03 December 2021
Things to do this Christmas in Manchester
Manchester is the ultimate place to be leading up to Christmas. We have the world-famous Christmas Markets, the giant inflatable Santa and the best venues for festive food and drink.
And now that Christmas is just around the corner we all need to plan for some festive fun, especially after our less than sociable Christmas last year.
Here’s a list of some fabulous events and experiences that just might make you want to leave your warm cosy front room and head outside.
Festival of Christmas Trees – Quayside, MediaCityUK
This display at the Lowry Outlet is an exciting annual project involving organisations, community groups and individuals coming together in the decoration of a one-off Christmas tree. The trees are then prominently displayed to the public at Quayside MediaCityUK shopping mall for six weeks in the run up to Christmas. Place a bid on your favourite tree and whoever has the highest bid on each tree by closing time on Thursday 9th December gets to take the tree home. All money raised from the pledges goes to Francis House Children’s Hospice.
Open until 12th December
Skate Manchester – Cathedral Gardens, Corporation Street, Manchester
Adults £13/Children £11/Families £41
This year the rink at Cathedral Gardens is even bigger. Enjoy skating under the cover of the rink’s roof meaning whatever the weather you can have fun skating. This year’s venue is nearly double the size of previous years which means more space for skating (less falling over hopefully!) and more fun. There are places to grab a snack or hot drinks and it’s not far from the city’s famous Christmas Markets either.
Open daily throughout December, except for Christmas Day
Come and meet Father Christmas and his elves in his magical twinkling tipi where they will be ready to greet you and hear all about your Christmas wishes.
Gandey’s Heated Theatre Big Top will be hosting SNOWSTORM outside the Great Hall entrance.
Trafford Centre is bringing the glitz and glamour this Christmas with the new sensational outdoor experience. Wrap up warm and explore a winter wonderland of spectacular rides and festive fayre.
Father Christmas is there up until 24th December and Snowstorm and Tinsel Town up until 3rd January.
Christmas Markets – Piccadilly Gardens
The Christmas markets are back in the city centre this winter, filling the streets with wooden huts and festive cheer. It might get busy at times but it’s worth it for the steaming hot mulled wine and tasty Bratwurst on offer. And if that’s not your bag then you won’t have to look far for some of the most exciting veggie and vegan food that Manchester has to offer. Thankfully this year’s celebrations are back to normal after they were reduced in 2020. There is a brand new hub for the festivities as well moving the heard of the Christmas markets to Piccadilly Gardens. The area has been transformed into the ‘Winter Gardens’, with the usual festive food and market stalls.
Open until 22nd December
The Winter Garden Market – Platt Fields Park, Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield
Join Manchester Urban Diggers and the wonderful makers, performers, musicians, artists, chefs and craftspeople of Manchester for their first ever Winter Garden Market. There are 6 weekends of street food, kids activities, workshops, bars, markets stalls and marquees for all the family to enjoy.
Open until 19th December
Santa’s magical sleigh – Manchester Arndale
£3.50 per ticket or £12 for a family ticket
Head to the Upper Mall (near Argos) to find a brand new virtual reality experience – the perfect family attraction during the festive period. Once aboard, the HD VR headsets will ensure an enjoyable and fully immersive 4D experience as you are transported across the globe and even into space! Tilting forwards, backwards and side to side the sleigh’s movements have been specially designed to take you on a real journey.
Operates up until Christmas Eve