We’re told that The Frankfurt Market brings untold riches to our city, but no-one has been able to quantify it for me. It certainly brings some cheer, but also hordes of tourists. Pretty much everyone who lives or works in the city centre breaths a huge sigh of relief when the market packs up and rolls off, and spends little to no time there. When we attend we do so on drizzly Monday evenings when crowds are thin.
This year, owing to the current closure of Centenary Square and surrounding area, we have two completely new Christmas outdoor spaces to explore. One great for the kids, one great for the grown-ups, but both providing entertainment for everyone. Both less than 10 minutes on foot from New Street Station.
First, to City Social, at the foot of the steps to The Mailbox, under the protective cover of the flyover. Arranged and staffed by Brummies, many of whom have bricks and mortar venues in the city, the event space offers plenty to amuse the tastebuds: Pizza Trader slices, Indian Brewery nibbles, Ostrich burgers, chocolate goodies, fine food from Corner Kitchen, boozy Baileys hot chocolate, hot Pimms, cider, gin, whiskey, ale, and Pilsner from ABK.
There’s also a range of stalls selling shiny Christmas decorations, gifts, wreaths and other floral decs from city florist Richard Randall. Plus, it has a stage with live music. On Saturday we spent a whole afternoon and evening there drinking and eating, meeting friends, and having a bit of a boogey to the excellent groups that performed. We had lovely fun! It was nowhere near as crowded as the Frankfurt market, and you could definitely take the kids here for a pizza while you have a boozy Baileys hot chocolate.
For a different kind of day or evening you could head to Eastside Park, aka “Skate Birmingham” – for this year the large covered Ice Rink with bar has moved here, as has the Big Wheel. We think this is a great place to bring the kids. As well as skating, you can get the little ones on Santa’s Reindeer merry-go-round, plus there are bumper cars, a kid’s roller coaster, a big scary-upside-downey-thing and the Big Wheel to have a whirl in. And of course, you can get a hot dog, a beer, a hot chocolate, doughnuts, and other funfair favourites.
Well done to the local entrepreneurs that have set up these events, complementary to the rest of the Brummy Christmas celebrations.
EAST SIDE PARK – SKATE BIRMINGHAM FUNFAIR GALLERY
CITY SOCIAL – LOCAL MUSIC, FOOD, BOOZE, AND PARTY!