Make the Most of Christmas: Birmingham

Lets’s face it, the festive period is usually a hectic time as we prepare for the big day, but it’s important to also focus on spending time together as a family and with friends. This often takes us further afield each weekend and gives us the opportunity to explore what’s on offer in a different city.

So, we thought there couldn’t be a better time to celebrate the Christmas activities in Birmingham and surrounding areas and to save you having to search for ‘Christmas Activities near me’.
We’ve collated a list of everywhere worth visiting near our Birmingham store in Tyseley so you can really make the most of your visit.

Christmas Activities for Families

Cadbury World

Based in the heart of Bournville, which in itself is a picturesque timeless village worth a visit, with its enormous Christmas tree at its centre, the Cadbury factory still produces our favourite chocolate every day.

You can learn about the history of the Cadbury story and how it helped to shape Birmingham’s heritage through the bright and colourful self guided tour where you’ll get to sample the confectionary and see how it’s made.

Christmas at Cadbury World

 

A fully interactive experience including a 4D cinema adventure, advertising exhibitions, Beanmobile ride, and even a trip to the Aztec jungle where you’ll learn all about how the cocoa tree was key and how cocoa beans first arrived in Europe.

During November and December, Cadbury World also provides lots of festive activities to enjoy such as a visit to see Santa in his exclusive stage show filled with festive fun and music, and the elves will be handing out gifts to all of the children.

Then watch the Snow White & The Chuckle Beans pantomime, both of which are included in the standard price ticket.

There are seven Pantomime performances throughout the day from 12pm to 4pm, so just head to the one most convenient for you.

However, the Santa show must be booked in advance via the Cadbury World website.

It will be impossible for the hardiest chocolate lovers not to be tempted into the World’s Biggest Cadbury Shop, where handmade chocolate novelties of all shapes and sizes, including festive variations are a delight for all the senses, and may help to cross a few trickier members of your family off the gift to buy for list!

 

The Polar Express Train Ride, Moor Street, Birmingham

If you ever wanted to fully capture the magic and charm of Christmas for your children, this has to be one of the best ways to do it.

Returning to central Birmingham this year, The Polar Express Train Ride, immerses your family in the sights and sounds of the famous children’s movie.

The Polar Express Train ride, Birmingham

Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while the adventure unfolds on board the train carriages. Santa will work his way through the train to present every child with a silver bell from his sleigh, something your child can treasure.

Take part in singing classic carols on the return journey, and then back at the station you can meet the characters and there’s photo opportunities in front of The Polar Express, oh and did we mention that guests are encouraged to wear their pyjamas for the trip? This all helps to create a magical and unforgettable experience.

At £29 to £49 the tickets are pricey, but worth it, and some ride times are fully booked but there is still plenty of availability so book your tickets here.

 

SeaLife Centre Birmingham

Any time of year is a great time to explore this glimpse into the underwater world, with sharks, sea turtles, octopus and beautiful fish of all shapes and sizes all available to view.

There are even two rescued seals who, until 1st December, have made the city centre facility their temporary home.

The informative talks and feeds take place throughout the day on a regular time table, and if you’re brave enough, you can stroke an anemone, starfish or crab.

Christmas at the Sea life Centre

From the 23rd November to 23rd December you will also have the opportunity to enter the Antartic Ice Cave while being watched by the cheeky family of Gentoo penguins in the Ice Adventure Area, then meet Santa and receive a free gift, before heading to take a 4D film journey on The Polar Express.

This is all included in your entry ticket, so book your tickets online today

 

Touchwood Shopping Centre, Solihull

This vast shopping centre is a staple of many Midlander’s Christmas shopping, however there’s more to offer than simply trying to find the perfect gift (although it’s very good at that too!)

Plus, if independent stores are more your thing, there are plenty of those just outside the shopping mall, plenty to choose from for those difficult to buy for relatives!

Christmas at Touchwood Solihull

 

 

The annual Santa’s Grotto is back again this year, in an enchanting setting, open daily you book online here.

The chances of us having a white Christmas are ridiculously low once again, so why not head down to Touchwood’s Snow Play area which has returned to the Juliet Balcony in the mall to allow children the opportunity to play in the artificial snow, anyone want to build a snowman? Open daily until Christmas Eve and completely free.

