Had enough of the mass mulled muchness and sausage scrum of the German Markets this year? If the chintzy tinsel edge of Birmingham’s biggest festive affair is losing its ‘traditional’ shine this sparkly season fear not, we have a whole heap of alternative ideas to keep your cockles and chestnuts warmed ’til Christmas. And not a bah humbug in sight.

Edgbaston Christmas Lights Switch On
The more switched-on seekers of Xmas fun will be moseying on down to Edgbaston’s St George’s church where the roads will be closed (and possibly paved with mince pies) as Santa and his reindeer swing into town early and Edgbaston kicks Christmas off, gourmet style. Forget frankfurters, festive fayre here features some of the finest food & drink the city has to offer from Michelin starred Simpsons to the city’s hippest burger flippers Original Patty Men. There’ll also be crepes, hot chocolate, mulled stuff, alcoholic refreshments from local bars like Comida@21, Purity and The High Field, vintage fairground rides and cosy ole jazz. Our kind of Christmas…
Fri 18 Nov, 4pm – 6.30pm at St George’s Church, 1 Westbourne Crescent, B15 3BE, Birmingham. www.edgbastonvillage.co.uk

Magical Lantern Festival at Birmingham Botanical Gardens
A festive illuminated wonderland of woodland trails and Chinese lanterns in every imaginable form from peacocks and pandas to Birmingam’s big bronze bull. Food stalls and souvenirs too. Runs until January.
Fri 25 Nov – Mon 2 Jan. See our full feature here

Chordyard Chrimbo Countdown at Hotel Du Vin
We can’t think of any better way to sneak out of November and crash headlong towards Christmas than in the company of Birmingham’s own rockabillian female troubadour the wonderful Harry Jordan. If you haven’t already grabbed a copy then you really need to get hold of new EP ‘Devil in a Push up Bra’ and start tapping those beetle crushers. She’ll be live in the cosy heated courtyard along with half price champagne and a host of seasonal festivities.
Fri 25 Nov 6.30pm at Hotel du Vin, 25 Church Street, B3 2NR Birmingham. Free www.facebook.com/

Digmas Christmas Fair at the Custard Factory
The Custard Factory has a great knack for hosting off key events that offer something different from the mundane. Digmas is just such an event. An independent Christmas fair with an astonishing array of fun family orientatated activities. The kids can visit Santa in his grotto, listen to storytelling, join in craft workshops and get their faces painted. Quality presents can be bought at the gift market and hungry bellies can get their fill by some of Birmingham’s top street food vendors. Oh there’s also a pop up bar from Clink and the Gin Box. That’s us sorted then.
Sat 26 Nov 11am at The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, B9 4AA Birmingham. Free www.facebook.com/

Moseley Christmas Markets & Snowselele at the Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales plays host to Moseley’s finest Christmas event with a day of traditional activities. There are fifteen gift stalls selling a variety of products and imaginative present ideas for those struggling to know just what to get. Hand crafted mirrors? Just the job. The ubiquitous mulled wine will be flowing in the wine shed along with quality street food to match the usual fine fare served at the Prince. There’s also music and carol singing.
More festive musical madness entails on Thu 22 Dec with the yuletide uke fest of Moseleles last singalong of the year.
Sun 27 Nov 1pm at the Prince of Wales,  118 Alcester Rd, Birmingham B13 8EE. Free www.facebook.com/

Winter Social at The Bullring
Birmingham’s pulled a right belter out of it’s Christmas stocking the season, with a Winter wonderland of local independents and talent that couldn’t get much cooler. Promising ‘the best beers, views, DJs, food, hot chocolate and mince pies in Birmingham’ they’ve proved their point from the off on the DJ bookings alone. Birmingham’s finest selectors will be on hand to lift the musical mood, with the likes of Leftfoot and The Great Outdoors to Magic Door and Mazzy Snape taking a spin. The food looks pretty tasty too, sample one of Breakingbap’s Heizenburgers or spice things up festive style with Middle Feast and Masala World. Also on offer are classic Christmas movies silent disco style in the Dome Tent’s ‘Platform’ Silent Cinema with winter warmers from hot chestnuts and mulled wine/warm spiced cider to posh popcorn, choctails and traditional ale to keep the cockles tip top toasty.
Thu 1 Dec – Sat 24 Dec at The Bullring, located on The Balcony on St Martins Walk, Birmingham B5 4BU. 12pm – 9pm (closed Mondays). Free www.facebook.com/wintersocial

Eastside Projects Winter Art Fair
Have yourself an Xmas arts fest with two days of affordable pop-produce created both locally and further afield from artworks, artist books and editions to music and homemade refreshments. An eclectic gathering of West Midlands and national artists, curators and publishers, the Winter Art fair will celebrate and promote a diverse range of artistic practices. Black Pleasure bar will be taken over by Foodsketz, a project by artists Alison Clare & Cat Smith, who will be offering homemade food, tea, cocktails and conversations and music will be provided by Queerzone3000.
Fri 2 Dec, 6pm-9pm, Sat 3 Dec, 12pm – 5pm at Eastside Arts Projects, 86 Heath Mill Lane, Birmingham B9 4AR, Free www.eastsideprojects.org

