Besides those scrooges who believe Christmas is merely 12 days of celebration, I'm pretty sure the rest of us are preparing for the festivities and may have even - shock horror - finished Christmas shopping already. I love this time of year despite the lack of daylight (and the constant need to have a quality street in my gob) so I've been thinking about plans to celebrate in the coming months.

I've pulled together a list of things to see and places to visit in and around Leeds, in the run up to December 25th. Let me know if you've any plans to go to these particular events, or if you're not from Leeds, if you've some traditions that you'll be keeping yourself!

Note: Those that require tickets I've linked for you too. You're welcome.

Leeds Christkindelmarkt - Millenium Square

10th November - 24th December

Every year in Leeds, people plan this into their calendars for catch-up coffee, a post-work night out or to stock up on cinnamon pretzels and bratwurst. This year though guys, it's open from today TILL CHRISTMAS EVE. I kid you not, we have over six weeks to enjoy the delights in the city centre so you'll definitely get chance to head down.

It's completely free to get in. Just bring some cash for the beer hall (if your group is 18+), some tasty German treats or kids rides if you're heading out as a family.

Christmas Tree festivals

My mum loves a good Christmas tree festival. If this is a new concept to you, the premise is usually a local event, where different groups or individuals decorate a tree in order to represent their part in the community. Think a butcher's tree covered in felt sausages or a Girl Guides group with a disco themed tree and trefoil star etc. These trees are then displayed together somewhere in the village/town/city and either a small fee is charged for visitors or often, it's just a donation.

Otley holds one of the most popular in Leeds but do find out if there is one local to you, usually with a church or community centre etc. It's something a bit different and far more personal so check them out or even take part with your own tree!

The Hepworth Wakefield Christmas Market

24th, 25th, 26th November

Having been named Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2017, there's been a lot of excitement around The Hepworth this year. It's the last weekend in November so you've no excuse not to finish gift shopping here, well before the Christmas rush.

There's a huge array of art, crafts and it's the perfect place to find independently sourced food products for the festive season. It'll be well worth the visit for the hipsters (ahem) and there's also activities for the whole family, so kids will be more than welcome and certainly not bored here.

Hidden Christmas Market - Kirkstall Abbey

I bought tickets for myself and David last year and it was honestly one of the best decisions. Unlike most Christmas markets, it was hugely relaxed, not at all too busy, had a selection of beer and cider and the setting of Kirkstall Abbey is incredible. 

This year the Sneaky Experience team have planned a Grimm's fairytale theme so you can be guaranteed to have some fantastic entertainment and decor. They do impressive afternoon events for the family or, if like me you're going for the mulled everything, events after 6pm are 18+ only. There's free parking across the road or it's easily accessible by bus from the city centre.

Magical Lantern Festival - Roundhay Park

This is another well received festival in Leeds, residing at Roundhay Park (easy to get to from the city centre or free parking.) It's the perfect event to visit in that awkward week between Christmas and New Year because the festival runs until the 1st January.

Not only is there a visual delight of the lanterns and light sculptures themselves, there's also entertainment, fairground rides, food and more. An ideal excuse to wrap up warm and head out in the city.

Let me know if you're heading to any events, or any MUST-SEE ones I've missed out!