Manchester is one of the most lively and diverse cities in the UK and over Christmas it really comes alive with festive cheer. There’s so much to see and it’s one of the Northwest’s festive hotspots. This article will look at five of the best Christmas attractions that will provide family entertainment in Manchester for the 2013 festive period.
1. Manchester Christmas Lights Switch On
The Manchester Christmas Lights Switch On is a fun filled evening that’s attended by thousands of people every year and is the event that kick’s off the city’s festive celebrations. It takes place on November 8th 2013 in Albert Square and the lights go on at 7pm. This year’s guests include the X Factor winner James Arthur, the Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh and Pudsey, the British boy band The Vamps and the former Steps member Faye Tozer.
2. Manchester Christmas Markets
The Manchester Christmas Markets are one of the most anticipated festive events in the Northwest. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Manchester Christmas markets and they are open from 15th November 2013 through till 22nd December 2013. In total, the Christmas Markets feature over 300 wooden stalls which sell a range of European crafts, jewellery, food and drink. Highlights include the European Christmas Markets in Albert Square, the German Christmas Market in St Ann’s Square and the World Christmas Market on Brazennose Street. In addition to the stalls, a special commemorative Christmas Market Shilling has been created to mark the 15th anniversary of the Manchester Christmas Markets and these shillings will be available to all visitors this year. They can be used as currency at any of the market stalls or kept as a unique souvenir.
3. Spinningfields Ice Rink
Spinningfields Ice Rink is open from 8th November 2013 through till 5th January 2014 and is located in Hardman Square. It’s a fun, festive attraction, which allows visitors to the city centre to skate in the open air and enjoy the night sky. A range of food and drink outlets including the famous Long Bar surrounds the ice rink, providing the perfect opportunity of eating out in Manchester city centre, amongst the festivities. It’s also right next to the big screen, which will be showing a selection of festive films and music as people skate.
4. Manchester Arndale Grotto
The Manchester Arndale Grotto is open from 21st November 2013 right through till Christmas Eve on 24th December 2013 in Halle Square. All children who visit the grotto receive a special festive gift from Santa, regardless of their age. Plus, due to its location in the Manchester Arndale Centre, it’s the perfect place to take a break from the Christmas shopping.
5. Manchester City Football Club Festive Stadium & Club Tour
The Manchester City Football Club Festive Stadium & Club Tour is a unique festive attraction for football fans that opens from 1st December 2013 till 31st December 2013. Visitors are greeted at the start of the tour with a slice of Christmas pudding and then taken on a 90-minute tour of the stadium. The stadium tour features visits to the press conference room, the Manchester City dressing room, a walk down the tunnel and a visit to the dugout. It also includes a competition for fans of the club to win their perfect present – a signed Manchester City shirt. In addition to this, Santa makes an appearance on the tour to give out special treats to kids.