The best Christmas things to do in Birmingham - markets, ice skating, shopping and more
It’s beginning to look like a very big bumper Christmas in Birmingham
So the time has come to start defrosting Michael Bublé’s Christmas album and get ready to celebrate - because the 2021 festive season looks set to be bigger than ever in Birmingham
After the last minute restrictions put on last year’s festivities, it’s time to celebrate in style and spread some yuletide glee - especially in Birmingham, officially the most Christmassy city in the UK!
And if you’re looking for something to do beyond the Frankfurt Christmas Market, or simply want to do something a little off-piste for your work bash, Birmingham is bursting with festive cheer with a host of fantastic events for everyone to enjoy.
From extravagant parties to festive brunches, there are so many exciting things to unwrap across the city this Christmas.
Here’s some of the highlights coming to town - we hope you find time to enjoy them all, or at least get to try out some.
Winter Funland at Birmingham NEC
Featuring a giant ice-rink, traditional circus, fairground, and so much more, Winter Funland is the event that families probably won’t want to miss this Christmas.
Running from December 9 until January 2, Winter Funland will be transforming the NEC into a Christmas World, complete with a Santa’s Grotto.
Alongside a huge funfair, ticket holders can also interact with elves and indulge at a festive food and drink market.
An event for all the family, daytime and evening sessions are available to book now, with tickets priced at £23.50 each, or £89 for a family of four, plus a booking fee.
A VIP night is also taking place on Thursday, December 9, plus a sensory session on Monday, December 13.
Ice Skate Birmingham & The Big Wheel
Synonymous with Christmas in Birmingham, Ice Skate Birmingham and The Big Wheel has taken over Centenary Square.
Just a short walk from the Frankfurt Markets, the huge ice rink will be covered away from the winter weather, while the big wheel will once again offer fantastic views of the city.
Skate prices cost £7.50 for children 12 and under, £9 for students and £10 for adults.
Ice Skate Birmingham and The Big Wheel will be open from November 4, 2021, until January 9, 2022, so book your slot, grab your skates and enjoy this family-friendly activity.
Christmas in Cathedral Square
It was a very tough year for Birmingham’s much-loved independent shops, bars and restaurants last year, so it’s exciting to see that Birmingham City Council has teamed up with Birmingham Cathedral and Danter Attractions Limited to deliver a Christmas market like no other.
Taking over Cathedral Square - also known as Pigeon Park - for a whole month from 17 November - 19 December, Christmas in Cathedral Square will feature 30 food and drink stalls, as well as craft and gifts.
Located in a picture-perfect setting, you can expect to find some perfect gifts at a range of budgets, so it’ll give you the chance to get your Christmas shopping done while supporting independent businesses.
Some traders setting up camp in the square for the markets include Purecraft Bar & Kitchen, Pineapple Club, Cielo Pottery, Funny Brummie Pictures, Loki Wine, Miss Macaroon and plenty more.
Festive fun at Luna Springs
Outdoor venue Luna Springs is getting into the holiday spirit by putting on a host of fantastic events in the heart of Digbeth.
From boozy bottomless brunches at Camp Luna, where traditional carols take the back seat for a karaoke session, to a chance to win some naughty presents playing outrageous games and even an ice rink, it’s a one-stop for a super fun night out.
It’s one of Birmingham’s hottest hangouts and its packed with winter fun.
Events are running on select dates throughout November and December, so book your tickets now to avoid missing out on one of the hottest spots to hang-out this Christmas.
Christmas at City Social
City Social is back with a bang for 2021. Running from November 25 until December 18, Suffolk Street Queensway underpass is being transformed into a Christmas grotto, complete with live entertainment, food, drinks and stalls from local traders.
A full line-up of performers and traders is set to be announced over the coming weeks, so click here to keep in the loop and find out more.
Love Actually with Wine Tasting at Millennium Point
Christmas just isn’t complete without a festive movie, and this year, Millennium Point is bringing back its film screenings with a showing of Love Actually, complete with a wine tasting.
Hosted by The Wine Events Company and taking place on Sunday, December 5, Love Actually With Wine will feature the 2003 rom-com displayed on a huge screen, accompanied by five themed wines.
Christmas Arts Market at Midlands Arts Centre (MAC)
The MAC has some great events lined up for Christmas. Local comedy treasure Barbara Nice is bringing her Christmas Cracker Show to the stage on Friday, December 17; there’s a sing-a-long screening of The Muppet Christmas Castle on Wednesday, December 22; and a Christmas Arts Market running from November 27 until December 5 that’s free to attend.
The Snow Village at House of Fraser
If you want to be truly immersed in the spirit of Christmas, then make sure you head to The Snow Village at House of Fraser.
Located on the fifth floor, The Snow Village is a Christmas wonderland that is sure to put a smile on even the Grinch’s face.
The Snow Village is free to visit and will be open from November 17 until December 23.
JQ Christmas Window Trail
The historic Jewellery Quarter is coming to life this Christmas with a magical window display.
