Health and Wellbeing, What's On

Christmas Survival Guide Part 1 – Activities and things to do over the holidays

Having to spend the Christmas holidays at university can be hard, especially if you are usually at home with family. Our 6 part Christmas Survival Guide should help you to banish those winter blues and make the most of festive period, ensuring it’s a time filled with fun, love and support…


There are a number of great things to do and see over the Christmas holidays in Cardiff, below is a list of our reccomended attractions and activities to fill those wintery days.


Cardiff Christmas Market

The Christmas Market is located in the centre of town covering St John Street, Working Street, The Hayes, Hills Street and Trinity Street and is open from the Thursday12th November to Wednesday 23rd. There are hundreds of great stalls covering pretty much anything you could need. It’s great for buying quirky little gifts, or even just wondering round and having a bite to eat. My favourite stand has to be the homemade brownie stand, if you haven’t been here yet you are missing out. They sell a great range of homemade brownies, with flavours like salted caramel and peanut butter (yum). So get down to town and have a wonder around, you won’t be disappointed.

Cardiff Winter Wonderland

This really is the place to be if you are into the festive spirit and craving a mulled wine and relaxing ice skate. I personally resemble bambi on ice when I hit the rink, but for those of you who are keen skaters, the rink is already up and running. It’s open until Christmas Eve, and then will be closed for Christmas day, but it will reopen on Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. Tickets for students are £7.50, except for New Year’s Eve when they are all £10. You can book tickets online, or you can call 029 20 230 130, or turn up on the day. Just make sure if you do decide to turn up without booking, you check the exact opening and closing times online. If skating isn’t for you, there is still plenty to do and see. There are a number of festive attractions, and you can even get your hands on a heart-warming Gluhwein or refreshing Beer. For more information regarding anything related to Winter Wonderland, head to the official website.


Join the University’s Chaplaincy for socials, talks and worship

The University Chaplaincy is open to all students and consists of five Christian, two Muslim and one Hindu chaplain at multiple sites around the University. All are available to students on campus or via the University website. The role of the Chaplaincy is to assist staff and students in pastoral and spiritual matters upon request.  This Christmas they will be available and invite you to join them for…

  • Traditional Carol Service at University Church, Nazareth House on Thursday 10th December 7pm, followed by a Reception at Newman Hall. All carol singers very welcome!!
  • Christmas Day Lunch at Newman Hall – the Chaplaincy will host the annual Christmas lunch for students who won’t be going away on Christmas Day. Please email Father Jones if you would like to join them for lunch, email:
  • For more information about the Chaplaincy like and follow them on Facebook  and  Twitter

Cineworld Cardiff

Christmas is a great time to visit the cinema as it’s often frosty and cold (especially in Cardiff). The Cardiff Cineworld is located on Mary Ann Street. It is in easy walking distance of train and bus stations. Car parking is available in St Davids shopping centre adjacent to the cinema with a fixed fee (£2) from 5pm onwwards. Tickets for students are as cheap as £3.30, and you can book these online to save having to stand in line (it also means you can choose a good seat). Drinks and food can be expensive, so if the purse strings are really tight, pop into Tesco on your way there to grab some cheaper snacks. Just make sure you take them into the cinema in your bag and not on show!


Crazy/Mini Golf

This is probably one of my favourite things to do in Cardiff, again its inside which is always a bonus if it’s raining and cold. It’s easy to find and is located in St Davids 2 Dewi Sant, Level P3. It usually costs £7.50 for 18 holes and £12.50 for 36 holes. This may sound expensive, but do not fear they have a great student deal Monday – Wednesday, where if you show a valid student ID you only have to pay £5.50 for 18 holes and £9 for 36 holes (bargain). To top it all off they also have a bar and café serving variety of food and drinks, from cocktails to hot chocolates! If you need any more information do head to their website.

Pre-Christmas free short course at the Student’s Union

Over the holidays the University Skills Development Service are running a course in personal effectiveness, which leads to a certificate of professional development. This could be a great way to fill up some of your time during the holidays, whilst also gaining a certificate. The course will take place as follows:

  • Monday 14th December, 10.30-12.30 – Motivation
  • Monday 14th December, 14.00 – 16.00 – Problem Solving
  • Tuesday 15th December, 14.00 – 16.00 – Time Management
  • Wednesday 16th December, 10.30 – 12.00 – Commercial Awareness
  • Thursday 17th December, 14.00 – 16.00 – Successful Networking

Details of the content can be found online. You will need to register,  and then book the sessions. If you’re already a member of sds you do not need to register again, you just need to simply log in.

For any further enquiries regarding the short course


Group House/Flat decorating

So this idea is for all of you students who don’t like to leave the warm comforts of your own home during the winter period (I don’t blame you). It’s also a cheaper way to enjoy the festive fun. Ok, so I lied about having to leave the house, you will need to venture out to purchase some materials, unless you are already equipped with everything to make decorations. For the really creative, hobby craft is a great place to get materials and ideas, and they even do student discount! The Cardiff hobby craft is located on Leckwith Road, check Google maps if you are unsure. Or alternatively they do home delivery. Another good idea is to just head to your nearest arts and crafts shop or even WHsmiths. Once you’ve got provisions, you can find plenty of ideas online, on pinterest for example. You could even club together to buy some festive treats and make an evening of it.

There really is lots on this Christmas in Cardiff, make the most of the holidays to explore 

There is all this and much more to do in Cardiff, check out these sites for further suggestions:

Visit Cardiff

Wales Online – What’s On Listings

What’s On at the Museum

What’s On at Cardiff Students’ Union


Even more ideas for you

We hope this blog post has given you some ideas on how you may spend the next few weeks. Please read our other blogs for even more ideas, these will be published on here and include:

  • Top tips for combatting homesickness – Christmas Survival Guide Part 2
  • Festive Recipes – Christmas Survival Guide Part 3
  • Top tips for staying healthy and positive over the holidays – Christmas Survival Guide Part 4
  • The mobile apps you need this holiday – Christmas Survival Guide Part 5
  • Need someone to talk to? – Christmas Survival Guide Part 6


Share your ideas and tell us what you’ll be doing this Christmas

Tweet us or post to our Facebook page and share with us and your fellow students what you’ll be doing over the festive period, and if they can, how students can get involved.

Season’s greetings

Annie, Student Intern


Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House,  Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


No comments.

Leave a Reply