The time of year where coins are made of chocolate, wine is mulled and over-indulging is encouraged. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
That came around quick didn’t it? Felt like just the other day we were breaking our New Years resolutions. In this blog we hope to unveil things happening this Christmas you aren’t going to want to miss and give you enough reasons to encourage you to give the gift of local this year. From arts markets to festivals, hot chocolates to cheese boards, Christmas is all about sharing and we hope to share some special things to do this time of the year.
photo by Al Disley
Grab Yourself An Independent Liverpool Card
Got your key to the city yet? Packed with discounts and deals at over 100 of Liverpool’s best indies, we believe this might be the greatest stocking filler in the city. Biased aside, of course. We’re talking discounts at Rough Hand made, Free State Kitchen, Lucha Libre, Kazimier Gardens, Santa Maluco, Dafna’s Cheesecake Factory and lots more. We are running an extra special Christmas deal from 1st December ’til the 12th so grab it quick for a super cheap price here.
Help The Homeless
As temperatures plummet, we all can’t wait to get home at the end of a long day to turn up the heating, prepare a warming bowl of comfort food, snuggle up on the sofa with a hot chocolate or relax in a steamy, hot bath before cosying up in our comfortable beds for the night. But for some this couldn’t be further from the truth. Check out our list here on how to help the homeless this year.
Put On Some Extra Layers At The Baltic Market
Mulled wine, loved ones and over-eating – Baltic Market and Christmas go hand in hand. Throughout December there’s a whole host of things going on. There’s new extended opening hours, new food traders, new drinks, a new look and a partridge in a pear tree. From dog markets to gift markets and a lot in between – we’ll meet you by the Winter Warmers bar. More here.
Keep Yourself Warm With A Hot Gin And Tonic
Hot gin and tonic? What is this sorcery? The drink of Liverpool’s summer just got a festive touch at Baltic Market and now it can keep us warm all winter. It comes in a variety of flavours but we’re in love with the blackcurrant one. Go and satisfy your intrigue and thank us later.
Take Your Dog To A Dog Grotto
Has your little pupper been naughty or nice this year? If they’ve been very good boys and girls they can attend the dog Christmas grotto. Merseyside Dogs Home is hosting the dog friendly event on Sunday, December 10 from 11am to 4pm. Pets will be able to meet and have their photograph taken with Santa Paws himself and there will be stalls selling a range of doggy goods. More here.
Give A Dog A Home
They say a dog isn’t just for Christmas but this Christmas we’re campaigning to give any animal currently in a rescue centre a loving home. Not only is adopting an animal the best feeling in the world but it’d be lovely to give so many beautiful animals a new home. We’re doing a 12 days of Christmas campaign over on our Facebook page where we will share 12 dogs and cats stories in the hope someone out there opens their doors.
Christmas market at Bombed Out Church
The 9th of December will see Liverpool’s best back at the beautiful Bombed Out Church with a Christmas event full of Liverpool’s local creatives. Is there a better image than walking around the wonderful Bombed Out Church with a mulled wine in your hand having a mooch? Yeah, we can’t think of one either. The event takes place from 11am-5pm so early worms and late bloomers can all join in on the fun. More here.
SPEND AN AFTERNOON AT A WINTER ARTS MARKET
Merseyside’s largest arts and crafts market, the Winter Arts Market will return for a ninth year on Saturday 2nd December. Staged this year in the breathtaking surroundings of Liverpool Cathedral the market will see this incredible space, one of the most beautiful in the city, transformed into a bustling independent shopping experience that’s the perfect place to pick up unique Christmas gifts. All info here.
DEVOUR A CHEESEBOARD
Christmas and cheese are best mates. Is it OK to like cheese more than most people? We hope so. We’ve created a blog for the people who laugh at chocolate fudge cake being a serious option instead of a cheeseboard and for those who order a sharing cheeseboard knowing full well they won’t be doing any sharing. Read it here.
Go For Bottomless Christmas Dinner At The Baltic Social
Your favourite festive starters followed by a Christmas dinner that they’ll keep on bringing out until you’re on the very last notch of your belt holes. Top this all off with unlimited Prosecco or pints of lager and you’ve got yourself one hell of a night. Info here.
