It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Resistance is futile. For December the city is going full on festive. It only happens once a year, and as you’d expect, Liverpool does it better. Grown-up grottos, festive performances, markets, miracles and partying hard.
Here’s our pick for the month ahead:
Experience Halloumi In Blankets
Hafla Hafla, the Middle-Eastern inspired restaurant on Lark Lane have become famous for their halloumi fries. But as if they haven’t gave us enough, this time their famous halloumi gets a festive twist and suddenly everything feels alright in the world. Yep, halloumi in blankets with a festive dipping sauce is here to rock your world.
Scouse Santas Crowd Karaoke
Karaoke is for life, not just for Christmas. But it’s not often you get to belt every song out without waiting for the mic. With lyrics on the big screen and crowd singalongs this is one session where everyone is the star of the show. It promises to be part karaoke crawl, part rave, part big scouse family party – with extra Mariah, Santa hats, prizes and top grub. Tickets here. Sign us up…
Miracle on 34th street @ The Playhouse
Miracle on 34th Street is a Christmas classic and this sparkling musical version takes the original ‘40s screenplay and gives it an added dusting of magic. It’s feel-good fayre and with iconic tracks like ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’ it’ll enchant even the staunchest of Scrooges. Tickets here.
Mother Christmas @ The Palm House
Yeh snow and Father Christmas are good, but have you ever spent time with Mother Christmas in a tropical paradise? The Sefton Park Palm House is transforming into a tropical festive getaway for season and Mother Christmas will be hanging out at the grotto on the 7th December giving gifts and explaining how Christmas is celebrated around the world. Rumour is the big fella will be spending some time here in the run up to the big day too. More info here.
Christmas @ Baltic market
The Baltic Market LOVES Christmas. Expect winter cocktails, mulled wine by the bucket load and of course food, because if you’re not more stuffed than turkey, is it even Christmas? Look out for the Christmutt Dog Grotto on the 8th, Winter Gift Market on the 15th, and a bumper Xmas Farmers Market on the 22nd. Gifts for the family, a visit to Santa for the pooch and a bonus mulled wine for you – winning. More info here.
Spread a bit of cheer
This can be the best time of year, but also the worst time for many. Amidst the glitter and tinsel think about taking the chance to help someone not having a very merry time. In Liverpool there’s a whole host of people working across the year to do just that. If you want to get involved give a gift to The Whitechapel Centre, get involved with Radio City Mission Christmas, support those running the Santa Dash, or drop something from your big shop at a food bank – the Craft Taproom is running a special drop-off on Sunday 1st.
photo by instagram.com/aerial_lew/
Get Mullered At The Markets
Liverpool’s Christmas Market returns to St George’s Plateau against the backdrop of the magnificent St George’s Hall. Mulled wine and other festive tipples will be served from the Tepee bar, whilst the Windmill Bar and Gin Tin make a welcome return to leave you fuzzy with festive feels.
photo by Geoff Drake
Bongo’s Arabian Nights
There ain’t no party like a Bongo’s Bingo party. And for December Jonny and the crew will be channeling the mystery and wonder of Aladdin (oh no, they won’t). Actually, they will, and as well as all the usual bants, mayhem, prizes and general madness, Fleur East will be belting out some hits and there will plenty of mystical treasure to get your hands on. Get the last few tickets while you can!
Victorian Christmas at Speke Hall
Between 29 November and 15 December, the 500-year-old house will open its doors on weekends for a festive family experience with plenty of fun and activities taking place both inside and out. Families can explore a winter wonderland in the grounds, including a wildlife trail, carol-singing choirs outside Home Farm restaurant and sugar mice making in the Education Room. More info here.
Got your ticket for the big festive snuggle up? If you’re quick you can grab the last few for afternoon showings of Christmas classics at the Albert Dock here. It’s a setting like no other and with a delicious array of festive front row treats and refreshments, it’s guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit. There’s going to be a very special xmas cinema at St George’s Hall, a rooftop cinema at Liberte and some screenings at Palm House.
The Ultimate Stocking Filler
Have you got yourself or a loved one an Independent Liverpool Membership Card? If not, why not? They’re less than a £1 a month to be a member, you get discounts and deals for a WHOLE YEAR at over 100 of the city’s best independents and every time you use the card, not only do you save money but you’re also supporting a local business. They’re also the ultimate stocking filler! Order here.
Spirit of Christmas at The Philharmonic
Concerts don’t get any more festive than Spirit of Christmas. They are an annual Philharmonic tradition and you’ll get your fill of classic carols, Christmas classics, seasonal readings and the sights and sounds of one of the world’s finest orchestras. Prepare to belt out some carols and leave full of festive cheer.
