“December to remember” is a buzz phrase that rings in the air in the last month of the year. The last two weeks of the year is often momentous for most people as they are sucked into the vortex of the Christmas frenzy, shopping, travelling and planning big for the short break before the New Year. The pursuit of the year-end thrill is a compelling chore for many who devote their time to the regular stuff: visit to Santa Claus, timeout at the amusement park, booze binge and tepid owambe parties with plenty of rice, chicken and Coca-Cola.
In December, everyone is desirous of an extraordinary experience. Here is a review of five ideas of how to vivify an otherwise jaded Christmas holiday.
1. Carnival Calabar
In Lagos, street carnivals are features of December, especially in high-density neighbourhoods. The real deal, however, is in Calabar, capital of Cross River State, where the eponymous carnival has grown to become one of the finest end-of-year events in the world that attracts revellers worldwide. The Calabar Carnival can give the Rio Carnival (or Notting Hill Carnival) a run for its money.
Already the dry run has been flagged off and the city is ready to welcome guests to this year’s edition of Africa’s biggest street party.
This 15th edition, from Boxing Day, will provide the opportunity to mingle with people from 35 countries including Vietnam, Bangladesh, Italy, Brazil, Malawi and Kenya, in addition to those coming from 20 Nigerian states. The attractions include a street procession, biker’s parade, beauty pageantry, band performance, fashion show and art exhibitions. The fun rounds up with a bang: fireworks on the stroke of midnight when December 31 fades out and ushers in a brand New Year, January 1, 2020.
2. Terra Kulture
How about spending an evening watching a theatrical performance, for a change? If you are in Lagos, try Terra Kulture, the leading art, culture, lifestyle, and educational centre on Victoria Island where a new musical, Fela’s Republic and the Kalakuta Queens has been showing since December 14.
The musical performance and concert, performed twice daily at 3 pm and 7 pm, is the sequel to the highly acclaimed Fela and the Kalakuta Queens that has gone round Africa, from Lagos to Abuja to Cairo and Pretoria, since it debuted in 2017.
The Fela musical is an exploration of the life of the Afro beat legend and his 27 wives. The new play is revved with an infusion of “the unapologetic and prophetic messages enshrined in his music into the original storyline.”
The musical show will be staged till January 5, 2020.
3. Ilashe Beach
When thinking of a “great good time in December,” a beach outing is always top of the list. This turf belongs to Lagosians. Among the numerous options in the city, Ilashe Island is a top consideration.
Ilashe offers an escape from the stress-soaked city to a fantasy island where you can laze in a Spanish-designed La Manga luxury beach villa that is blessed with a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean and towering coconut trees backdrop.
Each of the four La Manga Luxury villas is tastefully furnished with private pool, beachfront bedrooms, private balconies, lavish suite, rooftop Jacuzzi, sizable swimming pool, massage room, beachfront living room, furnished kitchen, bar and poolside barbeque grill area.
Good for a private party.
4. National Children’s Park and Zoo
Tired of the televised diet of the NatGeo channels? Break the tedium by taking the kids to the real world of Animal Kingdom. In Abuja, the ideal place is the National Children’s Park and Zoo, in Asokoro, behind the Presidential Villa. There, guests have the opportunity to see a collection of real animals such as camels, crocodiles, giraffes, monkeys, ostriches, tortoises, wild cats and zebras. A playground and dedicated kiddies activities area make the park an attractive option where the family can spend the afternoon or even a whole day on a picnic.
You can’t leave the cinema out. It is the ultimate relaxation and escape from the drudgery of day-to-day living. Luckily, We have some cinema franchises including Filmhouse IMAX, Silverbird, Genesis and Ozone that show quality films.
You can immerse yourself in the latest movies such as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Jumanji: The Next Level or watch Maleficent: Mistress of Evil or some 3D flicks with the kids. Who says you can’t spend the entire Boxing Day at the cinema? Try it for its therapeutic effect.