VISIT THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS
The markets are back this year at the rather idyllic and iconic setting of St George’s Hall courtyard. Go grab a crepe. They’re open from now until late December, all info here.
WATCH A CHRISTMAS FILM AT SEFTON PARK PALM HOUSE
Join Sefton Park Palm House under the stars of Liverpool to watch the stars of Hollywood. Christmas classics in a stunning setting – what more could you want? Sadly, all tickets have sold out but keep your eyes peeled here for any to come available.
GRAB YOURSELF A FESTIVE PIE FROM HOMEBAKED ANFIELD
You either likes pies or you’re wrong. It’s braided within the very Northern DNA to love them. With their flaky pastry, quality ingredients and gravy soaked centre. Homebaked is much more than a pie, it’s a co-op in Anfield proving the area is much more than a place where a ball is kicked around. Read their story here.
GIVE THE GIFT OF LOCAL
From the handmade to the heartfelt, one of the best things you can do in this life is give the gift of local and support local artists. Lord knows Liverpool is full of them. We recommend going to Rennie’s on Bold St or Arts Hub 47 on Lark Lane for a good mooch, there’s an uncountable amount of local brands. Resurrection and Weavers Door are a great place for clothes. Utility and Liverpool Gift Company are full of interesting and quirky products and there’s lots of local markets happening throughout December at Baltic Market. We’d also recommend Jazz Stan for Christmas cards.
Join A Dog Friendly Cinema Club
HUS love dogs; big ones, small ones, pedigrees, mongrels. They also love films so have decided to combine the two. Bring your beloved furry friend along to one of their Sunday afternoon pooch friendly films. A treat and human bag of popcorn on arrival and unlimited treats for your canine bestie and bottomless tea and filter coffee for the humans included in ticket price. Tickets here.
STOCK UP ON CHEESE
Liverpool loves cheese so much there’s an entire shop dedicated to it. The Liverpool Cheese Company holds a special place in ours and many other’s hearts in Liverpool. Why? Well, cheese. The boutique little shop lays snugly in Woolton Village and sees line out of the shop most day in December as plenty of patrons stock up on cheese. Join them.
DRINK HOT CHOCOLATE
In the words of the Welsh wizard and all-round sex bomb, Tom Jones “Baby it’s cold outside”. Now a quick Google or an NHS brochure may suggest you put an extra layer on, sit close to the radiator and all other reasonable suggestions but we have never been a fan of reasonable. Take this cookie monster hot chocolate rom Space Coffee for example, it’s everything you never knew you needed. You can even pay for it in your local Liverpool pounds. Download Colu here. Find out some of the best in the city here.
BUY THIS BAUBLE
No Christmas tree in Liverpool and beyond should be without this beautiful bauble designed by Freida Mckitrick. You can grab it at One Art Liverpool’s pop up shop at The Albert Dock, in the Liverpool Cathedral gift shop or at various arts markets. But be quick, they’re in high demand.
Get FESTIVE With This PUNK Afternoon TEA
Christmas is all about making great memories with the people you like and love. There is no better way to do this than having great food in a lovely cosy place like The Baltic Social. Their punk tea has become bucket list worthy and their festive version looks pretty epic. You had us at Prosecco.
SUPPORT LOCAL AT THE KAZIMIER FESTIVE Market
Live music, hot food, warm drinks, local brewers, doers, makers and bakers all congregating in our main venue space for a seasonal indoor market-party. The Invisible Wind Factory will host a seasonal Festive Arkade market on Sunday 10th December and The Kaz’s trademark mulling station will be there. More info here.
STAY MERRY WITH CHRISTMAS COCKTAILS
We mightn’t be speaking for everyone when we say this but a good part of Christmas is a good drink in even better company. From the Bailey’s to the whisky, there’s nothing quite like being merry. There are a few cocktails bar putting on some special drinks this year for those who love a tipple. Check out Berry & Rye, Furnival’s Well, 81LTD, Baltic Market, Dockleaf and more. Remember, always drink responsibly with irresponsible people.
GO TO Snö GARDEN At Camp And Furnace
Known for throwing parties to end all parties, Camp and Furnace are embracing Christmas big time with their Sno Garden. Chrismas films, themed karaoke, bad Santa’s grotto, silent disco and lots more. More here.
