Just like last year, 2021 has had its fair share of ups and downs, and we can’t believe the end is fast approaching. But it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Liverpool, and we are so ready to embrace the most wonderful time of year. So hit play on the festive playlist filled with Mariah and Bublé and have a jolly festive time with our guide to the best things to do in Liverpool this December.
1. Tuck into a Christmas pigs in blankets pizza at Crazy Pedro’s
Crazy Pedro’s is certainly no stranger to an unorthodox pizza topping or two. That’s why we Scousers love them so much, after all. And keeping up their usual ‘crazy’ antics for the festive season, the pizzeria has finally unveiled its Christmas pizza special – which, of course, boasts plenty of festive-themed toppings for us to gorge on this month. The pizza is topped with festive favourites including pigs in blankets, stuffing, cranberry, sage and even turkey dinosaurs, with a tasty drizzle of gravy to finish it off with. If this pizza doesn’t get you in the festive mood, we don’t know what will.
2. Take a magical winter walk at the Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience
Popping up for the winter only, the Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience is the perfect Christmas experience for fans of all things magical. Potter through an illuminated forest filled with the unknown, with tons of mystical creatures and familiar sights from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies to uncover along the way. Get tickets here.
3. Get your skates on at Liverpool Ice Festival
The highly-anticipated Liverpool Ice Festival has returned to the city and it’s bringing its biggest sheltered ice rink to-date. Taking place throughout December until 3rd January 2022, the festival will be located at Pier Head and transport the region into a frozen winter wonderland. The festival will include a spectacular covered ice rink, to ensure the elements don’t hamper any Christmas spirits, as well as an alpine bar providing delicious hearty food and beverages and a place to shelter from the cold and a cosy up with a blanket.
Taking place in the week leading up to Christmas Day at the beautiful Grand Central Hall, a talented string quartet will be bringing to life Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake – with a beautiful ballet performance to accompany. The venue will be illuminated with atmospheric candlelight, providing a unique experience for Liverpudlians to enjoy just for Christmas. Get tickets here.
5. Hit up Liverpool’s Christmas market
It’s not a December well spent without a trip to the Liverpool Christmas Market. Attracting loads of people annually, the huge market spans across St John’s Gardens, William Brown Street and the area around the North Entrance of St George’s Hall (near the Stebble Fountain), with plenty of quirky gift stalls, food stalls and bars to enjoy. Taking the form of a traditional Bavarian market, guests can expect classic grub such as Bratwurst, Dutch pancakes and more, alongside plenty of desserts, cheese and hot chocolate, plus there are four festive-themed bars to enjoy a pint or mulled wine at.
If dancing is on the agenda this month, the R&B Brunch is where it’s at. Serving up bottomless rum punch and seriously good beats, guests can enjoy free-flowing drinks for one hour, alongside five hours of classic R&B and soul – with artists such as Mary J. Blige, SZA and Pharrell gracing the playlist. The perfect opportunity for one last boogie before Christmas comes. Get tickets here.
7. Hideaway in a twinkling tipi at Exchange Flags
Adding to the festive cheer alongside the Liverpool Christmas markets is a new bar that makes for the most cosy and perfect setting, allowing you to retreat from the cold and put your feet up after a spot of Christmas shopping. The pop-up Winter in the Square will see one of Liverpool’s outdoor spaces transformed into a winter wonderland featuring an enormous tipi to provide you with both shelter and a place for a festive tipple or two.
From Love Actually to Home Alone, Christmas movie fans are in for quite the treat this month. Taking place at Grand Central Hall, the fantastic venue will be immersed in the sounds of famous movie soundtracks – all brought to life by a talented string quartet. There’ll be plenty of festive favourites to enjoy, with candlelight bringing the festive ambience to the already stunning venue. Get tickets here.
9. Check out newly-opened Scouse brasserie Barnacle
Liverpool certainly doesn’t lack community spirit and collectiveness, and with the arrival of a brand new restaurant led by the city’s leading chefs, it proves that it’s not lacking in the catering industry either. The restaurant Barnacle is now open and is led by some of Liverpool’s big culinary names including The Art School’s Paul Askew and owner of Bone and Block and Kelp, Harry Marquart. Based in Duke Street Market’s mezzanine, Barnacle will feature contemporary cooking in an intimate Scouse brasserie and a bar with over 30 different gins with a focus on fresh, organic and free-range dishes; locally matched food and drink inspired by the port and its global history will be brought to life in dynamic meat, fish and vegan menus inspired by the markets and seasons.
10. Escape the city at PINS Social Club’s Alpine Village
Home to the largest rooftop bar in Liverpool, the popular Duke Street venue is pulling out all the stops to make this festive season one to remember. Serving Yuletide cheer throughout December, PINS Social Club is channelling Alpine Village vibes, with a huge programme of day-to-night themed events. Cocktails and winter warmers feature heavily on the three-storey bar’s drinks menu, with spiced mulled wine, snow cones, and even gin-makers Sipsmith will be popping up with their very own hot gin bar.
Get the gang together for one last hurrah before the Big Man tumbles down the chimney. Hosted at Bierkeller, Santa’s 90’s bottomless brunch will bring classic hits from the 90’s and great grub together, with a whole hour of bottomless booze to enjoy (including cocktails!). Enjoy classic burgers alongside Christmas hits and some of the best tracks from the 90’s and 00’s, before taking to the dancefloor and celebrating with friends. Get tickets here.
12. Indulge in a fantastically festive menu at these Liverpool restaurants
Whether you’re searching for a place to celebrate Christmas with friends, family or colleagues or you believe turkey and all the trimmings shouldn’t just be reserved for one day of the year, there are some top notch festive menus to try this December. From your classic, hearty roasts featuring pigs in blankets and roasties to less conventional festive food like tacos and char siu pork, one of these festive menus is bound to suit you and your party in order to celebrate the festive season in Liverpool.
Horrible Histories is coming to the North West this Christmas, unravelling plenty of Christmas traditions for the whole family to enjoy. Join Charles Dickens, Oliver Cromwell, King Henry VIII and St Nicholas as they team up to save Christmas in this fun panto, with guests able to enjoy the show from the comfort of their own cars. Get tickets here.
14. Take a day trip out of the city to this winter wonderland
Winter Island, presented by Escape to Freight Island at Depot Mayfield in Manchester, has already kicked off and is here until the end of the year. The winter wonderland will have no shortage of festive entertainment to keep you busy this month and best of all, it’s only an easy hour away from Liverpool. Expect firework displays, delicious food and drink from an array of stalls, bottomless Champagne brunch, a Christmas tree forest, comedy nights, live music and more.
15. Stock up on unique and affordable gifts at the Winter Arts Markets
Enjoy festive shopping from local, independent traders this December with the return of the Open Culture Winter Arts Markets to the Grade I listed Liverpool Cathedral. With over 60 stalls each day from independent artists, designers, crafters and makers, the Winter Arts Markets will take place on December 3 and 4, where you’ll find new stallholders each day between 10am – 5pm. At Liverpool’s Winter Arts Market you’ll find a range of products including original screen prints, paintings, intricate jewellery, tableware, handmade beauty products, woodwork, colourful decorations, accessories, textiles, photography, knitwear, hand poured candles and much more.
Fever has got a real treat for fans of iconic band Coldplay. You may have thought you’d heard all the medleys/remixes/reworks of the band’s biggest tunes in the last 25 years, but well, here’s something different to enjoy this month. Candlelight: A Tribute To Coldplay will see many fan favourite anthems performed by a talented pianist and exquisite violinist under the glow of candlelight in the magical Palm House in Sefton Park. Intrigued? Don’t Panic, you can get your tickets here.
17. Be dazzled by Chester Zoo’s magical lantern trail
Saving Christmas after what turned out to be a pretty uneventful festive season last year, Chester Zoo has confirmed that its annual lantern trail is returning this Christmas, with the festive occasion taking place in the lead up to Christmas Day. Transforming the zoo into a snowy winter wonderland with glistening animals dotted throughout the trail, the family-friendly event takes guests on a magical journey, through the mysterious oceans of the world, to a tropical paradise filled with familiar animals. Guests can expect the same sparkling experience this Christmas, too, with tons of different ‘worlds’ to explore throughout the trail.
18. Take cover in a cosy, outdoor winter lodge or hut
Searching for a cosy space for a festive tipple besides enjoying one at home? With a number of twinkling, cosy huts and lodges beginning to pop up in Liverpool this December, how could we not resist? From twinkling lodges decked out with Christmassy decorations, to cosy huts providing shelter from the harsh temperatures – there are some toasty outdoor huts and lodges to snuggle up in during the winter in Liverpool. Check out our pick of outdoor huts and lodges in Liverpool here.