alternative things to do at christmas
The Ghost of New Hollywood, Robert Redford signs off with The Old Man & The Gun

Bah humbug! Alternative Things to do at Christmas

Ben Williams

If you are to believe the talking heads on the telly, Britain has never been a more divided country. Has it not though? Surely we’ve always had our differences and never more so than between the sound of the year’s first premature squeak of Mariah Carey, right through the misery of all the Black Friday nonsense, via an unwelcome family get-together at your weird auntie’s house and then, finally, to the big day.

Christmas. To many, it’s the most magical time of the year. To others, it’s a drawn out saga on such an epic scale of cruelty that it could have come from the pen of George R. R. Martin himself.

Christmas is though, inescapable. From high street tat, to eggnog in The Dog & Duck, even the bus drivers are dressing up as Santa (though still somehow missing any resemblance of festive cheer). So, cry ‘bah humbug!’ and let slip the best things to do this month that have nothing to do with Christmas.

(and for everyone else, here’s a link to our unmissable coverage of Christmas in Manchester and the North…)

Here are our picks

  • 1. ARTIST ROOMS: Robert Mapplethorpe at The Atkinson

    ARTIST ROOMS: Robert Mapplethorpe at The Atkinson
    Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

    ARTIST ROOMS: Robert Mapplethorpe at The Atkinson, Southport, 15 December 2018–23 March 2019, free entry - Visit now

    Robert Mapplethorpe is widely regarded as one of the world’s most important artists of the late twentieth century. A group of his photographs on display at The Atkinson will include iconic self-portraits, studies of flowers, portraits of many of the most influential artists and celebrities of the New York cultural scene in the 1970s &1980s.

  • 2. Electricity: The Spark of Life at the Science and Industry Museum

    Museum of London

    Electricity: The spark of life at Science and Industry Museum, Castlefield, 18 October 2018–28 April 2019, free entry - Visit now

    The headline event from this year’s Manchester Science Festival, this super-charged new exhibition tells the story of our quest to understand, unlock and master the power of electricity.

  • 3. Pubs in Manchester

    Britons Protection entrance.
    Image courtesy of Briton's Protection

    From a beautifully tiled old haunt with a mysteriously sloping floor, to the ultimate beer specialists – is there anywhere better to escape the mayhem of the festive season? Here are some of the best old fashioned boozers in Manchester.

  • 4. Top places to go rural (without leaving Manchester)

    Disley, home to Lyme Park. Image by Dave Dunford via Wikimedia Commons

    Finally, just leave the city behind and go for a nice crisp winter walk.

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