Winter is the season for mulled wine and spiced cider, for cuddling up next to an open fire and for spending time with family. But if you want to get out of the house this winter, there's a lot of things you can do.
Go to a music festival
Traditional music festival season may be over but Autumn is in no way a farewell to this simple joy. Top festival promoter ATP has two more events before the year is out. The Nightmare Before Christmas event starts on 30 November and lasts for three days. It’s curated by Shellac of North America, and other bands playing include Neurosis and Wire. Tickets cost £180 for the three days, and they all include accommodation in private apartments. The smallest chalets take two people, so why not grab a friend and join in the fun? There’s also an ATP event curated by The National, from 7-9 December. Tickets are sold out, but you may still be able to bag some from other outlets.
Make someone else’s Christmas
You can volunteer for national charity Crisis in any number of roles, from performing general duties, to hairdressing, befriending, or helping provide healthcare. Or even better! - If you’re a good singer or musician, why not volunteer your time to perform for people staying in the Crisis centre? More information about volunteering for Crisis is available on their website.
You can also volunteer with older people, or on helplines, during the festive season. TimeBank has an article about the different kinds of volunteering you can do here.
Go to a local Christmas play or pantomime
Christmas and pantomime go hand in hand. The z-list celebrities, the ‘dames’, the campness, the hapless sidekick… Are they even different stories? Everyone loves to hate Pantomime. Find your nearest panto with the Big Panto Guide.
See great West End-quality theatre shows near you
London’s longest-running show is on tour for the first time this year. Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mousetrap’ is touring across the UK – check here to see if it’s coming anywhere near you, and to get tickets. ‘Dirty Dancing’ is currently showing in Liverpool but will be going to Wales and Edinburgh in November/December. The massively popular west-end show ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ is on tour this Autumn across the UK. The show is going to Blackpool, Liverpool, and more besides. Check here for dates and tickets. Lastly, ‘Oliver! ‘which was a hit in the west-end just over ten years ago, is now back, and touring around the UK.
Relive your childhood with some winter magic
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is always a hugely popular event. The capital’s best-known park becomes home to all things wintery and wonderful! There are some fantastic rides, a great traditional German Christmas market, an ice rink, a circus show, and this year there’s a brand new ‘Ice Kingdom’ attraction. For those who don’t feel the urge to get back in touch with their inner child, there are plenty of bars, mulled wine and spiced cider to go around. It opens on 23 November and finishes in early January next year.
If you fancy some festive cheer but you’re not near London, there are a whole host of Christmas markets in Manchester, there’s a huge one in Bath, and lots in Yorkshire. Find your nearest Christmas market in the UK here, or if you feel like going further and making a weekend of it, try German Christmas markets, grab a weekend break to Belgium with Eurostar.