Manchester at Christmas
Christmas in Manchester is really great. Combine the fun and pain of shopping for Christmas gifts for your loved ones, the craziness of all the events and parties, especially when the drink starts to flow - and then add a dash of serenity on Christmas and Boxing Day.
We love those days not just because it's an opportunity to give gifts and eat and drink ourselves silly, but also because you can walk through the centre of town in peace and quiet, with just the occasional wave to a passer-by.
And then it's time to hit the shops again for the New Year sales to grab great bargains and spend those gift tokens! If you're in Manchester for Christmas Christmas.
Christmas in Manchester is a magical time and made more so by the great Christmas lights. The annual lighting ceremony happens in Albert Square in mid November with a huge firework display and celebrity guests. The annual Switch-On is a free event and starts the countdown to Christmas.
Christmas Markets in Manchester 2014
Manchester LOVES christmas markets. There are almost as many here as in the whole of London, and most are open from mid November.
The European Christmas Market can be found in Manchester's Albert Square - offering all the usual festive food, hot drinks, Christmas trees and unusual gifts from across the whole of Europe.
The World Market on Brazennose Street mainly has stalls connected with clothing and accessories including handbags, jewellery knitwear, felt products, and leather.
The St Anne's Square Market is the original German Christmas Market from Frankfurt, famed for it's Gluhweim and Bratwürst but it also has a great selection of gifts that are perfect for last minute Christmas presents and of course treats for yourself.
The Exchange Square market has a more English Medieval theme which seems to mean comfort food and drink such as hog roast, local Lancashire beers and mulled wine.
The Exchange Street Christmas Arts and Crafts Market is the perfect place to pick up those extra little gifts for friends and family - why not buy something unique and hand-made instead of the usual chain store stuff?
Finally, the New Cathedral Street Christmas Market is a fantastic Manchester arts and craft market that can supply all your Xmas gift needs. They also have some very good drinks!
Christmas Fun For Kids
The annual Christmas ice rink at Spinningfields (Hardman Boulevard, off Deansgate) provides a fun, festive treat in a magical setting – the perfect family outing. Make sure you wear warm clothes and accompany any children under 8 years old. If your kids love to wear hoodies, remind them that they cannot wear them 'up' because it restricts vision.
Finally, the Panto. Everyone loves Panto! Manchester often has 2 or 3 pantos happening at Christmas so start by checking out the Palace Theatre.
Things To Do At Christmas in Manchester
Although the Manchester Santa Fun Run does not allow children to compete, it does make a great trip out to watch hundreds of runners dressed as Father Christmas rush past. There are a few of these events in the area including the Santa Dash at Heaton Park at the end of November, so keep a look out in the local press to find the closest to you.
If you plan to stay in Manchester as a visitor and the relatives have no more space, we have a couple of partners who can offer great deals on Manchester hotels including Booking.com.