Well this years things to do in December list was much more fun to put together than last years and I’m going in big for my first Blogmas post of the year. Places are actually open, events can go ahead and it’s set to be a much more normal Christmas. I feel like this year everyone has got into the spirit a lot earlier again and why not? I’ve got my December packed full of things and thought I’d share some Christmas/December inspiration with you. Here’s over 70 things to do in December and tick off your December bucket list.
I’ve broken it down into categories including days out, indoor fun for cosy days at home, winter activities and all sorts of other things. Since I wrote this there have been some developments in guidance in the UK from the government. Please just take all my Blogmas posts, recommendations and ideas as things to do as long as it’s safe, you’re abiding by the law and doing what you’re comfortable with. I’m not going to keep referring to that situation at all. That’s all I’ll say on it, so let’s have a fun month.
December Days Out
Go to your local Christmas market if it’s on, and not just the big city ones. Smaller towns often have either their own weekly/monthly markers with a more festive feel, or host one off market events.
I’ve spotted a few Winter Wonderlands advertised including the Newcastle one at Gosforth racecourse. These places usually have more than just market stalls and include fairground rides and ice skating.
Plan a day trip on the train to another Christmas market. So far this year I’m going to Edinburgh and York, the classics from Newcastle.
Go see the Christmas window displays, everything from the annual department stores like Fenwicks window, Selfridges, Harrods to the local independent ones.
Go to a Panto. My idea of hell but we used to always go at Christmas with grandparents so if you’re into it then see what’s on. If you’re in Newcastle here’s the big Panto guide to what’s on. Looks like Snow White is at the Theatre Royal and Sleeping Beauty at the Tyne Theatre.
Go on a long winter walk, again here’s some inspiration I shared last year for walks in the North East. Isn’t it nice that this isn’t the ONLY thing we can do this year?!
Visit a National trust venue or park for a day out – I’ve seen the decorations at Bamburgh Castle look amazing, and last year we really enjoyed a day out to Raby Castle to see the deer and reindeer.
Visit the snow leopards at Northumberland zoo. I loved seeing them last winter read my full blog here.
Reindeer will be appearing all over the place, at garden centres, Christmas fairs etc. Pay them a visit.
Go ice skating. A lot of the ice rinks stay for longer than just the run up to Christmas and will be around in January too. In Newcastle the ice rink at the Life Centre is back.
Do a local light trail. There’s one at Alnwick Garden, Durham, and Beamish Hall in the North East off the top of my head. There’s bound to be them all over the country. If you’re in the North East pay Alnwick Garden a visit, they suffered a lot of damage thanks to Storm Arwen and have been working tirelessly to make sure it goes ahead.
Go to a sports event and make a day of it. As a kid I used to go to the football every Boxing Day and New Year’s Day if Newcastle were playing at home. Let’s face it they could use all the support they can get.
Festive Food & Drink
Have a cheese and wine tasting night. Or swap this for your favourite drink instead, a gin tasting night? There are some lovely winter gins you could prepare all the different garnish to go with them. My favourites in winter are Poetic License Fireside gin or Opihr gin.
Go to a festive afternoon tea. They’re nearly all the same with turkey and cranberry sandwiches, but it’s a nice thing to do with people. Look out for my post on the ones in Newcastle later this week.
Try the seasonal coffees and hot chocolates, from the usual places like Starbucks and Costa but also go to your local cafes who are bound to have some good ones.
Visit a Tipi, Igloo or Christmas pop up. These are everywhere and even though they’re a bit of a novelty it’s fun to do something different. The most recent one I went to is Gino’s Chalet on the Newcastle quayside and it was gorgeous. See more pics on this instagram post.
Do your Christmas food order early enough! As well as ordering from supermarkets browse some of the local bakeries, the Grainger market and independent traders. They often close for orders earlier.
Make mulled wine or mulled cider. Here’s my recipe that could be used for both.
Take advantage of all the festive menus at your favourite restaurants.
Make and decorate a gingerbread house. Does anyone actually have time to make them from scratch? Lots of places do them pre made that you just have to decorate, Good Housekeeping list 15 of them here.
Do a Christmas dinner trial run, or make one with friends, housemates or people other than who you’ll be spending Christmas Day with.
Bake and decorate Christmas cookies, or cheat and buy them. This is a lot harder than it looks as I discovered last year when I had way to much time on my hands.
