Manchester’s must-visit winter festival

Winter Island returns – the UK’s biggest heated outdoor and indoor winter festival is back at Escape to Freight Island from Saturday 12 November

Liven up the winter gloom with Winter Island, an ice cool (but heated) seasonal spectacle like nothing else.

Escape to Freight Island’s food hall and outdoor space will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Look out for our Christmas tree forest, festive traders and pop-up market, plus curated Christmas workshops and the finest entertainment as well as our all new rooftop ice-rink.

The UK’s finest selectors will pump up the festive season

Food and drink from Manchester’s finest

Food and drink from our much-loved traders is always a highlight at Escape to Freight Island and we’ve got pure gold from Burgerism, Carnival, Lucky Foot, Voodoo Ray’s, The Smoking Coal, One Star Döner Bar, Mi & Pho, Forever Changes, Batard Bakehouse and The Jane Eyre.

Further offerings will also be available from Manchester’s first-rate food scene, including banging grilled cheese from Northern Soul, the award-winning Great North Pie Co., chocolatiers Cocoa Cabana where guests can build their own hot chocolate and make it boozy. Plus, all the festive stalls you’d expect from hog roasts and bratwursts to artisanal cheeses, Christmassy cocktails and more.

In addition to Escape to Freight Island’s existing bars, a mulled wine barrell bar will serve the classics, as well as a special Vimto mulled wine. An après bar from Grey Goose will also be added to the bar line-up, plus a brand-new pub-inspired Freight Tap Room serving the finest draught and craft beers.

1 W6 A8621

Unmissable live acts and DJs all in one space

In true Escape to Freight Island fashion, guests can expect a jam-packed schedule that has been curated to bring you the best sounds out there with a mix of DJs and live performances.

The UK’s finest selectors will pump up the festive season with Norman Jay MBE, Greg Wilson, Dele Sosimi, DJ Paulette, Crazy P, Krysko, and a special takeover from Flash at Pikes Ibiza.

Catch unmissable live performances from Massaoke, Hip Hop Karaoke, The House and Garage Orchestra, AMC Gospel Choir, The Incredible 11 and Finesse.

Also happening throughout the season, is the Festival of Football, for those who want to keep up with the World Cup where all England games will be shown on the big screen.

1 W6 A9212

Cool crafts and Christmas gifts

Over at the heated outdoor space, Winter Island will host its very own winter market. Perfect for gifting this season, the winter market will be home to Gra-Design, specialising in handcrafting minimalistic contemporary homewares and ceramics; MissPrint for exceptional stationary, gift wraps and cards; Rare Finds Flea Market for vintage and handmade pieces; Zara Cakes for tasty treats; and screen printing available for t-shirts, bag printing and more.

For those who want to get creative and create their own masterpieces, Winter Island has teamed up with various workshop organisers. Wonderhaus will craft Jewellery, Macrame, Jesmonite; Cork and Canvas and Cork and Clay will both offer their signature art classes; Sally Guilford from Salford Makers will host a screen-printing class; plus, wreath and candle making are also available.

1 W6 A8787

There will also be a dedicated family zone if you’re bringing the little ones along. Winter Island will host a Santa’s Grotto, pop up pantomimes, a cinema club and more, as well as hosted events with Teach Rex, Our Kids Social and Circus House.

Winter Island opens on Wednesday to Sunday only from Saturday 12 November, and opens seven days a week from Wednesday 7 December until Friday 30 December. Opening hours are 4pm - 11pm Monday to Thursday, 4pm - 1am Friday, 12pm - 1am Saturday, 12pm - 10pm Sunday. Closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

New Year’s Eve special to be announced…

Booking in advance recommended to secure preferred dates and times for a table. Walk-ups available and subject to availability.

Book now