Detty December is a Nigerian term used to describe the festivities but not the regular Christmas gaiety as you may know it.
In my home country, the Christmas festive period is a somewhat enjoyable compilation of chilly weather, unending traffic jams, cherry music festivals, travel fever, beach musings, electrified streetscapes, firecracker pow(s), late night outings, lavish parties and spending sprees year on year.
The city of Lagos takes the detty in our December waaayyyyy further.
In fact, it’s common saying that the bustling economic capital of West Africa wreaks even the “frugal-lest” spenders when the Decemberish season comes knocking.
Holidays in Èkó (local name for Lagos) are often characterised by high-strung concerts from master Afrobeats acts like Wizkid, Davido, Kizz Daniel, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Olamide and Yemi Alade to mention a bunch.
And with the usual crowded concerts cancelled in 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic (argh!), it seems the metropolis may be losing its own ability to charm Lagosians, foreign tourists and “I-Just-Got-Back” (IJGB or returnees) as the year comes to a gratifying end.
But not to worry because I’ll be exploring seven top things to do, see and enjoy in Lagos this Christmas and hopefully, kindle your inborn excitement about the holidays.
Ho! Ho!! Ho!!! Let’s get seriously underway.
Where to go for Christmas in Lagos, Nigeria.
1. Plan a Beach Holiday with the Family.
But, I’m not talking about any of the over thirty beaches in Èkó as they’re often overcrowded.
This Christmas, make the festivities a notch better than previous years by planning a secluded getaway with your family at any of these amazing beach resorts.
- La Campagne Tropicana Beach. La Campagne Tropicana is the world’s first Africa themed beach resort! It is located in Ibeju-Lekki and because of the Covid-19 pandemic, no more than twenty guests are allowed per day on this sixty-five acre paradise.
- Jara Beach Resort. Situated in Museyo, attractions include squeaky clean chalets, all-round cuisine, outdoor swimming pool and private beach views.
- Inagbe Grand Resort. This peaceful resort is only accessible by water. Don’t you think an epic speedboat ride with the family would be cool?
- Whispering Palms Hotel and Resort. Perks may include a tour of Badagry, an ancient town on the outskirts of Lagos known for its history of slave trade.
- Barracuda Beach Resort. An ideal destination for family bonding, Barracuda Beach Resort is situated in Ajah, Lagos.
Good things come in beach packages.
2. Explore Arts and Crafts in Lagos.
I remember kicking off 2020 with a goal to visit as many art galleries as possible and I did, seven art galleries to be precise.
My artsy musings have changed my understanding of the city of Lagos both in the aspects of our history and craftsmanship.
And with so much art to explore in this thriving landscape, you may be dumbstruck or ask questions like how the heck was this made?!
Personally, I feel that in terms of showcasing arts and craft, Lagos takes the lead in Nigeria and maybe West Africa.
In Lekki alone where they’re over twenty art centres waiting to be discovered, Nike Art Gallery has become the most visited place in the country while artwork and handiwork sold at Lekki Arts and Crafts Market (Jakande Market) continue to wow tourists and art enthusiasts to this day.
To begin your exploration, take a visit to any of the following art galleries and museums.
- Nike Centre for Art and Culture, Lekki.
- Nimbus Art Gallery, Ikoyi.
- Omolayo Art Gallery, Onikan.
- Rele Art Gallery, Onikan.
- Red Door Gallery, Victoria Island.
- National Museum, Onikan.
- Signature Beyond Art Gallery, Ikoyi.
- Freedom Park, Lagos Island.
- Henrimoweta Art Centre, Anthony Village.
Assuredly, you’ll have a great time at any of these creative spaces because they’re hardly any exhibitions in December and a controlled influx of visitors makes visiting safe for all.
3. Go See Stage Plays.
The first time I watched a proper stage play was in December of 2019 at the ambient Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre and the play – Oba Esugbayi – chronicled the independence of Lagos state.
I spoke about my thrilling experience to family and friends and more importantly, I wrote a review of the MUSON Centre.
Fun Fact: MUSON is acronym for Musical Society of Nigeria.
Seeing a stage play especially a really good one is guaranteed to leave you feeling euphoric and watching the actors impersonate historical and fictional characters is something that’s too difficult to describe.
It’s, it’s mindblowing.
Haven’t seen a stage play before? Why not drop by any of these locations this Christmas and ask for upcoming theatrics.
- MUSON Centre, Onikan.
- National Theatre, Iganmu.
- Terra Kulture, Victoria Island.
- The KÖNÀ Recreation Hub, Lekki.
- Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island.
inside gist: The Olúrónbi Musical will be showing three p.m. and seven p.m. daily at Terra Kulture from 26th to 29th December 2020.
Get tickets from http://www.terrakulture.com
Stage plays present a multi-layered experience with something that is spectacular for everyone in the audience.
4. Attend a Christmas Carnival in Lagos.
So I was watching the TV the other day and I stumbled on an amazing commercial.
Apparently, from the 24th to 26th of December 2020, Eko Hotels and Suites – the largest hotel in Nigeria – will be throwing an extravagant Christmas carnival for everyone.
Oh my, the holiday spirit came early this year!
It’s going to be a city of fun, lights, thrills, flavour and colours this season (Ha! I’m basically saying what’s mentioned in the commercial) and exciting bits will include.
- Family Game Time.
- Christmas Brunch Fiesta.
- Tropical Christmas Children’s Concert.
- Santa Illie’s Carnival Parade.
- Dessert Making Class.
- Santa’s Grotto.
