Christmas may feel a little different this year, but Birmingham Museums is still bringing the festive cheer with a range of spectacular events to look forward to. There’s the chance to see Santa Claus, enjoy festive food and get your culture fix.
Perfect for planning beyond the current lockdown restrictions, these events will be held in line with the most up to date Government guidelines. See birminghammuseums.org.uk/whats-on for full listings and event details.
Santa at Blakesley Hall and Aston Hall – on sale from Monday 23 November
Santa’s coming to town and visiting two of Birmingham’s most beautiful Historic Properties. On Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December, children can meet Santa at Blakesley Hall. The Great Hall in this Tudor House will be decorated ready for its important visitor. Children will have the opportunity to post a letter to Santa in the Blakesley post box, receive a Christmas activity pack, as well as a small present from the man himself. Festive dress is encouraged!
Whilst the rest of Blakesley Hall will remain closed, the grounds will be open for visitors to explore and enjoy. Festive treats will be available in the Herb Garden Café, with an opportunity to browse for Christmas gifts in the shop too.
Santa will also be gracing the grounds of Aston Hall, the magnificent seventeenth century Birmingham mansion, on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December. This visit will include a small Christmas gift, the opportunity to have a photograph taken with Santa and a Christmas activity pack complete with a festive card to decorate at home.
Visitors can explore the picturesque Lady Holte Garden and enjoy treats from the Stable Yard Café, available to eat in the grounds or takeaway. For an extra £4.00 per person, visitors will be greeted with a delicious hot chocolate and gingerbread man which will really help visitors to get in the cosy Christmas vibe.
Tickets to see Santa at Blakesley Hall and Aston Hall are available to pre-book from Monday 23 November and cost £25 ticket for a household/social bubble of up to 6. Santa can’t wait to greet visitors and the set up will allow for social distancing.
Book Blakesley Hall tickets at www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/blakesley/whats-on/santa-at-blakesley-hall-a67c2683-1d61-43be-bb13-6f382aafd8a1 and Aston Hall tickets at www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/aston/whats-on/meet-father-christmas-at-aston-hall when they are released.
Special festive dining experiences not to be missed
For an exciting three-course festive dining experience, visitors are invited to Aston Hall where Christmas igloo dining pods will be popping up in the grounds on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December.
Embrace the frosty weather with these covered transparent igloos, situated within the north courtyard, which seat up to six people from the same household/bubble. Wrap up warm to stay cosy!
Each igloo group will be allocated 90 minutes for a scrumptious festive meal. Enjoy a warming butternut squash soup, traditional roast turkey, or a vegan mushroom and leek pie, followed by an indulgent chocolate ganache tart. Tickets cost £19.95 for adults and £9.95 for children with various slots available to pre-book here: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/aston/whats-on/festive-dining-in-the-igloo-pods.
For pizza lovers, the courtyard at Sarehole Mill is the place to be. Christmas Pizza in the Pods is taking place on Friday 4 and 11 December. Household groups will be greeted with a hot welcome drink, before being led to their own private covered igloo for a delicious meal, surrounded by a wonderful winter atmosphere and festive music.
There are several pizza options to choose from, and the menu also includes a winter warmer soup and Christmas tart for pudding. Tickets are £24.50 per person, with igloos seating 2-5 people from the same household/bubble, available to pre-book here: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/sarehole/whats-on
Each Christmas event must be pre-booked in advance, and strict safety measures will be in place to ensure the enjoyment of everyone attending. Visitors are advised to check the Birmingham Museums Trust website for further updates and guidelines.
Support the Jewellery Quarter with Christmas shopping showcase event
The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter prides itself on showcasing the amazing local designers still working in the historic Quarter today. The Local Makers Christmas Showcase is a unique shopping event on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 December, 10:30am – 4pm and is the ideal way to enjoy a visit to the Jewellery Quarter and shop local for Christmas.
In addition to dazzling jewellery, there will also be local history books and giftware on offer, with gift wrapping available, and the tearooms will be open serving a range of hot drinks and treats to takeaway. This shopping event is free to enter, however timed slots must be pre-booked here: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/jewellery/whats-on/local-makers-christmas-showcase
Also hosted within the scenic Jewellery Quarter is a twilight walking tour on Saturday 12 December, exploring folklore, ghost stories and the fascinating heritage of the Quarter. Beginning outside the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, each ticket includes a warming hot chocolate to enjoy on the tour, and the option of pre-ordering a dedicated guidebook. Tickets cost £15 per person and must be pre-booked here: www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/jewellery/whats-on/jewellery-quarter-ghost-walk-b24594e5-2222-46da-a16e-d1f6b2488004
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery gets in the festive spirit
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is gearing up for Christmas and is the perfect place to get in the festive spirit before the big day itself. The tree will be decked, and a delicious Christmas lunch will be waiting for you in the stunning Edwardian Tearooms. A Christmas tradition not to be missed!
Explore the galleries with the nativity trail and pick up an activity pack for more festive fun. Look out for more activities to be announced soon.
Don’t forget to stop by at the museum’s shop which stocks a range of unique gifts perfect for art lovers, culture fans and local history enthusiasts. Gifts are also available from the online shop with everything from books, home accessories, skincare, art prints, and stocking fillers. These presents will be sure to spread a little bit of joy to family and friends and all proceeds go towards supporting Birmingham Museums. See our gift guide here www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/blog/posts/birmingham-museums-2020-christmas-gift-guide for some inspiration.
For those still looking for that special something, Birmingham Museums has launched the Virtual Birmingham Christmas Gifts Market which is an online event running until Sunday 13 December. Featuring a wide range of products from local producers, every purchase you make will help a local business at this difficult time. Simply join the group to have a browse through the virtual stalls for some great gift ideas for loved ones.
Thinktank’s online elves are ready to meet you
While Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, will not be reopening until 2021 there will be a range of exciting events running online over the Christmas period. Take the virtual elf trail led by an expert guide, enjoy a live science show and witness some fantastic Kitchen Science Experiments you can try at home!
These online events are free to join, with the opportunity to make a donation towards Birmingham Museums. Check out @thinktankmuseum on Twitter and Facebook for details.