One of my favourite things to do at this time of year is to go to a Christmas market. It is so festive and I love the beautiful Christmas lights. We are lucky to live near Birmingham and the market is brilliant. There are lots of different stalls selling festive produce and its a great place to wander around for an hour or so.
The market winds all the way through the centre of Birmingham. Essential things to do for me are:
- Look at the lights – there are Santas, polar bears and everything you could wish for. I love the stalls which have lights on top and move around.
- Take the girls on one of the rides – the carousel is lovely and if you pick your time there isn’t much of a queue.
- Eat a german bratwurst sausage - the bigger the better!
- Buy a beautiful wooden decoration – these are handmade and look lovely on the tree
- Buy stollen – this has become a tradition now!
- Look for usual and quirky presents – top of the list are cute animal hats and gingerbread biscuits with messages on them.
- Eat sweets or fruit dipped in chocolate.
- Try some German beer in the booths – ok I’ve never actually done this one as I always have the children with me but it looks like fun!
- Listen to Christmas carols – there is often live music as well as the carols played on the market stalls – there is even a singing moose.
- Start to feel Christmassy.
The best thing is that you don’t have to spend too much money and can still have a great time. Moneysupermarket gave me £50 to spend as part of their roundup of Xmas markets in the UK and it easily got us all lunch and a few goes on the rise as well as some treats and presents to bring home. It makes a good break from the shopping and gives the kids chance to have fun if they are getting a bit bored. The only thing is that as with all busy crowded places you do have to keep an eye on your belongings. The car parks are also really expensive as it is the town centre – I would usually go in on the train but as I had all the girls with me it wasn’t possible.
The other positive thing for me was that I had my very large and cumbersome double pram with me and there is enough space to get around easily – unlike most of the shops at this time of year!