THERE’S plenty to do during the week ahead, and lots of chances to get ready for Christmas whether buying, making or sampling potential presents.

  • DON’T forget it’s Dorchester’s big lights switch-on on Thursday.

The Dorchester Christmas Cracker will feature the Anonymous Travelling Market and the much-anticipated arrival of Santa.

The action takes place in the town centre from 3pm to 9pm, with the lights being switched on at 6.30pm.

Free parking is available in the town centre’s car parks from 5pm.

  • HEAR the stirring sound of the Casterbridge Male Voice Choir tonight from 7.30pm at St Edmund’s Church in Weymouth.

They will be performing at the church as part of its annual Christmas concert.

Tickets are £10 to include a glass of wine and a festive mince pie, and are available on the door.

  • RECLAIM the Night by taking part in a march and charity auction in Dorchester tomorrow.

It costs £2.50 on the door of the Dorchester Corn Exchange and includes a drumming workshop, an auction in aid of the children at the West Dorset Women’s Refuge and a light supper. See for more information.

  • GET to grips with grapes tonight at a wine tasting evening at Palmers Wine Store in Bridport.

Tonight’s class is a Burgundy Master Class. The tutored tasting is £13.50 a head.

Call 01308 427500 to book.

  • A SEMINAL play on the First World War will be performed at Bridport Arts Centre tonight and tomorrow.

Oh! What A Lovely War, written by Joan Littlewood, will be performed by Encore at 7pm both days.

  • GET crafty whatever your age at the Wild Weymouth Discovery Centre at RSPB Weymouth today, tomorrow and Sunday.

‘Christmas Crafts for Grown-ups’ takes place from 11am to 1pm today while ‘Christmas Crafts for Children’ is at the same venue from 11am to 3pm tomorrow and Sunday.

Natural materials will be used to make something a little bit different for the Christmas tree or home.

The sessions are free and booking is required for the grown-up sessions. Call 01305 778313.

  • SAMPLE a wide selection of delicious produce from the county at the Dorset Food and Drink Christmas Fair at Athelhampton House and Gardens tomorrow from 10am to 4pm.

Entry is £2.50 per adult and attendants will receive a free goody bag.

A free park and ride is available hourly from Dorchester County Hall from 10am.

  • SPOT Santa at the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust’s fourth annual Santa Run starting from the Joseph Weld Hospice in Dorchester on Sunday from 11am.

Anyone can get involved in the two-mile fun run. Entry is £10 for those aged 10 and over to include a five piece Santa suit.

Register online at

There will also be a Traditional Christmas Market at the Joseph Weld Hospice from 10am to 3pm on Sunday.

  • CELEBRATE Christmas the Victorian way at the Nothe Fort in Weymouth from 11am to 4.30pm on Sunday.

There will be a Santa’s Grotto, children’s crafts, seasonal food and craft stalls, treasure hunt, face painting.

Entry is £2 for all and under fives go free.

  • CAROLS will be sung at St Mary’s Church, Puddletown, on Sunday.

Exploring West Gallery carols from the Puddletown and Pulham manuscripts, and led by Tim Laycock and Phil Humphries, the musicians and choir will also present two newly composed carols inspired by the South Dorset Ridgeway in this true celebration of the Christmas spirit.

The concert begins at 3.30pm and tickets cost £5. Call 01305 848510 for more information.

  • DISCOVER more about the wildflowers of Purbeck at the Learning Centre at Durlston Castle, Swanage, on Sunday from 2.30pm.

Botanist Ted Pratt, author of ‘The Wildflowers of the Isle of Purbeck’ will be giving an illustrated talk exploring the flowers of this very special area.

Entry is £3.