With Christmas speeding towards us as a rate of knots it’s time to start thinking about those festive outings. And whilst the Christmas Markets are very much a focus of visiting Manchester at this time of year the Manchester has so much more to offer families.
See Wicked At The Palace Theatre
Based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire that ingeniously re-imagines the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Wicked tells the untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. Click here for a full review.
Wicked is showing at the Palace Theatre from the 4 December 2018 to 5 January 2019, which marks the end of the multi record-breaking, critically acclaimed tour.
Or If You Love Pantomime? Check Out Cinderella At The Opera House, Manchester.
Running from the 8th to the 30th December, Manchesters must-see, magical family pantomime stars Coronation Street’s Connor McIntyre (Pat Phelan) and TV presenter, comedian and actor Les Dennis as the Ugly Sisters, alongside popstar turned theatre star Gareth Gates as Prince Charming. Joining them are CBBC’s Shannon Flynn (Dani’s Castle, Friday Download, Waterloo Road) in the title role, alongside comedian Ben Nickless as Buttons and Soul singer Hayley-Ria Christian as the Fairy Godmother.
Join Cinders as she transforms from rags to riches, outwits her very Ugly Sisters, and, with the help of her best friend Buttons and one very magical Fairy Godmother, wins the heart of the dashing Prince Charming.
Tickets are available here and range from £12 – £46 pounds
Kids get £7.50 discount off Cinderella In Manchester;
When booking bands A-C on the following performances: Saturday 8 December 14.30 & 19.00, all performances 11-14 December, 18-20 December, and 27-30 December
Visit The Festive Pop-Up Cinema
Manchester film fans are promised a festive treat with the announcement of the Magical Christmas Movie Experience opening in the city next month.
The pop-up cinema will showcase some of the best-loved Christmas movies in the surroundings of a beautifully transformed Mayfield Depot near Manchester Piccadilly, Cinema goers will enter a magical kingdom through a secret wardrobe, finding themselves in an enchanted forest full of festive surprises.
Running over four long weekends from November 23 to December 16, the festive film programme includes the Greatest Showman, Love Actually Weekend and two Christmas Classics weeks. Tickets for films start from £14.99
Check Out The Great Northern Christmas Makers Market
Taking up residency at The Great Northern Warehouse, be prepared to grab a glimpse at Manchester’s finest bakers, creators, designers and collectors showcasing right on Deansgate and Peter Street!
With carefully selected artisans showcasing daily line up of stallholders, your Christmas Shopping starts and ends at The Great Northern.
If you love unique art, quirky modern craft or vintage the Great Northern Christmas Makers Market has an abundance of creative individuals set to inspire. Or if food and drink is more your thing, you can meet the producers and of course sample the goods from cheese to chocolate, puddings, to pies, posh tarts to gluten free goodies and much more.
As well as our stalls be sure to check out the Christmas Choirs and performers who are set to be featured over the Christmas period.
For more information and opening hours visit: www.themakersmarket.co.uk
Christmas At Dunham Massey
Visitors will be greeted by a larger-than-life glittering deer, along with the sights and sounds of Christmas. You can walk through a Tunnel of Light festooned by a canopy of over 100,000 pea-lights whilst the voices of Singing Trees can be heard in the distance. The incredible Water Fountain Finale, which takes place on the Lake, is a showcase of water jets and beams of light which dance in time to much-loved Christmas classics.
There are hidden surprises too – watch out for Bubbles on the Bridge, playful ribbons of colour- changing lights and an incredible scented Fire Garden.
The historic courtyard will once again house festive food outlets, with Manchester Food & Drink Festival providing the stalls this year, as well as a vintage carousel*.
Gather to toast your own marshmallows* at one of the fire pits along the way and enjoy other traditional fare before finishing your Christmas shopping in Dunham Massey’s shop*.
This year, The Stables restaurant at Dunham Massey will be serving a two-course traditional Christmas Dinner*. There will a choice of two sittings, so visitors can dine before or after they visit the trail.
The trail is specially designed to appeal for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
*additional charges apply
Christmas At Dunham Massey will be running on selected dates from 30 November – 30 December, 2018
Admission, pre book, Adults £16.50, Child (5-16) £10.00, Family £50.00
On the Day: Adult £18.50, Child (5-16) £12.00, Family £58.00
Visit Santa With Real Snow AT CHILL FACTORE
The UK’s only Santa’s Grotto on real snow opens on 17th November. Santa’s Grotto is the perfect place to wrap up warm and make some treasured memories this Christmas – and Chill Factore is home to the only Santa’s Grotto in the UK on real snow!
A traditional Lapland home, the Grotto is surrounded by sparkling trees, glistening lights and Santa’s helpers, and is open right up until Christmas Eve. All of Santa’s guests will receive a special gift on the day and be able to access snow fun in Mini Moose Land or Snow Park.
Prices start at £11.50 for little ones to meet Santa and have a trip to Mini Moose Land, full of fun for the under-fours. Larger packages are available, and families can visit the Snow Park, as well as meeting the man in red from only £28.50 per person.
You can meet Santa in his Grotto every weekend from 17th November and every day in December from the 1st right up until Christmas Eve. For more information, please visit www.chillfactore.com
See The Stick Man At The Lowry, Salford
Based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. This adaptation of former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestselling book, Stick Man, returns to The Lowry for another enchanting festive adventure.
‘Stick Man lives in the family tree with his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three…’.
But the world outside the family tree is a dangerous place for Stick Man. What starts off as a morning jog becomes quite the misadventure – a dog wants to play fetch with him, a swan builds a nest with him and he even ends up on a fire! How will Stick Man ever get back to the family tree in time for Christmas?
The Stick Man is running from Saturday 1st December 2018 – Sunday 6th January 2019 Press Performance: Saturday 1st December 2018, 2:30pm
So that’s it, Christmas in Manchester for families, I will add events as I notice them and keep this post as up to date as possible. Enjoy the festivities.