The Best Christmas Events in Your City
By Danielle Williams on December 7th, 2016
Christmas is time when many students will no doubt be packing up their dorm room and heading home for a few days of festive celebrations. If, however, you’re planning to stay in your student city for a little while longer (or even for the whole holiday), there’s a whole load of events taking place in our cities sure to keep you busy.
Take a look at these exciting Christmas events taking place in your city, guaranteed to maintain the Christmas spirit.
Cambridge’s North Pole Festival is where most of the action can be found this month, running till January 4th at Parker’s Piece, Parkside. Tickets are needed but are very reasonable, and will allow you access to the stunning 600m ice rink and the dozens of varied stalls, including traditional German sausage and Bratwurst!
Join in a bit of carol singing at St Mary’s Church from 6:30pm on December 18th, complete with candles and gentle music – what could be more Christmassy? Only one thing, and that’s a showing of ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Mumford Theatre, Anglia Ruskin University at 7:30pm on December 13th. (Students can enjoy a concession price of £8.50).
Students of Edinburgh won’t be able to escape the Christmas atmosphere, starting with ice skating at St Andrew’s Square, which is just £5 entry including skate hire. Then there’s the Ice Wall at East Prince’s St Gardens ‘Santa Land’, which will make you feel like an arctic explorer and add a shot of adrenaline to your festivities! (Admissions for this are on a first-come-first-served basis).
As always, Edinburgh’s Street of Light event is making a return, but with a new location this time on George Street. Till December 24th, passersby will be able to witness the 60,000 beautiful bulbs alongside synchronised music from choirs and local bands.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Market on West George St will be providing students and locals alike with warming drinks, food, music and merriment through its variety of market stalls (also till December 24th).
The Exeter Quayside Street Food Night Markets will be dominating much of everyone’s attention till December 23rd – a perfect place to enjoy produce from local independent producers and live music.
There’s also the Exeter Christmas market on Cathedral Green, running till December 18th. This market was awarded ‘Best Speciality Market 2014’ by the National Association of British Market Authorities, and certainly lives up to its name offering the best of what Britain, the South West and the rest of Europe have to offer.
Glasgow students can enjoy a thriving scene in the St Enoch Centre at the Glasgow Christmas market, running up to December 22nd. Stalls will be brimming with wines and beers from across the continent, as well as delicious hearty food to match.
Students can also enjoy a special festive ‘roast’ at Gordon St Coffee – try Miracle on Gordon St or the Krampus Roast for a festive cup o’ Joe that’s sure to put a kick into your Christmas prep. If you’re into your beers, meanwhile, be sure to pay a visit to Shilling Brewery who are doing a special selection of seasonal brown rye beers with ginger, blood orange and spices. £10 will get you a brewery tour and tasting session, and their pizzas are definitely worth a try too.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Leeds for Christmas, one thing that needs to be on your to-do list is a visit to the city’s latest popup ‘Friends of Ham’. Based in Grand Arcade, Friends of Ham is a shop by day where you can buy everything from organic wine to ham legs and festive hampers. At night, the place transforms into a bar, with regular events happening throughout the month, unique drinks and also cakes!
Elsewhere, Headrow House is transforming into a winter Beer Hall every Saturday, involving fire pits, choirs, pretzels, bratwurst beer and mulled wine. Leeds German Market is also worth a gander in Millennium Square, chanting a brand new look for 2016 and full of chalet stalls, indoor retreats, a carousel and various events.
As its students may already know, Liverpool’s Christmas Market is dominating the streets till December 22nd. Running along Lord St, Church St and Whitechapel, the market boasts 50 craft and food stalls from over 5 continents – sure to keep you busy till Christmas!
There’s also the Snowflake Trail, a winter festival of spectacular light and sound up until January 3rd. Explore the city’s streets to discover giant sculptural snowflakes decorated by 12 of the region’s most exciting visual artists. Simply follow the trail to see local landmarks transformed by lights, sounds and interactive illustrations.
Finally, don’t forget the Liverpool Ice Festival at Pier Head. Open till 10pm each night (11pm on weekends), the waterfront has been transformed into a magical winter wonderland involving an ice rink, ice slide and even an ice bar!
If you’re in London this holiday, then Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is probably already on your list of Christmas activities, full of fairground rides, food stalls and a magical lively atmosphere.
There are a ton of Christmas markets across London to get through; if you’re a Lyra resident your closest one is probably the Tate Modern, Leicester Square or the Southbank Centre where you can enjoy a wide variety of drinks, food stalls and independent produce. Why not try and make it to all three…?
For an immediate Christmassy vibe, your first stop in Newcastle should be NewcastleGateshead’s Winter Festival, which encompasses a number of events and activities across the city including ice skating and carol services.
Be sure to catch the ultimate festive film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ at the Tyneside Cinema, showing almost every day till December 28th. Whether you go with friends or a special someone, it’s the perfect holiday activity to warm you from the inside. To make it really special, why not ask for a mulled wine and mince pie ticket and enjoy some comforting treats throughout?
Finally, if you’re around for New Year’s, then the NYE Winter Carnival on December 31st will pack some punch to your New Year’s celebrations. Follow the parade from 5:15pm along Monument St and Northumberland St, where puppets, street bands and fantastical creaturws from around the world will be led by a mysterious torch bearer. End the night in style at the final destination the Civic Centre, where DJs, life music and awesome drinks deals will be awaiting you.