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It’s the most wonderful time of year. Time to make a fool of yourself at the Christmas party, eat your body weight in mince pies and wear a Christmas jumper everywhere you go. But whether you love Christmas or not, it is one of the most commercialised seasons on our calendar. We’re here to help you break free from the chains and remind you of the small businesses and local events that are spreading their festive cheer all over the city... 1. Winterland Market (Thurs 13th - Sun 16th) The Winterland Market is back in the Guildhall Square this Thursday welcoming the best of artisan traders. The market is set to offer a family friendly shopping experience with a selection of speciality Christmas foods and handcrafted products. You'll be able to tickle your taste buds with homemade jams, chutneys & sauces, artisan breads & cakes, a range of organic meats and of course some sweet treats too (best make sure you're hungry..). There will also be a Winterland Market Bar - the 'Sippy Fest' bar will be serving craft beers, mulled wine and spirits. And if that wasn't enough, Santa & his Sleigh will also be there alongside a 12ft cinema screen showing some Christmas classics!

2. Craft Village Christmas Fun Day (Sat 15th)

Yet another family fun day hosted by the lovely guys at the Craft Village will take place on Saturday! Christmas characters will fill the Village to get the kids excited, there will be Christmas music from 12:30pm-4pm, face painting and balloon modelling from 12:30pm-3:30pm and prize giveaways all day for the little ones too. Admission is free and there will also be fantastic discounts in the Village shops including Number 19 Craft & Design who are offering 10% off all day.

3. Cow Bog Christmas Market (Sun 15th)

Cow Bog are hosting a Christmas Market this Sunday across two floors of their cafe on Waterloo Street. You can expect unique products including beautiful handmade wreaths, lavender sprays, trinkets, jewellery and more alongside A LOT of mince pies, mulled wine, great people & delicious vegan food! The market will run from 12pm-5pm so pop by and show your support. Independent Dery Cards also available to buy here / 10% off everyday at the cafe with your card.

4. Gourmet Burger Hut returns to the Winterland Market GUESS WHO'S BACK (drum roll)... The one, the only, Gourmet Burger Hut! This weekend during the Winterland Market you can grab yourself a mighty fine burger from the much loved burger van. They even have a festive burger on the menu aka 'The Gobbler' - free range turkey breast pattie, crispy streaky bacon, cranberry ketchup & brussel sprout slaw. Independent Derry Cardholders can get a FREE drink with every burger when they show their card yippee! Check out the menu below just so you can make your big burger decision in advance:

5. Santa Visits the Pickled Duck Cafe Out of Town (Mon 16th Dec) Santa Clause is making a special visit the Pickled Duck Cafe Out of Town on Greenhaw Road on Monday 17th December. Parents can bring a small wrapped present with their child's / children's name on them and Santa will hand the pressies out! There will also be a quiet hour from 5.30pm-6.30pm for children with Autism only. Everyone is then welcome from 6.30pm-7.30pm. (10% off everyday at both cafes with your card).

6. New Addition to Guildhall Taphouse Christmas Menu - Braised Beef

The photograph quite simply does all the talking here. But Guildhall Taphouse have just gone and added slow cooked braised beef with red wine and onion sauce to their Christmas menu and we can't quite contain our drooling levels right now. This tender piece of beef is definitiely what's needed after a day of festivities and Christmas shopping. 10% off Mon-Thurs with your card.

7. 2 North Christmas Menu - 7 Courses

There are still some tables available at 2 North Street Food on Clooney Terrace this weekend where you'll get the chance to experience a 7 course Christmas menu for just £22.00 per person! With food inspired from around the world, you'll be in for some tasty surprises! PM or pop in to book your table. BYOB. 10% off Tues-Sat with your card.

8. After Eight Cocktail from Brickwork

When you've finished over-indulging in good food, spending hours at the Christmas markets and running after the kids at Christmas fun days, it's time to make a jolly stop to Brickwork Restaurant / Lounge where they've added a Shakin Steven's winter cocktail to their exquisite drinks menu. Say hello to the AFTER EIGHT! Order 1,2,5..10 of these, we won't judge you. 10% off Mon-Wed at both the restaurant and lounge with your card.

9.Get 2 Independent Derry Cards for £22.00 The Independent Derry Card is the PERFECT stocking filler (if we do say so ourselves). The card is valid for 1 year and means you (or the person you're buying it for) can access over 60 discounts around our city in some of our best independents including cafes, restaurants, retail and more. Helping you break free from the chains, save a few quid and #supportlocal 365 days a year!! Order your two cards via the app or website for a special Christmas price of 2 for £22.00 or pick one up at RoCo Hair, The Pickled Duck Cafe, The Quirky Raven, Cow Bog or Visit Derry! Cards ordered online or via the app will be posted ASAP so that they are with you on time for Christmas.

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