Tag Archives: christmas markets

9 Things to do in Greater Manchester this weekend (25 – 27 November)

We have some fantastic competitions running at the momentwhich you can enter by visiting: visitmanchester.com/articles/whats-on/competitions/

Andy Warhol at the Whitworth
19 November 2016 – 16 April 2017
Andy Warhol’s work will be featured at the Whitworth art gallery as part of their ‘Artists Room’ exhibitions.

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo
25 November 2016 – 23 December 2016
Watch the children’s eyes light up and their imagination run wild on a magical night time journey through the zoo.

Lantern Parade at Tatton Park
25 November 2016 – 25 November 2016
Cheer Father Christmas as he arrives with his elves at Tatton Park during the Lantern Parade.

Gloriumptious Christmas Mansion
21 November 2016 – 18 December 2016
Step in to the Christmas mansion and into Roald Dahl’s magical world.

Oasis Exhibition
02 November 2016 – 28 January 2017
Manchester Central Library presents a photographic journey into the history of Oasis.

Santa Specials at East Lancashire Railway
26 November 2016 – 24 December 2016
The ever popular festive train returns! Enjoy decorated stations, brass bands, magicians, costumed characters and a visit from Father Christmas.

Revolution Series: Champions League
25 November 2016 – 26 November 2016
The Revolution Series Champions League visits Manchester for the brand new format of racing as the stars of the road take on the champions of the track.

Manchester Christmas Markets
10 November 2016 – 20 December 2016
The UK’s original, award winning Manchester Christmas Market return with the biggest and best festive offering to date.

The Rink at Cathedral Gardens
04 November 2016 – 08 January 2017
For the first ever time, alongside the traditional fairground, Festive Cathedral Gardens will be home to a glittering ice rink.

Have a great weekend exploring the region. For more inspiration go to visitmanchester.com.


The Definitive Manchester Christmas Guide 2015

Here’s our guide to the best of what’s on in and around Manchester this Christmas.

Chester Zoo at Christmas 

Chester Zoo Blog

With daily animal talks, events and themed play areas, Chester Zoo makes for a magical family day out this Christmas season, with over 12,500 animals and 125 acres of gardens to explore. Find out more here.

Christmas Carols by Salford Royal Choir – Sunday 20 December

Salford Choir

In the beautiful surroundings of The John Rylands Library historic reading room, take a break from Christmas shopping and enjoy a medley of Christmas Carols by Salford Royal Choir. Click here for more information.

Cinderella at Manchester Opera House


This December, Cinderella returns with national icons Torvill & Dean who will make their pantomime debut as the Fairy Godparents. Go to Visit Manchester for more information.

Christmas Craft on a Ration

Christmas Craft

Visit the festively decorated 1940s house in the Horrible Histories: Blitzed Brits exhibition and create your own hanging decoration and weigh out your week’s ration of sweets to pop inside. Find out more here.

Festive Fun at NFM


Book the kids onto the National Football Museum’s supervised activity sessions; with fun football challenges and computer gaming contests, guaranteed to keep them on the ball. Click here for more information.

Levy Christmas Night Market – Friday 18 December

Levy Market

The Christmas night party will offer a mix of hand-picked traders selling the very best in delicious Manchester street food, sweet treats and drinks, as well as artists, designers and makers selling high quality Christmas presents. Find out more here.

Lightwaves at Salford Quays


From giant inflatable rabbits to a three-dimensional maze, get lost in a maze of reflections and illuminations at Greater Manchester’s Digital Light Festival. Go to Visit Manchester for more information.

Magic Lantern Workshop at MOSI

Lantern Workshop

Illuminate dark winter days with daily family activities during the school holidays at Museum of Science and Industry. Build an electrical circuit and light up the dark at MOSI’s Magic Lantern workshop. Click here for more information.

New Year’s Day with the Manchester Camerata – Friday 1 January


Start 2016 in style at the Manchester Camerata’s New Year’s Day Viennese concert at the impressive Bridgewater Hall. Click here to find out more.

