For those who crave an alternative to the hectic markets and fairs circuit, Gemma Corden investigates the best the West Midlands has to offer in our round up of festive days out.
Christmas Afternoon Tea
Highbury Hall, Birmingham
0121 303 2050
£15.95 per person – booking essential
6 December, 1.30pm to 7pm
The stunning Victorian setting of Highbury Hall, built by famous Birmingham parliamentarian Joseph Chamberlain, is perfect for a spot of festive tea. Hum along to Christmas carols as you nibble on posh sandwiches and sweet treats. You’re free to explore the house and grounds afterwards and, who knows, perhaps you’ll bump into Ebenezer Scrooge.
Prices vary per activity
Open 7 days a week
Nothing inspires the festive spirit quite like snow – and while it is unlikely we will get any this Christmas why not indulge yourself over at Tamworth Snow Dome, where you can ski, snowboard, toboggan or even adrenaline tube (essentially careering down a snowy track on a big tyre) to your heart’s content. Be sure to wrap up.
Christmas Cake Decorating Class
Chitty’s Cakes, Birmingham
0121 448 9596
£50 for a three hour session
8, 16 and 19 December
A bit like The Bake Off, only with mulled wine and distinctly less pressure, you are given three hours and a fruit cake to master marzipan, icing and sugarpaste, making your own seasonal decorations including reindeer and 3D penguins. You get to cake your creation home with you, for better or worse. Don’t panic, festive tunes and mince pies will keep your spirits high.
Traditional Christmas Evenings
Black Country Living Museum
0121 520 8054
£15 adults, £8 children
11, 12, 18, 20 December, 6.30pm – 10pm
A truly magical experience, the Museum’s gas-lit streets are transformed with festively decorated shops and homes to bring Christmases of old to life. Visitors can chat with costumed characters around a roaring fire, take part in carol-singing, listen to the brass band and enjoy real ales and roast chestnuts. A guaranteed sell-out – book fast.
Christmas Wreath Making Workshop
Jinney Ring Craft Centre, Hanbury (near Bromsgrove)
01527 821 272
1, 5, 12 December
Channel your inner Hyacinth Bucket with this 5-hour handmade wreath making workshop at a quaint traditional craft centre, set in beautiful gardens complete with duck ponds and views of the Malverns. You will be taught the techniques needed to produce a striking door wreath or table centre decoration – the in-laws will certainly be impressed when they come round for Christmas dinner.