It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
You can’t step through a shop door without hearing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” blasting out of the stereo, you can’t turn on the TV without seeing a tirade of Christmas adverts, and the streets are adorned with shining lights wherever you go. It can only mean one thing, we’ve reached the end of another year. So why not see 2018 out with a bang and enjoy some great local events and things to do in the final month of the year. Read on for our pick of the best things to do this December (aside from sitting in, eating all of the cheese you can lay your hands on and watching every single Harry Potter movie back to back – because that’s a given right)?
Grilled Cheese Night At 18/81 – 5 December
Cult cocktail bar 18/81 have become renowned for their spectacular serves since they opened this summer. If you’re yet to visit, maybe this will persuade you to finally seek them out (somewhere on Thorp Street). On 5 December, they’re holding a ridiculously special, one-off grilled cheese night. Think perfectly toasted bread, oozing with molten cheese and flavoured with amazing ingredients. We even hear that one of them has been designed by Gareth Ward (michelin-starred chef of Ynyshir fame). If that doesn’t persuade you, well then you’re a heathen. We said it. The grilled cheeses are strictly WIGIG, so turn up early or risk missing out.
Nocturnal Animals Whisky Dinner – 4 December
Nocturnal Animals, the wacky new bar and restaurant by The Wilderness, is taking the city by storm. On 4 December they’re hosting an event that whisky lovers are sure to enjoy. Dine on the restaurant’s playful 6-course tasting menu and sip on three whisky cocktails, specially designed to compliment the dishes. This is a great chance to sample the delights of the fun, Japanese- and Chinese-influenced menu (with nods to junk food), whilst also enjoying these exclusive whisky drinks. To book tables of 3 or more, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Digbeth Après Ski – 7 and 8 December
Join the festive fun on 7 and 8 December at Digbeth Après Ski – THE winter pop-up of the year. We’re transforming The Custard Factory into an Alpine Ski Lodge, complete with ski racks, falling snow, fairy lights and more. Feast on authentic cheese fondue, fried chicken and tasty waffles, sip on hot mulled wine, rum-spiked hot chocolates and plenty of beer and dance the night away to the Heavy Beat Brass Band. Plus there’ll be a vintage ski shop, karaoke, photo booth, party games and more. Over 3/4 of tickets have gone, so you’ll need to be fast to snap them up.
Grab the last tickets here.
Winter Market – Chilli And Spice Festival – 1 December
If you love chilli and spice and all things nice, you absolutely have to get yourself down to The Bond (in Digbeth) on Saturday 1 December for the Winter Market. With a theme of all things hot and spicy, you can expect some fiery street food dishes from the likes of Peel and Stone Pizzas, Yardbirds, Habaneros and more. There’ll also be plenty of beer and cocktails to keep the thirst at bay, and an indoor market hall packed full of designers, makers and producers – perfect for picking up some special Christmas gifts. This is set to be a proper winter warmer, so make sure you grab your tickets before they go.
The Birmingham Whisky Club Tasting Experiences – Throughout December
For whisky lovers looking to do something special in the festive season, The Birmingham Whisky Club have got you covered. They have designed a set of special Christmas tasting experiences to be enjoyed at the Birmingham Whisky Club Bar And Tasting Rooms. The packages are available for different sized groups and can be booked in advance on their website (for couples, or groups of 3, you can just turn up). Enjoy a season-inspired tasting board and try a selection of specially-curated whiskies (and there’s the option to add a seasonal cheese board too). To find out more and book a place head to the Whisky Club website.
V Jewellery X Bloom Collective – 30 November and 1 December
Local jewellery brand V are holding a joint Christmas shopping event at Zellig, alongside Birmingham-based florist, Bloom Collective. Enjoy a mince pie as you peruse the stunning array of art deco-inspired jewels on offer from V and have the chance to buy one of a limited number of Bloom’s coveted Christmas wreaths (or pre-order one to be delivered in December). Teams from both brands will be there to chat and help you pick out beautiful Christmas gifts.
Flatpack Presents Silent Night: The Marvellous Mabel Normand – 8 December
Silent Night, from the brilliant Flatpack, is returning to Birmingham Cathedral this December, with a throwback to the iconic era of silent film. This year, they’re celebrating Mabel Normand, the original funny lady, and actor, producer and director of early Hollywood who worked alongside many great names. Enjoy a selection of short films featuring Mabel as she stars alongside Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle and a young Oliver Hardy. Complete with a live score, and set in the historic Birmingham Cathedral, this is unmissable. Tickets are just £12 and you can grab them here.
Etsy Made Local Market – 1 and 2 December
The Winter Makers Market organised by Birmingham Originals is a great place to pick up some unique Christmas gifts. Head to the Birmingham City Council House (on Victoria Square) to browse a range of items from some of our most talented local artists, designers and makers. Chat to the sellers and find out about their work, whilst you do your Christmas shopping and pick up some original gifts created lovingly by local people. Winning.
