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What’s on in Greater Manchester this December

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System One offer a range of daily, weekly, monthly and annual travelcards, offering customers unlimited travel on any bus, train or tram within Greater Manchester using one card.

Discover a whole host of things to do and see in Manchester this Christmas from the UK’s favourite Christmas Markets to outstanding theatre shows the whole family can enjoy. Plan your festive trip to the city here: visitmanchester.com/christmas

Festive favorites

Manchester Christmas Markets
14 November – 22 December 2015
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.

Manchester Ice Rink
12 November 2015 – 3 January 2016
Perfect for friends, families or couples, the Manchester Ice Rink is a great way to have a laugh and soak up the Christmas atmosphere this December. Click here for more information.

Arts and culture

Carols by Candlelight at Manchester Cathedral
10 December
A warm and wonderful evening at Manchester Cathedral, Carols by Candlelight promises a night of fun and festivity in one of the city’s most beautiful buildings. Find out more here.

Andre Rieu at Manchester Arena
18 December
An energetic programme filled with catchy waltzes, opera tunes and film music is sure to entertain guests at the Manchester Arena this December. Find out more here.

BBC Philharmonic Brahms’s Third Symphony
4 December
Part of the BBC Philharmonic’s American Series, Braham’s Third Symphony was written on the eve of war and contains a powerful insight into two dark musical masterpieces. Find out more here.

Inkheart at HOME
4 December – 9 January
This Christmas, HOME presents Inkheart, adapted from Cornelia Funke’s brilliant, worldwide best-selling fantasy adventure novel for children, a funny, thrilling and action-packed UK premiere for families.Find out more here.

Cinderella at Manchester Opera House
5 December 2015 – 3 January 2016
Cinderella at the Manchester Opera House sees national icons Torville and Dean make their pantomime debut as the Fairy Godparents. Click here to find out more.

Downton: A Wartime Christmas at The Fusilier Museum
27 November – 23 December
Award winning TV series Downton Abbey will display a selection of 10 costumes at Bury’s Fusilier’s Museum for a limited time only. Click here for more information.

Lightwaves at Salford Quays
12 – 27 December
Get lost in a maze of reflections and illuminations at Greater Manchester’s Digital Light Festival. From giant inflatable rabbits to a three-dimensional maze, all of the installations are designed to be interactive. To find out more, click here.

Mumford & Sons at Manchester Arena
6 December
Mumford & Sons will return to Manchester Arena this winter as part of an eleven date UK and Ireland tour.Support for their Manchester show will come from Critics’ Choice Award Winner, Jack Garratt. Find out more here.

Christmas Concerts at Tatton Park
10 – 12 December
Tatton’s festive concerts appeal to a range of musical tastes and are always popular.This year includes the Northern Chamber Orchestra (10 December), A Christmas Carol (11 December), and Roberts Bakery Band (12 December). Find out more here.

Something for the family

Big Family day at HOME
13 December
Keep the family busy this Christmas with the Big Family Day at Home which includes fun films, workshops and a parade for kids of all ages. Click here to find out more.

Horrible Histories: Blitzed Brits at IWM North
11 July 2015 – 10 April 2016
The Second World War changed life in Britain forever, discover how people lived through one of the most challenging period’s in history at this interactive exhibition. Click here to find out more.

Festive Family Starlight Adventure
5 December
Fun and facts merge together in this family friendly show at Jodrell Bank where visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the night sky. Find out more here.

Snowman and the Snowdog
12 December
It’s just not Christmas without a visit from the Snowman and this year, both the Snowman and Snow Dog will be walking in the air on their way to the Spindles Town Square, Oldham. Find out more here.

The Nightmare Before Christmas at The John Rylands Library
19 December
This spookily fun film about Jack Skellington and his journey to ‘Christmas Town’  is part of the library’s ‘Exploring the Gothic’ exhibition and family events programme. Click here for more information.

Visit the Grotto at Manchester Arndale
Until 24 December
Naughty or nice? Whichever list the little ones are on this year, Father Christmas will be at the Manchester Arndale Christmas Grotto until Christmas Eve. Find out more here.

