Whether it’s the end-of-year Christmas works drinks or just a kid-free night out in town, these are the places to be this December.
All manner of mulled stuff, a city illuminated with festive lighting, evenings out that spill over into the next morning – Leeds really knows how to do a Christmas night out and this year will be no different. Planning a soiree with friends or colleagues? Here are the parties, the late-night markets and the discos to see you through the most wonderful time of the year.
Play bingo with a bonkers twist
For a night out that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face, Bongo’s Bingo has got your number. Forget ‘eyes down’ and studious silence as the numbers are read out, this is turbo-charged bingo with surprises galore, including a soundtrack of ABBA’s greatest hits. You can win money, but you’re just as likely to go home with a huge stuffed toy or a cardboard cut-out. And when they ‘make it rain’, get ready to be showered with Coco Pops. Loud music, crazy costumes, dance-offs – this is the perfect way to kick off the festive season.
Bongo’s Bingo ABBA Christmas Special comes to O2 Academy Leeds on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st December 2022.
Shop and slurp at the Corn Exchange Christmas Market
Another must-do this Christmas in Leeds is the market at Corn Exchange – but it’s not just about shopping, this promises to be a top night out too. In addition to the resident shops, you can explore stalls from Mahogany Market and Indie Makers, drinks masterclasses and entertainment. Camden Town are handling the bar, while the Franklin & Sons festive bar promises cocktails, mulled drinks and special serves. Food includes festive plates from the wonderful Dijon Boys, as well as rotating street food vendors like Don’t Feed the Dog and Shouk.
The Leeds Corn Exchange Christmas Market runs from Friday 11th November to Friday 23rd December 2022.
Enjoy a festive feast at Chow Down
With no German Market this year, you’ll have to head down to Chow Down’s Winter Village to enjoy festive food and drinks in the great outdoors. Well, partially. Because after providing a summer buzz at Temple Arches, Chow Down have put together a winter wonderland with a heated ski lodge, purpose-built bars and tipis aplenty. That means you can enjoy street food, top DJs, live bands, their famous Drag Brunch and quaffable drinks while enjoying a bit of shelter from the weather, should it get a bit too chilly outside.
Chow Down’s Winter Village takes over Temple Arches from Thursday 10th November 2022.
Double up on darts and shuffleboard
There’s nothing like a little bit of competition to add a bit of fire to your festive fun, and there are two bars in one building ready to supply you with just that. Flight Club has reinvented darts so anyone can have a go at their innovative, electronic games, whether you know who Phil Taylor is or not. Next door there’s Electric Shuffle. which has similarly given new life to shuffleboard with its interactive puck-sliding challenges. Throw in craft beer and cocktails, sharing boards and pizza paddles, it’s the perfect Christmas night out in Leeds.
Get snug inside Thor’s Tipi
Thor’s Tipi makes a welcome return to Victoria Gardens for the winter season, marrying Nordic inspiration with the kind of boozy hot chocolate it’s unlikely the Vikings enjoyed. Head inside to escape the cold and you’ll find roaring fires, twinkling Christmas lights and holly for a fabulous, festive feel. Warm yourself up with a Hot Apple Punch or classic mulled wine, grab a beer, frozen cocktail or a warming, booze-infused chocolate shot. You can walk in, although it’s best to book ahead if you’re heading out with a group of six or more.
Thor’s Tipi takes over Victoria Gardens from Friday 18th November 2022 to Sunday 1st January 2023.
Have a hole lotta fun at Junkyard Golf
Crazy golf, cocktails and beer? The sporting life has never sounded so sweet. Get into the swing of Christmas in Leeds with a wild night out at Junkyard Golf, where bonkers themed courses, neon lighting and great drinks guarantee a blast. Choose from three courses – Gary, Pablo and Bozo – each with their own challenges, then grab a cocktail such as the Bakewell Crush, Peachy Dream or Freaky Tiki. These are no ordinary cocktails – they come garnished with everything from Love Hearts to gummy sweets. Think of them as fun fuel.
