We love celebrating family time all year round but in no other month are there so many special events on offer! Our top picks this December bring you the most exciting, festive family things to do across Manchester and the north.
Where to start? If you’re looking for the perfect Santa’s Grotto then head to Chill Factore for a guaranteed white Christmas, with real snow. Once you’ve visited Santa grab a sledge or rubber tube and hit the slopes! Santa is also making a visit to the beautiful Lyme Park, which makes for a more traditional and utterly magical Christmas day out.
In the few days before Christmas the Hallé are screening The Snowman live on their big screen at the Bridgewater Hall. The film will be accompanied by the orchestra performing Howard Blake’s magical score live. Hairs on the back of your neck at the ready.
If you’re looking for a family treat at the theatre there’s loads out there. We can recommend the smash-hit show, Mr Popper’s Penguins at Waterside Arts. With pyjamas encouraged for the 6pm showings, and milk and cookies available, it’s the perfect winter treat. We won’t spoil it for you, but don’t rush off too quickly at the end…
Toys and clothes will inevitably be forgotten but the time you spend with children and the way you made them feel will stay with them forever. Check out our top picks below and enjoy some quality family time together in this most magical of seasons.
Check out our free things to do in Manchester guides for more ideas.
Here are our picks
Christmas at Quarry Bank is welcoming families to search the grounds for reindeer, experience what Christmas would have been like for the Georgian Mill Workers and warm up with some cosy festive treats.
Surely nothing says Christmas like a maths lecture? Dr Hannah Fry is here to prove just that! Started by Michael Faraday in 1825, The Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures are always entertaining for the whole family.
Join one of the Centre’s Explainers as they take you on a tour of the iconic Lovell Telescope. Find out how it came to be and discover more about the ground breaking research it enables.
In this immersive exhibition children can let their imaginations go wild as they take centre stage alongside some of their favourite characters from beloved children’s author, Judith Kerr.
Take your family on a trip through space and time in this fully immersive cinema experience.
If ever there’s a time to explore Beningbrough Hall, this is certainly it. Check out the packed programme of seasonal events and activities at the National Trust property this autumn.
Discover how Victorian gentlemen protected their moustaches from tea, which monarch’s pair of stockings reside in Salford, get up close to incredible art and more.
Rugby League is born and bred in West Yorkshire. From its beginnings in Huddersfield in 1895 to the Super League superstars of today, celebrate over 120 years of blood, sweat and tears.
The Explore and Draw stations are open daily and are free to use.
Get creative together and explore and learn about the history of Pontefract Castle through play or crafts. A different activity each month.
‘a place lived’ by Maddi Nicholson is a new public artwork that delves into the near-forgotten history of Manchester’s thriving financial district.