Family Festivities event programme confirmed

Family Festivities

Wed 8 Nov 2017

Family Festivities will be returning to Markeaton Park after the success of the first event last year. This season each of the first three weekends in December will be themed and it guarantees to be a fantastic Christmas experience for all the family.

Throughout the festivities a Giant Ferris wheel will be located on the park for the first time, offering visitors a unique view of the picturesque park. Traditional fairground rides will be found in the Craft Village as well as an elf trail for families to follow in the park. Seasonal food will be served in The Orangery café and in the Craft Village and a licensed bar will be available, for those who’d like to enjoy some festive mulled wine.

Events will be taking place over three December weekends including, Craft Weekend Saturday 2 – Sunday 3 December, Music Weekend Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 December and Workshop Weekend Saturday 16 – Sunday 17 December from 11am-4pm. Entry to the Family Festivities at Markeaton Park is free and some activities and rides will have charges, but there are also plenty of FREE activities to enjoy.

Over each of the themed weekends there will be a selection of festive activities for everyone. From Santa Land to the Christmas Craft Fair, from willow weaving to wreath making and everything in between, Family Festivities at Markeaton Park will have it all. Elsa and Olaf from Frozen will be making appearances and there will be an opportunity to wave at Santa with entry to Santa Land.

During the Craft Weekend on Saturday 2 - Sunday 3 December, visitors will have the opportunity to find an extra special gift for their loved ones which is unique and locally-made by browsing the stalls at the Friends of Markeaton Park Craft Fair. There will also be Craft Village activities available each weekend which visitors can get involved with such as bookable workshops with Sew ‘n’ Jo to make Christmas stockings, bunting or table runners. Jumping Clay will be offering mini make robin or reindeer workshops for a special price of £2 over the festive season. A gift shop called Studio in the Park will be running bookable workshops to make festive pine cone Christmas decorations and wreath-making each weekend.

From brass bands to choirs, visitors will be filled with festive enjoyment, singing around the Christmas tree during Music Weekend from Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 December. Award-winning print maker, Duncan Pass will be sharing his knowledge and skills in print workshops on Saturday 9 December, where visitors can drop in and make a print for free.

There will be a Workshop Weekend on Saturday 16 December and Sunday 17 December, when visitors can participate in a range of activities run by Adult Learning Services from a Community Mosaic workshop and a Sense of Place walk to a community textile banner workshop. There will be willow-weaving demonstrations by professional willow sculptor, Emma Parkins, who specialises in animals and creatures which have character. The Invisible Friends Choir, made up of young people aged 9 to 30, will be sharing their love of music and raising awareness of invisible illnesses. Each member has an invisible illness or disability or cares for someone who has one.

Markeaton Park has many footpaths that allow access for everyone to enjoy a Winter walk and visitors can discover colourfully decorated stones and rocks along the way and take part in the Reindeer Trail at the Craft Village. For those who are feeling energetic, there will be a Free Park run and Junior Park run taking place during the Family Festivities weekends and the Derby Hospital Jingle Jog will take place on Sunday 3 December. This is a 5km run around Markeaton Park, dressed as Santa! The fun run is for adults, children and dogs alike and there is also a children’s 1.5km fun run. To join visit the Derby Hospitals Charity website.

The Christmas Fairground is open longer hours than Family Festivities. Overall opening hours: 2-3, 8-10, 15-17 December 11am to 9pm. 18 December-2 Jan, 12 noon to 9pm (closed Christmas Day). Visit for further details and view the full Family Festivities programme online.