Swerve the hangover this Christmas: alcohol-free events for your diary

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that there’s nothing out there for people who don’t want to drink much (or at all) at Christmas time. Well let us stop you there because it’s totally not true! Yes the parties and Christmas Markets seem to be all about boozing but there’s loads more fun and festive things to do out there that don’t involve drinking.

So, to make your lives a little bit easier (because you’re probs still panicking about what to buy Aunty Carol, are we right?), we’ve rounded up some of the best alcohol-free Christmas events across the UK. Check ‘em out…


24 Doors of Advent

Take the chance to explore some of Edinburgh’s coolest places and buildings, that aren’t always open to the public, with this real-life Advent Calendar. A different venue across the city will throw open its doors each day for you to step inside, and some are even putting on special Christmas activities and exhibitions.

More info, here.

Forth 1 Big Wheel

After the London Eye, we reckon this is the most recognisable ferris wheel in the UK. Everyone in Edinburgh knows that Christmas is on its way when the Forth 1 Big Wheel goes up! Hop into one of the six person pods, which will keep you cosy and dry, and get ready for some seriously amazing views over this magical city. You’ll be able to see the Scott Monument and Edinburgh Castle from a whole new perspective.

Get your tickets, here.


Christmas at Glasgow Film Theatre

This independent cinema has been going strong for over 40 years, and it’s no wonder, Glasgow Film Theatre is our fave Scottish cinema! Get into the Christmas spirit with GFT’s Christmas season. They’re showing Elf and Home Alone, and retro classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas. What’s not to love?

Check it out, here.


Leeds Wheel of Light

Back for it’s fourth year now, this iconic ferris wheel is the best place to get an eyeful of the city lit up for Crimbo. Channel your inner child and hop on board the 110-foot wheel, which is illuminated with 25,000 (yes, you read that right!) colourful LED lights. Don’t forget your camera because the ‘Gram is gunna want to see your alcohol-free Christmas adventure. Enjoy the ride!

Open every day, except for Christmas Day. More info, here.

Christmas Cinema at Left Bank Leeds

We’ve got a lot of love for Left Bank Leeds. If you haven’t come across it before, it’s an amazing arts venue in Headingley, housed in a Grade II Listed former church. On 22 December, settle down below the towering gothic arches of the church, surrounded by candlelight, for a showing of Scrooge or the Muppets Christmas Carol. There’s a delish hot chocolate included in the ticket price too – yum!

Get your tickets, here.

Wreath Making with Hyde Park Flower Club

If you fancy doing something a little more creative with a way to avoid the Christmas parties left, right and centre, why not gather some friends for a spot of wreath making with Hyde Park Flower Club over at Seagulls Reuse. Hosted in an upstairs gallery 15 minutes from the city centre and free parking, get festive and create your very own festive showpiece.

Just click the link, here!


The Wonder of Christmas at Royal Albert Dock

There’s loads of Christmassy fun going on at Royal Albert Dock this December. Watch a Christmas story called ‘Love Returns’ projected on to the Mersey Maritime Museum. Check out the brand new Christmas lights all around the inner quay (there’s over one million!). Or enjoy a night at the floating pop up cinema – they’re showing Elf, Love Actually, The Grinch and more.

Find out more, here.


Natural History Museum Ice Rink

The open-air ice rink in front of the Natural History Museum is an absolute must at Christmas! If you’re not feeling the festive vibes yet, then you need to head along and get your skates on asap. There’s a huge Christmas tree in the middle of the rink and there’s literally thousands of twinkling fair lights to take in while you skate. We recommend warming up afterwards with a hot chocolate in the alpine-style café/bar!

Open every day, except for Christmas Day. Get the full deets, here.

Skylight Rooftop Ice Rink

If you fancy feeling the breeze a little higher up and showing off your skating skills at one of the bougiest ice rinks we’ve ever been to, then check out the Skylight Rooftop Rink at Tobacco Dock. Gaze over the beautiful London skyline and stop by the Fentimans Gingerbread House for some light refreshments. You can book it out for 3 hours in groups up to 8 to indulge in edible walls, candy canes and relax by a cosy fire all whilst being tended to by your own waiting staff!

Dates to book can be found, here.

Winterfest 2019 at Wembley Park

Newsflash – Wembley Park is being illuminated this Christmas, for the first time ever! The event is set to be a pretty damn awesome multi-sensory extravaganza with 11 light and sound installations from artists all over the world. We hear rumours of rainbow bright colours, Burning Man Festival’s ‘Sonic Runway’ will be making an appearance and ‘The Hopeful Tree’ sounds cute too – it’s the tallest LED Christmas Tree to ever come to London.

Oh, and did we mention it’s free? Find out more, here.


Evergreen at Hatch

Check out Manchester’s very first sustainable Christmas Market at Hatch (the coolest place in town if you ask us!). There’ll be more than 25 eco-conscious brands on the stalls, all selling gorgeous gifts, so you’re bound to finish up your Christmas shopping in one visit. Live music is guaranteed, with DJs and bands in the pipeline. Just make sure to time your trip in around lunchtime so you can sample some of the top-notch foodie spots too!

Get the lowdown, here.

The Hallé orchestra’s, The Snowman

You’re never too old for The Snowman, right? On the 23rd December watch a screening of this Christmas classic with live orchestral accompaniment from The Hallé, at Bridgewater Hall. It’s going to be absolutely magical! We’re losing it over the chorister who will be performing ‘Walking in the Air’. Get your tickets booked asap!

Fri 20th & Mon 23rd December, more info here.


Ice Skating at the Life Science Centre

It wouldn’t be Christmas in Newcastle without skating at the Life Science Centre! Whether you and your bestie are the next Torvill and Dean or total beginners, you’re bound to have a right laugh at this open-air rink. It’s open every day apart from the Christmas Bank Holidays. Book in advance and add a hot drink to warm up chilly fingers while you’re at it!

Find the full deets, here.

Fenwick’s Christmas Window

The Fenwick’s Christmas Window is a huge deal in Newcastle. People literally queue along Northumberland Street to get a look at it! And this year is no less special than any other – the theme is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! The famous window display brings to life scenes of hope, dreams and wonder from Roald Dahl’s classic.

Get your fill, here.

Happy hangover-free Christmas!