December 6, 2019

Manchester In December

Marketing Manchester’s Director of Tourism, Nick Brooks-Sykes explains why Manchester in December is full to the brim with festivity and shares his top five events and places to visit in the city over the Christmas period.

December in Manchester is a magical and favourite time of mine. The city comes alive with activities and is perfect for a combining a short festive break with a spot of Christmas shopping and a trip to the Christmas markets, not to mention a visit to one of the many festive shows and performances taking place across the city. 

Credits to Manchester City Council

One of my highlights of the festive season is the European style Christmas markets which are spread across the city centre and run until 22 December.  The main hub is in Albert Square, and this year the markets will be joined by a range of Christmas attractions, including the return of the Ice Village. The streets are lined with festive stalls selling a wide range of delicious food, gifts and drinks and are not to be missed. 

My other must visit places and events are:

Christmas Concert by City of Manchester Opera

What better way to start the festive season that to join the City of Manchester Opera on the 14 December for their annual Christmas Concert in the splendid surroundings of Manchester Central Library.

Stall MCR at Kampus

An independent market for artists, makers and food producers, Stall MCR has popped up at Kampus for four weekends in the run up to Christmas. Stall MCR is the place to go for artisanal Christmas gifts from local traders. The pop-up will also offer food and drink and the chance to get a first look at Kampus, Manchester’s newest pubic garden space.

Lightopia Festival

Europe’s biggest lantern and light festival has arrived in Manchester’s Heaton Park. From 21 November until 31 December expect giant lanterns, lights, lasers, water screen shows, acrobats, musicians, family rides and street food at Lightopia in Manchester before it travels to London in the New Year.

Light Orchestra

Light Orchestra, an interactive sound and light installation, will have its European Premiere at Lightwaves Festival, Salford Quays, from 6-15 December. Visitors will be able to become conductors, directing a symphony of light and music with their arms – with increased movement the music becomes livelier and beams of light move more energetically, with slower movement, the music becomes soft and the light moves more gently. The installation aims to transform the public space into a concert hall.

Nick Brooks-Sykes

Stock Exchange Hotel and The Bull & Bear by chef Tom Kerridge

Set within the former home of the Manchester Stock Exchange, every detail of the new Stock Exchange Hotel has been meticulously considered to create a five-star 40-room boutique hotel. Located on Norfolk Street, in the heart of central Manchester, the Edwardian Baroque building – with its original marble, brass and woodwork – has been carefully restored to breathe new life into one of the city’s most historically symbolic institutions. Opened on 15 November, the hotel includes an exciting new restaurant concept called The Bull & Bear, overseen by renowned British chef Tom Kerridge and located within the grand domed room which was previously the trading floor.

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