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The nights before Christmas

There are some unwritten rules when it comes to the festive season and here at beyond we have our own tinsel-clad bucket list that everyone should complete…

Shed a tear to Love Actually…

Don’t listen to the cynics, Richard Curtis’ 2003 film actually gets better with age and this year there’s a chance to see it on the big screen. At York Barbican, a live orchestra plays the score as Hugh Grant stars as the best Prime Minister Britain never had. It’s unashamedly schmaltzy, but that’s why we love it.

December 13th
yorkbarbican.co.uk

Drink hot cider…

Any other time of the year we would be appalled by the thought of warm, slightly overly sweet fermented apple juice, but this has to be the drink of choice during December. Grab a glass or two at the
Kuh Stall in Christkindelmarkt on Millennium Square in Leeds. 

To December 22nd
millsqleeds.com

Dream of sugar plum fairies…

The Nutcracker is one of those things you shouldn’t mess with.
So while we love Northern Ballet’s modern versions of classic tales,
we love even more that they are reviving their very traditional production at Leeds Grand Theatre. 

December 4th to 6th
leedsgrandtheatre.com

Channel the panto spirit…

It’s ludicrous and peculiarly British, but Yorkshire has some of the finest. This year panto stalwart Billy Pearce is back at Bradford Alhambra in Aladdin and over in York, Berwick Kaler celebrates his 40th anniversary as a panto dame.   

Aladdin, December 8th to January 20th,
bradfordtheatres.co.uk

Grand Old Dame of York, December 13th to February 20th

yorktheatreroyal.co.uk

Confront the Ghost of Christmas Past…

Along with The Wizard of Oz and It’s a Wonderful Life, at some point during the festive season you have to watch a version of Dickens’ Christmas tale and this year there is a chance to see a live version in the pop-up theatre of the Leeds Playhouse.

November 20th to January 19th
leedsplayhouse.co.uk

Go ice skating…

The trick here is confidence. If you think you can skate, you’ll glide along the ice like a professional. Trust us. Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland (to January 6th, yorkshireswinterwonderland.com)  is back at York Designer Outlet and at Stockeld Park in Wetherby there is an undercover rink so you can skate regardless of the weather

to January 7th
stockeldpark.com

Shop at a Christmas market…

Forget Black Friday, independent shopping is where it’s at. York’s St Nicholas Fair is open until December 23rd, visityork.org;  Skipton’s High Street will become a celebration of all that’s festive on December 2nd and 9th, welcometoskipton.com; and Knaresborough’s Christmas Festival will take place on December 1st and 2nd,  knaresboroughchristmasmarket.co.uk

For a full round-up visit yorkshire.com

Make like Downton Abbey…

A number of stately homes across Yorkshire are opening their doors for Christmas. One of our favourites is Harewood House. Decorated by the set designer behind Victoria it’s a chance to see how the rich and famous celebrated Christmas in the 1920s. Also see page 78 for Castle Howard’s festive plans.

November 24th to January 6th
harewood.org

Explore after dark…

Harlow Carr in Harrogate is about to turn on its winter illuminations bringing a touch of magic to the gardens. As dusk falls, walk the illuminated trail around the lake which features botanically
inspired installations.

Thursdays to Saturdays, November 23rd to December 30th
rhs.org.uk

Belt out Silent Night…

If the last time you sang carols was at school, then can we suggest
you grab some tickets for the concert at Kirkstall Abbey. It’s an impressive setting and don’t worry if you are a little tone deaf, the Heritage Singers will do the hard work.

December 9th
leeds.gov.uk

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