Support local shops or businesses as much as possible. Buy something from their stalls at fairs or markets, share their posts on social media or better yet share your own promoting them. Recommend them to people too. Fenwick’s have a great Makers Market in their Fenwick section, and venues like Spanish City, South Causey, Wynyard and Jesmond Dene House are all hosting local Christmas shopping events.
Treat yourself to something you’ve wanted for a while. My favourite person to shop for at Christmas is myself.
Shop the Boxing Day sales. My favourite ones are the travel ones.
Get some festive nail designs.
Light candles just because they’re pretty. You can’t beat Jo Malone Orange Bitters.
Read books by the fire.
Turn your phone off for a day.
Get your hair done.
Make sure you get outside in daylight hours, even if it’s just for a short walk.
Say no to plans if you’re feeling a bit burnt out.
Make your own Christmas pot pourri. It’s so expensive to buy and all you need are dried fruit, pine cones and berries. If you don’t want to gather all this yourself because it is a bit of a faff on Amazon sell small bags that are a lot cheaper than pre made ones. And so are the different scent oils you can buy to add to it.
Make your own – Christmas cards, decorations and wrapping gift tags. @millergrey on instagram always has excellent festive decoration and gift tag ideas.
Do a wreath making class or event. The National Trust are running all sorts of craft events, take a look here.
Do a winter photo challenge, a photo a day of all things festive and wintery. Pinterest has some good lists for these.
Have an afternoon of Christmas wrapping, with your favourite film on and a Baileys.
Send Christmas cards if it’s still something you like to do. Or you could donate the money to a charity instead. Where possible buy your cards from local sellers rather than mainstream, they’re often much nicer.
If you’re able to, buy something extra at the supermarket to support a charity, or donate money if at all possible. At Christmas some of the best ones are for underprivileged kids, the elderly who can often be especially lonely at Christmas, or the homeless.
Donate to food banks. Especially the NUFC food bank where every donation goes a lot further thanks to the matched donation this season from the owners.
Buy a homeless person a coffee or a festive bake.
Have a clear out and donate anything worthwhile to charity.
Volunteer your time for a charity, cause or event.
There’s a lot of different ways to give back or be charitable at this time of year, here’s 15 good deeds that I shared during last years Blogmas.
Traditional Christmas Fun
Decorate the house! Go buy a real tree, decorate the one you have, put the lights up, get the Christmas candles out.
Join in Christmas Jumper Day. This year it is Friday 10th December. Have a read of my Christmas jumper blog post for inspiration.
Visit a new city abroad (if it’s safe, doable and you’re happy to!). My favourites are Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and New York. I know restrictions keep changing but I’m including it in case you are OK to go. If not, book one for next year.
Do a Christmas scavenger hunt or Go Fetch.
Go for a drive to see all the neighbourhood Christmas lights.
I wrote this post on how to do a Christmas market at home last year, and although they are back in real life you could still have one at home too.
Prepare your Christmas table scape.
Take part in Secret Santa.
Play charades with the family.
Make your own Christmas playlist so you don’t have to skip all the songs you don’t like.
Play board games.
Have a Christmas film or Christmas Netflix day, with hot chocolate, snacks and pyjamas on.
Do a Christmas karaoke– again, my idea of hell.
Record and watch all the Christmas special TV programs. Or rewatch old favourites. I’m a big fan of the Royle Family specials. Just not Mrs Browns Boys.
Take part in a Christmas quiz, either at the pub or do your own. Mine will be coming soon!
Make a Christmas Eve box. Who says these have to be for just kids?
For between Christmas – New Year
Do the Boxing Day or New Year’s Day dip.
Book a hotel break to relax and unwind after all the festive fun.
Go in an outdoor hot tub when it’s freezing outside.
Make plans to see someone you haven’t for ages.
Fill your new planner or diary with important dates and plans.
Go glamping somewhere with a log burner and fire pit if you can get booked. If not make a fire on the beach with your friends. I loved doing this last year when we couldn’t go in anywhere.
Go for a country walk somewhere different.
Set yourself goals and resolutions. We all do it.
Make an achievable bucket list for 2022.
Eat leftovers and stay in your pyjamas all day.
Go back through your camera roll, there’s bound to be more on there than you remember from the past year. Back them up!
Book a meal for New Years Eve, it doesn’t have to be a big night out.
Watch the fireworks if there are local displays running near you. Please don’t do your own and scare all the dogs they went through enough on Bonfire night!
Other Blogmas posts you might like: