12 Fabulously Festive Things To Do This Christmas While Living Under Tier 3 Restrictions

Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd - Staff Writer

12 Fabulously Festive Things To Do This Christmas While Living Under Tier 3 Restrictions

Tier 3 ain’t stopping us getting into the festive spirit!

Feeling like a bit of a Grinch this Christmas? While landing ourselves in tier three definitely sucks, it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the most wonderful time of the year – with a number of events still taking place that are sure to get our spirits up. From classic movies to watch to seriously festive food and drink events, here’s our guide to some of the most Christmassy things to do while living under tier three rules.

1. Cosy up with a Christmas film


December is here so Christmas has officially arrived – and we are so ready to get into the festive spirit! Take your pick of some of the newest Christmas film releases such as Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey and Holidate, as well as Christmas classics such as Arthur Christmas and The Holiday. There’s even a whole TV channel dedicated to Christmas to get you feeling festive. So get cosy on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate or something stronger because baby it’s cold outside! Check out our guide to the new Christmas film releases on Netflix here.

2. Get some Christmas shopping done

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Now non-essential stores have re-opened, we can finally get on with our Christmas shopping (without leaving it til December 24th and ending up with ten boxes of Lynx for all the men in the family)…

3. Sip festive cocktails and enjoy an online drag show

Enjoy a drag show hosted by the awe-inspiring Jodie Harsh featuring performances from the Pleasure Gardens Drag Queens, with cocktail demonstrations to get everyone ready for the big show. The entire event will take place online and you’ll be sent your Absolut Vodka cocktail kit in advance and filled with boozy surprises to make an Absolut Spiced PassionStar Martini and Absolut Chocolate Orange Espresso Martini. So, if you want to sashay your way to your sofa and watch an amazing drag performance while you sip on a delicious cocktail or two, then book your place now for the Absolut Pleasure Gardens Drag Experience .

4. Pick up a Christmas tree from a local forest or garden centre

christmas tree bristol

It’s not Christmas without a tree! Get into the festive spirit by grabbing yourself a Christmas tree from one of the wonderful forests and garden centres near Birmingham, like Woods Farm in Shirley, where you’ll find the perfect Christmas tree. Whether you’re after a freshly-cut fir or a no-nonsense artificial design, a sustainable and locally sourced tree or even a blue-hued variety, you’ll find one to make the Christmas period special, plus some businesses offer click & collect and delivery options during these ‘unprecedented’ times.

5. Support Birmingham’s independent businesses


Missing the Christmas Markets? Don’t worry as you’ll find unique and perfect gifts for friends and family down in Digbeth. There is a craft and flea market at The Custard Factory on December 6 who have an array of Christmas gift ideas in the lead up to the big day. Socially distanced, of course. From jewellery to jams, you’re bound to find something to make your loved ones’ day, and you’ll be helping local businesses too! As you browse the stalls, enjoy plenty of food because shopping for others requires plenty of fuel. That extra pastry was definitely needed to buy your nan’s Christmas jigsaw!

6. Look up at the sky to spot Jupiter and Saturn reuniting


2020 has brought a lot of unusual events, even in the world of astronomy, and this December, Jupiter and Saturn are set to line up together for the first time in nearly 800 years. The two planets have been approaching for months and between December 16 – 25, they will become so close that they’ll form a double planet! It’s a Christmas miracle. During this period, the planets will be separated by less than a quarter of the diameter of the full moon. You only need to head outside to watch this magical event take place!


7. Take part in a gin cocktail and Christmas cracker-making workshop

If you fancy staying inside while we remain in tier three, there’s a number of great home activities to try that’ll keep you occupied in the comfort of your own home. And Monkey 47 has provided the perfect Christmas activity for anyone looking to get into the festive mood in the run-up to the Big Man squeezing down the chimney. Hosting two sessions this month, guests can enjoy gin cocktails, while also learning how to create your very own Christmas crackers from scratch. All ingredients, gin and crafts are supplied as part of the workshop, with tickets available to book here.

8. Learn how to make Portuguese Christmas sweets

Been working on your cooking craft? Widen your net with a little bit of culture, and learn how to make some classic Portuguese Christmas treats in your very own kitchen. The two-hour live online experience will guide you through each of the steps – with all the expert guidance from Pastelaria Batalha on how to create perfect Rabanadas, Sonhos and Coscorões/Filhós. Book your place here.

9. Try one of Birmingham’s best hot chocolates

Missing some of the lovely sweet and warming stalls at the markets? There’s plenty of places to pick up a hot drink to takeaway – particularly under tier three measures, with a number of amazing spots in town for super indulgent hot chocolates. From those stacked high with so many treats they’re practically puddings, to the establishments that absolutely nail the classic-style hot choccy, our city has it all. Check out our guide here.

10. Make your own mulled wine

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Another great alternative to the Christmas Markets, mulled wine is an incredibly tasty festive treat – and it’s super easy to make, too. All you need is a pan and a hob, and the ingredients which can be picked up from any local supermarket. Most recipes just require you to warm up red wine, oranges, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and a touch of sugar or honey to taste – and it’s as easy as popping it all in a saucepan together and simmering on low (with a pan cover) for just 15 minutes.

11. Discover Birmingham’s Christmas light trail

birmingham christmas shopping centre

OK, it might not be the world’s largest Christmas tree all lit up and while Christmas will look a little different this year in Birmingham, the city and surrounding area s haven’t scrimped on the festive lights this year, with lights decorating major roads such as New Street, Centenary Way, Cannon Street and Victoria Square, to name a few. Head out on a trail through the city centre and the Bullring Shopping Centre, as well as arcades such as Great Western Arcade and Burlington Arcade to see that Christmas has arrived in Birmingham. Check out some of the festive lights in the city here.

12. Become a cocktail pro and enjoy live music with Martell 

Make yourself a cocktail pro ahead of the festive season and show off your skills to your Christmas bubble with Martell’s upcoming cocktail class, which not only features an expert masterclass with chef chef Max La Manna, but also features a live musical performance to enjoy at the end while you knock back your freshly made drinks. Tickets include a 20cl bottle of Martell as well as everything you’ll need to make the cocktails, as well as access to the live workshop and performance. Martell’s live classes have been super popular since the first lockdown, so you’ll want to snap up your tickets fast for December’s date.

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