I spent a festive day getting merry with my family at Sheffield Christmas Market 2023 and you should too
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I had been warned ahead of time that Sheffield Christmas Market could get busy. Extremely busy.
Perfect. Because I had the whole family coming up from London/Stafford that Saturday evening. Dad's Heaven 17 concert at the O2 Academy was cancelled and I wanted something bustling to show off the city.
Mum, dad, bro - welcome to The Moor. Busy isn't it - who wants a mulled wine?
Decriers who say there isn't enough or they would rather go to another city are doing it wrong. We made our trip to Sheffield Christmas Market last a solid four hours and you can too.
A trip up the east-side leg of The Moor is a chance to see stalls with brownies, moonshine, knick-knacks, and start thinking where your big foodie treat of the night will come from - maybe tornado potatoes, maybe gyros? Wait for your dad as he stops every couple of dozen metres to turn around and play with his camera taking shots of the Big Wheel and the lights down the promenade as you snake your way through the heaving Saturday night crowds.
By Furnival Gate, take your sibling up on their enthusiastic call for mulled wine and stop at the Alpine Bar. Here you might realise your brother is more enthusiastic about Christmas markets than you ever realised, and look forward to the four or five more warmed-up boozy drinks to come over the evening. Get more pictures in.
Sostrene Grene should still be open as it turns dark and makes for the best festive accompaniment to the scenes outside as both a breather and to search for stocking fillers.
Rub your hands together with anticipation when your brothers asks "do they have Bratty (bratwurst) here then?" and very happily put his fears to rest on Pinstone Street. On busy nights, the German Sausage Company's massive grill will be hanging over open coals and utterly stacked with something like 100 sizzling bangers. Pay your £7 and load up on mustard and ketchup, then collect your mum once she's bought her vegan bratty option from the other grill nearby (nice one, organisers). Think to yourself why you were worried all day about which restaurant you were going to take everyone to when this was clearly the best option.
More Baileys hot choclate. Stop behind the Pintstone Street brownie box where it is quiet and there are benches. Eat up as you take in the gorgeous autumn leaves, the light show projected on the clock tower, and how the Peace Gardens are buzzing with people and capped with throngs of merrymakers on the second floor of the Alpine Lodge.
More hot chocolate. Marvel at the somehow-£10 Yorkshire pudding wraps and its absurd queue, then offer your condolences to your brother who doesn't want to wait 45 minutes. Take mum to the hand-finished Christmas decorations stall, make promises to come back for the churros and crepe stalls. More mulled wine.
I can't responsibly recommend sojourning to both Bungalows & Bears and The Forum for two drinks before riding the carousel as a family, but it was rather fun, and at £3 a go it really is a good time. The video you take of you waving to your mum while she realises she can't easily grip the plastic horse's ears like she thought she would and is now holding on for dear life will bring smiles for years to come.
The queue is still too long for Yorkshire wraps. Apologize to brother. Realize it is somehow now 8.15pm and you have been out for four hours, which means the stalls are closing and you missed your chance to come back down the other side of The Moor. Call it a good night with fun well had and take the family to Norooz kebab on London Road for dinner on the way home.