The wonder of light at MOSI

Wonder of Light

Light up the dark winter days with this magnificent light and illusion show at the Museum of Science and Industry. Perfect for the whole family. Find out more here.

Christmas in Colorado

Christmas in Colorado

Inspired by the world famous hotspots of Aspen and Vail, Event City will be transformed into an electric après-ski party. Find out more here.

Jools Holland at O2 Apollo – Sunday 20 December


Acclaimed musician and television host Jools Holland will perform live at Manchester’s O2 Apollo, accompanied on stage by his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. Click here for more information.

Christmas with the Hallé

The Halle

This Christmas, The Hallé are putting on a range of spectacular performances not to be missed. Find out more here.

Spinningfields Christmas Market


Explore a showcase of hand-picked food producers, arts and craft artisans, and street food operators with products designed to inspire. Click here for more information.

New Year’s Eve: Rudimental at Albert Hall – Thursday 31 December


Party away 2015 and welcome the New Year at Albert Hall with a DJ from Rudimental and others. Find out more here.

Manchester Christmas Markets


The world-famous markets come to a close on Monday 21 December. Don’t miss your chance to explore the 350 stalls spanning 10 distinctive market sites, transforming the city centre in to a festive wonderland. Find out more here.

Need New Year’s Eve inspiration? Check out  guide to some of the best events taking place in the city – http://www.visitmanchester.com/articles/whats-on/new-year-s-eve-in-manchester/

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Visit Manchester.

7 things to do in Greater Manchester this weekend (13 – 15 November 2015)

Here’s our guide to the best of what’s on in and around Manchester this weekend.

Manchester Christmas Markets

Manchester’s famous Christmas Markets return for the festive season from this weekend. Featuring nearly 350 stalls spanning 10 distinctive market sites; they will transform the city centre in to a festive wonderland. Find out more here.

The Ideal Home Show at Christmas

Ideal Home Show blog

Back for 2015, The Ideal Home Show at Christmas is returning to EventCity, bringing everything to prepare for the festive season – and including appearances from Gino D’Acampo, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Katie Piper and Olly Smith. For more information, click here.

Louder than Words Festival of Music and Literature

Louder Than Words blog 1

Now in its third year, the Louder than Words Festival has something for anyone with a love for music, and the way words are used to inform, create and discuss that music. Click here for more information.

Reindeer Parade

Reindeer Parade blog 1

This Saturday, Santa will be arriving into Oldham town centre, leading his reindeer around the town on their way to the Spindles Town Square, where he will be opening his brand new grotto. To find out more, click here.

Wythenshawe Hall Open Day

W Hall

Welcoming visitors of all ages, the open day will let visitors take a step back in time and learn about the local heritage. The Friends of Wythenshawe Hall, dressed in period costume, will be on hand to answer any questions. Find out more here.

The Last Tango at the Manchester Opera House

Last Tango in Halifax blog1

Fresh from their sell-out hit shows Midnight Tango and Dance ‘Til Dawn, Strictly Come Dancing superstars Vincent Simone & Flavia Cacace have created their most moving production yet. To find out more, click here.

England under 19s v Japan

England Japan

Come and cheer on the Young Lions who take on Japan in an exciting fixture with two Manchester City players named in the squad.

Have a great weekend exploring the region. For more inspiration go to visitmanchester.com.

Enjoy some festive family fun in Manchester


Manchester Christmas Markets

Manchester Christmas Markets

Christmas has most definitely arrived in Manchester and it’s a great place to enjoy a festive family day out. Along with the ever popular Manchester Christmas Markets, all the family favourites are back for 2013. Be sure not to miss Manchester Arndale’s Grotto, Spinningfields Ice Rink and Festive Fun at the magical John Rylands Library.

