Blogmas 8 – Christmas In My City
Welcome to Blogmas 8. Yesterday I shared a post about Shivam’s Christmas List. And have you seen my post about Christmas makeup looks yet? Today I’m looking at Christmas in my city and some of the events happening around the festive season.
Every year, Sukh and I take the kids to a fair few events. We are spoilt for choice in Birmingham because there is a lot on offer for families and adults alike. I can’t cover everything here, but here is a rundown of some of the things going on. We plan to visit a fair few of these over the next couple of weeks.THE WIZARD OF OZ
This is a reworking of the classic film and is on stage at the Birmingham Rep at the moment. I’ve already written a detailed review of this in an earlier Blogmas post. We were invited to the press night last week and we all loved it. It’s a perfect way to enjoy theatre, song, dance and get in to the festive spirit. It’s on until January so still plenty of time to catch it.ELF THE MUSICAL
This is one of my favourite Christmas films. Shalini and I saw it in London a couple of years ago, but with a different cast. We’ve been invited by the Genting Arena in a couple of weeks. Pop legend David Essex and Martine McCutcheon (ex-Eastender) are in the cast. Apparently there’s a giant sleigh that flies across the arena, an indoor snow blizzard and lots of skating, so it’s one we’re looking forward to.
PETER PAN PANTO
We’ve been watching the annual panto at the Birmingham Hippodrome for the last three years. It’s definitely one of the highlights of Christmas for us all. I usually buy my tickets way in advance but this year we’ve been invited to the press night. Even if we weren’t invited though, I still would have bought tickets because it’s a show not to miss.
In the last few years, they’ve had actors like John Barrowman, Phil Mitchell and The Crankies in some of their pantos. Yet it’s Matt Slack who draws us back every year. His comic timing is impeccable. The panto always has such high production values, lavish sets and costumes and brilliant song and dance numbers.ICE RINK AND BIG WHEEL
We haven’t been to the outdoor ice rink for a few years. Then it used to be situated outside Birmingham Library and the Birmingham Rep. For the last couple of years, it’s been at Eastside City Park, near Millennium Point. You can buy tickets for both experiences online and there’s lots of festive food and an Ice Lounge too if you don’t want to skate.
I’ve wanted to get down here and do this for a while but every year we get tied up with so many events. Hopefully we will make it down there this year.
MAGIC LANTERN FESTIVAL
This is one we’re definitely getting down to next weekend. It’s at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and we’ve been invited to experience the festival. I will be writing all about it during Blogmas.
I remember the annual Walsall Illuminations when I was growing up. My parents would take us each year and my sisters and I Ioved it. I’m hoping to create similar memories for my own kids here. It’s on every Thursday to Sunday till January.HATTON ADVENTURE WORLD
We visited here yesterday and we had a great time, even though it was a little chilly and wet for the first part. I might write about our experience for Blogmas tomorrow.
You can feed the animals, visit Santa’s Grotto, decorate Gingerbread with Mrs Claus and take part in a reindeer quest for a treat at the end. It’s on every day until the 24th December.CHRISTMAS MARKET
Hands down this is one of my favourite things every year about Christmas in Birmingham. I work in the city centre so it’s a stone’s throw from my office to the Frankfurt-style markets. I like to treat myself to the mini-pancakes once a week. There are so many stalls across town selling food, drink and gifts and there’s always a carousel in Victoria Square.
I think the evenings are the best time to go as there’s a real atmosphere. The market springs up around mid-late November, right through to Christmas week. Shalini has already been with me once this season but I’m hoping we can get down there as a family soon.DRAYTON MANOR
Although the main theme park is closed, Thomas Land and the zoo are open during winter. This is one event at Christmas I have always wanted to get to with the kids. Drayton Manor is an annual trip for us in the summer because it’s quite local to us.
It would be nice to check out the grotto, the Castle Of Dreams and ride some of our favourite Thomas Land rides during the festive season.
We visited Winter Wonderland a few years ago. The kids loved playing in the real snow before watching Santa’s stage show and meeting reindeer and real animals. You can walk through the enchanted forest, enjoy snowballing members of your family, hitch a ride on a sledge and have fun sliding about in the snow tubes.
I think for that real winter festive feel, this has to be one of the best events there is.