I’m not sure what happened but earlier this week a switch flipped. I went from thinking it was far too early for Leeds to be Christmastown to suddenly thinking it just wasn’t festive enough.
Perhaps it’s because we’ve had a bit of snow here in Leeds (and a threat of more), or maybe it’s because I researched and posted my Gift Guide for Travellers earlier this week (did you miss it? Check it out here), or, maybe it’s because I’ve been surrounded by lights music and mince pies for the past 25 days and I had to give in at some point.
Whatever it is, I’m going with it!
So, to celebrate what I’m considering the start of the holiday season, I’ve put together my holiday bucket list. Cheers!
We had a chance to briefly pop into the Leeds Christmas Market (Christkindlmarkt) and it is spectacular! Located in Millenium Square, the sprawling market features everything you could hope for in a Christkindlmarkt: delicious foods, steaming hot drinks and more than 40 wooden chalet stalls to browse. We didn’t have a chance to properly explore the market, so we’ll definitely have to pop back over to sip and sample our way through all the stalls.
But Leeds isn’t the only market I’m keen to try this year. I’ve heard amazing things about the markets in Manchester and York, so I’m very hopeful that we can combine a day trip or two with a little market exploration.
Drink Mulled Wine
Just steps from the Christkindlmarkt you’ll find Thor’s Tipi – a new addition to the Leeds Christmas scene. This pop-up tipi bar invites visitors to celebrate Christmas in a Viking-inspired bar, complete with cosy fire logs, twinkling lights and wholesome Winter fodder. Sounds amazing, right! That’s why I can’t wait for a Saturday afternoon when I can grab a tankard of Scandi Glühwein (a warm mulled wine with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and spices), curl up by the fire and enjoy an afternoon in a tipi in the heart of the city.
See a Panto
A panto, or pantomime, is a musical comedy stage act synonymous with the holiday season here in England. These acts, which feature a combination of song, dance, buffoonery, slapstick, cross-dressing, in-jokes, topical references, audience participation, and mild sexual innuendo (source), are guaranteed to have every member of the family laughing uproariously.
We don’t frequent the theatre often (read: we never go), so there’s no better time to start – or, at least test the waters by attending one show. Everyone I speak to has a memory of attending pantos as a child, and I figure for our first holiday season in England, we might as well jump on the bandwagon and create our own panto-memories.
Watch the Gilmore Girls revival
Okay, so this isn’t the most holiday-y thing, but I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to watch the new episodes of the Gilmore Girls, which will be released today on Netflix!
As soon as I can, I’m going to grab a cup (bowl) of coffee, cocoon myself in a blanket and binge watch all the episodes. After which, I will most likely be forced to watch the whole series once again from start to finish. It’s going to be a fabulous and cosy time — the perfect way to unwind after a busy day of experiencing the festivities of Yorkshire!
Eat a Mince Pie
Apparently, in the UK, Christmas means one thing: mince pies! Okay, it means more than mince pies, but they are definitely a huge part of the holiday season here.
Since the beginning of November, no matter where I go, whether it’s the grocery store, the pharmacy, or even just browsing my facebook newsfeed, I’ve come face-to-face with mince pies. There are everywhere, And apparently, they are delicious!
Mince pies are small, hand-held pastries with a sweet fruit filling and a mixture of spices, usually cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. They look absolutely delicious and everyone I’ve spoken to can’t get enough of them!
So far, I’ve held off on testing one, but since I’ve now decided it’s the holiday season, I won’t be waiting much longer.
Bring on the holidays, the mulled wine and the mince pies!
That’s my holiday season bucket list. What’s on yours?
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