Christmas 2018: Start preparing for the season in Liverpool
Get into the seasonal spirit and start preparing your celebrations with a unique Liverpool twist. From workshops for making your own cards and decorations to events that’ll light up special city locations, our round-up is sure to get your 2018 festivities off to a magical start.
Curated by Natasha Young
Set a date with Santa
Unsurprisingly, the big man in red has a hectic schedule as the countdown to Christmas gathers momentum but you can snap up a sit-down with him in a Liverpool grotto.
This year Santa and Mrs Claus will be leading a host of activities in the city’s landmark St Luke’s ‘Bombed Out’ Church, as the historic venue is transformed into an immersive Winter Wonderland attraction.
Book in advance for a two-hour slot between 1 and 23 December, and you’ll enjoy activities including family-friendly craft workshops and art sessions, storytelling with characters, a silent disco and a chance to build and dress up a snowbuddy – all amongst atmospheric festive backdrops.
There will, of course, also be a trip into Santa’s Grotto with a gift and framed photograph to take home, and hot drinks and mince pies for the adults.
Embrace the panto season
It’s that time of year again when a bumper selection of fun-packed family theatre rolls into town (oh yes it does!).
Pantomimes don’t come much more inclusive and original than the Unity Theatre’s contribution, which this year retells the classic family tale of ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
The show is created by the theatre from scratch, including the music, and this year the Hope Place venue has teamed up with Action Transport Theatre to stage the production in association with disability arts organisation DaDaFest.
The run kicks off on 30 November until 5 January, and includes a number of performances using British Sign Language as well as less formal ‘relaxed’ shows in a more supportive atmosphere to reduce anxiety levels. Tickets are priced from £9.50, with family passes also available.
Say it with print
We all want to give our Christmas greetings that personal touch, and Bluecoat is on hand to help on 9 and 10 November.
Design and print your own cards and gift tags to make your festive message stand out as two one-day courses take place at the city centre arts hub.
The ticketed Bluecoat Print Studio workshops, priced £60 for the day, will have you using linocut and screenprint techniques to create stunning seasonal stationery with a difference.
Try some decorative DIY
Once December arrives it feels like a race against time to get the tree up, tick everything off your festive shopping list and put the final touches to your celebrations so that you can enjoy a smooth-running Christmas with loved ones.
Grand plans of creating beautiful handmade decorations for your home and personalised gifts can easily fall by the wayside with the busy build-up in full swing.
Luckily there’s a solution as Muir Simpson, the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies’ North West president, is lining up a six-week course to keep your craft ambitions on track.
Making an early start on 6 November, weekly three-hour workshops at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral will cover everything from flower arranging and needlework to arts and crafts.
Places can be booked in advance for the course, priced at £60 per person for the full six weeks.
Shop for something different
Avoid the crowds of last-minute high street gift hunters and head to the winter instalment of Pop Up in the Palm House.
Taking place on 17-18 November in the lovely setting that is Sefton Park Palm House, the event is the perfect excuse to make an early start on present buying and support local makers by purchasing their creations.
Plus there’ll be food and drink stalls so you can reward yourself for being so organised this year by enjoying a bite to eat and a homemade mulled wine!
Enjoy a cup of creativity
Make that festive feast even more memorable with some spruced up cups and plates this Christmas.
National Museums Liverpool is hosting a seasonal edition of its ‘Crafternoon’ activity session at the Walker Art Gallery on 13 November, when the focus will be on decorating crockery.
The relaxed workshop for adults is free to attend but it’s essential to pre-book a ticket online.
Update: This event has been cancelled.