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By Josie Hough - 5 min read

Available in: polski

Festive fun for an amazing Christmas during a pandemic

So Christmas 2020 isn’t what we hoped or expected, but there are still plenty of fun festive experiences to be had wherever you’re celebrating.

Limited travel and restrictions on activities and seeing our friends and family are not cool. However, there’s still hope for Christmas 2020! From making mulled wine and festive pretzels to decorating your house so you can’t move for tinsel, we’ve compiled our favorite ways to save the festive season this year.

Grab your Santa hat, dust off your baubles, and we’ll dive right in.

Deck the halls (while you stay in and watch Love Actually)

Just cos the festive season might be different this year, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pull out all the stops. Christmas tree up in November? We won’t judge. Tinsel on every surface? Delightful. Fairy lights wrapped around everything but the cat? Sounds perfectly safe. Here are the places you should model your decorations off:

Montreux Christmas Market

This Swiss festive affair may be canceled this year but it’s just the right kind of extra to inspire your Christmas decorations. No, it is absolutely not “over the top” to attach a Santa toy to a washing line inside the house and have him and his reindeer soar across your living room ceiling. In fact, it’s exactly what Christmas 2020 needs! ✨

Miracle at 34

We don’t believe in “less is more” at Christmas. You can always take things to the next level. Especially when the next level is 14,000 Christmas decorations including over 8000 baubles. Seasonal pop-up bar Miracle is the ideal pitstop for a Christmassy cocktail in London (once it’s open again), not to mention invaluable inspiration for your home décor. Repeat after us: nothing is too much 🎄

Skylight Rooftop Bar London

We desperately hope this enchanting festive spot re-opens in time for Christmas. Because recreating their iconic rooftop igloos and après-ski lodge in your living room might prove challenging. Not impossible though (if someone manages this – please send us a photo, we’re begging you!). The next best thing after a trip to the Alps!

Dear Santa, please let Christmas markets be open

One of our favorite things about the run up to Christmas has to be the festive markets that pop up in cities across Europe. And – fun fact alert – they’ve been a tradition since the first one took place in Vienna back in 1298. It’s no wonder that these are an essential Christmas experience for so many of us!

As you might imagine, quite a few December markets won’t be open this year. But there’s still hope! The organizers of Vienna’s historic Dream Christmas Market are doing all the prep work right now in the hope that it’ll go ahead this year. Reindeer rides, a giant ferris wheel and countless stalls selling festive food, drinks and gifts make this an ideal place to embrace Christmas 2020.

Then there’s Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. One of the world’s oldest theme parks, it’s staying open despite the events of 2020. Your ticket to Tivoli Gardens includes the chance to visit Father Christmas and experience plenty of other festive fun at the many restaurants and hotels, like Nimb, decorated for the season.

Hibernation mode: on

Of course, if you can’t travel and your local Christmas market is closed this year, you can still take part in the festive fun. Picture those adorable snow-frosted wooden cabins, grasp the memory of a steaming mug of vin chaud and remember the taste of a warm pretzel. Then recreate it at home.

If you’re in France or Germany, you’re in luck. Artisanal bakery Dreher Strasbourg delivers its festive goodies around the country so you can tuck into traditional Alsatian Christmas cookies while scrolling through Netflix’s festive selection. And if you fancy a lockdown challenge, why not try and make your own pretzels? There are plenty of simple recipes online for pretzels so all you bakers can enjoy an authentic taste of Strasbourg’s iconic Marché de Noël 🥨

Snow place like an ice-skating rink

Speaking of skating rinks, there’s a chance this will be a permitted activity for Christmas 2020. In London, for example, Queen’s House Ice Rink and Hampton Court Palace, amongst others, are hoping to open for our enjoyment ⛸️

Gutted you’re missing out on valuable skating time? Find yourself a pair of roller-skates on eBay and let loose on your local park. Don’t knock it – for lack of ice, this is actually a Christmas tradition in Venezuela. There you go, you’ve learned something new too!

Take the plunge: ‘tis the season to be freezin’ ❄️

If you live in Scandinavia or even near the coast in the UK, this may well be an unmissable (and theoretically lockdown-friendly) part of your Christmas routine already. For the rest of you, it might take a little more convincing. It is exactly what it says – all across Europe, revelers flock to the freezing cold water and immerse themselves in it for a very quick swim. Could you be persuaded? We might be tempted if we could grab a steaming cup of hot chocolate (or something stronger!) somewhere like 1842 im Haus Conditorei Schober afterward ☕

Visit Santa Claus… on Zoom

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Honestly, the year we’ve had, we can’t blame you if it’s the former. But we’ll let Father Christmas himself decide. Whenever lockdown lifts and travel to Lapland is permitted, make sure you go and visit Santa Claus Holiday Village in Rovaniemi. However old you are, reindeer sleigh rides, crossing the North Pole and meeting Mr Claus himself are excellent festive fun. And if you can’t travel, you can Zoom with him. Well, it makes a change from work calls or faux pub quizzes 🤪

Not convinced by Zoom Santa? You could embrace another country’s tradition instead. Here us out: Zoom costume party. Will you be Germany’s Krampus? Buddy the Elf? Or perhaps one of Iceland’s 13 Yule Lads (because one Santa isn’t enough)? 🎅

Eat, drink and be merry!

Festive food and drink are easy ways to make Christmas 2020 a little more special even if you’re at home. We already mentioned pretzels and mulled wine, but there’s plenty more festive foodie ideas to inspire you. Missing gourmet meals? Tons of restaurants have been doing meal kits since lockdown so we can enjoy restaurant quality food in our own homes. Splash out on a luxurious Christmas dinner kit by Simon Rogan of L’Enclume or grab one from Mac & Wild – the only downside is washing up isn’t included 😉

Find more festive inspiration on TWISPER

Hands up who’s feeling festive now? We hope you’ve inspired you to embrace Christmas 2020 wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

Still feeling like a Scrooge? Download TWISPER, the social app with only positive and personal recommendations, for more ideas for amazing places to eat, sleep and drink and get planning your next adventure.

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About the author

Josie is a content creator at TWISPER. She loves traveling and writing about her experiences. Check out her top recommendations for places to eat, sleep and drink around the world on TWISPER!