Monday 18th of December 2017
No Christmas in Manchester would be complete without a trip to the festive markets that sprawl across the city centre.
The Manchester Christmas Markets will be back from November 10 to December 20, when millions of visitors will descend on the city to glug gluhwein and shopping for gifts from its wooden chalet stalls.
The main market hub will again be based in Albert Square, in front of Manchester Town Hall, where there will be an extra day of shopping on December 21.
Last year the markets stretched to 10 sites in total, including a traditional German market on St Ann’s Square, a world market on Brazennose Street and a French market on King Street.
Christmas pop-up party Hinterland will transform a two-acre plot of land near Old Trafford into a winter woodland blanketed with artificial snow for three days of festive fun.
A village of 10 giant tipis will host an immersive Arctic dining experience, with welcome drinks and a two-course Christmas dinner served under their canopies.
A Northern Lights bar will host live bands and DJs, complete with a light show inspired by the aurora borealis.
Guests can also take a dip in a wood-fired hot tub, which will be available to book on the night.
Dunham Massey will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland this Christmas.
The illuminated experience features a sparkling new trail filled with singing trees, twinkling tunnels, a scented fire garden, a canopy of more than 100k lights and, of course, Father Christmas.
Inspired by the landscape itself, visitors will be greeted by the sights and sounds of Christmas, wander beneath tree canopies illuminated by seasonal shards of light and amongst larger-than-life snowflakes and baubles.
The magical, after-dark experience is running from December 1 until Christmas Eve and is aimed at all ages.
Father Christmas will be there to see visitors on their way through twinkling tunnels while in the distance they catch a glimpse the flickering plumes of the scented Fire Garden.
There’ll be festive refreshments on offer too – in the form of spiced cider, mulled wine and hot chocolate – and you’ll be able to toast your own marshmallows at one of the fire pits.
Get your skates on – Manchester’s Christmas ice rink is coming back, in a new location for 2017.
Based at First Street this year, the 70ft x 50ft rink has capacity for up to 100 skaters at any one time and will be open seven days a week throughout the festive season.
All ages and abilities can have a go, with trusty penguins on hand to help stabilise any wobbly skaters.
For those considering an after-skate meal, there are plenty of food and drink options on First Street offering 10 per cent off for all ice skating ticket holders, including The Laundrette, Indian Tiffin Room, Kettlebell Kitchen, Junkyard Golf Club, WOOD Manchester, Gasworks Brewbar and Pizza Express.
The city’s Ice Festival returns again to its new home at Liverpool’s Pier Head and promises to be bigger and better.
There will be a super-sized triple-lane ice slide, larger ice rink, giant ferris wheel and 50 traditional German market stalls creating Liverpool’s biggest Christmas market .
The unmissable Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival also features an Ice Bar with a sub-zero room of crystal clear ice sculptures where even the bar, tables and chairs are carved from real ice.
Fancy reliving your festive childhood memories? Then you’ll want to head to what’s thought to be the first Christmas Home Alone-themed bar opening right here in Liverpool.
The lads behind Ghetto Golf – Kip Piper and Danny Bolger – have come up with the concept which will feature inside a ‘spectacular space’ at the Cains Brewery Village.
The festive bar will feature Christmas living rooms, a festive cocktail menu plus Sinatra remixes, Christmas bands, gigantic Christmas trees and every Christmas decoration possible.
Once again, Speke Hall’s great hall will be transformed for a traditional Victorian Christmas with freshly made garlands and a huge real Christmas tree complete with beautiful ornaments.
Families can enjoy trails through the house to find reindeer and through the grounds on the outdoor Christmas trail.
Have a go at sugar mice making with Cook in the Dairy, listen to carols in the courtyard and of course there will be seasonal samples, tasters and demonstrations as well as roast chestnuts to enjoy. You can book to go to see Father Christmas in his grotto on the National Trust website.
Join the Melody Makers and Liverpool Philharmonic Children’s Choir to kick-start Christmas with lots of songs to sing-along and bop-along to plus a special someone with a white beard and red coat will be dropping by.
Liverpool Philharmonic Family Concerts are a great way for children and adults to experience the sights and sounds of a full symphony orchestra.
The concerts are approximately an hour long and are designed with children in mind with lots of tunes that you’ll be familiar with.