Old illustration of a snowball fight
Snowball fight. Illustration courtesy of Central Library.

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.

Last, but not least, our top 5 picks of the very best Christmassy things to do in Manchester are below – including some retro filmic fun at HOME, a Christmas cabaret at Hope Mill, a special night of winter songs and storytelling with two of our favourite literary nights and a fabulous bit of family theatre at Contact. Ho ho ho!

Here are our picks

  • 1. The Siege of Christmas at Contact

    Image courtesy of Contact

    Contact and Slung Low present: The Siege of Christmas at Contact Theatre, Manchester, 13–20 December 2017, from £5.00 - Book now

    A family expedition to track down the Spirit of Christmas who has been kidnapped by “naughty misfits” and is now holed up somewhere in Contact’s unique castle-like building. We love a Christmas challenge and who better to set one than the award-winning Slung Low and Contact Young Company. When can we start?

  • 2.

Things to do right now

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Exhibitions 17 August–23 September 2017, FREE

On-Going at SLOE Gallery

Sports 20–23 September 2017, from £10:00 - 15.00

We’re Not Really Here – A Football Opera at Contact

Theatre 6–23 September 2017, from £13.00

Rita, Sue and Bob Too at Octagon Theatre

Festivals 14–24 September 2017, FREE

Arts Trail at Hidden Altrincham 2017

Exhibitions 21–24 September 2017, from £9.75

Abandon Normal Devices 2017, Castleton

Festivals 8–24 September 2017, FREE

New Mills Festival 2017

Festivals 8–24 September 2017, FREE

New Mills Festival Art Trail

Cinema 20 August–24 September 2017, from £5.00

Musical Sundays at FACT

Families 28 April–27 September 2017, from £5.00

The Sleep Walk at Little Moreton Hall