Your guide to feeling Christmassy in Birmingham

Your tree is up, the high streets are full of crazed shoppers, and you can’t move for cinnamon spiced drinks and snacks – Christmas is well and truly in the air, but what if you’re not feeling quite in the spirit of it all yet? Well, fear not, because we have rounded up the very best sights, sounds and seasonal treats that are sure to have you singing Mariah in your Christmas Jumper in no time.

So get cosy, get your calendar out and start planning – here’s our guide to getting festive in Birmingham!

See & Do

You’d have done well to have missed the city’s popular Frankfurt Christmas Market, back this year and bringing some festive cheer back to the city centre in the run up to Christmas, with stalls selling a tempting array of food and drink, traditional toys, ornaments and gifts, all accompanied by the sound of traditional carols and German songs. The perfect place to browse, get an new bauble for the tree and even tick a few people off the Christmas shopping list.

The big wheel and ice rink are also back in Centenary Square and will run up until 9 January 2022, between 10am and 10pm, except on Christmas Day. There’s nothing more Christmassy than wrapping up warm and gliding over the ice – and it’s the perfect way to break up a shopping trip in the city.

Over in Cathedral Square you will find a mixture of craft, gift and food and drink stalls. The market is a great place to support local businesses, producers and craftspeople as they showcase their goods in the run-up to Christmas. Birmingham Mail named it the best Christmas Market in the city,  but it’s only on until Sunday 19th so be quick or you’ll miss it!

The City Social transforms Suffolk St Queensway underpass, near the Mailbox, into an epicurean Christmas hang-out dedicated to food, drink and live music until 18 December.. Experience local independent traders, bars and events, from live music to film screenings, all undercover in a unique space.

If you’re looking for a festive show you’ll be spoilt for choice. Classic panto Goldilocks and the Three Bears starring Jason Donovan is at the Birmingham Hippodrome, or if panto isn’t your thing glitz up your Christmas with a musical – Jersey Boys at The Alexandra is our top pick. There’s a whole host of festive performances at Symphony Hall including Love Actually in Concert!

Eat & Drink

Of course, the German market brings with it the festive aroma of hot gluhwein, schnitzel and spicy sausage, which will fill New Street and Victoria Square for seven weeks. It’s too tempting to resist! We love the chocolatey crepes and, when it’s not too cold, a crisp German pilsner goes down a treat.

If you’re all about supporting local then you’ll want to head over to Cathedral Square, where some of the district’s finest food and drink venues will be taking up residency in the Christmas chalets, including, Hookways, Java Roastery and Purecraft Bar & Kitchen. They will be joined by other vendors from across the city and region including, Loki Wine, Pineapple Club, Dirty Dogs and Fries, Donut Shack, Mumbai Grill and Fruit Dippers.

Why not pay a visit to the newest spot in town, Albert’s Schloss in Chamberlain Square, and get cosy in the décor influenced by Alpine Europe; expect roaring fires, raucous performances, tankards of Europe’s finest bier, and warming food. From pretzels and currywurst to schnitzel and roasted pork knuckle, this is proper filling fare best washed down with a cold beer. Can’t decide on what to drink? Try their 3 or 6 beer flights for the best of all worlds.

If all the Christmas dinners have got you craving something a little different by the time the big day comes, we’ve got you covered. Raja Monkey is well known for serving up mouth-wateringly good Indian food, but this year they will be opening their doors on Christmas Day for the first time. Their Christmas Day Feast Menu really is something to behold – from masala braised Iberico lamb shanks to tandoori malai turkey, expect all your usual Christmas favourites with a flavourful Indian twist. There’s even sprouts on the menu! If you can’t decide what to order then you’re in luck – this special banquet is served to share, making mealtime a social occasion for your and your loved ones.

Finally, if you want to raise a glass to the festive season in style, we can’t look past The Ivy on Temple Row and their crafted Christmas cocktails guaranteed to make sure the Christmas spirit is in full flow. From a Red Robin – mixing Burbon with lemon, pomegranate, honey and apple cider – to their special recipe Mulled Wine, their cocktails, mocktails and winter warmers sound good, and taste even better.

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