This year, since Elio is in school full time, I had a lot of plans of things to do waiting for Christmas: Advent calendars, buying present much in advance, make a real Christmas tree by 1st December, decorating the entire house, sending cards etc… the thing that all the mommagramer I follow have started doing in November.
Life’s not Instagram though (luckily) and so I’ve been spending time with friends, running errands around Lisbon, setting up a nice give away with my friends Renata of Renata Vende, Jaz of Stitch Kids Boutique , Edna of Learning from Lisboa, Elisa of Mani in Pasta Lisboa and Justine of Girls Gone Happy. They are all amazing women and Moms, setting up their own businesses and I’m so happy we got to collaborate together. And I almost reached 1000 followers: isn’t that unbelievably amazing?
Then I organized my first Sofa Family Concert with Pass Partout Trio, right in our living room: 40 people amongst parents and kids, all enjoying some music and time together plus some nice cakes I made! I enjoyed so much, and them too, and we’ll do it again soon.
And then Elio got sick, as all is park friends, but thanks Lord we are now healthy and running again. So no time for Christmas preparation, I found a Christmas tree (plastic ones) in a box in our apartment and it now stands open on the balcony ready to have a new life, and I am still on time for Christmas cards (I hope, but please send me your address if you want one) … Am I forgetting anything? My Agenda! Yuk!
Despite everything my weekly agenda it’s up and running, full of… Christmas Markets! Popping out everywhere in town and in the greater Lisbon area, they are the best option to meet Santa, drink some hot wine, treat yourself with some sweets and get the kids into the vibe… Are you ready for some tips?
How to beat the festive crowd in Central Lisbon
The big Wonderland village is up and running at Marques de Pombal, they have an ice skating rink, amazing horses carousels, good food, and the impressive Panoramic wheel with a view over the entire city and river: despite the fact that I’m planning to go ice skating with my friends I would not suggest going there during the weekend as it usually gets quite crowded especially in the evening. But I promise Elio that we’ll go on the wheel: remember no stroller allowed in the cabin and no space to leave it parked while on the wheel.
If you really want to beat the crowd, I would suggest to explore new neighborhoods and go and visit the fairs that are up this weekend and the least central but not least interesting location surroundings the city center: I am talking about Alvalade Mercado de Natal, Natal no Bairro in Benfica, Open day Marvila Mercado at Fabrica or Lx Christmas Market.
Alvalade is a very cute neighborhood on the Green Metro Line: it remembers me of San Francisco, but it’s really difficult for me to explain why. The Mercado de Natal it’s held on the nice Avenida Igreja, that with its amazing trees and I imagine Christmas lights, will make the best scenography for you weekend strolling: the typical wooden house will host gastronomy, artisanal products, and other local products. Of course, there will be Santa’s House, and your kids can meet him if he actually likes it.
If you want to make the best out fo being in the neighborhood, and if you are still looking for some kids presents, or I suggest you pay a visit to Maria do Mar shop, the cutest toys and Home decor shop, right next to the market: you will find some of the nicest kids toys brand, Grimms Toys, Olliella, Violeta cor de Rosa, Haba, the amazing Jet kids luggage (the best if you are planning to fly with your toddler) and much more. If you want to go bigger, ask for their Warehouse. It’s in a very short and walkable distance but please be sure you have some time and don’t worry if the kids are tired: they will get lost by playing with the amazing wooden toys while you can take a look at the Nobodinoz collection or at the amazing Bunk beds from Oliver Furniture. You will not regret any minute.
Benfica is the most typical and Portuguese populated amongst all of the neighborhood: the biggest cultural spot is Palacio Baldaya and starting this weekend it’s the scenography of the local Christmas village, Natal no Bairro: the palace itself it’s already worth a visit with his nice garden and amazing vintage murals: this first weekend the market will have an Escape the room Harry Potter’s themed, Repair Cafe, Toy Factory, Christmas representations from the local schools and different workshops, and of course Santa receiving kids Letters.
The event will keep going next weekend with a nice outdoor market. This weekend the palace will be open for visits in exchange for a little solidarity ticket of 1 €.
This old Factory neighborhood is living a new life made of little cafes, makers, and brewery: at Open Day Mercado you will be able to see all of these because they will open their door. Fabrica Moderna, Cerveja Musa, Café com Calma, Fábrica Do Braço De Prata, Dois Corvoss, Underdogs10 , Bar Capitão Leitão and Teatro Meridional are joining a Christmas market where ceramics are sold to the sound of laser cutting machines, jewelry in the middle of embroidery machines and where you dance to the sound of beer while enjoying a beautiful brunch with calm.
This will happen both Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 2 am. in the morning. Don’t miss the opportunity to check out the new “place to be” in Lisbon.
Sintra and Cascais
The Festive vibe is also available in the “far east” of Greater Lisbon: Sintra is full in with it’s Reino the natal at Parque da Liberdade, in the middle of the Sintra Castles’ Neighbourhood.
First you should really think about choosing to visit one of this amazing Palaces: we have been to Palacio da Penha and to Quinta da Regaleira, but the best is the Quinta da Regaleira Garden with its nice little castles, perfect for the kids, even the small ones, and statues and it’s famously arched, “never-ending” well.
The market it’s in the middle of the hill so you should be able to get there easily: Parque da Liberdade it’s more similar to a botanical garden then just a park, so both the party family members and the one more keen to nature will be happy at the end.
If you want to go to Cascais, the Homy Pop Market Xmas Edition is still there this weekend, with Santa and a lot of nice design and Home Decor, and it’s hosted inside the Mercado da Vila, that will also be in its festive mood.
Nature explorers will have their best time participating at Guincho Green Adventures Festive Forest Adventures, just a few spots left for the coming weekend event: you find all the info here.
… and there is more in town!
Mercado Britanico it’s a celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the British Council Portugal: there you will be experimenting the best Uk vibe, with concerts, workshop and if you are a fun of British series and books like Harry Potter, Game of Thrones Uk or Alice in the wonderland you will get to appreciate them even more.
There is even the possibility of winning tickets for the incredible Lisbon Film Orchestra Live – Music From Movies & Series (Lisbon Film Orchestra) in Campo Pequeno by taking part in the UK Quiz. Do not miss out.
The Mercado Design& Craft Xmas Edition
The Mercado Design& Craft it’s in Jardim da Estrela for the second weekend in a raw: pay a visit our friend of So-so Store with their wise toys and postcards, Ablesia clothes, CactuSucco and so on. The Christmas Edition will keep going until next weekend included.
Last but not the least
Miudos Market is the best option to buy good quality, local and even conscious clothes, and home decor, directly from the brands themselves and it’s just around the corner, at Timeout Market Studio, this coming Sunday.
I kwow and love most of the brands the brands that will be selling good prices, SS18 and AW18 collections.
Barn of Monkey kids wear, Carlota Barnabe muslin clothes, Violeta Cor de Rosa , Cherry Papaya, are amongst the best and we happen to have something of each in Elio’s wardrobe. Joana of Violeta Cor de Rosa will be present, to customize her foldable paper bags with your kids or your own names!
I will be there, Sunday at 10.00 when doors open: will you? See you there.
There is much more going on both for kids and grown-ups this weekend. Check out the list here and remember you can browse for categories and you can the events to your Google or ICalendar to be sure you will not miss anything important.
Have a lovely weekend dear reader and enjoy the time with your family and friends.