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Top Ways To Spend A Festive Day In Manchester

Matt Crisp December 20, 2018

If you have yet to get fully into the festive feeling then don’t worry, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy some Christmas fun in Manchester. The city has a host of events going on in the week leading up to 25 December, so get planning!

We’ve put together a list of some of the highlights happening in December. If there’s a group of you then you might prefer to organise luxury minibus hire in Manchester to get you in and out of town. Aside from removing the worries over where you’ll park and how much it will cost, it means everyone’s free to indulge in some festive beverages too.

The Christmas markets are the obvious place to start, and Manchester has these in abundance. The main one is in Albert Square outside the town hall and it’s always worth a visit. Browse the stalls for handmade gifts and try delicious food from one of the many food stands.

Gluhwein – or mulled wine – that Christmas staple is on offer in the bars here too. Head to the upper floor for stunning views across the festive stalls and the beautiful decorations that adorn this part of the city.

If you fancy a bit of a world tour, hit King Street for a French Christmas market, and then wander over to St Ann’s Square for a German Christmas market. Over on Brazennose Street, meanwhile, is what’s described as a World Christmas market.

All the markets in the city are open daily until 22 December, while the Albert Square market will also be running on 23 December for any last-minute gift buying.

While shopping and soaking up the atmosphere in the Christmas markets is great, it’s possible to get all shopped out. So break up your day with a non-retail based activity. Ice skating is perfect at this time of year, whether you’re out with the family, friends, or just your partner.

At Cathedral Gardens, you’ll find the Ice Village, which the Manchester Evening News revealed features an ice cavern and Santa’s grotto, as well as an ice rink. Sessions on the ice last for 45 minutes and can be pre-booked or you can try your luck on the day.

The first skaters can get on the ice at 11am, with the rink closing at 8pm each day. There will also be an ice rink at First Street, which will be operating until 6 January – making this a great choice if you need something fun to do in between Christmas and new year’s eve.

For some extra festive cheer, check out the screenings planned at the outdoor cinema screen in the area too. This will be showing Christmas films as well as hosting family theatre shows throughout December.

And if all of that activity and shopping leaves you in need of a little break somewhere warmer, head to one of the cosiest Christmas bars, as picked out by the Manchester Evening News.

On the terrace at 20 Stories in Spinningfields, for instance, are two giant snow globes, one of which features a fire pit. Curl up under one of the cosy blankets and enjoy the stunning views as you sip on a whiskey cocktail or a mulled wine.

Also in Spinningfields is the Curious Teepee at the Oast House. This charming space is decked out for the holiday season and offers a special Christmas menu, as well as a great spot to recharge your batteries and warm up by an open fire.