Can you believe we are now looking towards February Half Term? It’s not that far away now is it? I have been having a little look, checking out what Manchester has to offer for the half term. And I have to say, Manchester will not disappoint with all the exciting events planned.
There are tons of activities and events on offer. I have picked out some of my favourites, and will be planning a little trip across myself be part of some of these amazing events.
Here is a pick of some of my favourite events, but wow there is so much going on.
Manchester city centre will welcome in the Year of the Rooster with four days of celebrations.
The celebrations, organised by Manchester’s Business Improvement District and Manchester City Council, will take place from Thursday 26 January to Sunday 29 January 2017.
The Dragon Parade, Chinatown Celebrations and Fireworks
Albert Square & Chinatown, Sunday 29 January, 12 – 6pm
Following The Dragon Parade led by a spectacular 175-foot dragon from Manchester Town Hall, head to Albert Square and Chinatown, where you’ll find traditional lion dances, street food, two stages for Chinese dancing, music and acrobatics, Chinese arts and crafts, a funfair and fantastic fireworks finale.
12pm – Dragon and music performances, Albert Square
1pm – The Dragon Parade, Albert Square to Chinatown
12pm – 5pm – Chinese Arts & Crafts, Albert Square
1.30pm – 5pm – Stage shows, Chinatown and Albert Square
2pm– 5pm – The Lion and the Unicorn with firecrackers, Chinatown
12pm – 8pm – Chinese Market, Albert Square and Chinatown
12pm – 8pm – Funfair, Chinatown
6pm – Fireworks, Chinatown
The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors
Exchange Square, outside Corn Exchange
Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 January, 10am – 9pm
Walk amongst The Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors – a collection of 40 lantern warriors inspired by the famous ‘terracotta army’ accidently uncovered in 1974 in the tomb of China’s First Emperor and widely regarded as the 8th Wonder of the Ancient World. Artist Xia Nan’s brightly coloured lanterns, which stand at more than two metres tall, bring together two key features of Chinese art and culture – the compelling story of the Terracotta Army alongside the 2000 year old tradition of lantern-making.
The acclaimed international exhibition was commissioned for the Beijing Olympics. And has subsequently appeared in some of the world’s most iconic locations including Sydney Opera House, Zagreb Central Square and Prague’s Hradcany Castle.
Giant Chinese Golden Dragon
Greengate Square, opposite Manchester Cathedral
Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 January, 10am – 8pm
A glittering giant Golden Dragon will take river-side residence in Greengate Square for the long weekend.
Chinese New Year Street Food Market
China Town & St Ann’s Square
Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 January, 11am-7pm
A red, richly draped marquee in St Ann’s Square will host some of the city’s best Chinese food and drink purveyors including Yang Sang, Dim Sum Su, Rice Bowl, Mei Mei’s Street Cart and Tampopo who will be serving up a mouth-watering collection of traditional festive dumplings, steamed buns (Gau Bau), Chinese street food dish (Jianbing) and dim sum favourites.
Deans gate, Monday 23 – Sunday 29 January
Transport yourself to the streets of Beijing in a lobby adorned with red lanterns at Hilton Manchester Deansgate. There, you can indulge in three courses of Chinese favourites, such as salt and pepper squid or classic duck spring roll with a sesame, soy and honey dipping sauce, followed by delicious mains including Bok Choy vegetable stir fry and Tempura Kind prawn garlic, chilli and ginger chow mien.
If you can stomach a dessert after all that, try the decadent banana fritters in syrup, accompanied by a cup of traditional Chinese tea. Head to the panoramic sky bar, Cloud 23 for a Chinese-inspired cocktail and crack open a fortune cookie to see what surprises 2017 holds. You could even try your hand at the art of calligraphy or Mandarin with exclusive workshops.
NEW CATHEDRAL STREET
Manchester City Football Club
Friday 27 – Sunday 29 January, 10am – 7pm
Manchester City Football Club will be celebrating its Chinese connections and bringing a touch of the Etihad Stadium to New Cathedral Street with a pop-up fan zone, including exclusive Manchester City merchandise, games and experiences.
