Top 9 Things To Do At Christmas In Manchester, UK

things to do at christmas in manchester
Contributing Writer
| 3 min read

Sitting in the northwest of England is Manchester, a city that has expanded and transformed with each passing age. Starting off as a Celtic stronghold, it became a manorial township during the Middle Ages and exploded with development during the Industrial Revolution. As it was able to keep pace with the times, it’s no wonder both the city and its people are trendsetters and pioneers when it comes to not only culture but also the sciences, producing intellectuals such as J.J. Thomson, Ernest Rutherford, and Hans Geiger in University of Manchester. But don’t underestimate the Mancunians’ love for festivities either, as they’ve got plenty of winter attractions to rival even London. So if you’re looking for a city to spend the holidays in, check out our list of the top things to do at Christmas in Manchester, UK.

1. Let a Mancunian take you on a Private Christmas Tour (from USD 132.0)

Most guided tours tend to be an impersonal affair with fixed routes. The guide also often has a professional air. This private tour will be very different - this two-hour tour is a personal experience that you can tailor to your preferences. Whether you want to focus on art, fashion, food, or pubs, you will be guided to the best places available.

As a bonus, treats like mulled wine and waffles are included to help warm up and get into the festive spirit.

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Private Christmas in Manchester Tour with a Local

Duration: 3 hours

1 review

2. Learn to glide on ice at Skate Manchester

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Not skated with us yet this year? We are open every day until the 5th of January from 11am - 9pm (last skating...

Posted by Skate Manchester on Monday, December 30, 2019

Skate to your heart’s content within the safety of Skate Manchester ice rink. It’s a great activity to enjoy with friends or family, whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced skater. It’s also a fantastic way to either start the day before visiting the nearby Christmas Market or end the day after a shopping trip.

Ice skating at Skate Manchester

Address: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester M4 3BG, United Kingdom

Website: Skate Manchester

Opening hours: Oct. 22 - Jan 2: 11am - 9pm (daily; closed Dec. 25)

Price: from 14.50 GBP (16.43 USD) for adults; from 12.50 GBP (14.16 USD) for children

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3. Hear angels sing at Hallé Carol Concerts

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by The Hallé on Monday, December 20, 2021

This is a wonderful concert for all ages performed by Hallé Choir, Hallé Youth Choir, and Hallé Children’s Choir. Be inspired by Christmas classics such as the warm and uplifting Joy to the World, to the solemn and touching Silent Night. It’s playing only for two days this year, so book your seats quickly.

Hallé Carol Concerts

Address: The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Website: Hallé Carol Concerts

Opening hours: Dec. 17: 3pm; Dec 18: 3pm & 7:30pm

Price: from 17.50 GBP (19.83 USD)

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4. Hunt for best buys in St Ann's Square Christmas Market

Christmas Market, St Ann's Square - - 2711688
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user David Dixon used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Perhaps some of the more defining features of the Christmas season involve delicious food, delightful drinks, and wonderful gifts. It just so happens that if you’re looking for all three, Manchester Christmas Market at St. Ann’s Square has it all and more. Boasting 220 stalls spread across 9 different sites throughout the city center, this market offers local Mancunians and tourists plenty of merrymaking to make while enjoying the festive treats and offerings.

St Ann's Square Christmas Market

Address: St Anns Square, Manchester M2 7PW, United Kingdom

Website: St Ann’s Square Christmas Market

Opening hours: 10am - 8pm (daily)

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5. Marvel at the spectacle of Lightopia at Heaton Park

Source: Photo by Flickr user Man Alive! used under CC BY 2.0

Lightopia is a magical lights and lanterns festival featuring beautifully illuminated art installations placed all around Heaton Park. Each installation presents its own theme and story. You can visit the attraction with your friends or family, but make sure you’re in the mood for some walking, as traversing the whole park to see everything will take approximately an hour and a half.

