Do you hear the sleigh bells jingling? We bit our tongue for as long as possible, but there’s no denying it any longer; Christmas is almost here, and as the nights draw in, so is the festive season.
Last year Christmas was cancelled to a degree, although we made the best of it, so we’ve got some catching up to do this year. And, we’ve been thinking about what exciting Christmassy events we could partake in this year, and it felt rude not to share our little festive agenda.
There’s so much fun to be had and so little time, so we’ll dive right in.
7 things to get you in the festive spirit this Christmas
1. Let’s get crafty
We all have our different festive traditions, and if hanging a wreath is one of them, then maybe this year it’s time to make one! There’s a variety of different wreath making workshops happening at different locations around Nottingham. But here are just a few:
- 28th November, and 2nd, 5th & 9th December – The Watered Garden
- 1st, 8th, 11th, 15th December – The Flower Room
- 30th November, 2nd, 7th & 14th December – The Botanist, West Bridgford. With this one, not only do you get to make a wreath, but you also get your meal included, so it’s the perfect festive night out!
There are plenty more out there across Nottingham, but if you’re not feeling like going to a class, there are lots of DIY wreath kits to do at home, like these from Marks and Spencer or Bloom & Wild.
Maybe if wreaths aren’t quite your thing, here’s our list of DIY Christmas gifts for all the family. We think the personal touches add a bit of something special!
2. They’re behind you!
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a wonderfully cheesy and equally entertaining pantomime, but it’s all back in full swing. If you’re a fan of the arts, then there’s no better time to go and show your appreciation than while they’re getting back on their feet – you might not even realise how much you’ve missed it.
This year, they’re showing Robin Hood, a Nottingham classic, at the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall. So, why not go along for a magical panto adventure and soak up a bit of Nottingham’s heritage.
Nottingham Playhouse is showing Beauty and the Beast live for those that fancy a night out. But they are also being considerate of those who might not be comfortable facing large crowds quite yet, with online watch parties still available, meaning you can see the magic from the comfort of your own home.
3. Christmas markets are back
The Christmas market tradition is back! You can mosey around the stalls and enjoy a hot chocolate or toffee apple cider under the heat lamps. With lots of independent local shops frequenting these markets, they’re the perfect place to start your Christmas shopping and get into the festive spirit.
Chatsworth Christmas market is always worth a visit, with over 100 market stalls showcasing a range of Christmas gifts and decorations. What’s more, you can also book Christmas at Chatsworth, which includes access to the house itself, all decked out with spectacular Christmas displays. Unfortunately, there’s limited availability, so make sure you check it out soon!
And if you’ve been to Nottingham city centre recently, you will have noticed that the Nottingham Christmas Market is in full swing. The bright lights of the carousel are enough to attract anyone’s attention.
At Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland, you’ll find some familiar stalls selling beautiful smelling soaps, cosy knitwear, melting cheeses and crepes with all the toppings. And keep your eyes peeled for the new attractions. Although, it might be hard to miss the 33m Wheel, Après Ski Bar and an igloo village.
4. All of the lights
If you ever wonder what’s the silver lining of colder and darker nights, it’s being able to go to light displays. There’s something quite magical about being wrapped up in lots of layers while admiring impressive light shows.
Following its successful debut last year, Christmas at Wollaton is back this year with another visually stunning multisensory experience for you to feast your eyes. And it’s back with a whole new trail so you can be whisked away into a world of enchantment once again.
Nottingham City Council has decided not to publicise the Nottingham light switch-on to avoid large crowds gathering. However, the low-key event will be recorded, and a video will be available soon.
5. A journey through time and space
If you fancy something a little different, you could check out The North Pole Experience at Thoresby Park in Newark. The immersive experience goes the extra mile to add a sprinkling of Christmas magic. You can meet the village of Elves, make a toy in the toy factory, enjoy a skate around the ice rink, or visit Mr Jingle at the North Pole Post Office and write a letter to Father Christmas.
6. Game on
Since the start of lockdown 20 months ago, Balance: Wealth Planning have enjoyed a virtual game at the end of each week together, and we have played all manner of things. Some of which were even invented by our team, although they’re not quite ready to hit the mainstream market yet. So instead, here are some silly and extremely amusing board games for all the family to enjoy.
Have you heard of Obama Llama? If not, it’s a very amusing game of rhyming charades, and it’s a whole lot of fun. For a festive twist, you can look out for the Santer Banter version. It’ll give you hours of festive fun!
If you’ve played Skyfall of Codenames, Chameleon is a beautiful combination of the two produced by the same makers as Santa Banter and Obama Llama. The concept: Everyone knows the secret word except the Chameleon. But who is the Chameleon? Using one carefully chosen word, you need to try to catch the imposter. However, the imposter will be trying to blend in, so will you spot them?
We are also kicking off the festive season again with the return of our really popular 12 Days of Quizmas; with a new festive themed game each day and prizes to be won, you’d be silly to miss out. Sign-up here to be on our mailing list to be in with a chance of winning.
We hope this has given you some inspiration to do something a little different during your downtime this winter. And if you have any questions or would like to share your plans for getting into the festive spirit, please feel free to get in touch with one of our independent financial advisers for a chat over a brew.