10 Fun-Filled family things to do this November in Nottingham and Derby


We LOVE autumn. We LOVE the beautiful, vibrant colours, the stunning sunrises and the misty mornings. We also LOVE how much there is to do in and around Nottingham this autumn. Here is our breakdown of just some of the fun filled activities going on for all the family.

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Pop on down to Nottingham's Hoodwinked trail to find all the quirky Robin Hood statues

1. Hoodwinked 2018

Saturday 7th July - Sunday 30th September, Various places across Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

September will be the last chance to make the most of these amazing Hoodwinked statues which you may have found around Nottingham this summer. Thirty three quirky Robin Hood statues have taken pride of place across the city creating a fun filled trail to follow.

"Hoodwinked sees Robin trying to outwit the Sheriff again.  Robin Hood is everywhere . . . . . and apparently nowhere.  The Robin Hoods are all in plain sight but masquerading in coats of many colours.  Will the Sheriff spot him . . . . . or will he be Hoodwinked in this citywide game of hide and seek?"

A map of all the locations can be found here. Can you find them all?


2. Holme Pierrepont Open

Saturday 1st September - Sunday 2nd September, Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, also known as the National Water Sports Centre, will play host to some high speed action this September! With the Sprint and Paracanoe National Championships taking place on the regatta lake, the Freestyle European Open and the Wild Water Racing National Championships on the white water course and the Polo British Open on the polo pitches next to the wakeboard park this is sure to be a great day out for all the family!


3. Robin Hood Festival

Monday 27th August - Sunday 2nd September, 11am - 4pm, Sherwood Forest Country Park, Nottinghamshire

Enjoy the last couple of days of the Roin Hood festival at Sherwood Forest Country Park. Visit the home of Robin Hood for the 34th annual festival. Throughout the festival there will be archery, nature connections, pony rides, along with music, magic, stalls, performers. On the Saturday of the finale weekend, there will be 'No Strings Puppet Theatre' keeping the whole family entertained, storyteller Alan a Dale, not to mention skirmishing between Legends of Robin Hood, whilst Sunday will bring the fun-filled Festival Finale!

The festival is free to enter however there is a £5 fee for parking.


4. A Knight's Trail

Monday 25th June - Sunday 9th September, Rufford Abbey Country Park, Nottinghamshire

There's just one more week of Rufford Abbey's themed walk, so take a walk around their grounds to find their knight's shields and the clues to gain a prize! Trail sheets cost £1 and are available from Rufford Abbey's Visitor Centre. 


5. The Park in the Dark

SATURDAY 1st and THURSDAY 6th September, 7-9pm,  Elvaston Castle Country Park, Derby, Derbyshire

Elvaston Castle Country Park opens it's doors to allow you to come and meet the nighttime residents, learn about he hedgehogs, birds and bats on their family friendly tour of the grounds. You'll get acquainted with hedgehogs, learning how to help them, spot the awesome owls and finally, as night falls head into the park with bat detectors to see how many different species you can see (and hear!)

During the course of this evening you'll walk around 2 miles and will need to bring a torch.

Costs: Adults £6, Children £4 - make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment!


6. Nottingham Cocktail Week

Monday 3rd to Monday 10th September, Various Venues, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Got a day or evening away from the kids? Why not celebrate with cocktails!! Fifty six bars across Nottingham are showcasing brand new and exclusive cocktails throughout the whole week based on one of three categories:

- Collaboration Cocktails with Nottingham based companies - the bars have been teaming up with all kinds of local places to give you something truly unique for Cocktail Week

- Nottingham Personalities - think Robin Hood reinvented

- Twist On A Classic - giving you an extra edge on all the old time favourites

There's tonnes more information and a digital menu available here.


7. The Tour of Britain

Saturday 8th September, Various locations throughout Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

The Tour of Britain, the UK's answer to the Tour de France, is the UK's biggest free to attend sporting event and this year the Nottingham leg will be starting on 8th September in West Bridgford, before racing through Nottinghamshire and finishing the stage in Mansfield. To find how close the route will get to your house and find the best place to spectate visit Nottinghamshire CC website. 