Lightopia Festival

Address: St Margaret’s Rd, Prestwich, Manchester M25 2GT, United Kingdom

Website: Lightopia Festival Manchester

Opening hours: Nov. 24 - Jan 2: 5pm - 10pm (daily)

Price: From 17.50 GBP (19.82 USD) for adults; from 11 GBP (12.46 USD) for children

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6. Sing at Festive Karaoke Huts in Bar Hütte

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Living my best life this holiday season, one sip at a time. Got a big group? Bar Hütte’s Party Lodges are the...

Posted by Bar Hütte on Friday, September 30, 2022

Sometimes, when you’re so full of Christmas spirit, you just want to sing. Bar Hütte knows the feeling all too well and offers patrons their own private karaoke huts. Depending on the booking, the huts can hold eight to twenty people. It’s a terrific way to have fun with friends, singing your favorite songs while enjoying delicious food and warm winter drinks.

The Bar Hütte is not only family-friendly but dog-friendly too, and there are complimentary treats for puppers, too.

Bar Hütte Manchester

Address: 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN, United Kingdom

Website: Bar Hütte Manchester

Opening hours: Nov: Mon - Tue: 4pm - 11pm; Wed - Sat: 12pm - 11pm; Sun: 12pm - 10pm/ Dec: Mon - Fri: 12pm - 11 pm; Sat: 10am - 11pm; Sun: 10am - 10pm (closed on Christmas and Boxing Day)

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7. Grab a drink at Christmas-themed Miracle on Cross Street

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

During the Christmas season, Salt Dog Slims bar prepares a special themed presentation that captures the yuletide spirit. Right next to the Christmas Markets, the Miracle on Cross Street grotto bar provides patrons with a cushy lounge experience by the fireplace. It’s the perfect oasis to unwind, sipping the complimentary mulled wine and Irish cream while nibbling on mince pies.

Miracle on Cross Street at Salt Dog Slims Manchester

Address: 17 Bow Ln, Manchester M2 4FW, United Kingdom

Website: Salt Dog Slims Manchester

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: from 5pm; Fri - Sun: from 4pm

Price: 15 GBP (16.95 USD)

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8. Shop for souvenirs at Festive Winter Fair

Victoria Baths - - 2940326
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Graham Hogg used under CC BY-SA 2.0

For a few days every Christmas season, Victoria Baths hosts Festive Winter Fair, a seasonal bazaar where the region’s artists and craftspeople participate to sell their winter-themed creations. Here, you can expect high-quality works of art such as jewelry, prints, ceramics, and even food. And if you’re a history buff, you may want to join the guided tour to learn more about Victoria Baths.

Victoria Baths' Festive Winter Fair

Address: Hathersage Rd, Manchester M13 0FE, United Kingdom

Website: Victoria Baths’ Festive Winter Fair

Opening hours: Nov 12 - 13: 11am - 4pm

Price: 4 GBP (4.52 USD) for entry, 9 GBP (10.18 USD) for entry and guided tour

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9. Party at Winter Island Market in Escape to Freight Island

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

No winter festivity is complete without a big party, and Winter Island Market at Escape to Freight Island has it all and more. With live performances, great food, festive drinks, and even winter activities such as ice skating and Christmas carols, you will be spoilt for choice. And if you’ve brought kids with you, don’t be discouraged to take them here, as this is a family-friendly event.

Escape to Winter Island at Depot Mayfield

Address: 11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PZ, United Kingdom

Website: Escape to Winter Island

Opening hours: Wed - Fri: from 4pm; Sat - Sun: from 12pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

Price: 1 GBP (1.13 USD) for entry

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Visit Manchester during Christmas season!

Mancunians will tell you that their city’s got plenty of history, but they’ll also tell you how much of a trendsetter they are for the UK. That’s actually both true. So why not come here for the holidays, and plan your trip by looking at our top things to do at Christmas in Manchester, UK.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Daryl has an interest in discovering and understanding new places, whether they exist in reality, literature, or the digital realm. Despite an unusual apprehension towards the act of traveling, he...Read more

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