Kicking off on Friday, November 19, more than 70 businesses in the area are decking their windows to put on a stunning, festive display across the JQ.
On the same evening, the JQ will be lighting up for the holiday season with its Christmas Lights Switch-On. Free to attend, you can enjoy music and food from Hockley Social Club, as well as drinks from local pubs and bars, plus a dazzling fireworks display.
The trail map can be downloaded from the JQ website on November 18 and can also be picked up in stores across the area.
Walking with The Snowman Trail
A fantastic festive event for all the family to enjoy, parts of the city centre will welcome 12 stunning sculptures in a tribute to Raymond Briggs’ magical classic, The Snowman™.
Sprinkled across the city, each snowman has been uniquely decorated by a professional artist, inspired by the 12 days of Christmas.
To follow the trail, simply download the Christmas in Birmingham map from the Visit Birmingham website.
Walking with The Snowman runs from November 17, 2021, until January 6, 2022.
Digbeth Apres Ski Party
Grab your ski gear and get ready to step into Christmas, Digbeth’s Apres Ski Party is back for 2021.
On Friday 10 and Saturday 11 November, Factory Works in Digbeth will be transformed into the ultimate ski lodge, complete with a bar filled with winter beers, themed cocktails, live music, karaoke, a photo booth and so much more.
Get cosy with a Christmas movie at The Luna Drive-In Winter Cinema
After a hugely successful year across the country with its drive-in cinemas, The Luna Drive-in is hitting the road and returning to the NEC to show some of the very best Christmas movies.
From Elf to Home Alone, Last Christmas, Die Hard, The Holiday and plenty more, Luna’s Winter Cinema has a jam-packed schedule that runs from December 3 - 22.
As well as enjoying the movie, you can also tuck into some delicious festive-themed food and drinks, or even upgrade your experience by treating yourself to a limited edition treat box, packed with festive goodies.
Tickets for The Luna Drive-In Winter Cinema are on sale now. To view the schedule of Christmas classics so that you don’t miss your favourite, click here.
Festive Brunch at Flight Club
Whether it’s for a work party or a festive gathering with your friends, Flight Club is hosting a Festive Brunch running every Thursday to Sunday throughout December.
Priced at £30 per person, you can gather your friends for an hour of social darts, topped off with endless Prosecco and pizza paddles for the ultimate get together.
Perfect for groups of six or more, you can book in for your Festive Brunch and find out more about Christmas events at Flight Club Birmingham now by clicking here.
Christmas shows at Birmingham Hippodrome
No Christmas in the city is complete without a trip to Birmingham Hippodrome.
After being postponed in 2020, both the Hippodrome’s famous pantomime and Birmingham Royal Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker are returning to the stage.
The festive season begins with The Nutcracker, which runs from Saturday, November 20, until Saturday, December 11.
This year’s pantomime, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, opens on Saturday, December 18, 2021, and closes on Sunday, January 30, 2022.
Starring panto favourite Matt Slack and Jason Donovan, tickets for the greatest panto on earth are on sale now! Click here to get yours.
Christmas at Cadbury World
Bringing something sweet to Christmas, families can enjoy a scrumptious day out at Cadbury World this holiday season.
Cadbury World’s Christmas Celebration Weekends give visitors the chance to explore the factory’s chocolatey zones that have been given a festive twist.
Running throughout November and December, tickets for the Celebration Weekends also include tickets to Cadbury World’s pantomime and a visit to see Santa at his Christmas show.
Miracle On Heath Mill Lane at The Old Crown
Christmas certainly isn’t cancelled at The Old Crown this year.
As well as dishing up a delicious Christmas dinner complete with all of the trimmings, The Old Crown is hosting three festive quizzes, including a Gavin and Stacey special on Thursday, December 2.
The biggest celebration for Birmingham’s oldest pub is Miracle On Heath Mill Lane, a winter experience filled with festive cheer!
Taking place on four dates throughout December, the evening will include delicious street food, festive music, themed cocktails, live performances and more!
The Big Birmingham Bake
If you’ve ever dreamed of entering the Great British Bake Off tent, this is your chance.
Each month, The Big Birmingham Bake hosts multiple baking sessions, where you’ll create your very own themed showstopper!
Perfect for families, friends and even colleagues, this Christmas, The Big Birmingham Bake will give you the chance to put your baking skills to the test and whip up an incredible Christmas creation in 90 minutes.
Christmas Comedy Specials at Glee Club
Looking for a different want to eat, drink and be merry? Glee Club Birmingham’s Christmas Comedy Specials are sure to spread some yuletide glee.
Running across December, each Christmas Comedy Special features four talented comedians who will take to the stage while you enjoy a festive feast.
Tickets start at £25 for show only and are on sale now. Click here to browse all the shows and find out more.
Christmas at Symphony Hall
Symphony Hall is coming to life this Christmas with a host of fantastically festive events to celebrate the holiday season in style.
From sing-a-long carol concerts to spectacular shows and music from some of the world’s famous musicals to a New Year’s Eve Spectacular, there’s plenty to enjoy at Symphony Hall across December. Click here to find out more.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.