Beer And Cinema At The Electric – 6 December
The Electric Cinema have teamed up with local brewery, Birmingham Brewing Co., to bring you the ultimate Christmassy evening of beer and cinema. Settle in and watch 90s action thriller, The Long Kiss Goodnight, starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson as you sip on Birmingham Brewing Co.’s Merry Brummie. This festive beer is made with British Rye malt and new world citrus hops, spiced with cinnamon and orange peel. If this event doesn’t take your fancy, check out the Electric’s listings over the festive period, as they screen all the Christmas favourites.
Harborne Night Market – 7 December
On the first Friday of every month, Harborne Night Market bring you local, independent food, art, clothing and craft products. On 7 December, they’ll be holding a festive edition of the monthly pop-up featuring street food from Handmade Pizza Co, Flying Cows and more. Plus other Brummie favourites will be there such as Jam Vs Custard, bringing their signature doughnuts, and Brum-based ethical clothing store Punks and Chancers, with their awesome slogan tees.
Dogbeth Dining Club: Christmas Pooch Parade – 16 December
Let your pup join in the festive fun this year by dressing them up and bringing them along to Digbeth Dining Club’s dog friendly street food event. This is the paw-fect opportunity to show what a good boy or girl you have and if they’re well behaved, maybe Santa Paws will visit them on Christmas Eve. Whether you’re bringing your own best friend or not, you can munch on some tasty street food, sip on a tipple or two and watch tiny little four-legged elves, Christmas puddings and more, trot past looking highly embarrassed at the ridiculous gear their hoomins have dressed them in. Sounds like a winner in our books. Prizes for best dressed hounds – go wild.
Peter Pan At Birmingham Hippodrome – 19 December – 27 January
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a panto. Oh yes, it would! Oh no, it wouldn’t! (Yes, we used that joke last year, but the old ones are the best, right?). So grab the family and head to Birmingham Hippodrome to see the brilliant Peter Pan. Starring Jimmy Osmond and Meera Syal, among others, this swashbuckling Pantomime will be fun for all the family. Join in with the laughs, watch the action unfold and enjoy the magic as Peter and the lost boys set sail on their adventure.
The Sitcom Experience: Del Boy and Rodney At Birmingham REP – 6 – 15 December
Inspired by everyone’s favourite sitcom, Only Fools & Horses, The Sitcom Experience is a comedy show like no other. This critically-acclaimed, comedy dining experience has garnered rave reviews so far and you’d be a plonker to miss it. When Del, Rodney, Uncle Albert, Trigger and Boycie find another opportunity for a get rich quick scheme, will it finally pay off? This fully-immersive production will treat you to a two-hour show of unmissable comedy and a tasty 3-course meal! This is sure to be an unforgettable evening.
City Social – Until 21 December
A free to attend, festive pop-up is taking place in the Suffolk Street Queensway underpass (in front of The Mailbox), complete with street food, bars, live music and retail stands. Buy some Christmas cards and gifts (and even your Christmas tree), sip on a mulled wine or two and chow down on some street food grub, whilst bopping to some live tunes. On Sundays they’re holding movie screenings of some festive favourites too. Open from 12 noon daily until 9pm.
Replay Christmas Charity Party At Hare And Hounds – 19 December
Get into the Christmas spirit on the evening of Wednesday 19 December as you bop along to some banging tunes and generally have fun and be merry. The Replay Christmas Party is a charity gig and the proceeds will be going to Birmingham Children’s hospital, so you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re giving something back this holiday season, whilst also having a great night out. Expect amazing tunes from the 70s, 80s and 90s, played by both Replay and Acoustic Sunset – and get ready to sing along with them. This is set to be a ridiculously fun evening. Tickets are just £4.
Join over 18,500 Brummies and grab yourself an Independent Birmingham Membership Card. Enjoy fantastic year-long discounts and deals at over 110 of the very best independent cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs, theatres and shops in Birmingham – including: Digbeth Dining Club, The Electric cinema, Simpsons, The Wilderness, Carters, Lasan, Birmingham Hippodrome, Adam’s, 18/81, Zindiya, The Meat Shack, Nocturnal Animals, Baked In Brick, Harborne Kitchen, BoneHead, Purnell’s Restaurant, Bodega Bar Y Cantina, Wayland’s Yard, Purnell’s Bistro, Buffalo and Rye, mac Birmingham, Gaijin Sushi, Fiesta del Asado, 40 St Paul’s, The Plough, Hare and Hounds, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, The Lord Clifden, The Jekyll And Hyde, The Church, Bourne and Co., The Rose Villa Tavern, Cherry Reds, The Prince of Wales, The Loft, Laghi’s Deli, Medicine Bakery, The Paper Duck, Town Hall Symphony Hall, The Clean Kilo and many more.
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