Why it's never too early to start celebrating Christmas in Leeds - YEP Opinion

I'm one of those annoying people who really loves Christmas.

Sunday, 31st October 2021, 4:45 am

I'll be drinking mulled wine at the first opportunity and it won't be long before my flat is decked out in fairy lights, multiple Christmas trees and tinsel hanging from the ceiling.

Going to the Leeds German Christmas Market was a rite of passage every year, where I'd come away with a bag full of trinkets that I definitely didn't need and a belly full of the finest winter grub.

So you can imagine my disappointment when the Christkindelmarkt was cancelled for the second year in a row.

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"There's hope that it will be a Christmas to remember - for the right reasons"

The organisers had to take the decision very early this year and it's an understandable one, considering the financial risks in the pandemic.

But not all hope is lost for festive celebrations in Leeds - and I'll be lapping up all the Christmas activities being hosted across the city.

Most of us could spend just one day with our loved ones last year, with Leeds under Tier 3 restrictions before it was plunged into a national lockdown just days later.

There were no New Year parties and any family celebrations were dulled by the ongoing crisis that unfolded around us.

Thor's Tipi Bar has also announced it will return to Victoria Gardens this year

We're not quite out of the woods yet but this year, there's hope that it will be a Christmas to remember - for the right reasons.

I'm starting my Christmas celebrations even earlier this year, even if it turns up a few noses. We all need something to lift us up after the turbulent 18 months we've had.

And Christkindelmarkt aside, there are plenty of ways to celebrate in Leeds.

Millennium Square will still come to life with an ice skating rink and an igloo bar, alongside pop-up market stalls and a new free festive-themed family trail.

I'll be taking a trip to Chow Down's Winter Village, which will host some big-name DJs alongside warming winter dishes, Christmas tipis and snugs to keep guests warm.

Thor's Tipi Bar has also announced it will return to Victoria Gardens, outside Leeds Art Gallery, next month and I can't wait to enjoy a Baileys hot chocolate (or two).

The viking-inspired pop-up bar boasts real fires and rustic wooden decor for the cosiest way to enjoy a tipple this Christmas.

Mrs Claus will pay a visit to Lotherton Hall for its popular Christmas Experience and her diary is almost full following a record-breaking start to the season.

There will be an enchanting new festive woodland walk filled with twinkling lights and decked out in larger-than-life Christmas decorations.

Whether you'll be out partying into the early hours, or experiencing the joy of Christmas through your children's eyes - it's time to get excited.

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