Christmas shopping

Star lampshades
Photo: Mark Waugh.

Christmas Shopping

Creative Tourist

Ah Christmas, and with it the usual excercise in mass consumerism. If you want to avoid the headachy blur of malls and sales this year (and buy gifts you can feel good about in the process), have a browse through our favourite out-of-the-ordinary places for Christmas shopping in Manchester, from arty markets to pop-up shops.

Here are our top 5 picks

  • 1. Fred Aldous

    Fred Aldous, Northern Quarter, manchester shopping

    Christmas is a good time to remember just how much Fred Aldous has in store – 27,000 craft and design products, people, with ideal picks for anything from Secret Santa to a splurge on someone special.

  • 2. Manchester Art Gallery

    Manchester Art Gallery Manchester VM
    Image courtesy of Visit Britain

    There are usually new product lines at the Manchester Art Gallery shop for Christmas – so even if you think you’re familiar, make sure to put it on your shopping stop-off list. Incredibly tempting are things like ceramic baubles, jewellery lines, kids’ gifts, pop-out cards and vintage furniture. Someone might want to tell Santa…

  • 3. Islington Mill

    Photo of Islington Mill's sign on the gate

    Islington Mill’s annual Christmas fair is an intimate affair, taking place in the artist-led warehouse on the edge of Salford. Everything on sale is made by the artists who call the mill home, while a musical backdrop is usually supplied by the fabulous Northern Quarter Boys’ Choir. From food and vinyl to prints and ceramics, Christmas at the Mill is always one of our favourite festive numbers.

  • 4. Magma Books

    Image of Magma bookshop in Manchester
    Ben Williams

    Magazines, design journals, books, stationery, cards and posters all jostle for space inside this Northern Quarter stalwart. Never fails to please the (normally terribly hard to please) design-minded.

  • 5. Oklahoma

    Image of Oklahoma shop in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Ben Williams

    Oklahoma is packed full with brilliantly-chosen, colourful, quirky items and gifts you won’t find elsewhere – like luminous pineapples.