Birmingham Originals Makers Market at Birmingham Municipal Bank
Locally created loveliness putting the cool back into Christmas.
Fri 2 Dec – Sun 4 Dec, see our full preview here

Artists Behind the Bar with Fierce End of Year Party at Grand Union
Arty party where the artists create their own ‘spontaneous structures of hospitality’, including the alcoholic creations and turn bartender for the night. Expect cool concepts, crazy costumes, art, music and dancing, as well as eclectic, unexpected performances.
Fri 2 Dec, find our full preview here.

Winter Market at The Bond
There have been some excellent events hosted at the Bond. Imaginative and bold. The one off urban Christmas festival looks like it will be a festive belter. An indoor market space with 30 stalls of quality products, no tat here. A dizzying array of the finest alcoholic beverages provided by the little Gin Company, the Cocktail Caravan and  real ale bus bar. Street food from the best that Brum has to offer. Leftfoot DJ’s will be banging out the Xmas beats and there will be entertainment laid on for the kids.
Sat 3 Dec 12pm at the Bond Company, 180 Fazeley Street, B5 5SE Birmingham £2 www.facebook.com/

Czechoslovak Christmas Night Special at Gunmakers Arms
Christmas isn’t complete for Czechs and Slovaks without watching the Russian fairytale Morozko. Released in 1965 and roughly translated as Jack Frost, pretty much everyone in the Eastern Bloc knows the film by heart and just have to singalong. Join the Czech and Slovak Club of Birmingham and Brum Cinema Addicts for this special screening, eat lots of sausage and sing your heads off.
Sat 3 DEc 8pm at Gunmakers Arms, 93 Bath Street, City Centre, B4 6HG Birmingham £2 www.facebook.com/

Festive Footsie Club: Burlesque, Variety & Cabaret at The Old Joint Stock
Festive decadence and a tantalising variety of baubles, glamour and giddy heights at Birmingham’s grandest and grooviest pub-theatre. The cream of the UK’s cabaret scene is personally selected by host Stage Door Johnny with the sole purpose of discovering performers to set pulses racing and put the frisky back into your festive. More sauce with your pudding vicar?
Thu 1 Dec, The Old Joint Stock Pub & Theatre Venue, 4 Temple Row West, Birmingham, B2 5NY, £12 www.oldjointstock.co.uk

Digbeth Christmas Hamper at the Old Crown
Birmingham’s oldest boozer has had several centuries to fine tune its Christmas celebrations and if the Digbeth Hamper is anything to go by they’ve perfected yueltide fun. Over four nights The Old Crown’s garden will be transformed into a hotbed of festive over indulgence. Santa himself will be your host through party games and live music. There will be street food, Christmas cocktails, waitress service and enormous platters of food can be pre-booked for groups of five or more.
Fri 9 Dec, Sat 10 Dec, Fri 16 Dec, Sat 17 Dec 5.30pm at the Old Crown, 188 High Street, Deritend, Birmingham, B12 0LD Prices start at £10 www.facebook.com/

Storytelling Christmas Cafe at Kitchen Garden Cafe
Grab something mulled, settle down and snuggle up for a night of festive tales and the ancient art of storytelling in the KGC’s cosy confines.
Mon 12 Dec see our full preview here

Wednesday Tinsel Ride at mac
Get in the Christmas spirit by overloading your bikes with masses of tinsel and lights and join hundreds of other crimbo cyclists for a pedal through the city. A wonderful sight to behold and kids absolutely love it. Best of all it wont cost you a penny.
Wed 14 Dec 7.15pm at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birimngham B12 9QH FREE  www.facebook.com/

Dirty Old Folkers Pantomine and Christmas Extravaganza at Kitchen Garden Cafe and Hare and Hounds 
Absolute legends in Kings Heath, the Dirty Old Folkers bring their inimitable brand of chaotic folkery and comedy stylings to the good citizens of that fair village for a Christmas shindig like no other. Reveling in ribald inappropriateness and occasional toilet humour the boys will be performing their own version of the Pied Piper of Hamlyn. This will be the ninth Panto season for the Folkers. There will be surprises and you will probably be offended. Ho ho ho.
Sun 18 Dec and Tue 20 Dec 8pm at Kitchen Garden Cafe, York Street, Kings Heath B14 7SA £12.50 www.kitchengardencafe.co.uk/ and Fri 23 Dec 8pm at Hare and Hounds, High Street, Kings Heath B14 7JZ £10 hareandhoundskingsheath.

Fri 25 Nov - Fri 23 Dec
Giles Logan
Published on:
Sun 4 Dec 2016