Unwrap Christmas At The Albert Dock
Peel away the Christmas wrapping, and discover the magic of Albert Dock Liverpool this festive season. Each evening throughout December, the Dock will present a magical light display – captivating visitors and whisking them away on a fantastical journey of storytelling and imagination. In collaboration with National Museums Liverpool, the iconic Grade I Listed Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building (originally built as the Dock Traffic Office) will become the canvas for an intricate light projection centred around the theme of “Unwrapping Christmas on Albert Dock”, incorporating origami and hand-crafted paper designs in the style of a beautiful pop-up book.
FILL YOUR CUPBOARDS AT FARMERS MARKETS
There’s nothing quite like an afternoon where you can potter between stalls and go from delicious produce to delicious produce. The freshest and best quality with a little bit of indulgence thrown in for good measure is the recipe for a good day. Whether you’re after meats, cheeses, fruit and veg or cakes, there’s a few farmers market days you need to add to your diary. Lark Lane farmers market is on the fourth Saturday of every month, Baltic Farmers Market is on the 3rd Sunday of the month.
BUY SOMETHING TIMELESS AT THE VINTAGE FAIR AT THE CATHEDRAL
Head downstairs on 2nd December to Liverpool Cathedral’s Concert Room and you’ll find a dedicated Vintage Fair. It’ll be a real treasure trove of antique jewellery, homewares, women’s and mens clothing and records for all the vinyl lovers out there. Open 10am-7pm there is plenty of time to browse and find perfect gifts and Christmas party outfits. With over 200 stalls from local artists, designers and makers, plus dedicated Vintage Fair and Food Fairs downstairs, along with a snowflake decoration workshop for the little ones there is something for everyone. More here.
Visit A Pop-up Cheese Restaurant
This winter, The Constellations garden is going into full biblical meltdown with a brand new graden pop-up called MÉLT. Expect grilled cheese sandwiches, fondue, raclette and more. Vegans – fear not as they are stocked up with lots of vegan cheese. More here.
Head To The Home Alone Christmas Bar
Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals. No, we’re not pulling your cracker – this is really about to happen. Inside Cains Brewery Village you’ll find vintage warehouses, food markets, crazy golf and more. But it’s about to get A LOT better. Say hello to the Home Alone Christmas Bar – the dream you never even realised that is about to come true on the 5th of December. Tickets.
Cheers At A Winter Gin Festival
There’s going to be a winter gin festival from 14th-17th December and you’re all invited. The magnificent setting for the gin festival will be Lutyens Crypt beneath the iconic Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Within the iconic setting you’ll find more than 100 gins, (including exclusive gins), new brands, cocktails and masterclasses from industry experts. Upon arrival you will be handed your very own Gin Festival Copa Balloon Glass and a brochure that tells you all about the gins at the festival. More.
Say Hello To Miracle On Seel Street – An Adult Grotto You Need To Visit
The perfect bar doesn’t exi…. Seel Street – home to the revellers of the night, an Irish bar in everyone’s hearts and the bloody Raz. Salt Dog Slims also call Seel Street home and have made themselves a household name over the last few years. A little lesser known (they like it that way) is 81LTD – all of the crafted cocktails and speakeasy feel of the floor below but a little more civilised. Not content there, the Graffiti Spirits lads and ladies are to open the floor above and they’re turning it into an Adult Grotto. Welcome to 83. More.
Check out 70 Million Reasons To Explore Local With Your Colu App
Go See The Snowman On The Big Screen at The Cathedral
Following on from their highly acclaimed sell-out tour last December, Carrot Productions are bringing two performances of The Snowman to Liverpool Cathedral. This big screen production of the iconic film The Snowman will delight your family at Christmas. Hear some of the UK’s top musicians perform Howard Blake’s beautiful soundtrack with a screening of two enchanting films accompanied by live orchestra. The performance includes the evocative ‘Walking in the Air’ sung by a local child soloist – in perfect synchronicity with the film shown on a giant screen. More.
