Birmingham really comes alive at Christmas time. While in years gone by everything was centred on the shopping, these days Santa’s arrival heralds plenty more than just the ringing of cash registers. Here are some of the things you can get up to in Birmingham and the surrounding area this Christmas. . .
Lots of museums across the city and beyond are putting on festive events over the coming weeks. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has the free Nativity Trail, which will guide visitors through the museum, showing off some of the gallery’s instalments with a link to Christmas. The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter will also be putting a festive spin on their exhibits with costumed tours and activities for kids.
Just outside Birmingham, the Black Country Living Museum will be transformed into a Victorian era winter wonderland, offering visitors the chance to sample traditional Christmas food, hunt for Santa, and between the 19th-23rd of December, the opportunity to see the Living Museum lit up in all it’s glory with it’s Victorian Christmas Evenings.
Out of the ordinary
Looking for something slightly different from the normal Christmas activities? You could choose to check out the Sea Life Centre. Under water Christmas trees anybody? They also have a new penguin enclosure, perfect for capturing that chilly feel! Another Birmingham tourist institution, Cadbury World, is similarly throwing some festive touches into its already awesome experience, with the new for 2014 show Snow White and the Chuckle Beans running every weekend before Christmas.
Further afield, Drayton Manor’s Thomas Land is the only place where it is guaranteed to snow at least 3 times a day! Join Thomas the Tank Engine, the Fat Controller and friends for shows, firework displays, and the chance to meet Santa himself!
Not everybody wants to do Christmasy things over the festive period, but still want to go out to catch a show with friends. Luckily, the Alexandra Theatre will play host to Jersey Boys, the smash hit musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Running from December 9th through to January 4th, it offers a sometimes welcome escape from the Christmas events.
However, those more than happy to indulge in some more festive cheer will find something for them at Symphony Hall. On December 5th and 6th, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s brass section will be playing some of the all time greatest Christmas songs in their Christmas Crackers shows. This will be followed up by the Festive Favourites show, hosted by Outnumbered star Hugh Dennis, a combination of festive sing-a-longs and comedy.
Worried about all the food you are about to consume over the month of December? There is a way to keep fit and raise money for charity! On Saturday the 6th, the Acorn’s Children’s Hospice Santa Run will be taking place in Brindleyplace. Runners can participate in the titular 5k run, or the 2k Santa Stroll, all in the name of raising money for the hospice.
And when you have done all the running, show watching and sightseeing, then maybe a little bit of shopping won’t hurt! Which, of course, brings us to the main event - the German Christmas Market. Having been a staple of the city centre for over 10 years now, the expansive market takes over Birmingham City Centre from mid November right up to December 22nd. It offers everything from authentic German food to arts and crafts, with a supplementary “international” market, with food from around the world. Running concurrently to the market is the returning Ice Rink and Ferris Wheel, located in Centenary Square.
So it’s safe to say you won’t be hard pressed to find things to do this Christmas in Birmingham!