You can tell from the special music and lights filling the streets of Madrid that this week carries the city into an even more festive atmosphere. We are in the last weekend of 2010 and 2011 is just around the corner! If you’re staying in Madrid this weekend, believe it or not, there are plenty of activities happening in the city that will ring the fun into the new year.
On Friday, the San Silvestre Vallecana race will take place, which is a 10km dash starting on Calle Concha Espina (Metro: Santiago Bernabéu) leading through to the Vallecas district. This race has been a tradition since 1964, and has one of the highest participation rates in the world. If you aren’t signed up, stop by to watch this race in connection with Nike for the run against AIDS in Africa. The amateur race starts at 17: 30 p.m. and the international competition starts at 20:00 p.m. For more information click here
If you still want to buy some Christmas related items, the Madrid Christmas Market is still open until the last day of December. This market, which you can find in Plaza Mayor boasts more than 100 stalls selling ornate statues, nativity scenes, and more. If you haven’t done so already, stop by the market and pick up a little something that strikes your fancy.
The research group Habitar is holding Re-inhabit in nine episodes, an exhibition on housing in Spain. It will be open until this Friday in the Arquería de los Nuevos Ministerios Exhibition Hall. This exhibition, which explores the course of a living space over a year, shows us new ways housing can be used in Spain. The point of the exhibition is to demonstrate ways we can take advantage of old space instead of unnecessarily building new homes, when we can “re-inhabit” the old ones. The exhibition is free, so check it out! Address: Paseo de la Castellana, 67 Metro: Nuevos Ministerios Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 14:00 p.m./18:00 p.m. – 21:00 p.m. Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 14:00 p.m.
If you want to see the latest collection of Madrid artist Pablo Palazuelo over the years you can go see his exhibition, El Palazuelo Ultimo in the Cayón Gallery. This exhibit includes 50 of his small to medium unpublished drawings. Address: C/ Orfila 10 Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 14:00 p.m./17:00 a.m.-20:30 p.m.
Another exhibition, Feminism: A look at femenist vanguards, will also be shown in the Reina Sofia Museum until the 31st. This exhibit shows us women throughout history, basing its theme on the marginalization of women and their representation and roles in art and society. The entrance is 3 euros but is free after 19:00 p.m. Address: C/ Santa Isabel 52, Hours: 10:00 – 21:00
Until the 2nd of January, Compañia El Efecto Galatea will host Ciudad Deseo, which is an activity for children. In this activity, the participants can explore building a city of wishes through cardboard houses, plastic tubes, and an air pump. There will be six performances per day: Mornings: 11, 12 and 13 h. Evenings: 17, 18 and 19 h. Head down to La Plaza de Colon in the Jardines de Descubrimiento for this free activity!
The Dutch company Odd Enijers will be holding the exposition Wood of Steel in the Ciudad de los Niños this weekend. At this expo, participants will be able to compose their own music through different bell chimes installed at the site. So, if you’re interested in this unique activity, head down to Plaza de Colón until the 2nd of January to try it out. Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 14:00 p.m./ 17:00 p.m. – 20:00 p.m.
On the same site, you can also wander into El Laberinto, which is hosted by the Compañía Itineránia. Experience a transparent maze with doors that allow you to pass with each completed puzzle. You can check out this activity until the 2nd of January. Hours: December 23 evening only, 24 and December 31 morning only Morning: 11:00 a.m. – 14:00 p.m. Afternoon: 17:00 p.m. – 20:00 p.m.
If you’re in the mood for some theatre this weekend, Jana Producciones is showing Blancanieves Boulevard or Snow White Boulevard in Teatro de Madrid. This 20’s style reinterpretation of the classic fairy tale Snow White won Best Musical at the 2010 National Musical Theatre Awards. This show, under the direction of Javier Muñoz, features 17 original songs, 25 actors who play more than 120 characters, stunts, special effects and choreography to the modern rhythms of Charleston, swing, rock, and funky. Cost: 12 – 24 euros Address: Avenida de la Ilustración, La Vaguada.
Teatro de La Abadía is also showing el Auto de los Reyes Magos or the Mystery of the Magic Kings. This unique musical and theatrical performance directed by Ana Zamora is based on the first theatrical text in Spanish literature about the three kings and their sighting of the bright star that led them to baby Jesus. The interpretation plays up traditional symbols that may have been forgotten and reacquaints us with this familiar story during the holiday season. Cost: from 15 – 20 euros. For tickets click here. TLF 914 481 181 Address: C/ Fernández de los Ríos 42
There are many festivities going on this weekend in Madrid. On New Year’s Eve, the crowds like to go to Puerta del Sol to watch the fireworks at midnight – and don’t forget to ring in the new year by partaking in the Spanish tradition of eating a grape per each bell chime leading into 2011! Enjoy the celebrations this weekend and stay warm!
By Anna Soria