Santa Specials at East Lancashire Railway
Until 24 December
A tradition for many families in the North West, the Santa Specials are sure to create memories which you and your family will share forever. For more information, click here.

Bolton Winter Festival
28 November – 3 January
Bolton’s Winter Festival is back, with a super-sized ice rink, children’s ice rink, magnificent giant tipi tents and the brand new magical Santa’s Grotto and festive artisan markets. Find out more here.

Christmas Blitz 75th Anniversary
Daily throughout December at 3.30pm (except 24, 25, 26)
Mark the 75th anniversary of the Manchester Christmas Blitz in a free tour at IWM North.Find out more here.

Food and drink

GRUB Christmas Food Fair
5 December 2015
A day full of food and fun, enjoy live music alongside tasty treats in this spectacular Christmas fair in Manchester. Click here to find out more.

Corn Exchange Manchester
1 – 31 December 2015
A beautiful Edwardian building in the heart of the city, this wonderful location is now home to many of Manchester’s best restaurants and eateries serving food from all over the world. Find out more here.

Bar Hütte at Spinningfields
12 December 2015 – 3 January 2016
A superb venue for a Christmas celebration, make use of private party rooms, a karaoke machine and three cosy alpine themed hüttes. For more information click here.

Traditional Christmas Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23
Until 31 December
Enjoy delectable items such as chocolate and orange frangipane tarts festive flavoured macaroons and cinnamon and sultana scones with clotted cream and jam above the clouds. Find out more here.

Dive NQ
A brand new multi-faceted bar in the centre of Manchester’s thriving Northern Quarter, Dive offers DJ’s, entertainment and sport, combined with a carefully considered list of cocktails and a selection of bar food. Find out more here.

Travel to Manchester this Christmas

Explore for less this Christmas with FTPE
Getting to Manchester this Christmas is easy with First Transpennine Express. When visitors book in advance, they could save over 50%* on First TransPennine Express train travel. All they need to do is book before 6pm on the day prior to travel and travel on a specific train.
*Terms and conditions apply.

Stress free parking in Manchester

Christmas Shopping with NCP
13 November – 31 December
Shop stress free this Christmas at Manchester’s busiest time of year with NCP parking. For more information click here.

Competitions

Win a family overnight stay in Manchester this Christmas
Be in with a chance of winning a family visit to Manchester this Christmas, including an overnight stay in a top city-centre hotel. For more information, and to enter, click here.

Want to win more? Check out our other competitions here.

For more information about what’s on in Manchester go to visitmanchester.com

 

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What’s on in Manchester – August

Manchester Pride

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.

Exhibitions

Collecting Trees // Until 6 October 2013 @ Manchester Museum, museum.manchester.ac.uk
From woodland wildlife, to wood for art and buildings, the objects we’ve collected as part of our ‘Trees – collecting to connect’ project show how important trees are. Part of the British Ecological Society’s Festival of Ecology.

Horrible Histories: Rotten Rationing Big Picture Show // Throughout August @ Imperial War Museum North, iwmn.org.uk
Daily at 11am with an extra showing at 2pm during weekends and school holidays – meet Rattus Rattus as he takes you on a journey back to the woeful Second World War, where you can discover foul food, dig for victory, and make do and mend. IWM North is also hosting a range of Get Fit for Summer activities throughout August – see their website for more information.

Music

Jodrell Bank Live: Hallé // 31 August 2013 @ Jodrell Bank, jb.man.ac.uk
The Hallé present Close Encounters, an wonderful summers evening of classical music inspired by the stars. Britain’s oldest syphony orchestra will perform a unique prom in the shadow of the iconic Lovell Telescope at the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory. Picnics, pimms, prosecco, fireworks, hands-on science workshops, lectures and experiments also included in the ticket price.

Owen Pallett and Buke and Gase // 12 August 2013 @ Band on the Wall, heymanchester.com
Hey! Manchester present Owen Pallett Buke and Gase, rock alternative music, for a fantastic night for any big music fans at the fantastic Swan Street venue.