ST ANN’S SQUARE
Live Music Stage
Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 January, 12noon – 6pm
The soundtrack to this year’s celebrations will be provided by local Chinese musicians including Henry Fung, showcasing traditional and contemporary instruments. Saturday’s entertainment will be programmed and curated by Manchester’s Confucius Institute.
St Ann’s Church will also host The University of Manchester’s chamber choir Ad Solem, who will perform three special pieces of music commemorating the institute’s 10th anniversary as well as other traditional Chinese New Year songs.
Travelling Light Circus in collaboration with the Dance Department of Salford University
Friday 27 and Saturday 28 January
Watch out for the roving parade of dancers, drummers, a stiltwalker and an iconic giant Rooster who will be weaving their way through the city’s shopping streets entertaining shoppers and creating a carnival atmosphere. Dressed in red, black and gold the 10-strong troupe will bring a show shopping spectacle to the celebrations.
Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 January, on the hour at 1, 2 and 3pm
Catch the lion’s colourful display of Chinese New Year tradition.
THE CENTRAL LIBRARY, ST PETER’S SQUARE
Sunday 29 January, 12-4pm
Celebrate the Year of the Rooster at Central Library with musical performances, craft sessions, storytelling and archive exhibitions for all the family. Highlights include Chinese musicians performing on the erhu and the lute, a Chinese tea ceremony, lantern and kite-making craft sessions and face painting.
CENTRE FOR CHINESE CONTEMPORARY ART (CFCCA)
Market Buildings, 13 Thomas St, Manchester
Chinese New Year at CFCCA
Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 January
Join CFCCA to celebrate the Year of the Rooster through a series of new exhibitions and workshops exploring visual perception and lens based media, featuring a major new commission by artist Suki Chan in the galleries.
Exchange Court, Family Chinese Arts & Crafts with Manchester Confucius Institute
Badge and Lantern-making
Saturday 28 January, 11am – 5pm
Families can get hands-on at Manchester Arndale’s Chinese New Year creative workshops in conjunction with Manchester Confucius Institute. Children and their parents can explore the traditional art of writing Chinese characters and use their newly learnt skills to make their own personalised paper lanterns and badges. Workshops are free however voluntary contributions to support the University’s Access Programme are welcomed.
New Cathedral Street
Harvey Nichols and Cathay Pacific Airways are welcoming the new year of the Rooster with a weekend of stylish celebrations instore. Customers can enjoy live DJ sets, complimentary drinks, themed food tastings and exclusive offers.
Plus, they can be in with a chance of winning a luxury four night trip to Hong Kong including return Business Class flights with Cathay Pacific Airways*.
*Terms and conditions apply. See instore for details.
A Window On… Chinese New Year
Selfridges Exchange Square
Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) is partnering with Manchester’s Selfridges Exchange Square, projecting animations by recent exhibiting artists across their store front throughout the Chinese New Year weekend.
In-store activity includes Lion Dancers on Thursday 26 January (performances at midday and 3pm), a Selfridges flower cart offering lucky Chinese bouquets on Saturday 28 January (ask instore for full T&C’s), Chinese calligraphy creating personalised cards (28-29 January & 4-5 February), live fashion illustrator Dom&Ink (4-5 February)
Surprise and delights red envelopes with a variety of treats to be won including beauty treatments and afternoon tea, fragrance bottle painting (28-29 January & 4-5 February) and complimentary engraving and embossing.
HOUSE OF FRASER
House of Fraser on Deansgate will also be handing out red envelopes to customers. Head in-store to see what offers and surprises await! Offers include £20 off £200 spend and beauty surprises. *Terms and condtions apply.
The Palace Theatre
Sheridan Smith Reprises Her Smash-Hit Performance As Fanny Brice in Funny Girl
Saturday 18 – Saturday 25 February 2017
Sheridan Smith and Chris Peluso lead the cast of Funny Girl which comes to the Palace Theatre, Manchester in February. Having enjoyed critically acclaimed and record-breaking sold-out runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Savoy Theatre.
And just announced return dates in the summer – from August 7 to 19 – when the tour will close at the Palace Theatre.
I know, there is so much but I just couldn’t narrow it down any more. But when there is so much going on, on our own doorstep sometimes we don’t need to venture that far for an adventure.