Despite being ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, Christmas can also be the period when you’re most strapped for cash (thanks to all that generous gift buying) and stuck indoors for long stretches with the relatives. But there’s no excuse for any Grinch-like behaviour. Here we’ve put together a list of just some of the many free places to visit and things to see and do over Christmas, that aren’t all just about Christmas – and won’t leave an even bigger dint in your wallet or festive spirit.
Here are our picks
Perturbed by all the electronic gadgets and gizmos flying off store shelves and gathering under the tree? Head over to CFCCA for a more engaging look at our evolving relationship with digital technology, and what it reveals about ourselves.
Listen to the personal accounts of over 50 people from across Leeds, capturing both the beauty and hidden challenges of the Christmas period, in an immersive, multimedia instillation by artist David Shearing.
Chester, with its cosy pubs and winding cobbled streets, is not only the perfect chocolate-box town, but also, perhaps one of the most festive places you could possibly head in the run up to Christmas (except maybe Lapland).
The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EH - Visit now
One of Manchester’s most iconic buildings, drag the family along to this neo-Gothic gem of a library, which houses an incredible collection of rare printed texts (including preserved papyrus fragments, the letters of local author Elizabeth Gaskell and an original Gutenberg Bible) and offers a diverse programme of temporary exhibitions.
Are you hipster enough to enter artist Max Dovey’s Hipster Bar? Can you imagine what Armageddon smells like? Want to learn how to grow your own hormones? Head to The Lowry’s latest exhibition.
What better place for a sunny winter’s day than Yorkshire Sculpture Park? Currently hosting a major solo exhibition by one of the world’s most politically engaging artists today: Alfredo Jaar.
From Yorkshire Sculpture Park, head over to The Hepworth (Museum of the Year 2017) to see the first major UK retrospective of Polish artist Alina Szapocznikow – now considered one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century.