Christmas in the City: MM’s top 10 things to do in 2018

Christmas is a special time of the year here in Manchester. From award-winning markets to ice skating rinks, the city has something for everyone this festive period.

Here MM run you through a guide to what’s on the next few weeks, as well as where to find the tallest Christmas trees…

  1. Manchester’s Christmas Markets, free entry

The award-winning Christmas markets are back and bigger than ever.

Day or night, the markets offer a unique atmosphere and trail of tempting goods of food, drinks, crafts, toys, jewellery and much more.

With over 300 festive chalet inspired stalls on offer with no entry fee – you do not want to miss this! Manchester’s number one spot for Christmas caters Hungarian, Spanish and other European foods, whilst also giving a range of vegan options to try.

Opening times and other information is located here:

  1. Manchester Ice Rink

Returning to Manchester is a Christmas favourite, the Manchester Ice Rink. Located in a different spot to previous years on First Street by Deansgate Locks. On top of that there also will be food and drink stalls, and entertainment provided to soak up the Christmas spirit.

Bookings are required and can be found here:

  1. Salford Culture Lightwaves, free entry

Hosting a free interactive experience for all Lightwaves is a showcase of digital light display around public locations of Manchester. Provided by Quays Culture the show will illuminate across Salford Quays and MediaCityUK displaying work from new and exclusive digital artists.

Displayed between December 7-16 from Monday – Sunday from 12:00 until 22:30.

  1. Winter Funland at EventCity

The only indoor venue hosted in Manchester and the North West of England. Winter Wonderland at event city is full of activities and things to do whilst keeping you in the warmth. With a Santa’s grotto and live reindeers, children can meet them and get a photo – an unmissable experience that will never be forgotten. Whether you prefer ice skating, funfair rides or circus performances, EventCity has everything under one roof for you to explore at your own leisure.

More information here:

  1. Visit Europe’s tallest walk-in Christmas tree at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet

Make this a Christmas worth remembering – come and visit Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet. Not only do Cheshire Oaks offer up to 70% off RRP, they also have a selection of market stalls and live performances.

If you have children accompanying you on your visit there is plenty of them to get involved in: help Santa’s helpers out in Christmas cookie school, meet Santa and dine with him for breakfast (kids eat free when adult spends £10).

Additional information:

  1. The Snowman wintry trail at Media City

This Christmas celebrates the 40th anniversary of the ever-so Christmassy winter tale of The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.

To honour the classic, MediaCityUK have put together a wintery trail consisting of 12 crafted and decorated snowman sculptures which are awaiting discovery by visiting families.

Like the Bee in the City trail, the same team presented by Wild in Art, cleverly put forward this idea in collaboration with Penguin Ventures and aims to raise money for BBC Children in Need.

Inspired by the 12 days of Christmas, it is a fun way to get you and your family into the festive spirit.

Please visit the following site for more details:

  1. Tatton Park’s Christmas Grotto

If you are looking for something family orientated then come down to visit Santa and his reindeers, Prancer and Dancer at Tatton Park.

Hosting a day filled with children’s entertainment, face painting, visit Aunty Mary who will be making salt dough decorations in her Christmas Cottage and meet your festive nativity favourites such as donkeys.

Children’s entry price includes a present from Santa upon arrival. For more details of dates, opening times and prices please visit:

  1. Bar Hütte in Spinningfields

Ever wanted to experience a private, alpine, carol-oke hütte? Well now you can in the comfort of your favourite city, Manchester.

Located in Spinningfields, you can hire your very own space to sing-a-long with all your friends to festive karaoke classics on the hütte’s carol-oke machine. An accommodating space to host Christmas parties or if you just fancy having belting one out.

For price lists, please visit the website here:

  1. Festive afternoon tea experience at The Lowry Hotel’s River Restaurant

If you fancy a relaxed afternoon away from the busyness of the markets why not indulge in an afternoon tea experience in The Lowry’s River Restaurant.

The perfect location for a friendly gathering with friends or family in a quiet and secluded location. They also offer the option to upgrade to champagne or something stronger if you’d prefer.

Available from November 1-January 1 2019. More information for the menu and price list can be found here:

  1. Vegan street food at Victoria Baths, between £3-5 (under 5s go FREE)

Manchester truly does cater for all. With a variety of street food on offer, bars for vegan wines and cocktails, vegan winery tasting, a festive line-up of live music, vegan Christmas gifts for sale, a Santa’s grotto and charity gift wrapping available to support Manchester’s homeless charity Barnabus.

If you’re lucky enough to grab yourself an early bird ticket you will receive a complementary FREE mulled wine or hot chocolate.

For more details, to either book a stall or to buy tickets, please visit: 

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