8. American Civil War Society reinactments

Saturday 8 September - Sunday 9 September 2018, 10am - 4pm, Kelham Hall, Kelham, Newark, Nottinghamshire

The American Civil War society presents a full artillery battle and infantry weekend at Kelham Hall, Nottinghamshire. There will be a range of kids activities, muskets, cavalry, muskets, pyrotechnics and both Confederate and Union camps.


Autumn is the perfect time for crafts with all these amazing natural ingredients to make the most of!

9. Family Autumn Crafts

Monday 10 September - Monday 22 October 2018, 4pm - 5:30pm, Beeston Library, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Autumn will be in full swing at Beeston library with these great sessions involving a range of autumn arts and crafts. It's a great place to keep those little ones (aged 5+) busy and creating some amazing autumnal crafts which you can take home - these activities are free.


10. Derbyshire Woodland Festival:

Saturday 22nd and sunday 23rd September 2018, Elvaston Castle Country Park, Derby, Derbyshire

Derbyshire Woodland Festival is a great day out for all the family with lots of family activities from crafts including wood carvings, willow weaving and sculptures to new attractions such as the Vikings of Middle England living history encampment, with re-enactments, crafts and the Arbor (the 18ft tall part-tree, part-man!). 

Special event parking charges apply all weekend:

  • £10 per car all day

  • £5 per motorcycle all day

  • £15 weekend ticket available

For more information and a discount voucher visit the Derbyshire CC website


11. Autumn Footprints Festival

Saturday 15th - Sunday 30th September 2018, various venues across Derbyshire

The Autumn Footprints Festival takes place across the stunning Derbyshire countryside. There's a total of 42 free guided walks split across the 16 days of the festival with a full range of walks from novice walkers all the way to experienced walkers. The walks take place in an area known for it's natural beautfy and superb scenery, they are carefully designed to take in fabulous views, rolling hills, industrial heritage and attractive towns and villages. These walks are led by knowledgeable local volunteers and staff keen to show off their favourite walks. All walks are free of charge, however there may ba a parking charge in some locations. For more information visit their website.


Want to learn more about what's going on this autumn in Nottingham, get free discounts and learn more about our family photography sessions? Sign up to our mailing list below to learn more.

We're also going to be releasing some sessions shortly for our VIP autumn mailing list.


October is festival month in Nottingham - there's so much going on and so many ways to celebrate autumn! So get out and enjoy all the colours of autumn!


Nottingham's Goose fair always provides amazing spectacles - we LOVE the colours and the lights!

Nottingham's Goose fair always provides amazing spectacles - we LOVE the colours and the lights!

12. Nottingham Goose fair

Wednesday 3rd - Sunday 7th October 2018, Forest Recreation Grounds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

We LOVE the Goose Fair. What's not to love? 500 attractions, from white knuckle rides through to children's old time favourite and then of course there's the food - candy floss, burgers, ice cream. Did you know the Goose Fair dates back more than 700 years?!

And yes, Dave's one of those few guys you see walking around with a tripod trying to take pictures of the rides!



13. Maxey's P..P..Pick up a Pumpkin Festival

Saturday 6th - Tuesday 31st OCTOBER 2018, Maxey's Farm, Kirklington, Nottinghamshire

Maxey's is going one step further and putting on a full festival celebrating all things pumpkin! In it's 6th year, the festival has a range of activities for all the family. From the 'Troll under the bridge' and the 'Spooky Woodland walk' through the local woods (beware of the Wicked Witch!) to the Bouncy Pumpkin Castle and the delicious homemade burgers cooking on the BBQ this festival has it all! For more information visit their website.


14. Mayhem Film Festival

Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th October 2018, Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Looking for something a little different? Broadway Cinema, Nottingham's Mayhem Festival is into it's 14th year and will once again contain premieres, previews, special guests and midnight screenings. They will be showing the best in horror, sci-fi and cult cinema, a range of feature films, short films and special events.

This year, Mayhem Festival will feautre Shinsuke Sato’s Inuyashiki, Anna and the Apocalypse and The Field Guide to Evil plus many more. More information can be found from their website.

