Isn’t Christmas a funny time of the year? With so much going on and only so many days in the month, it can be easy to get lost in a wilderness of commitments and social obligations. Whether it be work parties, catching up with family and friends, or cramming in the last-minute Xmas shop- before you know it it’s 2020, your wallet’s lost as many pounds as you’ve gained and it’s back to the regularly scheduled programming. So why not make this year that little bit more remarkable by breaking up the decadence with a festive excursion or two?
By this point an undeniable force. This Brummie Xmas tradition may be as loathed at is loved, but one thing is for sure: it’s a sight to behold. As New Street becomes crammed with vendors it is truly transformed- the city-centre being paved with bratwurst and weissbeer flowing as free as the queues are long. Whilst perhaps not an ideal family day-out post 6pm, it certainly drums up the Xmas spirit amongst all who brave the throng of merry shoppers to partake. Whether it be the raucous live music taking place in Victorian Square, the kitschy fair rides dotted around the market, or the endless stalls offering the most decadent seasonal selections of food and drink from across the globe, this market is rightly infamous and absolutely worth experiencing- even if just the once is enough!
What would Christmas be without a big long, blubbery cry? Let the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra help you get it out your system as they perform classics from It’s a Wonderful Life, The ‘Nutrcracker Suite’ and…Frozen. And as if that weren’t enough to get your tear ducts working overtime, there’ll be children’s choirs joining in the renditions too- just in case you needed a gentle push to let it all out.
If the relentless trappings of modern-day consumerism are eating at your will to live, why not take a trip to a time where simple songs were sung, families dined by candlelight, and there was no Amazon Prime to save your forgetful-self come Xmas eve? Chestnuts will be roasting, carol singers will be singing, and volunteers will be volunteering to remind you that this time of year wasn’t always about Black Friday deals and Brexit.
Even the most miserable misanthrope cannot deny the warm, comforting glow of a pub at Christmas. With its beautiful Victorian interior and incredible collection of craft beers and ciders, The Old Joint Stock is a perfect place to over-indulge this December. With its ‘Christmas by Candlelight’ events not needing pre-booking, one will have to turn up early to guarantee a space as it fills up to the brim each year without fail.
5. Christmas at the Castle– Warwick Castle / £15-£55
Already one of the Midland’s premier tourist attractions, this year Warwick Castle will be stepping its Christmas celebrations up a notch with the addition of an ice-rink! Glide, pirouette, and hit the deck all against the beautiful backdrop of the 12th century wonder. And for the more cautious amongst us, there’ll be plenty of food and drink available at the ever-present Christmas Market. Both the ice rink and food stalls will be open into the evening- perfect to round-off a day of historical tourism.