Haarlem happenings in December

December is here and the festive season is just around the corner! Things won’t be quite the same as usual – there is no annual Kerstmarkt* this year – though, there are still some festive (and non-festive) events happening, all the while keeping in line with the RIVM guidelines of course.

The calendar isn’t as busy as usual for this time of year (with no Kerstmarkt*), due to circumstances beyond our control, though we did find some events coming up this month (which, at the time of writing, still have tickets left). A few suggestions below and – where required – make sure to make reservations early to avoid disappointment in case they get uitverkocht! There are one or two events that kids can enjoy, with a few musical events on the agenda, and some happenings that might well get you in the Christmas spirit.



Janstraat 33

 event logoWhat: Concert Recital
When: Wednesday 2 December, 20:00

In confusing times, it is a general need to be able to reflect on personal and social issues. Listening to music takes you to a deeper layer and gives the opportunity to step out of the everyday and contemplate beautiful music. This contemplative concert is presented to you by cellist Jeroen den Herder and pianis Hua Hsuan Lee. Details


Kennemer Jeugd Orkest

orchestra promo shotWhat: Winter Christmas Concert (online)
When: Sunday 6 December, 15:00

Get into the Christmas spirit with the annual KJO winter Christmas concert, this year accessible to everyone via a livestream. You can enjoy a combination of atmospheric Christmas carols and well-known classical pieces such as the Marche Militaire by Schubert, Suite no 1 from Carmen-Romance-Les Toreadors by Bizet, and Hungarian Dance no.5 by Brahms. The livestream can be followed for free, a (small) donation afterwards is very welcome. Details


Tierney’s Irish Pub Haarlem

promo shotWhat: An Irish Night at Home (online)
When: Saturday 12 December, 18:00

Do you also miss the smell of delicious pub food, the taste of a pint of Guinness? Do you also long for some craic and traditional music? For one Saturday night only, you can enjoy takeaway food – Guinness beef stew – in your own home, with the musical session to accompany it starting at 18:00. Details


Spoorzone Zuidwest

kerst displayWhat: Make Your Own Kerststukjes (workshop)
When: Sunday 13 December (12:00 & 14:45)

Start feeling festive by making your own that includes a Christmas arrangement. Contact in advance to be sure of the materials that you might need to bring along (a container is necessary) and book yourself in for one of the two workshops (that each last 2 hours). The event is suitable for anyone over 8 years. Details



patronaat eventWhat: Blues Benefit Concert
When: Sunday 13 December (16:00 & 22:00)

The Haarlem blues band John the Relevator will play together with Johnny Laporte (Oscar Benton, Barrelhouse) in the main hall of Patronaat as part of the Stage 1.5 (following current guidelines). There are a number of shows on the day (one of which is already sold out) and for every concert, there are seats at ‘tables for two’ to which you can order drinks via a QR code. Details


Stadsschouwburg & Philharmonie Haarlem

Christmas jazz showWhat: The Legends ft. Michael Varekamp: Swingin’ Paris The Christmas Special
When: Wednesday 16 December (21:30)

The Legends, led by singer/trumpet player Michael Varekamp and with chansonnière Tess van der Zwet, take you to the romantic Parisian jazz cellars, where birds of paradise like Josephine Baker, Edith Piaff and Sydney Bechet and of course the Christmas hits of Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole is not missing. There are two performances, the first of which is already sold out, so don’t dally if you want tickets. Details


Toneelschuur & Filmschuur

festival logoWhat: 2turvenhoog Festival
When: 21 to 23 December

This festival returns at this festive time of year for the tenth time in Haarlem! Three days of theatre, dance, music and visual arts for the little ones (aged 0–6 years) and adults. This adventurous arts festival includes a collection of performances that challenge, surprise and are also a true experience for parents. Before and after the performances, you can also play to your heart’s content in the visual art installations that are set up in the foyers of the Philharmonie. Tickets are selling fast! Details

Do you have any festive happenings in our city to share? Please let us know in the comments!


*Rumours have it that there might be some sort of ‘online’ Kerstmarkt happening sometime during December but, as yet, this is unconfirmed; keep an eye the event’s Facebook page to keep updated on this!

Carmel McNamara