15. Pumpkin Picking

Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 October  10am – 3pm, Saturday 20  – Wednesday 31 October – Daily, 10am – 3pm Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire 

Doddington Hall in Lincolnshire will once again open it's pumpkin patch for you to pick your own. Entry is free you only pay for what you pick - prices range from £2 to £8, with Munchkin pumpkins at £1 and squashes, only available from the farm shop, priced at £2.50 for large or £1.50 for small. There are recipe ideas available in the Farm shop and don't forget your wellies!


16. Twinlakes Lil park of Horrors

13th October - 4th November 2018, Twinlakes, Leicestershire

As well as the usual fun at Twinlakes, they also have a huge range of Halloween fun on offer - there will be over 20,000 pumpkins to be carved, wicked Halloween workshops,  children's crafts and even a broomstick flying masterclass! There will be creepy critters, Marty the friendly Monster and find the ghosts and ghouls on the Halloween trail.


Autumn is the perfect time to go foraging in Nottingham but you've got to be sure you know what you're doing.

17. Wild food forage

Sunday 14th October 12 am - 12:30pm, Shipley Country Park, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Have you ever been strolling through the woods and wondered what of it you could eat? Well a walk around Shipley Country Park in search of useful trees, plants and fungi could be for you. This walk will concentrate on exploring seasonal wild food, medicine and craft materials in the area. It will be lead by local experts and will also look into other bushcraft basics such as fire lighting. The walk will cover approximately 2-3 miles, meet in Mapperley Car Park and the tour will cost £5 per person.


18. Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival,
Wednesday 17th - Saturday 20th October 2018, Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Due to major redevelopments at Nottingham Castle, the Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival will be moving home for the next three years and will be setting up shop at the Motorpoint Arena. The festival will still feature 1000 real ales and over 200 ciders, there will of course be lots of food on offer as well plus a large selection of entertainment spread across locations both inside the main arena and backstage areas as well.

This is a great way to let the hair down if you've got a kid free evening or weekend.

Admission prices:

Wednesday evening - £10.80
Thursday - £16.20
Friday & Saturday - £21.60
Saturday evening - £10.80


19.  Hockley Hustle music festival

Sunday 28th October 2018, Various venues across Hockley, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Hockley Hustle combines street food, art and of course fantastic music! On top of all this they also raise a lot of money for local charities. With 300 acts performing across 30 venues throughout Nottingham's Creative Quarter, if you're a fan of music, you're going to love it!

Here's a fantastic little video showing off the highlights of the 2017 Hockley Hustle.


20. The Original Nottingham Ghost Walk

Every Saturday, 7pm, Meet at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham

The Original Nottingham Ghost Walk, running weekly on a Saturday evening, are a alternative way of exploring the city at night. Not only will you explore the Castle Quarter but you will also be regaled with story of ghosts and ghouls. On top of these weekly ghost walks they also run Halloween specials, on Saturday 27th October and Halloween night, Wednesday 31st October, with walks running at 6.30pm, 7.00pm & 7.30pm.


21. Halloween Spooktacular!

27th October 2018 to 4th November 2018 - 10am - 5pm (and every weekend in October), Tropical Butterfly House, Sheffield

Whilst the Tropical Butterfly House is slightly further afield, it's a great way to encounter the exotic and the scary! There will be loads of exciting activities; the Witch's Cottage, the Haunted House, pumpkin carving and a ghoulish tractor trailer ride through the Freaky Forest - with ghosts and monsters! Don't forget there's also a daily children's fancy dress competition and unforgettable animal encounters.


22. Family Halloween Nights at Conkers

Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th, Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st October 2017, Conkers, Derbyshire

Are you (or perhaps, your kids) brave enough Conkers' Annual Ghostly encounter at the Waterside Centre? Are you ready to follow into the footsteps of the haunted woods - with all its ghostly ghouls, witches and trolls? Are you excited for the “Ugly Bugs Disco” and the fancy dress competition with creepy prizes for the winners (Ages 0-3, 4-6, 7-10, 10 +, Adults)?

If so, then pop along to Conkers this Halloween.


