Nine Christmassy things you can do on a student budget in Leeds

A student Christmas doesn’t have to be *that* far from an influencer’s

It’s that time of the year when influencers are pumping out their Christmas content. Their minimally decorated trees, the thick blankets of snow outside their houses, endless mugs of Velvetised hot chocolate and piles of perfectly wrapped presents.

In comparison, the main attraction of your student house is the traffic cone that you’ve painted green and wrapped tinsel around. The awkward snow made you slip on the way to uni, your hot chocolate powder always tastes like water, and the most you can push your budget to is a box of Celebrations for your housemates to share.

But, Christmas as a student doesn’t have to be so far away from the aesthetic holiday that’s plastered all over social media. In fact, Leeds has a whole host of festive things you can do that also won’t break the bank. Here’s nine things you can do this December in Leeds:

1. Visit one of the many TiPis

Where: The Headrow, Briggate and Uni of Leeds 

I don’t know when TiPis became a staple of Christmas, but I’m not complaining. Just imagine a warming drink by an open fire as the sun sets after your Christmas shop. The Headrow’s TiPi offers a range of festive-themed cocktails (including a Ferrero Frosty), shots, and a host of “Winter Warmers” – including an elusive “hot apple punch.” If alcohol won’t warm your stomach, they also serve tea, coffee and organic soft drinks. It’s worth knowing they close at 11pm – festive pres, anyone?

2. Have churros and waffles in town…

Where: Victoria Gate

It’s not quite Winter Wonderland, but the German market style stalls outside Victoria Gate are enough to feel like you’re somewhere special. The stalls offer churros, waffles and other savoury snacks for prices between £5-£7, perfect for a sugar rush mid Christmas shop.

3. …And make sure you’re there on the 4th of December for a ‘guaranteed’ sprinkling of snow!

If Leeds’ real snow wasn’t your vibe, this will be. Victoria is promising “snow flurries” every 15 minutes on December 4th. Who needs Covent Garden?

4. LUU night market

Where: Leeds Uni campus 

On December 6th and 7th, Leeds University Union is hosting a Christmas Night Market – complete with a brass band, live DJs, street food and also art and craft stalls. Wander through from 5pm until 10pm, buy some pressies, grab some mulled wine, and finish the night off with a drink in their heated TiPi.

There’ll be lots of choice for food with several food traders, including: Spud’s and Bros Poutine, Vegan Spice, Yorkshire Cheese Grill and Luigi Street Food Italiano.

5. Take a pic with light up Reindeer antlers

Where: Victoria Gate

There’s one thing guaranteed to be student friendly, and that’s taking Instagram pics. Victoria Gate has a super cute display, with a massive Christmas tree and light up antlers. Perfect for the family group chat, and taking pictures here and around the centre will have your followers thinking you’re rich.

6. See views of Leeds on the Wheel of Light

Where: The Headrow

You have to have been tempted by the huge Ferris Wheel by the Headrow at least once by now. Hop on for just £5 to see views across Leeds, and grab that perfect candid photo whilst you’re up there. Just round the corner there’s also a carousel for anyone wanting their Cassie from Euphoria moment (do so at your own risk).

7. Go ice skating

Where: Millenium Square

A bit pricier than the other options, but so worth it. If you fall, you can laugh about it, and if you don’t, you’ve discovered your next career move.

8. Leeds Trinity ‘Apres-Ski’ bar

Where: Leeds Trinity Shopping Centre

If Covid has stopped you going on your beloved ski holiday once again, this one’s for you. Pop to Leeds Trinity for an alpine style bar, complete with log style seats and cosy blankets. If you want to push the boat out a bit, you can even buy a boot-shaped mug to put your hot choccy in at home.

9. Hot chocolate and a film with your housemates

Where: Probably Hyde Park 

The most student-budget friendly of all – you can even treat yourself to some whipped cream and marshmallows if you want to feel boujie. Oh, and a little PSA – Love Actually is on Netflix now.

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