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10 things to do during the boring bit between Christmas and New Year’s Eve

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Danielle Richardson
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Christmas can be an odd time - the month's build up of Christmas parties and frenzied shopping culminates in the big day itself, when you'll eat your weight in Celebrations and develop an inexplicable taste for port, open all your presents and then... Well, then what? Rather than sitting around listlessly waiting for New Year's Eve, here's some fun stuff to do with your free time.

  • 10 things to do during the boring bit between Christmas and New Year's Eve

    The Height Of Winter At The Shard

    Of all the things you might expect to see at the top of The Shard - office workers pilfering from stationery cupboards, perhaps - an immersive winter ice experience isn't one of them.

    Brought to life by Bompas & Parr, you can expect dramatic ice crystals, plus crystallised frost and snow drifts to frame the impressive panoramic view of London - all making the crazed sales crowds below look like bonkers little ants.

    Until 31 Jan at The View From The Shard, Railway Approach, London, SE1; £25.95; theviewfromtheshard.com

  • 10 things to do during the boring bit between Christmas and New Year's Eve 1

    The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion

    From the depths of Gruff Rhys's famously surreal imagination, this show will delight kids and adults alike; characters include Sledgehog, Polar Pear and the Candylion itself who go on an adventure to overcome 'negative vibes'. Obviously.

    It's a blur between theatre and a live music gig, and presents a welcome alternative to days of Wallace & Gromit repeats.

    Until 2 Jan at the SSE Swalec Stadium, Cardiff, CF11; prices vary; nationaltheatrewales.org

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    ET: The Extra Terrestrial In Concert

    A family Christmas classic. This year, instead of uncomfortably cramming onto your parents lumpy sofa, why not watch it in the grand surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall, with a full orchestra bringing John Williams' iconic soundtrack to life? 

    There really is no feasible argument against this one.

    28 Dec at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7; prices vary; tickets.royalalberthall.com

    [Image: Universal]

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    Bump Roller Disco

    Ice skating is so pre-Christmas - now that the big guy's done his chimney rounds, it's all about roller skating to great music. 

    Everyone over the age of three is welcome. And if you're likely to spend more time in a heap on the floor than on your skates? There'll be plenty of marshalls around to scoop you up. 

    Until 17 Jan at Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1; £10; southbankcentre.co.uk

    [Image: Instagram]

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    Proud Polar Bar

    So the whole 'white Christmas' thing didn't exactly work out this year. Again. But we're more than happy to accept a fake attempt at it - and Proud Camden has kindly provided such an experience.

    There's live music every day, warming food and an impressive array of cocktails on offer, plus 

    Until spring at Proud Camden, Horse Hospital, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1; free; proudcamden.com

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    Pitch To Pixel: The World Of Football Gaming

    Whether you've brought an unlikely league victory to the likes of Aston Villa, or successfully built yourself the perfect team, it's likely football gaming has taken up several hours of your life.

    Explore the phenomenon at this interactive exhibition - though, you might have to bring your own Bovril.

    Until 5 June at National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4; free; nationalfootballmuseum.com

    [Image: © Jason Lock]

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    Aftermath Dislocation Principle

    A model village, but not a geeky one. With a little more added to the scene each day the exhibition is running, this incredibly cool dystopian vision of a post-riot city from artist James Cauty sees police dealing with destruction and chaos. Plus, it will make you feel like a giant.

    Until 28 Jan at 7 Florida St, London, SE1; £4; jamescauty.com

    [Image: James Cauty]

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    Merry Movies

    If you've had enough of watching Christmas films at home, you could do a lot worse than the plush surroundings of The Hoxton hotels in Holborn and Shoreditch. They'll both be screening Merry Movies over the festive period - Holborn has Elf on 27 December, and Shoreditch is offering up The Snowman on the same day. 

    27 Dec at The Hoxton Holborn and The Hoxton Shoreditch; £11.49; hoxtown.com

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    Regression Sessions

    If spending time with your family on Christmas Day has made you regress to a state of childhood, carry on that theme at this Boxing Day party. Combining a great house and electro soundtrack, there's also Space Hoppers, a ball pit, face painting and festive game of Forfeit Jenga... whatever that is.

    26 Dec at Studio 338, Boord St, London, SE10; £12.50; residentadvisor.net

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    Steve McQueen - The Man and Le Mans

    Got big plans to become a cooler, better version of yourself in the new year? You'd be hard pushed to find a better source of inspiration than Steve McQueen. This special screening in Leeds' beautiful Picture House is all about the great man's life, and how he ruthlessly pursued his dream of success.

    29 Dec at Hyde Park Picture House, 73 Brudenell Rd, Leeds, LS6; prices vary; hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk

    [Image: Rex Features]

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