Free family festive fun at Markeaton Park this Christmas

Thu 17 Nov 2022

Families can enjoy a special day out at Markeaton Park in the run-up to Christmas. The free Family Festivities event takes place on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December.

The Deputy Mayor and Mayor’s Consort will be attending the annual Christmas extravaganza, which will feature live music, walkabout acts, a craft fair and an outdoor market. Visitors will be able to enjoy festive food, meet our friendly characters and post a letter to Father Christmas in Markeaton Park’s own North Pole post box.

Children will love exploring the picturesque surroundings while they take part in the Elf Trail, which is free of charge. Grab a trail map or download your digital map and find the amazing carved wooden elf houses hidden around the park.

Find all the letters and unscramble the festive word for the chance to enter our prize draw. You could win a family ticket for this year’s fantastic pantomime Aladdin at Derby Arena or vouchers for family fun at Mundy Play Centre. Enter at the bottom of this page before Wed 7 Dec to win a Family Ticket to Aladdin.

We know your pets are an important part of the family, so they won’t be left out of the festivities! You can bring your four-legged friend to meet Father Christmas at our Santa’s Grotto for Dogs. The Dog Grotto is a £3 donation to mental health charity Head High on the day, no pre-booking is required. The event will provide the perfect opportunity for some Christmas shopping too, with cards, gifts, decorations and much more available at the wonderful Markeaton Craft Village.

The Craft units will be hosting a range of Christmas craft workshops and activities.

Join Jumping Clay for tree decoration workshops and Gingerbread mini makes throughout the weekend. Book your place on the Jumping Clay website. Make sure to stop by Famous Trains Model Railway to see two different model layouts plus their second-hand book sale of railway books, ideal Christmas gifts for train enthusiasts! 

The Susan Hill Jewellery studio will be open during the festive weekend, selling a selection of beautiful and unique handmade jewellery from various artists, including a new range of one-off colourful sea glass and enamelled pieces. 

Pop by for free consultation with Bespoke Soft Furnishings Derby with over 15 years of experience making bespoke curtains and blinds, plus a wide range of other soft furnishings including pelmets, and lampshades.

Come find out about Family Sewing Classes at Little Tins of Loveliness! Family Sewing Classes are for an adult and a child (8 years old and above) to come together to sew the monthly project completed in the class. You will learn how to use a sewing machine and many useful sewing techniques.

Derby Adult Learning Service will also be at this year's event providing free Guided Language Walks with a Christmas theme plus, craft workshops in the Community Centre. Book your place on the Christmas-themed walks on Derby Adult Learning Service's website.

Come warm up at The Orangery Café which will serve festive treats such as mince pies, Panini, Christmas cupcakes and muffins. Or while you browse the craft fair and Craft units stop by the Vintage converted horsebox providing mulled wine and other festive favourites. Traditional award-winning ice cream, hot waffles, festive desserts, coffee, and hot Chocolate will also be available. Or grab a delicious pizza from Dough2Go.

Music Programme

Sat 3 Dec

  • 11:00am Derby Hospitals Band
  • 11:30am Shannon Elmore
  • 12:00noon Derby Hospitals Band
  • 12:30pm Break
  • 1:00pm Tutbury Band
  • 1:45pm BB & AJ
  • 2:15pm Tutbury Band

Sun 4 Dec

  • 11:00am Derby Concert Band
  • 12:00pm Derwent Valley Wind Band
  • 1:00pm Duffield Singers
  • 1:45pm Derwent Valley Wind Band
  • 2:30pm Ukulele Players

Councillor Jonathan Smale, Derby City Council cabinet member for Finance, Digital and Culture, said: “Family Festivities is a fantastic event that gives families the chance to enjoy a host of Christmas activities free of charge. It’s just one of a huge range of events taking place during this year’s Festive Derby programme, which is bigger and better than ever.”

Councillor Jerry Pearce, cabinet member for Streetpride, Leisure and Public Spaces, added: “Markeaton Park is a perfect setting for the Family Festivities event. It’s a wonderful place for all the family and we are delighted to host these free Christmas activities. We hope all the families that attend have a fantastic time.”

Family Festivities will be open from 11am until 3pm. For all the updates see the event’s Facebook page.

See the event page on our event listings.

Enter The Elf Trail competition

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