If they don't know its Christmas time at all, then they're definitely about to
We know you've seen those pesky log cabins popping up on King Street, and you're already prepping your liver for enough post-work mulled wine to sink a sleigh. There's pigs in blankets in Sainsbury's, and HOME is probably dusting off some majestic multicoloured Christmas decs as we speak. It's the most wonderful time of the year.
However, deciding whether to skate around to Wham!, inhale a festive chicken parmo, or go and see The Nutcracker at The Opera House is always a bit mind-blowing, so we've made one hell of a festive things to do round-up that you can refer to from now until the big day. Think handmade crafts, rollerskating and onion bhaji baubles.
We've separated all things merry and bright into handy categories, and will keep the list updated as and when events are announced, so bookmark this Christmas bonanza and get the family calendar out. Step into Christmas, we dare you.
Read on for a mega list of the best things to do and see in and around Manchester for Christmas 2022.
Markets, markets and more markets
It wouldn't be Xmas in Manchester without a vast array of wooden huts taking over every street, avenue and alleyway, so here's a list of spots to get your fix of bratwurst, gluhwein and good old-fashioned tat.
Hatch's Festive Village | Hatch, Oxford Road | Wednesday 9 November - Friday 23 December
Merry Kampus Ancoats Pop-Up | Kampus Bungalow | Thursday 10 November - Friday 11 November
Manchester Christmas Markets | Various city centre locations | Thursday 10 November - Tuesday 22 December
Winter Gardens | Piccadilly Gardens | Thursday 10 November - Tuesday 22 December
Escape to Winter Island | Escape to Freight Island | Saturday 12 November - Saturday 24 December
GOOD Market | Stanley Square, Sale | Saturday 12 November & Saturday 10 December
Festive Winter Fair | Victoria Baths | Saturday 12 November - Sunday 13 November
Shiny Happy Craft Fair | Mano A Bocca | Tuesday 15 November
Stockport Fairtrade and Eco Christmas Fair | The Guildhall, Stockport | Saturday 19 November
Cotton On MCR, Art All Dayer: Winter Edition | 100 Barbirolli Square | Saturday 19 November
Indoor Alternative Christmas Fair | Yang Sing, Princes St | Every weekend from Saturday 19 November - Sunday 18 December
Sustainable indie Christmas market| GRUB | Sunday 4 December
Open Christmas | Open Kitchen, The People's History Museum | Thursday 6 December
Artisan Markets | The Stoller Hall | Friday 11 December
The Horse & Jockey Christmas Market| The Horse and Jockey, Chorlton Green | Saturday 10 December
Winter Garden Market | Platt Fields Market Garden | Saturday 17 December - Sunday 18 December
Because it wouldn't be a Confidentials round-up without glittery cocktails and onion-based tree decorations, here's some of the foodie specials on offer throughout advent.
All I want for Christmas burger, beetroot and onion bhaji baubles and more festive specials | Society | available now
Winter Village | Ramona and The Firehouse | throughout November and December
The Great Snow dining experience and Aurora cocktail special | Tattu, Spinningfields | from Saturday 5 November
Christmas afternoon tea | King Street Townhouse | Wednesday 9 November onwards
Mince pie empanadas and mistletoe martinis | Revolución De Cuba | available now
Festive cocktails and afternoon tea | The Midland Hotel | available now
Wintermarchen, Festive Set Menu | Albert's Schloss | Monday 14 November - Saturday 24 December
Manchester Rocks cocktails and set menu | The Ivy, Spinningfields | Wednesday 16 November onwards
Santa's breakfast / afternoon tea | Dobbies Garden Centre, Altrincham | from 26 November onwards
Turkey and Stuffing Shawarma | One Star Doner Bar, Escape to Freight Island | coming soon
Ultimate Christmas sndwch | Sndwch, MediaCity | available now
Introduction to whisky| The Black Friar | Tuesday 13 December
'Bring Me Christmas' banquet dining experience | Peru Perdu | From Wednesday 21 December
Get ready to heckle "oh no you didn't", prep your peepers for some men in tights, and if you're looking for a panto with an eighties twist, Greater Manchester has got it all, with bells on. You might think it's behind you, but there's also an adult only pantomime at The Peer Hat, so you've got no choice but to embrace the cheesy Christmas cheer.
Robin Hood | Oldham Coliseum | Saturday 12 November - Saturday 7 January
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty | The Lowry | Tuesday 22 November - Saturday 26 November
Once Upon a Pantomime: The Christmas Mansion | Tatton Park, Knutsford | Tuesday 22 November - Sunday 1 January 2023
Rapunzel | Hyde Little Theatre | Monday 28 November - Saturday 3 December
Dick Whittington| Guide Bridge Theatre | Wednesday 30 November - Sunday 11 December
Jack and the Beanstalk | Salford Arts Theatre | Friday 2 December - Saturday 31 December
The totally improvised ADULT pantomime | The Peer Hat | Tuesday 6 December
Cinderella | Stockport Plaza | Thursday 8 December - Sunday 8 January
Eight-Freestyle presents Robin Hood: The 80s Panto | Contact | Saturday 10 December - Saturday 31 December
The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan | Manchester Opera House | Saturday 10 December - Saturday 31 December
A trip to Tinseltown
Because festive entertainment doesn't always have to feature Widow Twankey and slapstick cream pie gags, here's some film screenings, musicals and drag queen bonanzas to fill the 12 days of Christmas (and the days before and after that).
