NX West Midlands Hero

Christmas days out on a budget

Tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to spread the festive cheer than by embarking on budget-friendly Christmas escapades around the West Midlands!

Published: 6th December 2023

Christmas days out on a budget

Tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to spread the festive cheer than by embarking on budget-friendly Christmas escapades around the West Midlands! From twinkling light displays to charming markets and cosy winter wonderlands with Father Christmas. We've put together a list of enchanting activities that will make this Christmas season merry and bright without your wallet having a fright.

German Christmas Market

A firm fixture in Birmingham's calendar, the Frankfurt Christmas Market is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. 

Wander for hours through the stalls full of traditional wooden gifts and handcrafted keepsakes. Take in the scents of some of the tastiest food, from pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts, chocolate covered strawberries and freshly made pancakes. The most traditional German drinks are on offer from hot chocolate to gluhwein, or a glass of weissbier. Or simply dance in the twinkling lights of the market as the live singers and DJs play the best Christmas songs.

Snowdog Trail in Birmingham City Centre

Visit Birmingham City Centres Snowdog Trail between the 8th November and 4th January. Take a wintry walk with the Snowdogs around the city, discovering the festive sculpture trail inspired by the animated sequel to the picture book The Snowman™.

Snowdog locations:

  1. Starry Night in Centenary Square
  2. Ru-dog at the German Christmas Market
  3. Elf at the Christmas in Cathedral Square Market
  4. Candy Cane in the Great Western Arcade
  5. Classic Snowdog on Corporation Street
  6. Roodle in the Piccadilly Arcade
  7. Sparkle at The Mailbox
  8. Ginger in Southside
  9. Bark the Herald Angels Sing in Bullring
  10. Gizmo in Selfridges

Christmas in Cathedral Square

Dazzled with beautiful lights, where you can soak up the festive atmosphere, Christmas in Cathedral Square celebrates Christmas with over 40 local independents from food, drink, arts and crafts stalls alongside some live festive music. There is something for everyone to enjoy .

Open from 15th November until 17th December 2023! Visit Colmore Bids website for more information.

Father Christmas at Cathedral Square Market

Father Christmas will pay the market a visit from 11am to 3pm on Saturday 2nd December. Santa will walk around the square offering a chance for families to meet him free-of-charge - and he will even be giving out free gifts.

Colmore BID will provide a photographer to give all families the opportunity to make memories and access their images from Colmore BID’s Facebook page. Christmas in Cathedral Square runs from Wednesday November 15 to Sunday December 17, 2023.

Resorts World’s Free Festive Fun Event

Every weekend in December Resorts World are hosting some brilliant festive fun to keep all the kids entertained. With activities ranging from Elf School, Free Radios karaoke booth, LED drummers, even an appearance from a polar bear, as well as so much Christmas crafting and a cheeky elf hunt. The elves at Resorts World have got you covered for some free fun.

To find out more details visit the Resorts World website.

Christmas at Merry Hill

Marvellous Merry Maze

New for 2023 Merry Hill shopping centre is offering some free festive fun for the family to enjoy. An interactive maze for your little ones to hop, skip and jump, dashing through the hedges following clues and solving riddles to reach all the Christmas magic.

To find out more details visit the Merry Hill website.

Eco Christmas wrapping with Wild Earth Movement

If you're shopping at Merry Hill you can pop by the Wild Earth Movement pop up eco gift wrapping station and get your gifts wrapped for free. 

Eco wrapping doesn't mean not beautiful wrapping, using recycled paper, fabric scraps, dried fruits and natural materials to make those gifts look beautiful. The perfect way to do something environmentally friendly this Christmas.

Gracechurch Centre Sutton Coldfield

From elf academy, letter to Santa Sundays, festive face painting to eco elves workshops, Gracechurch centre are hosting a range of free festive activities that will keep the kids entertained and get them excited for Christmas. 

Booking is required to secure your place, visit Gracechurch centres website.

Go on Jewellery Quarter's window trail

Jewellery Quarter Bid have put together a window trail with over 70 venues to transform the streets of the Jewellery Quarter into a winter wonderland. From 18th November - 25th December 2023 you can explore the Jewellery Quarter in a unique way to win prizes and vote for the best window display.

For more information and to download your trail guide visit the Jewellery Quarter website.

Christmas Events at Selfridges Birmingham

As you wander through the iconic yellow bubble, meet Santa and friends as he makes a visit to Selfridges with his trusty elves. A complimentary experience to catch the big guy as he roams around the shop. 

Every weekend in December, for more information visit Selfridges Birmingham's website.

The Festive rewind with Greggs

Lets go bake to the 80s, 90s,00s with Greggs at their Birmingham Christmas bash. Specially crafted Greggs-inspired cocktails and the delicious Greggs festive treats will be served to fuel the merriment alongside the best music of the decade.

8th December 2023, for more information on tickets visit Greggs website or social channels.

BCU Christmas Carol Service in Birmingham Cathedral

The University's annual Christmas Carol Service returns to Birmingham St Philips Cathedral on Thursday 14 December. Support a local university, a free of charge event to spread some christmas cheer. Enjoy traditional readings and carols led by musicians from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and even some mulled wine and mince pies after the service.

The event is free but booking is essential, visit the BCU website.

Christmas at The Exchange

The festive extravaganza is packed with a wide range of free activities for all ages. From sensory music sessions, crafting, festive cinemas and visits to the basement vaults. The music students at The University of Birmingham will keep you entertained too with some festive favourites.

To find out more visit the University of Birmingham's website.

The Big Fat Christmas Quiz at The Old Crown

From Christmas songs, festive traditions, classic films and riddles and brain games, enjoy the ultimate festive trivia showdown to get the family arguments started early. Head to the old crown on 20th December to get into the festive spirit. Tickets from £5.

For more information and to book your ticket visit Design My Night website.

There are plenty of places around the midlands to meet Santa himself, take a look at our ultimate guide to the best places to meet Santa blog. There are also so many markets to get into the festive spirit and enjoy some tasty food and drinks, visit our must see Christmas market blog to pick the best one.

Don't forget to plan your journey around the city with National Express West Midlands.

Rediscover the West Midlands and take advantage of these great attraction offers when you travel by bus.

30% off admission at LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre

30% off admission at the National Sea Life Centre

25% off admission at the Black Country Living Museum

Get 50% off admission at Thinktank

30% off admission at The Pen Museum

30% off Theatre Tours at The Old Rep Theatre

20% off admission at the Botanical Gardens, Birmingham

30% off the High Ropes at Bear Grylls Adventure

25% off admission to Stourbridge Glass Museum


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