Five free things to do this week

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Free things to do this week: Christmas illuminations

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Enjoy the approaching festive period with these fun events and activities around the UK; we've got brilliant last-minute ideas for the week ahead

Great days out don't need to be expensive – we've got ideas for free things to do and what to see between Saturday 23 November and Friday 29 November.

1. Guildhall Craft Fair

22-24 November, Guildhall, Derry-Londonderry

Now in its 25th year, the Derry-Londonderry Guildhall Craft Fair presents the ideal opportunity to fill up your family and friends' stockings with bespoke gifts. Designers and makers from across Ireland come to the Guildhall to present their handmade creations.

Large crowds are always expected due to the fair coinciding with the Christmas lights switch on the Saturday, so head down yourself, do a bit of shopping, enjoy some live music and get ready for Christmas.

2. Edinburgh Comic Art Festival

Out of the Blur Drill Hall, Edinburgh, 24 November

As part of Book Week Scotland, the Edinburgh Comic Art Festival brings together some of the most well-known and up and coming names in indie comics, as well as new and second-hand books you can buy.

There will be 60 comic book authors, artists and publishers showing off their creations who are available to chat, as well as workshops for both kids and adults if you want to test your story writing and illustration skills. Whatever type of graphic novel you’re into pop along and see if you can find a new story or two to get into.

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3. Illuminate

Royal William Yard, Plymouth, 28 November-1 December

Light-based festival Illuminate Plymouth is back to light up the historic Royal William Yard each evening between 28 November and 1 December. There are a range of displays, from illuminated buildings to bespoke installations from internationally renowned artists, as well as interactive exhibitions that all ages will love.

With new areas to explore around the Barbican waterfront, locals and visitors can get an evening's worth of visual entertainment. This year's festivities are special as they mark the official start of Plymouth's Mayflower 400 commemorative year, which celebrates four centuries since the famous ship left the harbour for what would become the USA.

4. Christmas by the River

London Bridge City, 26 November onwards

Another festive treat in the capital, Christmas by the River sees 70 wooden cabins lining the Thames with all manner of seasonal food and gifts to get your Christmas shopping underway. There's also a host of crafty workshops where you can make a wreath or make a Christmas jumper.

Once you're finished you can enjoy some views of the London skyline and music while you head to the ski-themed bar for a well-earned drink.

5. St John’s Elfie Station

St John's Shopping Centre, Liverpool, 24 November-23 December

Take a break from Christmas shopping and have some fun at St John’s Elfie Station. Meet Santa's elves and learn what it takes to be one, with some fun and games, as well as the opportunity to make some crafts that you can take home afterwards, including baubles you can hang on your tree.

You can also take an Elfie selfie, by choosing yourself a funny costume and striking a pose ready for the elves to snap.

Images © Getty

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