2 years, 10 months ago
Anyone expecting a lull before Christmas can think again this November. It’s turning out to be one of the busiest months of the year. So we’re just going to jump right in and tell you what’s happening, where. And why you should be out there.
There are fireworks all over the UK on Bonfire Night to celebrate the foiling of Guy Fawkes’ 1605 Gunpowder Plot. But the display worth getting tickets for this year is Alexandra Palace. Fabulous setting, German Bier Garten, early season ice skating, two funfairs and pyrotechnics, you could almost forgive them for missing 5th November by two days. The main event kicks off at 8pm but the fun starts when they open the gates at 3pm.
On the first Saturday in November every year, Amsterdam opens over 50 museums and galleries for Museumnacht. This enormous citywide celebration starts at 7pm and goes on until 2am with infamously good after-parties lasting well into the morning. Over the past 10 years venues have got into the habit of serious competition so you can look forward to extremes of entertainment, eating, drinking, music, dancing and playing all over. And it’s Amsterdam, so almost everyone is out and about and being suitably festive in November’s frosty prettiness.
Lyon has nerves of steel, not only does it face off to Rome and Florence in the ‘greatest Renaissance city’ stakes. It takes on the home country too, with a clever strapline, in English – we’re thinking ‘Only Lyon’ must have had more than one French language traditionalist up in arms by now. And then Lyon claims to be the ‘World Capital of Gastronomy’. Is being beautiful and clever enough to get away with such exuberant self-confidence? We love Lyon, but we’ll let you decide. The city’s third in line to host Salon du Chocolat this year, so it’s in direct competition with London and Paris and if that’s not a test we don’t know what is. Chocolate in the ‘World Capital of Gastronomy’, how could you resist?
It’s the annual Ski & Snowboard Show but not. This year’s event is going all out to recreate the Alpine experience in Battersea Park right down to après-ski and mountain bar party. Unbiased advice and ideas comes from The Telegraph ski-team, Angela Hartnett is making snacks, ski-fashion’s on the runway, comedy’s in the Altitude Tent and it’s all very snowy, pretty and mountain village, so we’re told. Chances are it won’t be as good as Zermatt in December but it’s the place to start before the season does.
Berlin’s annual Short Film Festival is one of Germany’s longest running. This year there were 6000 international entries and the shortlisted 500 are being shown across the city for six days and nights in November. It’s a chance to see new, raw and indie talent in 30 minutes or less in some of the city’s amazing cinemas – Volksbϋhne alone is worth a visit. There are events, talks and plenty of parties. Plus, it’s likely to be snowing. And most of Berlin’s famous Christmas Markets and funfairs open on November 23rd.
Salzburg’s Christkindlmarkt might not be as boastful as Strasbourg, but it’s the world’s oldest so doesn’t need to shout too much for attention. This is the first European Christmas Market to open and sure to be snowy and fairy tale lovely as ever. Ancient as it is, don’t think complacent. It’s a matter of pride to do everything impeccably and Salzburg always has the best hot-chocolate and prettiest presents.
London’s most famous Royal Park is switching on Winter Wonderland at 5pm on November 20th and staying thrilling right through to January 3rd 2016. There’s an ice-rink, fabulous funfair, bars, restaurants and food trucks, a Bavarian Christmas Market with over 200 stalls, a circus, Magical Ice Kingdom and beloved Santa Land is back in all its glory for another year. If you have something better to do than see Hyde Park Winter Wonderland light up on November 20th, can we come too?
Amsterdam Art Weekend explores Amsterdam’s contemporary art world for four days and nights this November. It’s happening all over the city and you can watch, browse, buy work, meet the artists and get closer to understanding why creative talent migrates to the Dutch capital, sticks around and clearly thrives.
The self-proclaimed ‘Capital of Christmas’ is flooding its Medieval Old Town with snow, turning on the twinkly lights, opening stalls and trimming many, many trees on November 27th. It’s easy to be cynical about Strasbourg’s annual boast, but if you can find anywhere more Christmassy and enchanting anywhere, send us the details and we’ll see you there.
Did we miss anything? Inevitably, it’s November after all and the clock is ticking. So if we’ve overlooked something fantastic this month be sure to let us know.