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Christmas Events In Manchester


Winter in Manchester is cold - a treat for those who enjoy the likes of snow, earlier evenings and a wintery atmosphere. While the temperatures drop significantly, the city boasts a high number of themed events and experiences. From ice-skating rinks to picturesque walks at Manchester's Christmas Markets, Manchester turns into a winter wonderland this frosty season. 

What To Expect This Coming Christmas In The City

Other than the potential for snow and the icy outdoors, there's plenty to look forward to if you're visiting or staying in Manchester this winter. Winter is relatively BIG in Manchester, so today, we bring you the most exciting events and experiences that you can do this year so far - seeping into next year, too. 

Christmas Cocktail Cruises 


Photo by George Dolgikh from Pexels 

1st to 23rd December

Take yourselves to the river with The Liquorists as they headline a 3-hour cruise this December.

7 festive cocktails, Christmas 90s classics, and a "Worse Xmas Jumper" competition for a chance to win 4 tickets to a cruise in 2023, this event will ensure a lovely Christmas start to your December. 

Dining With Distinction: Christmas Dinner 


Photo by 

Not a fan of the water? Venture to Bury and witness a festive treat for the entire family, friends, colleagues, or whomever you'd like to take with you. 

The East Lancashire Railway is welcoming all who want to cosy up for a Lancashire winter wonderland ride through Lancashire. Ride past picture-perfect villages, fairytale-like stations, and rolling wintery hills while you dine for an incredible Christmas dinner on the steam train this December.

Santa Special (2023) 

Another special event by Bury's East Lancashire Railway is the Santa Special. This year, Santa is making his merry way into town. Make festive memories with Santa as you all make your way through the enchanting Irwell Valley. 

With other colourful characters and surprises to give you a wintery feeling, just in time for Christmas.

Home Alone Soundtrack in Concert 

Home Alone, a memorable and classical Christmas favourite, is coming to a concert near you. The delightful score will be performed by the Heritage Orchestra while the film is shown on a giant HD screen. 

You all know and love Home Alone, so why not capture an entirely new, classical experience with the picture? 

Big & Little Cooks At Christmas


Photo by Nicole Michalou

Christmas time is full of whimsical lights, movies, and presents. But don't forget the festive feasts that come with it. From Christmas stuffing to cranberry pies, there are lots to look forward to during the festive season.

Big & Little Cooks at Christmas is an event that will create a fantastic moment that you and your family will cherish forever. You, along with your little one(s), will cook a delicious festive-themed menu, as well as refreshments provided. 

The Halle' Christmas Cracker & The Snowman

Photo by Blue Ox Studio

Join The Halle as they create a whimsical experience - the impressive ensemble of vocalists are bringing in a variety of excellent shows that keep with the theme of Christmas. 

So far, we have both The Snowman and Christmas Cracker taking place this December. But, expect more to come this winter season!

Dancing In A Winter Wonderland: Aljaz and Janette 

Strictly Come Dancing stars Janette Manrara and Aljaž Škorjanec will be making their way to Bridgewater Hall this year for a festive dance performance. Combining an outstanding dance routine, as well as amazing sets with fabulous costumes, and a festive soundtrack to keep the spirits high. 

Little Bear and the Christmas Lights

Take your children to join Little Bear and the Christmas Lights this year, and be part of a wonderful day filled with magical adventure. 

Ideal for toddlers ages 0 to 30 and their grown-ups, the day will be full of sensory wonders. Including puppetry, music, and fantastic theatrical experiences for all attending. 

Swing Into Christmas

Are you a fan of swing music? Give your swing a Christmas Carol twist with Concert Orchestra. Celebrating the festive season has never been more stylish - dress up in your best formal attire and swing by the Stoller Hall to witness some of the best swing music has to offer! 

Expect to hear from the likes of Nat "King" Cole, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra as the orchestra recreates a faithful rendition of the best music in the swing era.

Elf The Musical

The hit movie "Elf" is enhanced as a Christmas Broadway musical this December, so don't miss out on this spectacular performance. Join Buddy as he embarks on an adventure outside of his usual home at the North Pole, and into New York. 

The production containing three stages will dazzle the audience with a full, Christmassy display. From 30-foot-tall trees to snowy sceneries, book Elf The Musical for an unforgettable experience this winter season.

Christmas Lights Trail at Dunham Massey

Places outside of Manchester have some of the best displays happening this winter season in 2023. One of these displays is at Dunham Massey, located off the beaten path from Altrincham. 

Widely known as a must-see this December, the Christmas Lights show at Dunham Massey will feature dancing lights, fantastical displays and sound installations that result in a high-quality experience. 


Hamilton is renowned for their popular musical numbers, fast choreography and superb characters. The score seen in Hamilton is a fusion of hip-hop, jazz and blues making this particular show a spectacular theatre piece. 

Hamilton is here until February, but why wait then to experience the sensational show when you can go all out and witness it this Christmas along with the festive lights? 

Winter Funland

The funfair Christmas experience known as Winter Funland is returning this year at BEC Arena. A tram ride away from the city, Winter Funland is an indoor carnival that features a variety of attractions, including an ice rink, limitless rides, and plenty of eats to choose from. 

What Is Manchester Like At Christmas?

Manchester is a frosty wonderland during Christmas time. Expect an incredible display of Christmas lights to shine on the bustling neighbourhoods of the city, a myriad of Manchester's iconic Christmas markets and exclusive features such as ice rinks and illuminated trails. 

Is Manchester Worth Visiting During Christmas Time?

Every year, Manchester's Christmas atmosphere seems to outdo the decorations, events and everything festive-related done the year prior. So, yes! Manchester is definitely worth a visit during Christmas.

You can expect lots of Christmas stalls across busy neighbourhoods such as Market Street and King Street.

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