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The fairy lights are twinkling, Santa’s climbing the walls of the Steam Mill and the festive market tempts us daily with cheese, chocolate and wine tastings. It’s fair to say our beautiful city is ready for the Christmas season. If you’ve had your fill of lanterns and parades, the amble team have put together a list of alternative things to do in Chester this December.

Couples Before the Chaos, The Suburbs

Combining the delicious food of At The Hollows, with Christmas shopping and charity fundraising. This sounds like an ideal chance to grab some gifts in Hoole this year. And they’re promising for it to be a ‘Crowd shuffling, elbow pushing, irate queuing FREE ZONE’ – hurrah!

When: Friday 1st December from 12.30pm | Where: The Suburbs, Hoole | Cost: £90 per couple with proceeds helping to raise funds for Claire House Hospice | Find out more: see The Suburbs website

Street Photography Workshop

Fancy learning how to capture the perfect image of our pretty city? Steve Coleman is promising technical guidance and storytelling ideas in this photography workshop. Sounds like a lovely way to spend a Sunday.

When: Sunday 3rd December, 10:30am to 3.30pm | Where: The streets of Chester | Cost: £59.99 | Find out more: see Camera Workshops website

Christmas Flicks at Storyhouse

There’s nothing like watching your favourite festive movie on a big screen. Storyhouse has picked some corkers to get us in the mood for the madness this year. Kicking off with Edward Scissorhands on the 3rd December, they’re also showing Gremlins, Home Alone and Ali’s personal favourite – It’s a Wonderful Life. The ticket includes a glass of fizz, Christmas ale, mulled wine or a soft drink.

When: From 3rd December to Christmas Eve | Where: Storyhouse Cinema | Cost: £12 = Full Price, £9 = under 26 | Find out more: see Christmas at Storyhouse website

Annual Cocktail Competition, Liquor & Co

Cocktails themed by ‘Christmas films’? Bartenders fighting it out to be the best? We’d be very happy to come along to help adjudicate this one…

When: Tuesday 5th December, 5pm to midnight | Where: Liquor & Co, Watergate Street | Find out more: see the Facebook event

Christmas Reception and Film Double Bill, Chester Film Society

If you’re a film fan that likes to watch something a little different, we love this double bill by the Chester Film Society. They’re showing ‘My Life as a Courgette’, followed by ‘The Eagle Huntress,’ and the bar will be open in advance for a Christmas reception. St Mary’s Creative Space offers a lovely setting to watch them in too.

When: Tuesday 5th December, doors open a 6.45pm, film starts at 7.30pm | Where: St Mary’s Creative Space | Cost: £5 per person | Find out more: see Chester Film Society’s website

Goldwork Embroidery Class, Chester Art Centre

Feel like getting creative and making some of your presents this year? This level 1 class at Chester Art Centre could be a fantastic way to get inspired. You’ll learn the basics of the ancient technique of goldwork embroidery from one of the top professionals in the UK.

When: Saturday 9th December, 10.30am to 4.30pm | Where: Chester Art Centre, Northgate Street | Cost: £85 | Find out more: see Chester Art Centre’s website

Christmas Wine Buying Fair, Covino

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply fond of a tipple at Christmas, this is the event for you. Hosted at our favourite hidden gem of a wine bar, Covino, the spaces are limited. Will you be one of the lucky ones to get in?

When: Sunday 10th December | Where: Covino, Rufus Court | Cost: £10 per person | Find out more: email hello@covino.co.uk or see their Twitter account

Christmas Beer Tasting, Chester Beer and Wine

Yes please to tasting the best Christmas beers for the year. Not only will you get to drink lots of delicious brews, you’ll no doubt learn something and sort some presents along the way. Thanks Chester Beer and Wine.

When: Thursday 14th December, 7pm to 9pm | Where: Chester Beer and Wine, Hoole | Cost: £18 per person | Find out more: see Chester Beer and Wine’s website

Christmas in the Garret, Storyhouse

The full line up is yet to be announced but an evening of cabaret at Storyhouse sounds perfect to get us in the festive spirit.

When: Friday 15th December and Saturday 16th December | Where: Storyhouse Garret Theatre | Cost: £15 per person | Find out more: see Storyhouse’s website

Vegan Christmas Dinner, Pop Up Restaurant at Alexander’s Live

The amble team have been enjoying dabbling in the ways of the vegan this year. So, we’re excited to see this pop up as an alternative to the mountains of turkey served at office-dos across the city. With three courses for twenty quid, it’s a bargain too.

When: Wednesday 20th December at 7pm | Where: Alexander’s Live | Cost: £20 per person | Find out more: see Alexander’s Live website.