23. Elvaston's Pumpkin Party!

Wednesday 31st October, 10.30am - 3pm, Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire

Head to the courtyards of Elvaston Castle, which will be transformed into a Pumpkin Parlour to carve your pumpkin before heading on to pick up a Halloween trail sheet to explore the gruesome grounds of Elvaston Castle- watch out for scary surprises and don't forget your spooky fancy dress! Costs £2 per trail sheet and charges will apply for the Pumpkin Parlour and other activities.


Want to learn more about what's going on this autumn in Nottingham, get free discounts and learn more about our family photography sessions? Sign up to our mailing list below to learn more.

We're also going to be releasing some sessions shortly for our VIP autumn mailing list.



November means fireworks and lots of them! It's also getting towards Christmas market season - the festive season is nearly upon us.


24. Bonfire and Fireworks at Chatsworth House

Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd November, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Wrap up warm and enjoy the live music, performers, dancing and circus performances as well as the traditional bonfire and dazzling fireworks displays. Chatsworth certainly knows how to put on a show! You can also keep warm with delicious food from hog roasts to jacket potatoes, from churros to sweet treats and don't forget a glass of mulled wine or cirder?


27. Christmas Showcase

Friday 2nd November to 24th December 2018, Focus gallery, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Looking to indulge in some Christmas artwork? Focus gallery presents a mix of artwork from local and national artists. It's also an excellent chance to pick up a unique Christmas gift.


25. Bonfire night at the Forest

Monday 5 November 2018, Forest Recreation Ground, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

When it comes to fireworks in Nottingham, the Forest Rec is the place to be! It's the largest and most central fireworks in Nottingham. The Forest Recreation Grounds will be packed with fairground rides, delicious warming treats and of course the roaring bonfire and stunning fireworks. Get there early to make ensure you get a good spot!


28. The Sky's the Limit

Saturday 17th and Friday 30th November, 7pm-9pm, Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire

You will be amazed by the night sky at Elvaston. Learn about the planets in our Solar System, the stars, constellations and see what you can spot through high-powered telescopes. You might even be lucky enough to see the spectacular Leonids Meteor Showever on 17th November (weather permitting of course!) Hot drinks will be available whilst you gaze at the stars.


29. The Matthew Walker 10k Pudding Run 

Sunday 18th November, 10am, Shipley Country Park, Derbyshire

The Matthew Walker 10k Pudding Run is into it's 32nd year and it's set to be it's biggest yet! Last year saw 932 finishers and this year numbers as up to 1,200. All finishers will receive a Matthew Walker Christmas pudding and technical t-shirt. This event is organised by Heanor Running Club and further information and registration information can be found on their website.

We love Christmas, here's one of our favourite Christmas shots from Salisbury Cathedral in our hometown

We love Christmas, here's one of our favourite Christmas shots from Salisbury Cathedral in our hometown


26. Welbeck Winter Weekend

Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th November 2018, 10am - 5pm, The Welbeck Estate, Nottinghamshire

The annual Christmas market returns, over the weekend of 23rd to 25th November, to celebrate all things hand-made. There will be more than 100 artisan creators showcasing their wares, with a range of handmade arts and food from across the region. On top of this there will be 15 artists' studios to explore. Entry and parking are both free.


30. Christmas at Chatsworth

Saturday 10th November - Sunday 6th January, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Chatsworth knows how to get you into the Christmas spirit with Christmas displays, markets and workshops on all things Christmasy. More details on this will be released nearer the time. In the past, they have also put on fantastic performances including The Nutcracker, Oh Dickens! and Christmas with Mr Toad. Find out more when it's release here.





P. S. Have you been putting off getting a family portrait or updated photographs of your children? Autumn is now firmly setting in and with it's vibrant colours and soft lighting, it is certainly the best time of year for photography.

We've just released our Autumn Family Photo shoots - there are twelve slots available during the half-term holidays and each one includes £100 of FREE printing credit to spend on your beautiful images afterwards.

Don't let another year go by and miss that special opportunity to get a beautiful family photograph (not to mention you'll have a Christmas gift for the grandparents in the bag!)