- Sunset Barbeque Dinner.
- Santa Dance at Moon Light.
- African Night.
There will be Covid-19 protocols and measures during the Tropical Christmas Wonderland – Carnival Edition at Eko Hotels and Suites.
inside gist: Livespot Xclusive – an exciting and extraordinary concert experience – will be happening live at the Eko Convention Centre in Eko Hotels and Suites on December 20, 2020. Wizkid is set to headline this concert and in line with curbing Covid-19, seating is going to be limited and Afrobeats aficionados unable to attend may livestream the event.
Be my guest.
5. Have a Christmas Family Picnic.
With so many public parks and gardens in Lagos, it’s easy to get blown away with the myriad of things to do at Jhalobia Park, Johnson Jakande Tinubu Park or even the Muri Okunola Park tucked in the heart of Victoria Island.
Not to worry because this year, Fun Factory will be entertaining families and friends on a fun-filled picnic starting December 20, 2020.
Save the date!
Fun Factory is located at 10, Lai Yusuf Crescent, Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos and holiday packages will include live band music, exhilarating rides, raffle draws, access to kiddies play area, board games, dance competitions and loads of fun.
inside gist: The Lagos Seafood Festival featuring fresh gourmet seafood, live music and entertainment will be happening at the Muri Okunola Park on December 13, 2020.
The more the merrier! Not literally tho, remember Covid?
6. Show Up at a Christmas Carol Concert.
Heck yeah! One of the best ways to make this yuletide a memorable season for yourself, friends or family is to show up at a Christmas carol concert.
From the melodious hymns of Deck the Halls to Twelve Days of Christmas, everything about this kind of celebration is ecstatic… particularly if you can sing along with the choir. Ah! Lest I forget one of my favourites, Joy to the World.
“so also when he was born into the World, the holy Angels came down to sing his Christmas Carol, and at once to proclaim and celebrate his Nativity.” – John Scott, The Christian life.
Again, Christmas carols will often involve extra happenings like stage plays, quizzes, Bible recitals, dance performances, sermons, lunch breaks, games and competitions, orchestras and expectedly, more singing.
And you know what makes it even better?
The most popular locations for carol concerts are churches (obviously).
Now, during the initial surge of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the federal government enforced a lockdown in the country.
In Lagos, this was further enforced by security operatives and when it was “totally safe” to resume religious activities, certain conditions including compulsory handwashing and temperature checks, absence of older attendees, and social distancing practices were specified for worship centres.
So, you’re safe with such policies underway.
To sum it all up, I recommend that you celebrate this year’s Christmas at The Apostolic Faith Church. It is nestled on Campground Road, Anthony Village and trust me when I say that this church organises some of the best carol concerts in the entire country!
7. Enjoy Quality Family Time at Home.
Christmas comes but once a year and enjoying quality time with friends and family is one of the best ways to mark the end of this year.
If anything, 2020 taught us that life and the world as we know it… is very unpredictable.
Plans, careers, and investments are nothing without the people we love and as long as we have family around, it’s most important to cherish their presence every single day.
That said, it’s safe to assume that everything will be back to normal really soon with the announcement of highly effective vaccines from Mordena, Pfizer and BioNTech pharmaceutical company.
Pending the circulation of Covid-19 vaccines, instead of travelling to dreamy destinations across the world, you can decorate the Christmas tree at home with kids, go shopping for presents (ooh secret Santa, anyone?), watch Christmas themed movies (I hear Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a good film), have BBQ gatherings, prepare tasty meals or spend the day cuddling with your loved one.
It’s the holidays. Eat, drink, be merry, and light up like a Christmas tree! 🎄
Bonus Tips: Where to enjoy this Christmas in Lagos, Nigeria.
#1. Go indoor skating with family and friends at Skate City in Maryland Mall.
#2. Experience full dose of entertainment and Xmas shopping at The Palms Mall, Lekki.
#4. Grab a bite at Danfo Bistro – arguably the best danfo inspired eatery in the highbrow neighbourhood of Ikoyi.
#5. Take a trip to Africa’s longest canopy walk at the Lekki Conservation Centre.
#6. Kayak the Bics Garden and Boat Club waterfront and enjoy scenic sights of Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge.
#7. Explore picturesque nighttime views of Christmas lights and decorations in the active cityscape.
The 2020 holiday season presents a unique opportunity to try out new things owing to the devastating impact of the Coronavirus.
- USA President-elect Joe Biden is asking Americans to wear facemasks for his first 100 days in office.
- The Italian Republic – cradle of modern-day Catholicism – is banning travel across certain regions over Christmas.
- The United Kingdom is expecting millions of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses from now up until 2021.
- South Africa is tightening Covid-19 restrictions as cases surge in light of Xmas celebrations.
- And Authorities in South Korea are urging government to call off holiday parties particularly in the capital – Seoul.
Most likely, there will be subdued celebrations this year. Governments and medical experts are recommending this so for everyone else, it is most crucial to safeguard your health and that of your friends, family and loved ones.
Wear a facemask when you have to, avoid large gatherings and follow the recommended Covid-19 protocols at public places.
In conclusion, I hope that Christmas in Lagos, the rest of Nigeria or anywhere else in the world is as eventful as it gets.
What new things will you be signing up for this Christmas season? How are you rounding up the year; lowkey or detty?
Kindly sound off about your plans in the comments section. I want to hear from you.
Cheers to a very Merry Christmas!!! 🎅
Say Hello to Me!
Enjoyed this Post? Be sure to Pin for later! 📌
featured image credit – getty images