Matthew Halsall Sextet and GoGo Penguin
1 August 2013 @ Band on the Wall, Swan Street, bandonthewall.org
Matthew’s sound echoes the modal jazz of John and Alice Coltrane and the hard bop of the late ’50s and early ’60s, but on Fletcher Moss Park, his latest recording and the focus of tonight’s performance, he offers his most personal statement yet. GoGo Penguin draws on a heady brew of influences from classical to electronica: from Aphex Twin to Brian Eno, Debussy to Shostakovich and Massive Attack to EST. Their debut recording Fanfares won rave reviews and was nominated for ‘best jazz album’ at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards.

Performance

Manchester Pride Fringe
Throughout August @ various venues, manchesterpride.com
Manchester Pride Fringe will run throughout the entirety of August, featuring a variety of arts, culture, entertainment, sport and family activities for all. This year’s highlights include a dinner with Christopher Biggins, artistic celebration of all things marriage in Britain ‘A Royal Wedding’ and ‘The Great Village Bake Off’. For more information on the many, many events taking place, see the Manchester Pride website.

Evita
29 July – 10 August @ The Lowry, The Quays, thelowry.com
Bringing to life the dynamic, larger-than-life persona of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, Evita tells the story from her young and ambitious beginnings to the enormous wealth and power she gained and her ultimate rise to sainthood.

Save the Last Dance for Me
12 – 17 August 2013 @ Palace Theatre, Oxford Road, atgtickets.com
For the first time without their parents, two siblings embark on a holiday to the seaside. Full of freedom and high spirits they meet a handsome young American who invites them to a dance at the local U.S. Air force base but, young love and holiday romance is never as simple as it sounds, and the sisters soon realise that while the world around them is still watching itself in black and white, life and love can be much more colourful.

Twisted Tales
15 – 17 August 2013 @ Three Minute Theatre, Afflecks Arcade, afflecks.com
Following the success of Stone Jetty’s previous 4-star productions including Guilt, this new play is a retelling of some of the Grimm Fairy Tales for adults, both well known and some more obscure. Moving from modern day to the depths of the enchanted forest, this eerie production puts a spellbinding new twist on the stories we all know and love.

Festivals

Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend // 23 – 26 August 2013 @ Manchester’s Gay Village and throughout City Centre, manchesterpride.com
Manchester’s biggest largest festival – and winner of five consecutive ‘Best UK Pride’ (Pink Paper) awards – is back this August for it’s fabulous and flamboyant Big Weekend. Musical performers across the weekend include Sam Sparro, Kate Nash, The Feeling, Patrick Wolf, a variety of X-Factor favourites and Moto Blanco – two of the hottest DJs of the minute. Additionally you will find the Pride Parade, Candlelit Vigil and much, much more across this wild – and extremely celebratory and meaningful – Big Weekend.

Chand Raat Festival // 5 August 2013 @ Tommyfield Market, Oldham, visitoldham.com
Oldham’s Tommyfield Market hosts all things Asian this August – with a fabulous array of foods, fun, jewellery, entertainment, fashion and more. For information on booking a stall, or for further details on the event please call 0161 770 4459.

Out of Town

Day Out With Thomas
3 – 4 August 2013 @ East Lancashire Railway, Bury, eastlancsrailway.org
It’s full steam ahead for Thomas and his friends on the East Lancashire Railway. One price ticket includes all rides and entertainment with face painting, train rides, magic, circus shows and much more.

Sports

Sky Ride Manchester
August @ Manchester City Centre, goskyride.com
Sky Ride Manchester is a great opportunity to ride with family and friends in the city centre this summer. There’ll be loads of free things for the whole family to do on the day, so get your bikes ready and come and join in!

UK Backward Run
11 August 2013 @ Heaton Park, M25 2SW, heatonpark.org.uk
The 4th UK Backward Run is taking place in Heaton Park on Sunday 11th August 2013. No other sport could possibly lay claim to be as humorous, as tough, as exciting, as contagious, as healthy or as entertaining and all at once.