Miracle on Seel Street
If you didn’t get to Miracle on Seel Street last year, the very excellent news is that its back. And the secret bar above Salt Dog Slims is going to be even more festive than before! This grown up grotto is a little slice of Christmas magic and a cosy yuletide retreat slap bang in the centre of town. Think cosy fireplace, comfy leather armchairs, Xmas films, fairy lights, Christmas cocktails, pigs in blankets and turkey sandwiches. More info here.
Go big for Boxing Day
If you want to work some Turkey off, need to escape hearing that story (again) about great-nephew Jude, or can’t face another round of charades, that’s what Boxing Day night is for. And there are some banging nights in store. Check out the Boxing Day Ball at Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool Disco Festival and Craig Charles at Camp and Furnace or D.O.D & Friends at the Arts Club just for starters.
photo by GetIntoThis
Winter Arts Market @ Liverpool Cathedral
The Open Culture Winter Arts Market returns on Saturday 7 December, offering shoppers the chance to buy thousands of handmade artworks, crafts and design gifts in the lead up to Christmas. Over 200 independent artists, designers and makers will transform Liverpool Cathedral into the region’s biggest arts market displaying thousands of colourful creations alongside an artisan food fair and vintage and clothing fair.
Get Festive At Bundobust
Bundobust are pleased to reveal the return of their cracking Christmas Menu for 2019, including some old favourites and a completely new dish too. Their now legendary Sprout Bhajis will ring in the start of the festive season (from Monday 18th November). Deep-fried with onion, broccoli, fennel and chilli, and served up with Desi-style cranberry chutney, Bundobust have performed a Christmas miracle – transforming the festive veg plenty love to hate into our favourite seasonal snack. What’s even better is £1 from each bhaji butty sale will go directly to The Whitechapel Centre.
Follow The Lights…
Pockets of Liverpool are now covered in twinkly lights guaranteed to make you feel festive. Whether it’s a mulled wine in the bar under the tree in L1 that divides the city, a stroll down Church Street to walk through the tunnel or a walk around The Albert Dock to see their Christmas exhibition – there’s no doubt Liverpool’s gone all out.
photo by https://www.instagram.com/bens.ontour/
Snowman @ Anglican Cathedral
Thought the Snowman was designed to be watched on a wooden-backed TV magically wheeled into your primary school classroom? Think again. Whether you’ve got little ones of your own or just want to relive the magic of a soaring snowman and Aled Jones’ dulcet tones, you won’t find a showing of this Christmas classic in more breathtaking surroundings. With a live orchestra performing the soundtrack it promises to be a pretty magical experience. More info here.
Indulge In A 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. The kind of drink where the squirty cream mountains cascade down the sides like hot lava and although it’s definitely a drink, sometimes you have to chew it. Read our guide here.
The big budget Christmas ads are out. Maybe you’ve loll’d at Kevin the carrot, shed a tear for the very cute and inept little dragon, but we’re here to reveal the real stars of the festive period: our independents. They haven’t got millions to spend on flashy adverts and they haven’t all got shiny shop fronts to tempt you in, but they have got incredible things you can buy for the people you love. And buying local is a fast track to that warm and fuzzy feeling it usually takes 3 mulled wines to achieve. Read our guide here.
Get Festive At Caldies Park
National charity, The Reader, is inviting people of all ages, from all over Liverpool, to come together and connect this Christmas in a series of events at its home in Calderstones Park. The Home for Christmas programme of free and ticketed events has something for everyone to enjoy during what can be a lonely time for many. There will be free festive craft workshops, a seasonal Daily Reading for each day of advent, musical performances and more – all held together by a thread of literature. More info here.
Grab Your Ski’s And Head On Down To The Alpine Pop-up
You can expect delicious food, spiced mulled wine, craft beers, live music, DJs, saxophone players and much more at the ski lodge pop-up at Cains Brewery. Join them in their wooden alpine lodge for a 4 course party menu of dishes inspired by the ski towns of the Alps including cheese fondue, cured meats, slow cooked beef and indulgent desserts. More info here.
Party the decade away
Whether you’ve had a cracking ten years or a decade to forget, grab your mates and party like it nearly 2020. We’ll be cracking over a bottle of the kiwi and strawberry variety to welcome it in, but if you want to have it large, try one of these fruity numbers: NYE Party at Kitchen Street, Lost NYE @ Hangar 34, Fat NYE at the Jacaranda, or see in the New Year in at the Kazimier Garden Party.