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Lindsey Benson: Christmas in Leeds


Well of course I’m going to say it…It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Considering the shops have had a sneaky Christmas aisle in the stores since September, we are now in full swing of the festive season. The lights in your local and central Leeds area have been turned on, there are epic Christmas trees all around us and Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been and gone. Now the time has come to simultaneously enjoy the festivities while completing your never ending shopping list!

The best way to control the overwhelming feeling of too much to do, and not enough time to do it in, is combine the two. Fortunately for us Leeds folk, we are blessed to have various shopping vicinities that allow us to complete our ‘to do list’ with taking in the festive fun and enjoying ourselves.

Instead of wearing your comfiest outfit to hike around the shops, (you know, you layer up because it’s cold but after marching around the city and every store you hit is 25 degrees or more, you end up with shall we say ‘a sweat on’!) wear something sassy with a jacket and scarf, and head for food or drinks. Slip in a store here and there and without realising and you’ll have nailed your Christmas shopping. You’ll enjoy the thought of the experience without the dread of the ‘list’!

It doesn’t always have to be food and drink, it could be a cinema trip, a bowling adventure or taking the kids to see Santa (shopping with kids can be a complete drama but if you do it right and throw in the big guy, you might just nail it!)

Here are a couple of spots in Leeds where you can do just this, the adventure without the drama, the list without the dread, the smile without the gritted teeth…

Merrion Centre

Santa’s grotto featured at the Merrion this year looks amazing! (See website for dates and times). They have Arnold’s and the Bengal Brasserie to name a few where you can get yummy food to break up the ‘list’. With various shops at the Merrion, you’re bound to break the feeling of dread. If you fancy a different adventure, the new Tenpin has recently opened and is the perfect place to set your inner child free after Christmas shopping.

Trinity Leeds

Over 120 brands to shop and 40 different places to sneak away for food and drink! Pop up shops will be springing up at the Trinity centre this Christmas which will add to the already huge selection of fashion and gifts. The Everyman cinema is also another reason to head out this season with a mass of new films coming out in the coming weeks. The perfect way to shop and drop into a relaxing afternoon or evening.

Leeds Kirkgate Market

With it’s exciting range currently on offer, Leeds Kirkgate will also offer Vintage markets, party nights, Santa’s Grotto and Goblin Market (I think this sounds worth a visit) and a teenage market, catering for exactly that category of shopper or gift receiver. The food market is another getaway to break off from shopping and enjoy some festive local produce.

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