Other family-friendly highlights include Library Theatre Company’s Wanted! Robin Hood at The Lowry, Christmas Bricktacular at Legoland Discovery Centre (kids go free) and the illuminating Lantern Magic at Chester Zoo.

Football-mad families are in for a real treat with both Manchester City and Manchester United hosting special festive-themed stadium and museum tours. The National Football Museum also has plenty of festive football fun to entertain you for hours, including a penalty shoot-out competition and a 241 offer on Football+.

A great way to round off a day out is to go for a family feast, check out the great value Christmas menu at the wonderful Sapporo Teppanyaki, where food meets theatre.

Getting to and around Manchester couldn’t be easier, book your travel with First TransPennine Express in advance and you could save up to 50%. Once you’ve arrived pick up a System One DaySaver so you can enjoy unlimited, unrestricted travel on any bus, train and tram across the whole of Greater Manchester – a great excuse to visit Bolton’s Winter Wonderland, complete with giant Ferris Wheel, ice rink, Santa’s Grotto and festive markets.

For more information on all the Christmas events and offers go to visitmanchester.com/christmas and follow #MCRChristmas

Also don’t forget to enter our great Christmas competitions here

3 things to do this weekend in Manchester (15 – 17 November, 2013)

Manchester Christmas Markets

Manchester Christmas Markets

Things are starting to feel very festive in Manchester with the twinkling Christmas lights and a wintery nip in the air. Here’s our top 3 suggestions for what to get up to this weekend, plus some bonus suggestions from our social media friends.

  • The wait is finally over; Manchester Christmas Markets open their ornate wooden gates today for the first time this year, with a promise of festive merriment, a host of food from across the globe and plenty of festive wares fit for any Christmas stocking. Celebrating 15 years in the city, the markets are made up of 300 beautiful chalet-chic wooden houses across nine city centre locations, all within easy walking distance of each other.
  • Musicians and music lovers should head over to Manchester Central for The Music Show which is on today and tomorrow. This huge celebration of talent from Manchester and across the North West showcases the latest musical equipment, technologies and services and has a packed programme of performances, workshops and ‘how to’ masterclasses. Those feeling brave can also jam on the main stage with top professionals from the world of music.
  • Fancy watching some live international sporting action? Make your way to Wigan’s DW Stadium on Saturday evening to watch England and France battle it out for a place in the Rugby League World Cup Semi-Finals. With tickets starting at just £7.50 it would rude not to.

Here’s what our Twitter followers recommend:

  • ‏@visit_bury: We’ll be @burybeerfest Today & Sat. Great beer & music. Just 2 mins walk from Metrolink. See http://ow.ly/qQJrx for info.
  • ‏@DeShannon: The secret exhibition at Federation Building, Federation St. 12-4 on Saturday.
  • ‏@emmajayneallen: Christmas markets then the olive press for tea! Perfect day!
  • ‏@louisebolotin: Louder Than Words @Lthanwordsfest festival at the Palace Hotel all weekend http://louderthanwordsfest.com/
  • ‏@ebyford: It has to be @Lthanwordsfest at Palace Hotel feat: Wilko Johnson, Alan McGee, Tim Burgess and lots more http://louderthanwordsfest.com/programme/
  •  ‏@lsutherland: #PHMPOLLfest @PHMMcr all weekend. Going to be awesome!
  • ‏@azacru: #Didsbury Sun pm. Great parks & pubs & pop in #Didsbury_Perk & get free Mcr-invented Pacru boardgame http://pacru.com/takethinkgive
  • ‏@naomiroofhyde: The Oast House teepee & Christmas markets 🙂

And here’s what our Facebook friends suggest:

  • Hugh Naughton: Night and Day
  • Holly Wood: Bierhaus, Hibernate and ice rink at Spinningfields
  • Tracey Cartledge: Visit 2022NQ on Dale Street/Little Lever Street in the NQ, there’s a fantastic exhibition of stunning mosaic works by North West artists tucked away in this hidden little oasis – it has a bar too and the coffee’s not too bad!http://www.2022nq.co.uk/…/a-night-on-the-tiles-exhibition
  • Pamela Spamellab Bustard@ BEATS at Contact – http://contactmcr.com/whats-on/6437-beats/ Something different but music-related, pretty cool show!
  • Scott Woody Weddell: Kosmonaut for lunch or a drink!
  • MANCHESTER UNITED Norske Fan: Visit the Englands smallest pub : The Circus Tavern in Portland street for a beer.
  • Clare Simpson: Chorlton Book Festival starts today. Highlights include writing workshop by regular Corrie writer tomorrow at The Edge http://www.edgetheatre.co.uk
  • Emma Fox: Town hall clock tower tours! https://clocktowertours.eventbrite.co.uk
  • Angela Lady-of Chaol-Ghleann: Afflecks Palace and the brownies in the second floor cafe homemade and mmmmm!

What’s on in Manchester – December

Spinningfields Ice Rink

Spinningfields Ice Rink

The ‘What’s on in Manchester’ blog will give you a heads up for selected highlights of where to be and what to see in Manchester for the coming month – published every month on behalf of Visit Manchester.


Alison Goldfrapp: Performer as Curator at The Lowry
Until 2 March 2014
An exhibition curated by the elusive, enigmatic and uncompromisingly glamorous musician and style icon, Alison Goldfrapp. The performer gives the public a rare opportunity to explore some of her personal inspirations through the painters, film makers, illustrators and photographers who have shaped her own inimitable artistic vision.

Festive Fun at The John Rylands Library
Throughout December 2013
John Rylands Library hosts a range of festive activities for friends and family to enjoy together. This includes the Winter Fun Day (1 December), a Festive Makes Day (4 December), the Pagan Winterfest (6 December) and an afternoon of Christmas Songs (15 December).

Festive Fun at the National Football Museum
1 – 31 December 2013
Visitors to the museum can explore the world’s finest collection of football artefacts and archives. Whether you’re a die hard football fan, planning a visit with your family or on a weekend break to the great city of Manchester, enjoy a visit to the world’s biggest and best football museum.


Christmas concerts at Tatton Park
12 – 14 December 2013
This year Tatton’s Christmas concerts cover a multitude of musical genres from classical to choral. Before enjoying the performances, visitors are welcome to walk through the decorated White Christmas Mansion and enjoy a warming winter drink. Pre-concert suppers are available in the Stables Restaurant and Gardeners’ Cottage.

St. Ann’s Hospice Festival Choir Christmas Concert at Bridgewater Hall
13 December 2013
St. Ann’s Hospice Festival Choir sings Christmas music and carols with favourites for all to join in. Sing along to such classics as The Twelve Days of Christmas, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Ding Dong Merrily on High! and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.


Jack and the Beanstalk at Oldham Coliseum
16 November 2013 – 4 January 2014 
Times are hard for young Jack and his mother but when he is forced to sell his beloved cow for a few beans, Jack finds himself in a whole new world of thrills and adventure. Featuring everything you’ve come to expect from a traditional Coliseum panto – laughs galore, magnificent music and spectacular costumes. Get ready to be taken high above the clouds on a magical journey.

War Horse at The Lowry
20 November 2013 – 18 January 2014
War Horse is the powerful story of a young boy called Albert and his beloved horse, Joey, who has been requisitioned to fight for the English in World War I. Caught in enemy crossfire, Joey ends up serving on both sides during the war before landing in no man’s land, while Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. A remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, War Horse features ground-breaking puppetry work by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which brings breathing and galloping horses to life on stage.

Peter Pan – The Never Ending Story at Phones4U Arena
29 – 30 December 2013 
See the boy who never grows up in a live adventure you’ll never forget. Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story World Arena Tour is a high-flying, hi-tech fantasy adventure that combines the drama and excitement of live theatre with the epic visuals of a blockbuster movie. Pinch yourself as you watch Peter Pan fly high above the stage without wires – a world first in theatre. Marvel at the spectacular scenery, brought to life by state-of-the-art digital imaging – Neverland like never before.

