Things To Do In Manchester At Christmas


Manchester really comes alive at Christmas. So whether you’re a local or visiting the Northern city, here’s what to put on your to-do list to get in the seasonal spirit.

The Christmas Markets

Let's get the most obvious one out of the way. Manchester's Christmas markets are hyped about for a reason. They're big, they're busy and they'll get you in the festive mood. If you want to avoid the crowds, head during the week if possible.

Have Drinks In A Teepee

The Oast House in my opinion hosts one of the best teepees in the city centre. Each year more and more are popping up but this is my go-to. Grab a mulled wine and catch some live music in their super festive surroundings.

Go Ice Skating

Get your skates on, if you’re brave enough, and head to Cathedral Gardens where until the beginning of January they have an ice rink.

See The Lightwaves Festival

From Friday 6th December to Sunday 15th a light festival of 16 installations comes to Media City (a short tram ride from the city centre). It's free to go to, and afterwards there's plenty of places to grab a drink or three. I'd recommend The Alchemist for the waterside views and The Botanist for the cosy vibes.

Hit The Slopes

Okay so not Christmas specific, but should get you in the wintery spirit. Head out of town to the Chill Factore to go skiing, snow boarding and sledging.

Get Your Craft On 

First Street swaps out its ice skating rink this year in favour of a festive teepee. Even better, they're running a whole programme of events from wreath making to Love Actually yoga, so if you want to do something a little different, it's one to check out.

See A Pantomime

There's a few in the city to pick from, and even in the neighbouring areas. No matter your age, they're a laugh let's face it...

Have A Festive Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea in the city gets an upgrade during the run up to Christmas. Check out local hotels and cafes for their take on a festive afternoon tea, and even add a glass of fizz - because if you can't raise a glass at this time of year, when can you?!

Visit Dunham Massey

A National Trust site just out of the city, Dunham Massey plays host to a light spectacular in their grounds. It gets sold out ahead of time for a reason, and it's a perfect pre-Christmas treat for adults and kids.

Catch A Christmas Film

From the beautiful Victoria Baths to the cosy Kingstreet Townhouse, venues across the city are screening old Christmas classics to get you in the festive spirit.


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  2. Oast House is one of my favourite places for drinks over the Christmas period. So cosy there! Danielle


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