How to enjoy the festivities properly with your mates, make your money worth it, and support our amazing local businesses!
In recent weeks, Lancaster has undergone a festive metamorphosis. The usual mile long Greggs queue in Alex Square has now been replaced with a large Gazebo hosting our very own Christmas market. Where there used to be benches and flowers in Dalton Square, there is now an ice rink full of skaters of many different abilities. In short, there’s plenty to do here in Lancaster before packing your bags to go home for break, and as it’s the last week of term, I’ve compiled some of my top student budget-friendly Christmas activities here in Lancaster so you can enjoy the festivities and spend wisely.
Lancaster Uni’s Christmas Market
Last week, Lancaster University’s Christmas Markets gave local businesses and charity gems the opportunity to share their business with our students. Here are some of my personal highlights:
- The Sweet Escape – The Sweet Escape is a cake and dessert business focused on innovation with flavour. At only £1.75 per cake, it’s an affordable way to get your tastebuds feeling festive. Even better are the deals they have on offer: 4 cakes for £6 is a perfect opportunity to be crowned flatmate of the year. If you miss them this Christmas on campus then don’t fear, they have a stall up in town next to Lush every Wednesday and Saturday! I highly recommend their “famous Millionaire shortbreads”, although my favourite is definitely the biscoff rocky road.
- Marketing Society and Enactus (Entrepreneurs in action for the greater good) – The Marketing Soc and Enactus hosted a Christmas tombola to raise money for ageuk – offering £1 for one go, £2 for three goes, and £3 for five goes. Although I didn’t win anything in my five attempts, it was a fun and light-hearted way to raise money for charity. Giving back to your community is always important, especially at Christmas, so participating in this festive tombola was a wonderful and affordable way to be charitable.
- Caraway Silver – Caraway Silver is an independent business creating handmade sterling silver jewellery for everyone. They had a huge variety of gorgeous jewellery starting at only £4. The craftsmanship on display was fantastic and the love put into each design was very clear. There were so many different styles, sizes and colours on offer that would definitely make a wonderful gift for a loved one this Christmas.
Lancaster City’s Christmas Festivities
This festive season Lancaster city has been home to many Christmas activities. There’s also been a couple of new additions this year, so even if you’ve experienced Lancaster at Christmas before, you’ll find more worth exploring.
The Dalton Square ice rink is a student festive activity staple, and if you’re ever stalking a Lancaster student’s Instagram, there’s about a 78% chance they’ll have at least one pic on their feed from here. Tickets per person cost £15 for an hour for over 12s, plus a £1.10 booking fee which is quite steep. However, my money-saving tip is that if you book tickets as a group, it works out as much cheaper per person – a group of 5 costs £60, which is £12 + £1.10 booking fee each. Aside from money though, the rink is amazing and heaps of fun. Especially if you have friends that aren’t very good, it makes for some hilarious Snapchat memories.
Right next to the rink are hot food stalls, serving banging hot dogs and crepes – perfect scran for after skating. There is also a large tepee with two fire pits where you can roast marshmallows. A bag of these will only cost you £1 from the kiosk, so very student budget-friendly and tasty! They also serve hot drinks here including mulled wine which I would definitely recommend. The tepee itself is quite big and super warm, there are fairy lights everywhere and plenty of benches to sit on. Safe to say the vibes are immaculate. Also next to the rink is a pretty huge Ferris wheel costing only £4 per person – absolute Christmas bargain!
My last recommendation for Lancaster Christmas activities is the new ‘Winter Wonder Bar’, a pop-up festive bar on Market Street serving a variety of festive drinks and crazy cocktails, which will be converted into a burger bar after the holiday season so keep your eyes peeled!