Feeling Festive?

Spinningfields Ice Rink
November 8 2013 – January 5 2014
The only ice rink in the city centre is returning to Hardman Square for another festive season. This year the whole estate will also be awash with Christmas activity, with late night shopping on The Avenue, letters to the North Pole, helter skelters and much, much, more!

Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre
29 November 2013 – 5 January 2014 
Deck the halls with LEGO® bricks – Christmas Bricktacular is coming to LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre! Enjoy a festive LEGO Factory Tour, sing Christmas karaoke with the LEGO Friends in Olivia’s House and create a merry masterpiece at the LEGO Master Model Builder workshop, where imaginations will be inspired by Christmas décor. Experience MINILAND® as you’ve never seen it before as the local area comes to life with LEGO Minifigures celebrating their own spectacular Mini-Christmas.

Santa Specials on the East Lancashire Railway
30 November – 24 December 2013
Get ready for a ho ho ho-larious good time on one of the enchanting Santa Special Trains. A Christmas tradition for many in the North West, the Santa Special is back after a record breaking run last year. See the beautiful decorations on both the carriages and in the station, enjoy Christmas carols and live brass bands. There really is no better way to get into the festive spirit.

Lantern Magic at Chester Zoo
12 – 23 December 2013
Journey through the magical gardens, try out your lantern making skills, visit the Elephant House and Fruit Bat Forest, meet the friendly festive characters and sample some of the deliciously tasty treats. See the beautiful animal lanterns – with some ‘new arrivals’ created especially for this year’s event. Make your Christmas wish at the Giant Wishing Tree and keep the lanterns glowing. Together with the magnificent animals help Santa to light the way this Christmas.

Christmas Shopping

Christmas comes to Cheshire Oaks
14 November – 24 December 2013
Christmas launches at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet on Thursday 14 November with the official lighting of the centre’s 90ft (Britain’s tallest) artificial Christmas tree, a continental Christmas market and a spectacular festive fireworks display. The day also marks the start of a fabulous shopping event with activities, promotions and extra special star buys on offer across the 145 stores at the centre, which will continue throughout the Christmas period.

Manchester Arndale Grotto
From 21 November 2013
Even Father Christmas knows Manchester Arndale is the best place to pick up all the hottest pressies. So put your order in when he sets up in his brand new Christmas tree star grotto in Halle Square.

The Magical Christmas Fair at Manchester Central
29 November – 1 December 2013
Whether you need some stocking fillers, top-end designer gifts or speciality food and drink to make your festive occasions extra special, you will find it all at The Magical Christmas Fair. The Magical Christmas Fair is not just about buying gifts, it’s the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit with live music, carols, bands and festive entertainment, plus a chance for kids to meet Santa and his friends in his candy cane grotto.

Lowry Outlet Victorian Christmas Market
5 – 8 December 2013
This spectacular and magical event returns to create a traditional Christmas experience for all ages. Bigger and better for 2013, this four-day event will have the whole family feeling festive from top-to-toe. Completely free to enter, the market will feature more than 100 stalls selling the finest festive food, mulled wine and warm cider plus unique crafts and gifts. For a Truly Dickensian touch, a cast of jolly Victorian characters will be bringing the market to life and transporting you back in time.

Greengate Christmas Family Market
21 – 23 December 2013
Located at the corner of Chapel Street and Victorian Bridge Street, Salford, Greengate Christmas Family Market is the perfect spot for families and shoppers to relax after a long day in the city. Within 2 minutes walk of Manchester Cathedral and the city centre, visitors to the market can enjoy this new public space with festive street performers, warming winter food and festive treats from the market traders. Children will also have a chance to meet Santa at Greengate Square, just before he drops down their chimneys.