Tis the season to be jolly, and with Christmas just around the corner, there’s plenty of festive inspiration in Manchester this December. We round up the best seasonal activities that will really get you rockin’ around the Christmas tree this year.
Manchester Christmas Markets
Taking over Albert Square, the Manchester Christmas markets have returned. Indulge in a slice of festive joy and warm your cockles with a glass of mulled wine, or load a Bailey’s hot chocolate with fudge, marshmallows and cream.
For a bite to eat, Manchester favourites Northern Soul and Porky Pig are returning, with chicken restaurant Yard and Coop also making their market debut.
Peruse the many handcrafted gifts and follow the trail through St. Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, Market Street and new for 2019, Picadilly Gardens. Finish your trip off with a drink in the new snow globe bar in the centre for a real festive treat.
The Manchester Christmas Markets are now open and run until 21 December.
Get lost in the magic of Whoville, in this stage adaptation of Dr Seuss’ festive classic at The Lowry. Join the Grinch and Maximillian the dog, who narrates the story of the scrooge-like character who schemes to ruin Christmas for all the Who’s.
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas starts on 11 December, with tickets starting from £26.50, which can be bought here.
Popping up in Cathedral Gardens, the Ice Village is returning to Manchester this year and is bigger than ever.
Featuring an Ice Tiki bar, a skating rink, Santa’s Grotto where you can meet the man himself with his reindeer, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Peruse the Ice Cavern, which transports you to a fantastical land inhabited by legendary ice beasts who guard the entrance to a frozen castle.
Entry to the Ice Village is free, but tickets to the Ice Rink can be purchased on the day or pre-ordered here. Tickets start from £10.20 for children under 12, £12.20 for adults or £36.20 for a family of one adult and three children, or two adults and two children.
Running from 22 November, embark on The Great Christmas Expedition at Chester Zoo and discover exotic illuminated wildlife and animal characters in nine different fantastical worlds.
And, keep your eyes peeled for Father Christmas, who’s on his sleigh surrounded by his faithful reindeer. Explore the zoo and its magical wonders in the dark, that will let your imagination run wild.
Tickets to the Lanterns at Chester Zoo are £12.99 for children between 3 and 17, and £15.50 for adults. Children 2 and under go free. Book in advance to avoid disappointment here.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and there’s no better way to get in the true festive spirit without watching a cheesy Christmas film – after all, is it ever too early?
Situated in the heart of the city centre, there’s a pop-up cinema showcasing the best of Christmas, in a location yet to be announced. The cinema is showing some festive favourites, including Elf, Home Alone, The Holiday and Love Actually.
Step into a magical kingdom, where you will be greeted by a live choir, before discovering Narnia with an array of fur coats and land in an enchanted forest.
Cosy up underneath a blanket and enjoy the best festive flicks with a mulled wine, moreish street food and live entertainment.
Tickets start from £16.99 which can be bought here, and the cinema is open from 5 December – 8 December.
With all the festive fun, you’ll need somewhere to unwind. Why not make a stay of your trip to Manchester with an overnight getaway at the four-star Hilton Graden Inn Emirates Old Trafford?
Unwind in the Garden Grille restaurant and bar with a gin and tonic or try one of our festive cocktails made by our expert bartenders. For dinner, sample our new festive menu, which launches on 25 November. Guests can choose from a mouth-watering variety of dishes to get them into the festive spirit, including grilled black pudding with new potatoes, confit salmon with squash and chorizo risotto and goats cheese and fig parcels. You can book a table online here.
Snuggle up under the crisp, white sheets after a day of Christmas shopping, before indulging in a delicious cooked-to-order breakfast the morning after. Choose eggs however which way you like, or if you’d prefer pancakes, an omelette or a bacon sarnie, our breakfast chef is more than happy to whip up a dish of your choice.
With 150 bedrooms, 80 of which are pitch-facing with balconies, the hotel is situated at the home of Lancashire Cricket. Just three miles from the city centre, and with over 600 free car parking spaces and only 20 minutes from Manchester Airport, the hotel is ideally located for you to enjoy a festive escape.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the Hilton Winter Sale and save up to 30%* off the best available rate when booking a room. To book a room at our award-winning hotel, click here.
* Hilton Honours members can save up to 30% and non-members can save up to 25%.
** Bookings must be made before 29 January 2020.