What’s the first thing you think of when you see the words ‘Happy New Year’? A massive crowd of beaming faces, the clinking of drinks, fireworks, and the feeling of regret on January 1st... or is that just me? But, for those who celebrate during the December months, ultimately family is the first thought.
But what if you decide not to return home home this time around? What if you have work shifts you can’t change? A bit of trouble travelling back? Or just feel like a solo holiday? I was in this exact position this time last year and at first, not going to lie, I was terrified. I was used to waking up on December 25th to a full stocking, my mam’s famous chestnut and mushroom tarts, and a game of charades. Not waking up to a cold student house, a Curry Pot Noodle and a petit filous yoghurt for pudding.
That’s just, not right that.
But, surprisingly, I had such a MINT time. You may be asking, “How is it possible to have a fun solo winter vacation?”. Here’s my top 5 things to do to keep yourself busy in Newcastle Upon Tyne aaaaaall December long
1) Decorate your house for winter, and make your own Christmas Decs
Now, this doesn’t seem so exciting, but having some personalized, cozy decorations up will really make a difference and make you feel at home. Last year I got a load of tinsel, stuck it to every viable surface, and even made some customized baubles for a cheap tree I bought from Wilkos (for a fiver).
If you’re feeling homesick over the winter vay-kay, this can really make you feel at home. This year our tree topper went a ‘Stranger Things’ way, with the lovely Steve Harrington and the baby jesus.
All we needed was a uni printer, scissors, glue and string.
2) Hit the Ice @ Centre for life
I know what you’re thinking. “Jeez how pricey though?” And I know right, it is a little expensive, but the Uni are actually organizing a discounted trip to the Centre for Life skating rink on 22nd December this year, for just a fiver! Make sure if you’re staying up here over the festive period you get yourself down there, make some pals and bruise some bums!
Order your tickets here
3) Make the perfect custom Christmas dinner (or just get the Uni to make it for you)
Now I’m not going to lie, my dinner on the 25th December was a little depressing. A meal of frozen parsnips, frozen Yorkshire puds and a full Quorn roast…on my own. I think I would have preferred to have been with some people on the day, which is the thing I missed the most. So, you have two choices. You can do what I did, which is to video call your family on the day, which I did, and which really made my afternoon! Ahhhh the digital generation…
Or, the second, and probably the easier thing you could do is join your fellow students for the FREE (yeah that’s right) dinner on the 25th December, which will be held at St Luke’s Church Hall. With a full roast and maybe even a drink or two, it’s bound to be a cracker.
Grab your tickets here while you still can.
4) Hit the theatre and watch a Panto
I’ve been going to the theatre to catch a Pantomime every year since I was a kid. For those, who don’t know, they’re silly shows based on fairytales, featuring audience participation, some cracking musical numbers, and plenty of laughs.
This year it’s Peter Pan, the classic story of the boy who never grew up, and who could also fly, which is a pretty cool bonus.
Get yourself down there and get involved! Have you bought a ticket yet? Ohhh no you haven't! Order here!
5) Get wrapped up for a poppin’ firework display.
Please don’t do what I did and spend the New Year countdown watching Vine Compilations and drinking Monster. Go out and watch breathtaking firework displays! Unfortunately, our NYE Celebration on the Town Moor is sold out - - BUT DON’T FRET!
Make your way to the Quayside on the 31st December for a cracking display that’s sure to be illuminating… (I’ll stop with the puns now) Book your place here!
So, there you have it. Hopefully you’ll be with your pals and family around this season. But, if that’s not the case, which is okay too, then have a go at some of these activities. The most important thing is that you’re warm, happy and cosy over the winter months.
View all the winter vacation activities coming up by clicking here!
Happy holidays all x