Backyard Cinema Christmas films | Depot Mayfield, Manchester | various dates throughout November and December
Christmas with Aled Jones and Russell Watson | Manchester Opera House | Sunday 13 November
The Man Who Wanted to be a Penguin | Waterside Arts, Sale | Wednesday 30 November - Saturday 31 December
Miz Cracker in Who's Holiday| HOME | Wednesday 30 November - Saturday 3 December
Pop up small cinema: White Christmas| George Street Chapel, Manchester | Wednesday 7 December
Royal Ballet - The Nutcracker| The Vue Cinema, Altrincham | Thursday 8 December
Classic Christmas film screenings | The Screening Room, King Street Townhouse | Saturday 10 December onwards
Love Actually with a live orchestra | The Bridgewater Hall | Wednesday 14 December
Claus the Musical | The Lowry, Salford | Wednesday 14 December - Sunday 8 January 2023
Lady Wildflowers Christmas burlesque spectacular | GRUB | Thursday 22 December
Christmas on ice (or wheels)
If you want to treat your loved ones to white knuckles and bruised knees for Christmas, take them to one of these. All jokes aside, nothing gets you in the Christmas mood like pretending to be at Rockerfeller Center when you're actually at a rollerskating rink in The Great Northern, promise.
Skate Manchester | Cathedral Gardens | Friday 21 October - Monday 2 January 2023
Cosmic Christmas | Paradise Skate World | Wednesday 9 November - Saturday 31 December
SKATE at Tinseltown | The Trafford Centre | Friday 18 November - Monday 2 January
Snowstorm 2: Ice Kingdom Ice Show | Outside The Great Hall, The Trafford Centre | Friday 25 November - Monday 2 January
Wilmslow Wonderland Ice Rink | Bank Square, Wilmslow | Friday 9 December - Sunday 11 December
Carols, choirs, pop sensations
If you work in retail, you'll probably never ever want to listen to a well-curated selection of Christmas carols ever again. However, if you don't, and you fancy filling your evenings with candlelit orchestra concerts and a Winter Beyoncé ball, book some tickets sharpish.
Christmas at the Movies by Candlelight | Manchester Cathedral | Wednesday 23 November
The Definitive Rat Pack Christmas Show | The Bridgewater Hall | Saturday 26 November
Christmas Cabaret: Woodhead’s Wonderland | Sonata Piano & Cabaret Lounge | Friday 2 December & Saturday 3 December
Greater Manchester Chamber Carol Concert 2022 | Manchester Cathedral | Wednesday 7 December
Northern Chamber Orchestra Christmas Concert | Tenants’ Hall, Tatton Park | Friday 9 December
Chetham's Festive Favourites| The Stoller Hall | Friday 9 December
The Winter Renaissance Ball: Hits from Beyoncé's 25 year catalogue | Academy 1, Manchester | Friday 9 December
Manchester Camerata and AMC Gospel Choir: Festive Happening | Albert Hall | Saturday 11 December
Kantos Chamber Choice: Away in a Manger | The Stoller Hall | Sunday 18 December
Candlelight Christmas: Love Actually, Home Alone & more soundtracks | The Stoller Hall | Wednesday 21 December
General Festive Fun
We've got ice rinks, mince pie empanadas and a Trafford-based Tinseltown, but there's some other stuff that's great for the kids, the gram and your serotonin levels throughout November and December. As we said, we'll slot new things in as and when tickets become available, so keep your Christmas radar on high alert.
Bar Hütte Karaoke & Cocktails | Great Northern Square | Wednesday 9 November - Saturday 31 December
Festive Sundays street performances | Manchester city centre | Every Sunday from 13 November - Sunday 18 December
Christmas with Paddington| The Trafford Centre | Wednesday 16 November - Saturday 24 December
Light Night Trail | Trencherfield Mill, Wigan Pier | Friday 18 November - Saturday 19 November
Wreath making workshop| The Black Friar | Tuesday 22 November
Lightopia Festival | Heaton Park | Thursday 24 November - Monday 2 January
Christmas at TP Street| Trafford Palazzo | Saturday 26 November - Saturday 24 December
Sustainable wreath making workshop | Cloudwater Brewery Taproom| Sunday 27 November
Christmas Bricktacular at Legoland | Trafford Palazzo | Saturday 3 December
Christmas disco bingo| GRUB | Saturday 10 December
RNCM Christmas Family Day: The Gruffalo| Royal Northern College of Music | Sunday 18 December
Family Friday - festive special| GRUB | Friday 23 December
Header image: Geograph.org.uk
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