what to do this weekend: 14th – 16th december

First of all, can we just ask, what the hell happened to the weather? From balmy autumn skies to freezing hat-and-gloves temperatures in one fell swoop of the mercury. Still, it does mean it actually feels more like winter should. We’ve been getting all Christmassy this week, what with thinking about locally sourced presents, Christmas markets, tree-planting, not to mention MOOP’s Christmas museum and the last weekend (boo) of the Chocolate Cocktail Club. Here’s what else we’re looking forward to this fine weekend:


Get back to nature
Walk for Chalk: If the chaos of Christmas is getting a wee bit too much and you fancy heading a little out of town this weekend, then Stanmer Park is calling your name. The Stanmer Preservation Society bring you two days of nature-fuelled fun for all the family, including any furry dog-like friends. Celebrating the chalk and wildlife in and around Stanmer Park, meet at 11.00am on Saturday 15th at Lower Lodges, where you’ll find out all about Stanmer’s precious chalk ecology. You can follow this up with a Christmas wreath and natural decoration session in the yurt near Stanmer Church, and at 4.00pm, there will be a candlelit charity performance of winter songs from the Acabellas in the church itself. Head back there on Sunday at 11.00am (to the Lower Lodges again) for a stroll up through the park looking at and listening to your natural surroundings. It sounds like just what we need before Christmas! There will be more wreath-making before the day finishes up at Stanmer Church at 6.30pm with a candlelit charity performance from the Brighton Steiner School Community Choir. Excuse us while we melt into Christmas…
Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th December; from 11.00am
Lower Lodges, Stanmer Park, Brighton BN1 9QA

Sea change

If you were as upset as we were that Sea Lanes Brighton’s plans for the regeneration of the Madeira Drive area – including the fantastic proposal for an outdoor seafront pool – were rejected by the council’s planning committee, then tomorrow’s your chance to show your support. The plan is to get everyone together for a group photo to show the council the huge support for the project in the community. The team will be there to discuss what happens next and there will also be a charity raffle, with plenty of cool prizes up for grabs, from endless pool swimming lessons to wetsuits.
Saturday 15th December, midday – 2.00pm
Madeira Drive, BN2 1EN Brighton


Streets ahead
We’ve mentioned them before, but we’re shouting about them again, but it’s just such a lovely community idea (and oh-so Hanover). What are we talking about? Yep, it’s the wonderful Hanover Christmas Street Calendar. If you’re not familiar, participating streets in the hilly neighbourhood are each allocated a day in December, right up to Christmas Eve. Street by street, the houses decorate and light up their front windows each evening, culminating in a massive street display on 24 December when all the houses are lit up. With lots of artists living in the area, you can always be sure of some pretty special window displays. It’s a great opportunity to get stuck into some Christmas and community spirit and explore the neighbourhood (not to mention its many cosy pubs). St Luke’s Road and Holland Street are up tonight, Saturday is the turn of Jersey Street, Quebec Street and Hanover Terrace and Sunday is Luther Street. You can see the full list of participating streets on the Facebook event.
Until Monday 24 December, from around 6.00pm
Various streets in Hanover, Brighton BN2 

The Hanover Christmas Street Calendar

Sing it loud
Would it really feel like Christmas if you didn’t sing along to a feel-good film you’ve already seen (and loved) loads of times? We’re going to say no. And that’s why we’ll be heading to one of Sunday’s sing-along screenings of The Greatest Showman musical at the Duke of York’s. Book up quickly, though, as tickets are going fast. Spoiler alert: there will be loud and, quite possibly, tuneless singing. But there are also bound to be people who’ve gone the whole hog and dressed the part and, in our book, that spells F. U. N. And, let’s face it, it’s a pretty inspirational story for Christmas – who doesn’t love a bit of successful dream-chasing at this time of the year. Oh, and it’s a special print, too, which means all the lyrics are on screen, so at least people will be singing the right words. Maybe…
Sunday 16th December, 12.30pm, 3.00pm, 5.30pm, 8.00pm; from £7.70 (children) to £12.20 or £30.80 for a family of four
Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Preston Road, Brighton BN1 4NA
Duke of York’s