring the festive spirit to Cambridge, with very special guests..

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire presenter Jeremy Sallis will be there to present an afternoon of entertainment. A host of choirs and musicians will be building up the merry spirit from 12pm midday, including The Vocal Remix contemporary choir, The Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts students group, and The St Mary’s School Year 5 & 6 Chamber Choir. The Cambridge Theatre Company will perform a medley of songs from their Christmas show Hairspray, and the ever-popular Rock Choir will be doing the final build-up to 4pm.

Music for Advent and Christmas This Christmas concert is an annual highlight for choir members and audiences alike, featuring seasonal favourites and new discoveries. The combination of these heavenly sounds with a free glass of wine beforehand and one of Cambridge’s most beautiful buildings should make our concert on 15 December an unmissable occasion.

Date and Time: Sunday 15 December 2019: 20:00 – 21:15

Location: Trinity College Chapel

Maggie’s Cambridge Christmas Concert 2019

Christmas Concert in the beautiful setting of the 19th Century chapel of St John’s College, Cambridge. The concert will feature the female voices of Serenata, a chamber choir of experienced singers from across the east of England, who will be performing a variety of pieces in their own harmonic style. The evening will also include a number of classic carols for everyone to join in – the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit.

Date and Time: Sunday 15 December 2019, start 4.15pm (doors open 3.45pm) Location: At the chapel of St John’s College, Cambridge, CB2 1TW. Tickets: £15 for adults, £7.50 children and under 5’s free.

Please note tickets are non-refundable and we have limited spaces available.

Celebrate Luminaria: A Ceremony of Light in the atmospheric surroundings of St Catharine’s, with the College’s outstanding Girls’ Choir.

Experience the wonder and mystery of Christmas with a celebration of Luminaria: A Ceremony of Light sung by the outstanding Girls’ Choir of St Catharine’s College. Set in the beautiful surroundings of St Catharine’s, Luminaria is a unique musical experience, featuring seasonal music and reflection. Gates open at 5.30 pm, with a brass ensemble opening the festivities, and mulled wine and mince pies to get you into the Christmas spirit. Luminaria begins at 6.00 pm and lasts approximately twenty minutes. They will be taking donations on the night for Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education.

Date and Time: Tuesday 17 December 2019, 17:30 – 18:30 Location: Entrance to Main Court will be for ticket-holders only; though some space will be available outside the College gates for spectators without tickets. Tickets: Children aged 3+ will require their own ticket.

Please note, that in the event of rain they will sadly have to cancel the Luminaria and no alternative dates will be offered.

Nine Lessons and Images: a Christmas tour of the Fitz

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn…” The much-loved service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge, is an integral part of Christmas celebrations for millions of people worldwide. Now Nunkie Tours brings you its visual equivalent, just down the road from King’s, in the Fitzwilliam Museum. Hear the great story of the Incarnation, surrounded by images that it inspired, and enjoy a close look at some of the most fascinating and moving works of Christian art in Cambridge.

All tours are led by art historian and storyteller Robert Lloyd Parry.

Date and Time: Tuesday 10 – Sunday 15 December 2019 Location: The Fitzwilliam Museum Tickets: Purchased online only

Cambridge – Bach to Baby Christmas Family Concert

Bach to Baby is the critically acclaimed classical concert series for babies, toddlers and their carers. Tots dance, roam about and revel in the wonder of live music, while you take a moment out of your busy day to hear top notch performances by outstanding musicians, with your young babes in tow. No concert is complete without feeding, crying and nappy changing!

Doors open 30 mins prior to the concert, giving you time to ditch the buggy, grab a coffee, and catch up with friends before the performance.

Date and Time: Saturday 7 December 2019, 11:30 – 12:30 PM Location: Little St Mary’s Church

Christmas with John Rutter and Bach Choir Voices

Join John Rutter and the Bach Choir Voices for Cambridge Summer Music’s Christmas Concert. Programme to include traditional carols and works by John Rutter. A true celebration of Christmas, in the atmospheric surroundings of Our Lady and the English Martyrs Catholic Church.

John Rutter – Conductor Bach Choir Voices David Hill – Organ

Date and Time: Friday 20 December 2019, 7.30pm Location: Our Lady and the English Martyrs Catholic Church

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens at the Leper Chapel

Adapted and performed by Martin Prest. A Christmas Carol, told the way Dickens told it himself: one man, one stage. Playing over 20 characters, Martin Prest brings Charles Dickens’ timeless story of redemption to life. Miserly and unrepentant Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, one fateful Christmas Eve. Marley warns Scrooge that he will be haunted by three spirits and that, without their help, he will be condemned. Through the course of the night he is shown his Past, his Present and his Future by these spirits. He learns how his actions affect those around him and, also, how they have been affecting his own life. As popular now as when it was first published in 1843, this captivating seasonal tale has the feel good factor of a roast Christmas dinner and presents under the tree. The perfect start to any Christmas.

Date and Time: Saturday 14 December 2019, 7:30pm – 10pm

The Snowman with live orchestra


Immerse yourself in the irresistible animated film of The Snowman this Christmas, accompanied by a live orchestra. A heart-warming experience that brings more than a snowman to life – and featuring the much-loved classic ‘Walking in the Air’ – it’s a festive favourite for the whole family. The world’s leading performers of The Snowman film with live orchestra, Carrot Productions’ enchanting show has been seen by over 150,000 people, with performances at many of the country’s finest Cathedrals and venues. Their world-class orchestra comprises musicians drawn from the UK’s top orchestras.

The concert opens with a toe-tapping Christmas Medley followed by a fun guide to the orchestra, offering the young audience members the valuable experience of seeing – and hearing – the instruments individually. bAs featured in The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Telegraph.

“Sheer Brilliance” “A music box of delights” “A truly enchanting Christmas experience”

Music Genres: Classical

Date and Time: Monday 30th December 2019, 1:30pm – 3pm Location: Ely Cathedral in Ely