 

The MAC Centre, Cannon Hill Park

If you would prefer an injection of arts and culture into your festive period, the Mac (Midlands Art Centre) has a plethora of cinema screenings for all ages to enjoy including The Polar Express, Home Alone, Frozen 2 and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The list also features Singalong The Muppet Christmas Carol, which sounds like a lot of fun, and a screening of a live performance of The Royal Ballet’s wonderful production of The Nutcracker.

The Royal Ballet's 2016 Nutcracker

View a list of all the Family Festive events here.

If your children are fans of the award winning ‘Kipper’ books by Mick Inkpen then they will be delighted by the first ever stage adaption of the stories – Kipper’s Snowy Day, complete with puppetry and original music and songs, the production is perfect for little ones.

Kipper's Snowy Day

Performances are in ‘Relaxed’ BSL format too so accessible for everyone.

Tickets are selling fast so book your tickets here.

There are also events much more suited to adults which are featured next…

 

Christmas Activities for Adults

The MAC Centre, Cannon Hill Park

You may be surprised to learn that The Mac Centre holds a lot of festive events for adults too.

This year, throughout late November and December, they are holding their regular Gin and Jazz Club and Dirty Vegan nights, with a festive twist.

So sit back and listen to live festive jazz from the Cannon Hill Collective and enjoy some yuletide fayre (we are loving the sound of the homemade Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin cheesecake!) and gin cocktails, certain to get you into the party mood, all included in the ticket price, book your tickets here.

Due to the soaring popularity of Veganism, the Dirty Vegan event on Sunday 22nd December is bound to be popular. Enjoy a 100% Vegan Christmas Dinner, complimentary drink and gift, then party the night away with Shanty Town Collective and DJ Myles until 1am.

Dirty Vegan cocktails

Book one of three sittings here.

There’s also Christmas Arts Markets giving you’re the opportunity to buy gifts from local talented designers directly.

If you fancy getting creative yourself you can pop into the Mac Arena bar from 7.30pm on 7th December for Christmas Card making with the guidance of Mac Artist Tutor Sarah Moss, all whilst sipping on mulled wine and festive cocktails.

For more info about the events listed above click here.

Finally, if you need to escape the seasonal stress, there are laughs guaranteed at Barbara Nice’s annual Christmas Cracker comedy show on 12th and 13th December! Let King Heath’s famous housewife entertain you with some life affirming laughter and leopard print chiffon.

Book your tickets now to avoid disappointment here.

 

Frankfurt Christmas Market

There are several German markets held throughout the UK, but Birmingham’s is the largest outside of Germany or Austria and has built up a fantastic reputation for its food, drink, gifts and crafts on offer.
Not to mention the traditional carousel ride and the option of skating on the outdoor rink in Centenary Square until 12th January, more about that further down.

Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham

Open until 23rd December, when the German stall holders head home, there is plenty of time to experience the joy of the open market with it’s enormous Christmas tree, gluhwein, German beers and 12 inch hot dogs. Look out for the famous Chris Moose in the eves of one of the beverage stalls and take in the beautifully crafted toys and gifts on sale at more than 80 stalls.

There are also performances from live bands and choirs to make the atmosphere sparkle even more.

Back to the subject of the ice rink… You can book your time slot or turn up on the day (although booking is advisable) to experience the large undercover rink, complete with skate hire and the option for little ones to hire a ‘penguin’ to help them glide around the ice.

Ice Skate Rink Birmingham

Once you’ve worked up an appetite you can pop into the Ice Lounge after your skate to sample a range of festive food and drinks.

Book your tickets here.

 

Other highlights around the Midlands, including Christmas activities for kids and families a little further afield are;

Webb of Wychbold Santa’s Grotto and Ice Rink

Warwick Castle has a series of festive events

The National Trust has lots of events at their historic house and gardens across the West Midlands

There are several City Centre theatres with fantastic pantomimes showing throughout the festive season.
Check out Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome and the Birmingham Rep for dates and ticket information.

 

Tea in the Tyseley Cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re proud to be a part of Birmingham’s heritage and our Tyseley store is located on one of the main routes from Birmingham towards Solihull, with it’s own car park, free Wifi and a restaurant.

So why not pop in for some home inspiration, a hot drink and minced pie, the perfect way to spend your day.

 

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We’ve collated a list of everywhere worth visiting at Christmas time near our Birmingham store in Tyseley so you can really make the most of your visit.