Manchester is one of the best cities to spend Christmas in, if you're in the UK. Here are a few ways to have some festive fun there in 2019.

Manchester is one of the liveliest places in the UK during the festive season; there’s so much going on in and around the city that any Arden University student based at the Manchester Study Centre will be spoilt for choice if they’re looking to get into the Christmas spirit.

Whether you’re making plans with friends or family, there’s something for everyone going on in Manchester in the lead up to the big day. Here are five things you might like to consider.

Photo credit: Andrew Stawarz


1. Visit one of the many Christmas markets

Manchester’s main Christmas market is an award-winner, so you’d be mad to miss out on paying a visit this year if you haven’t in the past! Offering culinary delights from around the world and cute, hand-crafted gifts, the market sprawls around Piccadilly Gardens, Albert Square and other city centre locations - the positive vibes here really are infectious.

For something a little more lowkey, try Tameside or Ramsbottom Christmas markets - the stalls are just as good, but you get to avoid the hoards you’ll encounter at the main Christmas market.

2. Take a trip to Ice Village

Returning to Cathedral Gardens in 2019 is Ice Village, and it’s bigger and better than before! Open until early January, this winter wonderland will feature a -10 degree ice tiki bar, an ice skating rink, ice sculptures and a Santa’s grotto, as well as live entertainment and children’s crafts.

Various parts of Ice Village charge entry fees, so be sure to check what you plan to do there before arriving.

3. Walk the winter trail at Dunham Massey

If you’re willing to travel out of the city, National Trust’s Dunham Massey will be enchantingly illuminated with impressive light installations. Follow their winter trail and take in the wonders of the sea of luminous flowers and glittering reindeer; this one really is fun for all the family. You’ve got until 30th December to enjoy this historic property and gardens in all its festive glory.

4. Watch a festive show

What better time to treat yourself to a trip to the theatre than at Christmas? Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is coming to the Lowry, and Peter Pan Goes Wrong will also be showing there in December. The Bodyguard, starring Alexandra Burke, is also in Manchester over the Christmas period, showing at the Palace Theatre from 10th December until 4th January.

5. Indulge in a festive afternoon tea

Hotel Gotham is serving up a wonderful, festive-themed afternoon tea until 5th January, and their menu looks exquisite! With turkey and cranberry and smoked salmon sandwiches, mince pies, yule logs and more, you’ll get a true taste of Christmas and a panoramic view across the city. This one’s a little on the pricey side, so it might be worth considering taking someone along as your Christmas gift to them - two birds, one stone!

Manchester is a vibrant city, and the Arden study centre is located just a short walk from lots of the city centre attractions, included some listed above.

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