8 December – A Christmas Extravaganza & Selfridges' seasonal cocktails

Polly Checkland Harding

Our cultural countdown to Christmas… Put Central Library’s weekend of family fun in the diary, plus some festive cocktails for grown-ups.

Manchester Central Library is holding a family extravaganza this weekend (11am-4pm 12 December, 12pm-4pm 13 December), with free events throughout the building – and even spilling outside. There’s a great line-up of local choirs and bands who’ll be playing live, festive crafting and reading dens, free mince pies, an appearance from Father Christmas (and some of his reindeer) as well as best-selling children’s author Cornelia Funke, the writer of the book that inspired HOME’s Christmas production for families, Inkheart. Funke will be reading from this and her latest novel in the library’s iconic Reading Room; also a good place to play with the echo. Christmas Extravaganza, Central Library, 11am-4pm 12 December, 12pm-4pm 13 December, free

A festive weekender for families, plus cocktails for adults

Over in Exchange Square, San Carlo Bottega in Selfridges has created a new range of stylish seasonal cocktails, each named after a constellation. Selfridges’ Christmas theme is ‘Journey to the Stars’, and this is one helluva way to mark it: enjoy a gin-based Sagittarius with sherry, orange liqueur and sea salt, or a Libran red wine and amaretto based cocktail, beautifully balanced with apple and lemon juice, vanilla syrup and berries. Yum. Cocktails at San Carlo Bottega, Selfridges Exchange Square

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