20 December 2014

Polly Checkland Harding
Plates of cakes

Introducing our Advent Calendar – here’s the twentieth post in a cultural countdown to Christmas. Today: Panic buying and pop-up food

Ok, hands up – who’s still not finished their Christmas shopping? Yeah…us neither. In the spirit of keeping panic levels down, we’re heading to Altrincham market – and, admittedly, it’s also a pretty good shout for the smug ones among you who already have everything wrapped and under the tree. That’s because Alty market not only has stalls stuffed to busting with potential gifts (including homeware, vintage picks, craft and foodie treats), it’s also rather good for food and drink, too. Strap babies to your back (your own, not other people’s), tuck your elbow in and – bingo! – Christmas is saved. Altrincham Market, 9am-10pm.

Do more. If you’re not too tuckered out from the Alty crowds, head towards Manchester’s Deansgate for a popular pop-up food event that’s been pulling in the punters. The team behind Beat Street have made a name for themselves with a ‘Food Fight’ series in 2014: they bring eats, beats and booze to the Great Northern Warehouse this evening. Food stalls include Dim Sum Su, the Chow Down Burger Co. and Penelope’s Ice cream (brrr). Great Northern Warehouse, 235 Deansgate, M3 4EN, 5pm-12am.

Culture Guides

Backyard Cinema


It only takes a quick glance at the film listings to realise that Christmas is coming, and quick. We’ve rounded up some of our festive highlights alongside standout seasons and festivals.


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


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!

Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean


There are spooky stories, Christmas crime thrillers and plenty of books for stocking fillers as December unfolds and Manchester and the wider North region switches on the live literature lights.


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


Contemporary cabaret, powerful monologues and world premiere musicals. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

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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3 December 2022 10:00 am, FREE

Winter Art and Craft Fair at Heart

Activity Until 3 December 2022, from £35.00

Wreath Making Workshop at Leeds City Museum

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022
Cinema Until 4 December 2022, from £5

HOME Artist Film Weekender 2022

Red Squirrel at Lightwaves
Festivals Until 4 December 2022, FREE

Lightwaves at Salford Quays

Cinema Until 8 December 2022, from £7.95

Aftersun at HOME

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 11 December 2022, from £4.50

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre
Families Until 11 December 2022, from £27.00

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre

Music Until 17 December 2022, from £5

RNCM Autumn Season

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 17 December 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks