Reading's Living Advent Calendar

Reading’s Living Advent Calendar
1 December to 24 December | Various venues

A whole host of  FREE magical events will take place every day from 1st December as Reading premieres its first Living Advent Calendar. From singalongs to craft workshops, wicked and naughty shows to traditional family entertainment, there will be something for everyone. So countdown to 25 December with a festive feast and sparkling array of fun and every day will feel like Christmas!

And if you're coming to any of the Living Advent events, why not bring a spot of change with you and take part in the Living Advent raffle - drawn on the night, this is your chance to win a prize from the host venue, Flying Tiger gifts, and other goodies, including vouchers, beauty treatments, games, cakes and more! All monies raised will be split between these local charities: Homestart, Readifood and the Reading Samaritans

Flashmob Carol Concerts
1 December, 11am-4pm | Various venues

JMA Performing Arts random Reading town centre Christmas song flash mob. 2017 & 18 Choir of the Year and 2018 Under 25s Talent of the year will be in Reading town centre on the 1st December to perform for you... keep an eye out! No need to book - please just turn up!

Pop-up Music Lounge with RedicultureOne30
1 December, 12pm-12:45pm at Broad Street Bar & Kitchen | 2:30-3:15pm at CUP, Blagrave Street

Live and original compositions, combining electronica with acoustic instruments and vocals. Lyrical extracts of Alexander Pope, and Oscar Wilde as you’ve never heard them before! No need to book - just turn up!

Pop-up Carol Concert by Reading Phoenix Choir
2 December, 1pm-1:30pm | John Lewis Basement Floor

Reading Phoenix Choir are a nationally renowned mixed-voice choir from across the region, celebrating its 50th Anniversary this season. No need to book - please just turn up!

Special shopping evening
3 December, 5-7pm | The Oracle and Broad Street

An evening to make Christmas shopping extra special, easy and an enjoyable experience for older and disabled people.  Look out for a whole host of  special offers, festive entertainment and refreshments throughout the town centre for one night only. Featuring Dolly and the ClothesPegs at 6.30pm at The Oracle! No need to book - please just turn up!

Reading Between The lines present A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Anna Wheatley (condensed)
4 December, 7:30 and 8:45pm | Haslams, Friar Street

Award winning local theatre company, Reading Between the Lines, present a condensed preview of their own unique version of one of the greatest Christmas stories ever told. The weather is biting, the fog is looming and Scrooge is in a perennially bad mood. No quantity of Christmas Pudding will shake him from his miserdom. On Christmas eve, however, three mysterious visitors will force him to embark on an epic journey of discovery, but can Scrooge ever truly swallow his humbug?  FREE BUT BOOKING ESSENTIAL.

Scrap Art Challenge
4 December, 6.30 and 7.30pm | Time Trap, Friar Street

Scraptasticly spectacular festive fun with art. Two teams battle it out to create art from unwanted scrap art stuff and decorative debris! FREE BUT BOOKING ESSENTIAL.

Dolly from the Clothes Pegs Chorales Christmas
5 December, 7 -7:20pm | Nibsy's, Cross Street

Dolly from the Clothespegs entertains you with her favourite seasonal songs. However, she also sings in a chamber choir, so don't expect just Riverbilly! No need to book - please just turn up!

Nicole Johnson Sings Julie Andrews
6 December, 6:30- 7:15pm | But Is It Art, Queen Victoria Street

Wearing my favourite dress and playing my favourite ukulele, I will sweetly sing some ‘Favourite Things’: songs made famous by Julie Andrews. No need to book - please just turn up!

Warhammer Workshop
6 December, 7-9pm | Games Workshop, Broad Street Mall, Oxford Road

Experience the Warhammer hobby with Games Workshop: Build, Paint and Play with your very own free Miniature. No need to book - please just turn up!

A Very Crayola Christmas (over 18s only)

7 December, 6:30-7:15pm | Grosvenor Casino, Queens Road

THE Queen of Colour and London’s America’s Sweetheart, Crayola’s been having a ball serving her unique brand of campy, cartoonish craziness to you kiddos. A lipsync assassin, a pro on the mic, and a turner of looks, she always leaves you gagging for more. FREE BUT BOOKING ESSENTIAL.

Reading Rep presents A New Coat for Christmas by Anna Glynn (preview)
8 December, 11am and midday | Central Library, Kings Road

Reading Rep presents a show for children 3+ and their families. Enjoy music, fun and a flock of very fluffy sheep in this tale of finding friendship in the most surprising circumstances. No need to book - please just turn up!

Austentation
8 December, 1-1:30pm | Reading Museum Atrium (2nd floor)

Austentation entertain you with musical Regency cheer and add a festive feel to their eclectic blend of vocal and instrumental period music... naughty but nice! No need to book - please just turn up!

Big Blue & The Plastic Squid
8 December, 6-6:30pm | Reading Station forecourt

Come and meet Reading’s Big Blue whale re-animated alongside a giant bioluminescent squid. Find out more about ocean sustainability and answer the call to become a plastic activist! No need to book - please just turn up!

Reading Santa Run
9 December, 10am-midday | Town centre

Reading Santa Run time is here again, raising thousands of pounds for local charities. Our race attracts hundreds of runners to the Reading Town Centre every December. Entrants come from all walks of life and abilities. All are very welcome to join us in this great family festive fun event. To enter please visit readingsantarun.co.uk/

Party Games at Eclectic Games
9 December, 10:30am-6pm | Eclectic Games, Union Street

Come down to eclectic games and try your hand at a range of amazing party games suitable for all the family this Christmas! Free Entry! No need to book - please just turn up

Jeff the Giant Elf
9 December, 4-4:30pm | Market Place

Jeff the Giant Elf has lost his Christmas spirit and is stuck until he finds it. With the children's help, can he get back home? Presented by Genius Ideas (the Rising Sun Arts Centre). No need to book - please just turn up!

What's the Game? Improv - Festive Improvised Family comedy
9 December, 7- 7:45pm | Bluegrass Smokehouse, Gun Street

Witness the cream of Reading comedy Improvisers create a spontaneous family comedy based on audience suggestions. Think  "Who's Line is it Anyway" with a festive, family twist. FREE BUT BOOKING ADVISED.

Terry's Accessible (seated) Reading Centre Walkabout
10 December, 10-10:30am | Haslams, Friar Street

Terry's Reading Centre Walkabout’s sit-down Presentation aimed at less mobile people who cannot do guided walking featuring famous events, myths, history, buildings, heritage and more. BOOK VIA 07505 351 517 or THE FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE.

Fabulous Festive Fun at Waterstones Christmas Shopping Evening
11 December, 6-9pm | Waterstones, Broad Street

Books signings, carol singing, gift wrapping, games, festive drinks from Brewdog and more at this shopping event! See here for more information.

Kine-Oke Cinema - karaoke for film!
11 December, 7:30-9pm | Purple Turtle, Gun Street

Kine-Oke is the cinematic version of karaoke, developed by local video company Real Time. Your chance to become a local screen legend in festive twists on classic films! No need to book - please just turn up!

Sandy Maya's Bellydance
12 December, 12:30-1pm | London Camera Exchange, Station Road

Let Sandy Maya's Bellydance delight you on day 12 of the countdown to Christmas. No need to book - please just turn up!

Civic Carol Service
13 December, 6:30pm | Reading Minster

A traditional service of lessons and carols retelling the story of the Nativity. No need to book - please just turn up!

The Tonyx Barbershop Quartet
13 December, 7:30pm | Hobson & Quinn, Cross Street

The Tonyx - Helen, Ali, Holly and Louise - sing Christmas and popular songs in the barbershop style of close harmony a cappella. No need to book - please just turn up!

From Me to You with Reside Dance
14 December, 3-3.20pm outside Boots, Broad Street

From Me to You celebrates gift-giving at Christmas from the heartfelt to the humorous. Performers depict familiar scenes, wrapping presents for the audience through dance. No need to book - please just turn up!

Pop-up Music lounge with Rediculture0ne30
14 December, 5:30- 6:15pm at the Tasting House, Chain St| 7.30-8.15pm at the Broad Street Mall

Putting the calm into Christmas shopping!…. Theres nothing like the magic of the present moment, chill out to a well crafted combination of electronica and acoustic melody. Soak up the wintery theme of fire and ice from the comfort of an armchair, and catch words from the ghosts of Readings Christmas past! No need to book - please just turn up!

Big Blue & The Plastic Squid
14 December, 6-6:30pm| Reading Station forecourt

Come and meet Reading’s Big Blue whale re-animated alongside a giant bioluminescent squid. Find out more about ocean sustainability and answer the call to become a plastic activitist! No need to book - please just turn up!

Create Your Own Garden in a Tea Cup
15 December, 11am-1pm | White Stuff, Gun Street

Come and create a terrific teacup terrain using a range of small succulent plants - a fantastic gift for anyone. FREE BUT BOOKING ESSENTIAL.

Not Too Tame Productions present Cinderella: a Wicked Mother of a Night Out (over 18s only)
16 December, 7pm (doors) 7.30pm (show) | Yates, Friar Street

An immersive Christmas cracker, Cinderella is an outrageous site specific show inspired by the traditional British panto.  All the characters you know, love and hate will pull your mates, spill your pints and pour their hearts out on the Karaoke. Think Tarantino meets Shameless, meets ELF...all in a real, local boozer. So grab a pint, take a seat and get a load of this! Written by Luke Barnes.  FREE BUT BOOKING ESSENTIAL.

Singalong-a-musical
17 December, 6:30-7pm | Walkabout, Friar Street

Reading Studio students perform a exciting range of musical numbers to get everyone in the festive spirit and get you all singing along. No need to book - please just turn up!

Ma Bessie (over 18s only)
18 December, 7-7:30pm | Three Guineas Cellar Bar, Station Forecourt

Ma Bessie mixes classic blues with jazz tunes from the inter-war years, sharing the music of Bessie Smith with a new generation. No need to book - please just turn up!

Sunday Assembly Christmas Karaoke
19 December, 7-7:30pm | Hickies, Friar Street

Sunday Assembly is a secular congregation that meets regularly to Live Better, Wonder More and Help Often. Join them for some great sing along songs. No need to book - please just turn up!

A Magical Reading Christmas – Images, Reflections and Projections
20 December, 4-7pm | St Laurence Church, Friar Street

Celebrate a magical Reading Christmas with this large scale projection, containing images by local artists and reflections on what a magical Christmas means to the people of Reading.  No need to book - please just turn up!

Pop-up Music Lounge with Rediculture0ne30
20 December, 5:30-6:15pm The White Building, Kings Road | 7:30-8:15pm at the Broad Street Mall

Pop up Music Lounge with Christmas magic and a festive twist. No need to book - please just turn up!

Coffee and Craft
21 December, 1-1:45pm | The Hexagon

Enjoy some crafts and a food surprise! Coffee and Craft hosts this event, supported by Reading Co-op. Suitable for ages 1 to 100. No need to book - please just turn up!

A Magical Reading Christmas – Images, Reflections and Projections
21 December, 4-7pm | St Laurence Church, Friar Street

Celebrate a magical Reading Christmas with this large scale projection, containing images by local artists and reflections on what a magical Christmas means to the people of Reading.  No need to book - please just turn up!

Outrider Anthems presents Love by Candlelight
21 December, 6-6:30pm | Forbury Square

Celebrate friendship, community, the gift of life on Earth. Bring a tealight in a jar, and join us in song. All shapes and size of voice most welcome! No need to book - please just turn up!

My Shadow and Me
22 December, 12-1pm | Pentahotel, Broad Street

A fun and engaging show for children and family audiences made out of shadows and reflected light. My Shadow and Me is like a cartoon created live out of nothing but darkness and light. One person (and his shadow) meet and go on an incredible, imaginative, shadowy journey where creatures emerge, engage and transform beautifully. FREE BUT BOOKING ESSENTIAL.

Cinema in Silhouette (age guidance: over 18s as contains some adult content)
22 December, 2-3pm | Pentahotel, Broad Street

The ancient artform of Hand Shadows is brought right up to the minute with skilful tributes to 20th Century film-making, a rogues gallery of famous personalities, rabbits doing what rabbits do and many more endearing and down-right astonishing creatures created with the twist of a hand. Stand-up comedy meets shadow puppetry before Drew sings a duet with his own shadow to bring the house down. FREE BUT BOOKING ESSENTIAL.

Berzerk Productions Naughty Elves
22 December, 4:30pm | Broad Street (outside John Lewis)

You’ve been following their naughty antics on CCTV, now see Santa arrive to pick up his naughty elves. With surprises galore. Part of The Snow Show. No need to book - please just turn up!

Corporation Tramways and Fine Arts Committee
23 December, 12-12:30pm | Harris Arcade

Formed from experimental music classes, with a varied background in rock, jazz, electronica and sonic art, CT&FAC use improvisation to explore a rich acoustic terrain.No need to book - just turn up!

Scatty Arts Henna Art Workshop
23 December, 12-12:30pm | Hexagon

Mainly used on bodies or hair, come and discover the beauty in creating artwork using the medium of natural Henna.No need to book - just turn up!

4Bones Trombone Quartet
23 December, 1-1:30pm | Outside John Lewis, Broad Street

The 4Bones Quartet is a most versatile group, with favourite songs, classics, swing and original music across five centuries with the lustrous sound of four trombones! No need to book - just turn up!

Final event
24 December | tbc

Check back here for news of the final event!

Charity raffle

If you're coming to any of the Living Advent events, why not bring a spot of change with you and take part in the Living Advent raffle - your chance to win a prize from the host venue and other goodies, including vouchers, beauty treatments, games, cakes and more!

All monies raised will be split between these local charities:

Home-Start Reading
Home-Start Reading has been running since 1984. They support local families by providing them with a well-matched and trained volunteer, who offers up to 3 hours per week of non-judgemental support in the comfort of the families’ own homes.  These volunteers help families get out and about, register them or take them to the health services or appointments. They also gently role-model positive parenting, attachment and adult-child interactions. Homestart's aim is to help these parents reach independence and good levels of coping for the benefit and life chances of their children. They are the only service of this kind left in Reading.

ReadiFood
ReadiFood is an independent Food Bank providing food parcels to those in severe need in the greater Reading area. They operate as part of and on behalf of the Churches of Reading to provide services which individual churches alone would not be able to provide.

Reading Samaritans
Every six seconds, somebody contacts the Samaritans. A free, confidential service, available 24/7 - no waiting lists, and no assessments. Reading has an active branch, made up of 150 dedicated volunteers who all play a vital part in supporting their callers - whether by phone, text, email, in person at our branch or at community events across Berkshire.