Christmas in Manchester and the North
Photo by from Pixabay

Christmas in Manchester and the North

Creative Tourist

Christmas comes but once a year… and if you’re looking for alternative or interesting things to do over the festive period, you’re in the right place. From not-on-the-high-street shopping guides to our top festive theatre picks we’ve been busy as elves getting our recommendations of things to do for maximum fun, minimum stress together. Although we can’t guarantee that you won’t fall out with your mum/brother/best friend/boss at some point during the Christmas period, we can at least point you in the direction of some of the more interesting independent shops, markets and things to do. And if all else fails, head to the calm sanctuary of the gallery; our guide to the best exhibitions on now in the north is updated throughout the festive season.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Christmas Theatre and Concerts

    christmas theatre and concerts in manchester and the north
    A Christmas Carol at Liverpool Playhouse. Photo by John Hunter for RULER | Illustrations by Chris Riddell

    Theatres and concert halls all across the North West are now selling their Christmas wares – and with the big day fast approaching, it is best to plan ahead as the top tickets sell out faster than Santa on a speeding sleigh.

  • 2. Christmas Shopping

    Christmas shopping in Manchester
    Faye Wei Wei Print at CFCCA. Photo by Joe Smith

    We’ve compiled an alternative list of gift-central suggestions to keep you as far from the hellish throngs of Market Street as possible this Christmas.

  • 3. Family things to do at Christmas

    The Lanterns at Chester Zoo

    Our guide to the best things to do with kids this Christmas to keep little and big giddy-kippers out of trouble (and the selection box).

  • 4. Christmas Food and Drink

    Don’t worry about the calories, the holidays are coming so that means it’s time to eat, drink, be merry and overdo things to a shocking degree.

  • 5. New Year’s Eve in Manchester and the North

    new years eve in manchester and the north
    NYE 2015 at the Kazimier. Photo: Mina Bihi.

    The New Year is celebrated with pizzazz almost everywhere in the world, and the North is no exception. Here’s our guide to the very best events in Manchester and the North in 2018.

Things to do right now

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Cinema 1–21 February 2019, from £5.50

Burning at HOME

Cinema 8–22 February 2019, from £5.50

If Beale Street Could Talk at HOME

Theatre in Manchester and the North
Theatre 13–23 February 2019, from £12.50

SparkPlug at HOME

Chiharu Shiota –Uncertain Journey, 2016, Blainsouthern Berlin, Germany. Installation metal frames red wool. Photo Christian Gglaaser. Copyright Vgbildkunstbonn 2017 and the artist. Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions 1 January 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2018 Guide

Poppy, Esme, Oleanna, Gracie and Kate, 2014. Personal Feeling is the main thing - Chantal Joffe at The Lowry, Salford
Exhibitions 19 May 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Salford Royal Academy Takeover

William Roberts RA, Combat, 1966. Image courtesy of Art UK
Exhibitions 30 June 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

The Royal Academy Takeover: The Exhibition

Exhibitions 1 October 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

PERSPECTIVES – around Manchester

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry
Exhibitions 10 November 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites at The Lowry