21 December – Exploring Wonderland at the Craft Centre & kicking back in Ziferblat

Polly Checkland Harding

Our cultural countdown to Christmas… Discover an Alice in Wonderland inspired exhibition and the pay-as-you-go comforts of Ziferblat.

The Manchester Craft & Design Centre knows what it’s about: not only is it a top spot for Christmas shopping (we’ve chosen our top five studios to give you somewhere to start), there’s also a rather special exhibition on throughout December. Exploring Wonderland commemorates 150 years since Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland was first published, with 28 different makers responding in their own unique way to the stories Carroll told. The pieces on show are intricate, varied, and well worth a visit. Exploring Wonderland, Manchester Craft & Design Centre, until 14 February 2016, free entry

 Alice in Wonderland-inspired craft and pay-as-you-go relaxation

If you’re in need of a bit of time to rest your feet, head for Ziferblat Edge Street nearby. Here, you only pay for the time you spend (5p/minute, which works out at £3 an hour) – the tea, coffee, cake, biscuits, cereal and other snacks are all free. It’s a sociable place, with areas to sink into patterned sofas and play board games, or tables for the more studious visitors. Ziferblat also has a regular roster of events, and is sure to be given some festive touches in the run up to Christmas. Drop in any time of the month. Ziferblat Edge Street (open 10am-10pm daily)

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