Christmas is fast approaching and budgets are tightening in the build up to the big event. For shopaholics this means putting down the credit card and reserving it to spend on others, not on you. As much as this will be a wrench, shopping is not the only possible pastime for women living in the city. To combat this addiction and distract from any withdrawal symptoms, here are a few alternative hobbies you could try…


Cities are simply besieged with galleries, festivals and collections of artwork. Dive into this culture and you’ll be shocked at how much of it you can find. In London this week alone a photography festival, several art shows and an art fair are opening their doors. And that doesn’t even include all of the long established galleries which are always open to the public. Also, unlike the costly affair of shopping, art shows are very often free. Save money and spend your time on culture.


Cities, especially the big ones, thrive off tourism. They cater for visitors with a variety of informative entertainments, showing them the surroundings and the ways of the inhabitants. But if we live somewhere we don’t buy into any of this, counting ourselves as ‘locals’. However, becoming a tourist is a great pastime and a brilliant alternative to shopping. You will have tons on your agenda – museums, guided walks, heritage sites. Also, you’ll find out so much about the area you live in, feeling able to truly call yourself a local.

Live Entertainment

Get on a few ticket websites and book yourself in for some live entertainment. This will certainly distract from the lack of shopping. Gigs, dance performance, comedy – take your pick, cities are always rife with these kinds of shows. If you don’t want to go alone, why not take a date? Many people, from professionals dating at to those on blind dates, tend to choose theatre as the ideal date, as it is both cultural and romantic.


Eating is a brilliant distraction from just about anything. But eating out and sampling the culinary delights of your local area is an even better way to divert yourself. And this new interest doesn’t just have to be about restaurants. You could take cookery classes, find out how chocolate is made and go on some food factory tours – the possibilities are endless.


If you’re in the city a good nightlife is pretty much guaranteed. Grab some friends and get out to your favourite bar, pub quiz or dusk till dawn club night. There are also many dating opportunities to be taken advantage of here – take your new match for a drink and end up on the roof terrace of an exclusive club looking out over the city… how romantic.

Shopping isn’t always the answer. Ease your addiction now with a few of these other city-based distractions.

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