The time of the year where coins are made of chocolate, wine is mulled and over-indulging is encouraged. It 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 exhibitions, christmas trees to cheese boards, Christmas is all about sharing and we hope to share some special things to do this time of the year. Look past the red cups, the gingerbread flavoured beverages and the sparkly big red truck and you’ll uncover a treasure trove of activities, events and present ideas that are unique, just like you, for you. You’ve heard of the twelve days of Christmas well this is the twelve things to do this Christmas in Liverpool that you might not have known about.
(1) Winter Arts Market
The perfect place to pick up unique, handcrafted, beautiful Christmas gifts, the Winter Arts Market is Merseyside’s biggest arts and crafts market. This year it’s bigger and better than ever, with some 200 artists and makers descending on St George’s Hall with everything from Christmas decorations and jewellery to art, prints and handmade greetings cards for sale. It is just £2 for entry or free for under 16’s and is open between 10am-5pm.
(2) Scouse Cards – give the gift of scouse this Christmas, arguably the best gift of all. Local lads Cards4scousers have been self-designing scouse themed cards for all occasions that show off the best of our humour and Christmas is no different. Whether you want to tell someone happy crimbo and call them a little divvy at the same time or declare ‘Is Right It’s Christmas’, the boys behind Cards4Scousers have got you covered. Check out this special deal here for a bundle of 15 with £5 off!
(3) Santas Baltic Grotto – on his voyage of delivering presents to kids all over the globe, even Santa himself can get a bit tired and rumour hit us that he will be taking a siesta in the Baltic Triangle this year. The grotto will be running in half an hour slots on Thursdays 3 – 7pm, Fridays 3 – 7pm, Saturdays 10 – 7pm and Sundays 10 – 5pm. The cost is £10 per child and for that they’ll get a craft activity, get to tell Santa what they want for Christmas, get a photo with him and also a special gift!
More details here.
(4) Christmas Tree – the tree is the centrepiece of any festive season. Retrieving the decorations from the loft, the meticulous planning that goes into decorating which aggravates the OCD in us and deciding how long you can get away with keeping it up before the neighbours start to judge you. Keeping with the Nordic theme, Camp an Furnace will be selling beautiful Norwegian spruces that are grown in managed plantations in Scotland. From 29th November onwards you’ll be able to visit them, pick out your tree and wander in for a mince pie and mulled wine afterwards to celebrate. What is more Christmas than that?
More details here
(5) Transmitting Andy Warhol – Andy Warhol is the first exhibition to explore Andy Warhol’s (1928 – 1987) role in establishing new platforms to disseminate art, and his experimentation with new approaches to art reception that redefined artistic practice and distribution. Set in the stunning Tate, Transmitting Andy Warhol brings together over 100 pieces from Tate’s collection and collections across the world and rethinks Warhol’s pivotal role in re-defining the access to culture and art as we know it today.
More details here
(6) Cheese Board – Liverpool Cheese Company, located in Woolton Village, are one of the remaining cheese mongers left. They’re doing a special cheeseboard for Christmas and we can all agree the cheese board is better than the actual meal. It is just £30 for a huge range of quality cheeses and biscuits, grab yourself one by clicking here
(7) Rex – on Basnett Street, in the basement of Rapid, there’s a concept store like no other. Instead of the square footage being dominated by a sole retailer, the space is dedicated to lots of different independents from Liverpool. Similar to walking through the wardrobe into Narnia the steps downstairs into the basement reveal a different world. Each independent has their own space to give them a taste of the retail world without the huge lease. There’s a great variety of things available to buy, you can get paintings of Liverpool, homemade jewellery and there’s even a coffee bar down there if you just need to refuel from all that shopping. More details here.
(8) Festive Feast – Formally TapasTapas, the building is now home to Rookwood BBQ where the plates aren’t so small. In true holiday spirit they’ve whipped up a festive feast fit for royalty and we’ll be surprised if you can finish it. It is called “Fat Santa” and consists of buttermilk fried turkey, smoked bacon, stuffing, camembert, goose fat potatoes and cranberry gravy. It might be more of house than a burger and more of a challenge than a meal but it will help you on your way to become festively plump for under a tenner. Viewer discretion is advised, it is about to make you hungry. Check out this special deal to get two of these “fat santas” with a couple of beers with £8 off here.
(9) Merry Mexican Christmas – Mexico has always been the colour of Christmas, whether you’re a green chilli or red chilli fanatic. If you fancy something a bit more adventurous than turkey and the obligatory sprout, Lucha Libre are doing a special Mexican menu. They had us at duck tacos. Check it out below and get in touch on 0151 329 0200 if you fancy it, 19.95 for two courses and 24.95 for three.
(10) Festive Punk Tea – if you fancy an alternative to frocks and scones, there’s an afternoon tea oozing with attitude. Forget finger sandwiches, this afternoon tea has hot dogs topped with coca cola caramelised onions, bacon sausage meat stuffing patties in cranberry baps as well as homemade beer caramel popcorn with pretzels. The early grey has been swapped for mulled wine and vouchers are available from the incredible Baltic Social in the Baltic Triangle.
(11) Christmas Cocktails – we’ve spoke to the cocktail connoisseurs at 81LTD to try find a cocktail with some festive flair. They came up with this and I think we can all agree it is like Christmas in a glass. A few of these and you’ll be jollier than Father Christmas himself. If you fancy booking 81LTD for boxing day or new years, email them on [email protected].
(12) 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 will be taking place on the 22nd of November which is a Saturday, grab a hot drink and go for a walk round Sefton after it. West Derby farmers market will be on the 6th December and the perfect opportunity to pick up some post-roast treats, more details here.
They say money can’t buy you happiness but you can buy local and that is basically the same thing. Please remember that his is the time of giving and that not everybody will be having the same kind of Christmas you might be this year. There are lots of schemes set up such as ‘White Christmas’, a free day event held in St Georges Hall so the elderly don’t have to be alone this year. If you know anyone who this could help, details are here. As the weather worsens we always appreciate the hard work Whitechapel do for the homeless even more than usual. If you see someone sleeping rough, please call 0300 123 2041 and they’ll make sure they find them a place to sleep. More details here. There’s also a scheme just started all about people making shoeboxes of gifts for the homeless people of Liverpool, you can find all the details to that on their Facebook page here as well as an initiative to get people to buy pyjamas for homeless children in Liverpool, check their page here. Isn’t Liverpool full of nice people.
If you want to give the gift of independence for a year, check out the card. 100 independents, 12 months, 1 card. Be rewarded for shopping local and save money at places like Lucha Libre, Camp and Furnace and Lunya for just £10 a year.