Advent Calendar 2015: Instead of an Event Radar, the cultural countdown to Christmas

Polly Checkland Harding
Santa carrying a decoration laden tree

Our own take on the traditional advent calendar is back – with a dose of cultural goodness for every day of advent.

Last year, when the winter evenings began drawing in, the Creative Tourist team had an idea. Gathered around the fire (conference table), cupping warm mugs of mulled wine (coffee), we decided that we needed a way to brighten the dark days of December. Advent is great for kids, we agreed – you get to watch videos in class, eat chocolate every morning and count down the sleeps until Christmas. For adults, not so much: it’s more cold, early starts, heaving streets and the frantic scramble to get presents for everyone from Great Aunt Mollie to your mother-in-law’s aged dog.

We’ve stuffed every day up to Christmas with shopping tip-offs, theatre, art & foodie recommendations

Well, not any more. Follow the brand new, shiny red bauble on the homepage – or the festive slider its a sneak peek of what’s in each box – and you’ll find our very own Advent Calendar: in 25 boxes are hidden all sorts of cultural goodies. We’ve stuffed every single day up to Christmas with shopping tip-offs, theatre, art, music and new, foodie recommendations. From stories coming to life on stage and spectacular light displays to late night shopping specials and warming winter food and drink, check back daily for a regular dose of seasonal fun, Creative Tourist-style.

We’ll be tweeting about them, too, so that no one misses out – use #CTAdventCalendar to spread the word, and to tell us the things you’re looking forward to in December, too. Mince pies, the smell of fir trees and a smooch beneath the mistletoe – whatever comes to mind.

We hope that our Advent Calendar will spread some cultural love this winter. It’s our way of treating our wonderful readers. Merry Christmas, every one.

Culture Guides

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022

Cinema

Classic pre-Code cinema, the Artist Film Weekender and the music of John Williams are amongst our highlights this month.

Exhibitions

Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry

Families

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Poet Helen Mort. Photo by Jan Bella

Literature

There’s live literature and book-buying opportunities a-plenty as November unfolds and Manchester – celebrating five years as a UNESCO city of Literature – and the wider North region welcomes some great writers, both in real life and online.

Music

The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Alongside radical sci-fi adaptations and free arts festivals, we take a look at some of the Christmas shows happening in the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £3.50

Knittaz with Attitude: Yarnbombing at Upside Down Coffee

Cinema Until 8 December 2022, from £7.95

Aftersun at HOME