You’re never short of things to do in Manchester, whatever time of year you visit. But at Christmas the addition of magical sparkle and festive wonders mean there’s some extra activities to jam pack into your city break. So, what’s worth cramming in this year?
Visit the ice village
Head over to Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens to scope out this year’s resurrection of the Ice Village. You’ll find new additions for 2019, including a -10oc Ice Tiki Bar and a brand new ice rink and ice cavern. Whether you’re there to view the frozen animal sculptures, or you want to be the next Torvill and Dean, make sure you wrap up warm to enjoy this one!
The Ice Village will be hosting a variety of games and entertainment this year, and also has an unmissable Santa’s Grotto. Tickets are available here.
Make your wish at Santa’s Grotto
Talking of the big man himself, a trip to the Arndale Centre is not only a prime opportunity for Christmas shopping, but it’s where you’ll find one of Manchester’s most notorious grottos. Definitely one the kids won’t want to miss out on, you’ll begin your journey by meeting the Wish Keeper before heading through the snow-covered garden of Santa’s Scandinavian log cabin.
The Wish Elves will be waiting to help you release your wishes into the snowflake wishing well, before you’re invited into the grotto to meet Santa himself. Tickets are just £5.50 and can be booked here.
Stroll through the Christmas markets
Manchester’s award winning Christmas markets are making a spectacular return to the city from November. Offering international festive cuisine, crafted yuletide gifts and tempting treats for the whole family, the markets are free and accessible to all.
There will be more than 300 festive chalets popping up all over the city, with many offering vegetarian options for discerning diners. You can find more information on this year’s Christmas markets, here.
See a festive show
Of course, Christmas isn’t just for the kids. There’s no better way to enjoy a festive break than to head to the theatre for an evening of entertainment, to give your weary legs a break! This year, join BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon for their performance of All I Want for Christmas Is Attention.
It follows last year’s popular performance of To Jesus, Thanks for Everything, so if you fancy a night of theatrical comedy, find out more here.
Explore the Lightopia Festival
This brand new light festival is the first of its kind in the UK and Europe. It explores light through installations, lasers and multimedia shows to create an immersive family experience throughout the festive season. You’ll go on a journey of exploration to find light, harmony and festivity this season.
Tickets start from £18 (for an advanced adult fee) and children under 3 are free. Tickets can be booked online, here.
Take a tour of Coronation Street
One for the soap fans among us – you can’t take a trip to Manchester without having a sneaky peak around the Corrie set. This 80-minute experience takes you down the famous cobbles to discover filming secrets and stories about your favourite characters.
The set has recently relocated and expanded, and now includes a Costa Coffee, Co-op and Weatherfield North Metrolink tram stop. Tour availability is limited, but you can find more information and details of how to book, here.
Fly from Cornwall
You can fly direct to Manchester all year round between 5 and 7 times a week, from Cornwall Airport Newquay with Flybe.