Junkyard Golf, The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
Throw some shapes at Left Bank’s festive grown-up disco
Left Bank comes alive during the Christmas season with weeks of markets, concerts and events, but one of their stand-out regular events, the Disco For Grown-Ups, also gets a festive twist. Their special Christmas edition will see you grooving away to a medley of hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s, across genres like soul, disco and pop classics – all spun on vinyl by DJ Simon and his team. This isn’t your normal club night, it’s tailored to adults, so don your most fabulous festive finery and hit the dance floor!
The Christmas Disco For Grown-Ups takes over Left Bank Leeds on Saturday 10th December 2022.
Chill out at the Ice Cube and its duo of bars
Leeds knows how to deliver a Christmas night out with a difference, and strapping some skates on at a specially-built ice rink is exactly that. The Ice Cube returns to Millennium Square along with an aprés ski-inspired bar. The outdoor rink – 400 square metres of ice – will be open until 9pm, so you can channel your Torvill and Dean with plenty of time for aprés-skate drinks next to the illuminated four-metre Ski Bear. The Christmas Tree Bar that’s placed between the Civic Hall’s owls has also returned for 2022.
The Ice Cube Rink and Igloo Bar will be open from Friday 25th November 2022 until Saturday 31st December 2022.
Sip tropical cocktails at Tiki Hideaway
When everything is looking a bit cold and grey outside, what better way to put some pep in your festive step than by escaping it all in a tropical paradise? Okay, going to Tiki Hideaway might not come with the weather of a trip to Barbados, but it definitely delivers a riot of colour and cocktails that will kickstart any Christmas night out in Leeds. Soak up the Polynesian vibe while dodging the flames of your Amputated Zombie or Tiki Tiki Bang Bang. Arrive early – from 6pm to 9pm – and the classic cocktails are 2 for £12.
Tiki Hideaway, Call Lane Social, 38 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DT.
Laugh it up at a Christmas comedy cabaret
Przym might be known as one of the liveliest nightclubs in Leeds, but it’s also home to a regular comedy night that attracts both up-and-comers and established names. The Comedy Cabaret Christmas Party proves that three is the magic number – you’ll enjoy three comedians, a three-course meal and then you can party until 3am. Pick your starter, then feast on roast beef with Yorkshire pudding or turkey with all the trimmings. After dessert, it’s comedy time and then the DJs take over at 10pm for five hours of boogieing.
Leeds Comedy Cabaret Christmas Party is at Pryzm on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th December 2022.
Rave the night away at a retro disco
Dancing is a key ingredient of any great Christmas night out, and Leeds has got just the party for you. Brutus Gold’s Love Train Xmas Disco Ball is back again, so it’s time to don your best 70s fancy dress – the only time of year it’s acceptable to wear a comedy wig and fake moustache. The O2 Academy will become a boogie wonderland, the perfect setting for DJ Brutus to spin all the disco floor-filling classics. Think you’ve got the moves? Join in the dance-off and see if you can carry home the title of ‘Greatest Dancer’!
Brutus Gold’s Love Train Xmas Disco Ball takes over O2 Academy Leeds on Saturday 17th December 2022.
A night of fun and games at Roxy
There are a trio Roxy venues in Leeds, and you’re in for a fun night out whichever one you visit. Grab a signature cocktail – the Ping Star Martini is a winner – or a beer, then take on your mates at whatever games take your fancy. Roxy Lanes at The Light is home to full-size bowling lanes, pool tables and screens showing live sport, while the Ball Room on Boar Lane has pool, golf, shuffleboard, ping pong and beer pong. If arcade games, duckpin bowling, karaoke and late nights are your thing, make a beeline for Merrion Street.
Roxy Ball Room, 9 Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 6PQ, Roxy Lanes, The Light, 44-48 The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL, Roxy Ball Room, 58 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.
Rock out on a festive feast of punk
If you’re of a punk persuasion, there’s only one Christmas night out in Leeds for you. The annual Leeds Punk Rock Christmas returns for its ninth Yuletide takeover of the Brudenell Social Club and you can mosh all night long safely in the knowledge you’re doing it for a good cause too – it doubles as a benefit for Batley Food Bank. This year, you can celebrate the coming of Santa with a stacked line-up of punk perfection, from Litterbug and The Samples to Geoffrey Oi!Cott, Dirt Box Disco and GBH.
Leeds Punk Rock Xmas IX takes over the Brudenell Social Club on Saturday 17th December 2022.