Go Visit A Christmas Market At Calderstones Park
Following the success of September’s Courtyard Fair celebrating Heritage Open Days, The Reader and Independent Liverpool are once again joining forces for a special Christmas community event at Calderstones Park next month. The Reader’s Christmas Courtyard Fair in partnership with Independent Liverpool on Saturday 2 December will be a bumper day of festive fun for all the family. Expect amazing local sellers, carol singers, tours and more. More here.
Take on The Ultimate Christmas Burger
Brie, bacon, cranberry mayo, fried chicken and a stuffing ball served with herb-salted chips. What more do you want? Head to Pattersons immediately to try defeat it.
Or Head To Slim’s Porkchop Express For A Winter Feast
Slim’s Pork Chop Express, located on Seel Street in Liverpool has created not one but two exciting Christmas menus. For those who simply cannot wait, there will be an Xmas Feast served throughout the week from 3pm till late and from 12pm till late on weekends boasting a selection of meats, sides and deserts, including the likes of Brisket and Turkey, Maple Bacon Sprouts and Cranberry Gravy.
Granby 4 Streets Market
Granby went from a neglected wasteland to an award-winning area and to celebrate how far they’ve come they hold a street market on the first Saturday of every month where local crafters, food makers and more come together to celebrate in the streets they proudly call home. It has been described as a mix between a jumble sale and a street party. In other words – you’ve got to go. More here.
Spend a Day With Santa At The County Road Christmas Market
A Christmas Market is coming to the Tesco Metro on County Road in Walton on Friday 1st December. The event, called, ‘County Christmas’ will be hosted by local community groups, Love Walton C.I.C and Walton Youth Project, and will aim to spread some Christmas cheer, breed some positivity, and instil some community spirit into the local area. More here.
Treat Yourself To A Camp Fire Latte
Warm yourself up at Naked Lunch on Smithdown Road with this Xmas with a choice of Hazelnut, Caramel or Toffee MONIN syrup, Hot Chocolate, or a Double shot Latte topped with Scotland’s finest Tunnock’s Tea Cake
Head On Down To The Liver building Christmas Fayre
On 8th December the doors of the iconic Royal Liver Building are open to the public for a special Christmas Fayre showcasing the best of local suppliers and craft stalls. Join for a festive glass of prosecco, Christmas songs by the Capricco Singers and a mooch around the Liver Building Atrium and The Venue on the first floor. More here.
Go For A Sing At St George’s Hall
Join Danielle Thomas, Sing Me Merseyside Choir & Allerton Brass Band as they perform an array of festive delights, all hosted by the sublime Nick Birkenshaw. From traditional carols to your favourite Christmas classics, all in the stunning surroundings of our beautiful Concert Room.There’ll be a welcoming mince pie and a mulled wine on arrival to warm up your vocal chords and get you in the mood for joining in. For tickets click here.
Take The Kids (and kids at heart) to see Santa
If you want to take the kids to meet Santa this Christmas, you will simply be spoilt for choice. Choose from any of these fabulous grottos which can be found in Liverpool for a magical family outing this Christmas. Check out tis great list of places here.
Eat Christmas Pizza
Head down to Santa Maluco on Castle St and order a slice of Christmas. It’s smothered in pigs and blankets, roast turkey, bacon and a cranberry glaze.
Spread The Christmas Cheer With Cards4Scousers
Know someone who’d love this card? Check out their site here for more Scouse humour with a festive twist.
Go To A Craft Beer And Gin Pop-Up In Crosby
Hard Times & Misery are bringing a taste of Craft Beer to Crosby this Christmas. From 7th – 31st December they will be hosting a Craft Beer & Artisan Gin pop up event in Moor Lane, Crosby. 12 Keg lines dedicated to Craft Beer, Craft Cans & Bottles and the best Artisan Gin selection in the city as well as the famous Hard Times & Misery playlist.
Head To The Makers Market at Lark Lane’s delightful Old Police Station
30 independent local businesses showcasing their awesome talents in time for you to buy the perfect and unique Christmas gift and we all know that every time you buy directly from the maker they do a little happy dance inside… and we all want that. Free entry from 11am-5pm with a pop up vintage tea room providing sustenance in cake form and piping hot tea in china cups to power you through this fabulous shopping opportunity. Sunday December 17th, ideal for all you last minute shoppers.