18 Fabulously Festive Things To Do In Manchester In December

’Tis the season for staying in and keeping warm…but it doesn’t have to be!

As winter sets in the temptation is to stay in and bask in the glow of your scented candles when you should be making the most of the last month of 2019. Check out these wonderfully festive activities and events taking place across Manchester this month and finish the year with a bang (or a banger from the Christmas markets).

1. Visit The Christmas Markets (Until December 22)

Photo: iestynhuw

Traders from across the North West and Europe have descended on Albert Square as Manchester has transformed into the UK’s Christmas capital. For the 20th year, a host of much-loved foodies and craft traders have returned for Manchester’s Christmas Markets, including Porky Pigs, the creators of the life-changing Yorkshire pudding wrap, the Amsterdam Frites stall (boasting 30 different toppings and sauces over their triple cooked fries) and Zouk, a traditional curry house offering two new curries every day with a range of veggie and vegan options. And for those with a sweet tooth, there’s bubble waffles, cupcakes and classic British favourites including Christmas puds and trifles. Albert Square.

2. Catch a Christmas classic at this new boutique cinema

When Everyman St Johns threw open its doors in October, it signalled the arrival of lush seating, ice cream sundaes delivered to your seat, and a fancy cocktail bar. They’ve still got all of that, but in adding festive films like Elf and Gremlins (yes, it’s a Christmas film, look it up), they’ve just taken Christmas cinema to indulgent new levels. Read all about Everyman St Johns here.

2. Visit the the Night Market (December 5)

Photo: Levymarket

Battling with all those people (and pushchairs) when you’re trying to do a bit of Christmas shopping can make the whole experience miserable. And it’s even worse for those who are just popping in for a swift sausage or a cheeky pint. Thankfully, the folks at Levenshulme Markets have the solution to our market malaise. Night markets! The group has organised a night at the museum on Thursday (December 5). Which will see stalls selling unique, handmade gifts, as well as some of Manchester’s best street food pop up at Manchester Museum from 6pm until 10pm. University of Manchester, Oxford Rd, M13 9PL.

4. Enjoy Some Chopin And Champagne By Candlelight (from December 15)

Photo: adamjamespreston

Celebrate the festive season with a performance of Chopin, complete with complimentary interval Champagne! The evening’s talented concert pianist, Warren Mailley-Smith, recently became the first British pianist to perform the complete works of Chopin from memory in one series of concerts. His talent is limitless, but tickets aren’t! Click here to book. St Ann’s Church, St Ann St, M2 7LF.

6. Have Your Christmas Dinner In An Igloo (available now)

Photo: The Refinery

The Refinery’s glorious igloos are back for Christmas. Each igloo will accommodate up to eight people for dining or up to 10 for drinks and nibbles — and guests will receive full table service. Igloos of four or less can be shared on the day and treats will be available for diners to munch on include pigs in blankets, mini cheeseburgers, duck liver tarts, roasted chestnuts and wild mushroom Yorkshire puddings (among others). More information here. 1 Hardman Boulevard, XYZ Building, M3 3A

8. Have A Drink At The Frozen Tiki Bar

Photo: Hamilton Ice Sculptures

Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens will be transformed into an Ice Village this Christmas, complete with ice sculpture cave, ice bar, ice rink, Santa’s grotto. Click here for more information. Cathedral Gardens, Manchester.

13. Treat Yourself To A Fancy Feast At The Ivy

Photo: @theivymanchester

The gorgeous timber-framed space is based in the city’s financial district and surrounded by lush foliage, creating a welcome green space in the heart of the city. The restaurant features a ground floor brasserie, first-floor private dining room, an opulent Asian bar and restaurant on the second floor, as well a sumptuous roof garden complete with fire pits and lush greenery on the top floor. Click here to book. The Pavilion, Byrom St, M3 3HG.

15. Visit The Impossible Alpine Village

Photo: Great Northern

This winter there’s no need to leave the city as Impossible’s Alpine Village will bring all the fun of a festive après-ski to the centre of Manchester. The Impossible Alpine Village will be open daily from noon and visitors will be able to enjoy a whole host of seasonal experiences. Including a giant, luxury tipi and bar, decorated with thousands of shimmering lights and vintage ski memorabilia. The tipi will transport guests off-piste, providing the perfect winter setting for an unforgettable festive celebration with friends, families or for the office party. Impossible Manchester, 36 Peter St, M2 5QR.

17. Visit The Peter Rabbit Christmas Grotto (various dates in December)

Photo: intutraffordcentre

Beatrix Potter’s most loved character, Peter Rabbit, has been brought to life in an immersive Christmas grotto experience that will be outside the Great Hall throughout the festive period. Peter Rabbit will welcome visitors into his cosy burrow before sending them off to meet his friends and explore the amazing Beatrix Potter-themed winter woodland. More information here. Trafford Centre, Stretford, M17 8AA.

Originally published at Secret Manchester.