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What to Do in Manchester This Christmas

What to Do in Manchester This Christmas

Christmas time in Britain is invariably characterised by a proliferation of street markets to browse, activities to engage in and cultural events to enjoy. As one of the largest cities in the United Kingdom, Manchester is no exception to this norm, and every Christmas season offers plenty to see and do for people of all ages.

Christmas 2016 is no different in this regard, and both residents of and visitors to Manchester are likely to find something to do, see or experience this holiday season, regardless of where their specific preferences may lie. The lines below detail only a few of the many cultural and social events taking place across Greater Manchester this December, so as to help both locals and tourists staying in one of our hotels in Manchester plan out their schedule for the holiday season!

Stage Sensations

Stage Plays Manchester

Stage plays, musicals and pantomimes are a staple of the British Christmas season, and Christmas 2016 in Manchester offers the usual gamut of perennial favourites, along with a few adaptations straight from the silver screen. Family-oriented productions showing in Manchester this December include such children’s favourites as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Red Shoes, George’s Marvellous Medicine and Horrible Histories’ Horrible Christmas, as well as puppet-theatre adaptations of Carlo Collodi’s Pinnochio and Tim Hopgood’s children’s book Wow, Said the Owl.

Older viewers, on the other hand, can treat themselves to productions of hit West End musical Billy Elliott, scored by Elton John, and Broadway favourite Sweet Charity, as well as a stage adaptation of best-selling novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and a 3-night live production of beloved sitcom, Mrs. Brown’s Boys.

In addition to these stage productions, Manchester’s historic Victoria Baths will also be hosting a two-night pop-up cinema event on the 9th and 10th of December. The films on offer will be modern Christmas classics Home Alone (screening twice on the 9th) and Elf (screening twice on the 10th.)

All in all, then, the 2016 Christmas season in Manchester offers something for every theatre, pantomime or even cinema aficionado to attend and enjoy, regardless of preference!

Marvellous Markets

Manchester Christmas Markets

Like stage plays and musicals, Christmas markets are a staple of the holiday season in several countries the world over, and Britain is no exception. Manchester’s Christmas markets, in particular, are renowned within the United Kingdom for their stellar quality and diversity, which has landed them a recurring spot in user-voted lists of the top 10 Christmas markets in Europe. The 2016 markets are no smaller or less ambitious than those put on by the City Council in previous years, and promise to once again enchant and impress both residents of Manchester and those visiting the city.

Located in several key spots across the Manchester city centre, these markets offer an incredibly varied array of food, drink, crafts and gifts. From the traditional German hot dogs, Dutch waffles and mulled wine to metallic miniatures, jewellery, or hand-made arts and crafts, there is bound to be something among the many stalls of the Manchester Christmas markets to please even the most demanding of shoppers. Those looking for something a little more unique than what the chain shops of the Manchester Arndale have to offer may also find these markets to be the perfect place to hunt for gifts for their friends and family!

Whatever the purpose, however, there is little doubt the Manchester Christmas Markets are worth visiting, if only to see what an award-winning European seasonal market looks and feels like. And with the brand-new addition of an ice-skating rink, located opposite the Football Museum, near Victoria Station, the 2016 markets are more appealing than ever before!

Delightful Day Trips!

Manchester Reindeer Encounter

Families preferring to indulge in Christmas-themed days out and outdoor fun will likewise find a lot to see and do around Greater Manchester this December. Aside from the ice skating rink in the city centre, Bolton’s Christmas Festival will boast a giant snow slide as its centrepiece, which could provide hours of sledding fun. Elsewhere, Tatton Park Farm hosts a series of interactive events, including a meeting with Father Christmas and a chance to explore Roald Dahl’s Gloriumptious Christmas Mansion and experience the unique atmosphere of that writer’s children’s fiction first-hand.

In addition to these dedicated outdoor events, visitors to shopping centres around Greater Manchester will likewise have the chance to add a little extra fun to their shopping excursion by visiting any of the attractions put on by these commercial surfaces. Both the Trafford Centre and the Manchester Arndale will feature Santa’s Grotto set-ups, giving parents and children the perfect chance for a photo operation, while EventCity will once again host Winter Wonderland, the largest Christmas-themed indoor theme park in the UK. Either of these locations provides a perfect complement to a day of Christmas shopping, and could contribute to make a child’s trip to the shops that much more fun and interesting!


The variety of events detailed in the lines above leave no doubt about just how much the Christmas season In Manchester has to offer. Regardless of whether a resident or visitor staying in one of our Manchester hotels is looking for a day out, a cultural event or simply a stroll around the traditional Christmas markets, December in Manchester will almost certainly offer exactly what they are looking for. There is a reason the Manchester Christmas season is considered one of the best in the UK, and anyone lucky enough to partake in this year’s festivities will certainly understand why!


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