[Disclosure: I may have been invited to some of the venues in here previously for review purposes, but none of them have asked me to write this or include them. I just thought it might be useful if you’re planning a daytrip]
This blog may be focused on Coventry & Warwickshire, but plenty of us love a day trip to Birmingham. Especially during the festive season. Each year, trains from Rugby and Coventry are packed with people heading off to the big city, often for the famous German Christmas Market in Birmingham.
But before you start planning a day that starts and finishes with the same overpriced bratwursts and neverending queues for also-overpriced beer, here are a few other ideas so you can actually experience some of the great festive fun in Birmingham beyond the chaos of the market.
Ice-skating and festive food in Coventry City Centre
Coventry’s ice skating rink returns this year – this time in Broadgate. Skate into Coventry is an open-air ice rink that runs until January 8th for a fantastic festive experience. It’s open from 10am to 9pm so perfect for an afternoon or evening of fun.
On top of that, there’s also a lovely Christmas food market, with everything from hot dogs and loaded fries to cookies and other sweet treats. You’ll also be able to toast your own marshmallows over fire pits, enjoy live street theatre and Christmas carol singing and browse Christmas cabins for gift ideas. And have drinks from the bar, obviously. So get down for fun and food and all the festive cheer. Find more info on all the festive fun in Coventry city centre here.
Coventry Dining Club takeover at FarGo Village, Coventry
If you’ve been to Coventry Dining Club, or any of the Digbeth Dining Club ventures, you’ll know they’re brilliant fun full of street food, drinks, music and general tomfoolery.
This year Coventry Dining Club is taking over Factory at FarGo Village for the month of December. There will be traders, bars, DJs, and more. Find the dates and more info on their website here.
Christmas Markets in Warwick
Warwick is a lovely place for a festive day out. Independent shops, lovely restaurants and bars, pretty lights and for a few weeks a Christmas tree festival at St Mary’s Church. Warwick Castle has its own festive Christmas Market, but you’ll also find Christmas markets in Warwick town centre on selected dates. Find out more info here.
Christmas in Cathedral Square, Birmingham
If you’re in the city centre, it’s literally a hop, skip and a jump to get to ‘Christmas in Cathedral Square’ (Pigeon Park to most of us who grew up in and around Brum). It takes place in the grounds of the Cathedral from now until Sunday, 18 December, and is focused on local businesses, from artists and makers to local music.
You’ll find food and drink pop-ups from local bars and restaurants in Birmingham, and there’s even a pop-up ‘Pigeon in the Park’ pub. I went last year and it’s a breath of fresh air so make sure you get there. Find more details here.
Luna Springs in Digbeth, Birmingham
If a party’s what you’re after, head to Digbeth where Luna Springs is hosting a packed Christmas season including a ‘Mariah vs Buble brunch’ (how could you not want to go!) as well as ‘Massaoke Christmas’ (basically a huge crowd karaoke session) and a ‘Bad Santa Bottomless Brunch’.
Across all the events, you’ll find a heated marquee decked out for Christmas, street food huts, drag acts for certain occasions, games, singalongs and more.
You’ll need to book in advance so make sure you visit their website here.
Birmingham Seasonal Markets’ Christmas Feast
Seasonal Christmas Markets put on some great events showcasing independents and their final one of 2022 is ‘The Christmas Feast’ on 3rd December.
Another one in Digbeth, you’ll find it at The Bond Company where there will be Christmas-themed street food, winter-themed cocktails, drinks, live music, children’s Christmas storytelling and more. Tickets are an affordable £7.50 each, and it’s free for children under 12 – plus you can take dogs. Buy tickets here.
The Flapper Winter Market, Birmingham
The Flapper, by the canal just down from the Sea Life Centre and the Utilita Arena (the NIA to us oldies), is hosting its own festive market at the end of this month as part of a campaign to encourage people to shop small this festive season.
The pub and alternative music venue is staging its Winter Market on Sunday 27th November from 1pm-6pm where you’ll find independent and small businesses selling handmade gifts, as well as food and drink and live music. What more could you want?
Find the Flapper on Kingston Row, Birmingham. Check out their Instagram page here.
Festive fun at Albert’s Schloss, Birmingham
Albert’s Schloss is fun all year round, but if you’re after beer hall vibes and apres-ski feels this festive season, you should probably get there.
They’ve launch a new winter menu packed with Alpine and Bavarian-inspired dishes, alongside winter cocktails, Alpine wine and beers and their own artisan schnapps. There’s a firepit, live entertainment, and (unless they’ve taken it away) a photobooth. Why stand outside and queue for bratwurst and beer when you could get it here? Book here.