10 Things To Do For Christmas In Manchester 2022

Manchester is pretty cold and wet during the festive period, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be buzzing about Christmas and getting out and about from your student accommodation.

There’s loads of amazing things to do over the festive season, with something for everyone to check out from the Christmas Markets to Ice skating to cinema experiences to so much more.

Carry on reading to see what you can get up to over the next few weeks!

Christmas In Manchester

1. Manchester Christmas Markets

Manchester’s Christmas Markets are not like other cities, they are huge and winding taking of swathes of central Manchester.

To be fair, you could easily describe it as a Christmas City.

Sip mulled wine in the chilled winter air and view the larger than life Santa installation in front of Central Library on St Peter’s Square.

There’s much to experience including the true culinary icon that is the Yorkshire pudding wrap!

Manchester is a special place during the festive period, the lights all over town and the bustling markets.

This year, there’s over 220 stalls across the nine sites, with the main events happening at Piccadilly Gardens.

Manchester christmas markets with drinks and santa

@mcrchristmasmarkets – Instagram

Location: Manchester City Centre (You can’t miss them)

Dates: 10th November-22nd December 

2. Skate Manchester

Fully embrace the alpine, après-ski vibe by getting your skates on in Cathedral Gardens.

After your wander through the Christmas markets, finish off in perfect style by having an ice skate sesh with your student mates.

The rink is indoors which means you can skate regardless of the weather – very useful given Manchester is notorious for rain.

ice skating at christmas time in Manchester

@skatemanchesterice – Instagram

Location: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester City Centre

Dates:  21 October 2022 until 2 January 2023.

3. Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience

Take an impish leaf out of your favourite characters book and explore Hogwarts’ forbidden forest.

This supercool night-time experience is located within the grounds of Arley Hall in Northwich.

Whilst it’s in Cheshire rather than Manchester, if you can get to it, deffo give this experience a try.

The woodland trail is filled with magical beasts and special effects which bring the world of Harry Potter to life, this event is sure to delight everyone, not just the HP stans.

After you’ve explored the Wizarding World, there’s various foods and drinks to try from butterbeer to Cornish pasties to fish and chips.

Sessions last for around 60-90 minutes, we suggest booking in advance as this one is certainly popular.

harry potter forbidden forest at christmas 2021

@hpforbiddenforestexperience – Instagram

Location: Arley Hall & Gardens, Arley, Northwich CW9 6NA

Dates: This is not specifically seasonal so will run into 2023

4. Warehouse Project

Warehouse Project closing parties are THE club event of the season.

Taking place at Mayfield Depot in Manchester City Centre, this is deffo an event you should consider.

With varied and star-studded line ups there’s always something for everyone from Deep Techno to Tropical House.

On New Years Eve they’re hosting a stellar line up of huge names like Annie Mac, LF System, DJ Ez and Eliza Rose at the Depot.

If NYE isn’t your thing, check out WHP’s all-day session on the 30th December with the likes of Joseph Capriati, Richy Ahmed and Rossi to name a few.

Warehouse project in manchester 2021

@whp_mcr – Instagram

Location: Mayfield Depot, Manchester M1 2PY

Closing Party Dates: 30th December & 31 December 2022 

5. Garage Brunch

Babycakes, you’ll be sure to be Bound 4 da Reload with the bottomless brunch bringing the hardest vibe in Manchester.

With garage music and eggs, we really are Closer than Close to perfection!

Finally, someone has taken our two favourite things and combined them to make a perfect dish.

We strongly encourage you all to embrace your inner Garage Girl(s), don your loudest Moschino and grab the nearest champagne bottle because this is one party that will have you going Piano Loco.

Taking place at Bingo Balls in The Printworks, you simply have to go to this brunch with Bottomless Rum Punch served in the first hour and food served all day.

Grab a ticket to the Garage Brunch before they all get snatched up!

garage brunch

@garagebrunch – Instagram

Location: Bingo Balls,  Unit 21-22, The Printworks, Manchester M4 2BS

Dates: 3rd December 2022 12:00-5:00pm 

6. Backyard Cinema

If you’re someone who loves watching festive films like us, then you’re gonna love this one.  

Backyard Cinema is located on the rooftop of Mayfield Depot and offers viewers with a magical experience.  

You can sit and chill on giant bean bags in the forest themed surroundings and watch the likes of Elf, Die Hard, How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Love Actually to name a few.  

With showings throughout November and December we’re sure you’ll find a film to suit your fancy.

They even do film-themed 12-inch pizza like their ‘The Green Mile’ pizza or ‘The Breakfast Club’ pizza.

If you fancy a few festive tipples, there’s a pint house offering a variety of bevvies.  

Ticket prices vary depending on where you choose to sit, but we’ll be honest, it is on the pricier side of things to do for Christmas in Manchester.

But, if you’re after a night in front of the big screen it’s worth it!  

@backyardcinema- Instagram

Location: Mayfield, Depot, Manchester M1 2PY

Dates: Various shows 

7. Winter Island

Mayfield Depot is certainly pushing itself to become the number one venue in Manchester.

Already home to The Warehouse Project, the depot hosts a whole range of cool and independent plays, shows and gigs at their Escape To Freight Island venue.

Located in an abandoned freight depot, there are bars, live DJs and so so much more available for you to discover.

It’s currently selling tickets for Winter Island 2022, an industrial winter wonderland where you can brunch with Father Christmas, skate on the roller rink, browse for boutique handcrafted gifts and so much more.

Fancy some tasty food and drink? Enjoy a bratwurst, a festive cocktail or a hot chocolate.

Some of the traders that will be at the Winter Island include Northern Soul Grilled CheeseCocoa CabanaGreat North Pie Co.Batard BakehouseBurgerism along with others!

There’s a range of bar areas including a huge main area, craft beer tap room, Neighbourhood cocktail bar and an intimate wine bar.

Location: 11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PZ 

Dates: 12th November-24th December

8. Lightopia Festival

Lightopia Festival is a spectacular and dazzling lantern and light festival that is guaranteed to wow and charm you.

At this award-winning experience within Heaton Park, there are immersive exhibits, inspiring installations, and beautifully lit pathways taking place.

There’s a Christmas themed trail which is a total delight and a certain festive spirit inducing good time.

Enjoy this magical moment and go with your flatmates for a cute evening!

You need to book your tickets in advance for this festive activity which is a bit pricier than other events, but it’s well worth it.

Lightopia festival

@lightopiafestival – Instagram

Location: Heaton Park, Manchester

Dates: 24th November-2nd Jan 2023

9. TinselTown: The Trafford Centre

Greetings from Tinsel Town, no not Hollywood…Manchester!

The Trafford Centre is host to all the glamour and style you need this Christmas with this new incredible open-air experience.

Make sure you bring your hats and scarves to discover an infinitely festive winter wonderland.

Brave the Rock Rage, enjoy the view from the Festive Wheel, and try to stay upright on the beautiful ice rink.

Featuring ice skating shows and a nostalgic show featuring all the festive favourites performed by professional circus entertainers, acrobats and superstars, you can also pop to the restaurants for something to eat.

Get some Christmas shopping done and visit this festive experience!

Tinsel Town in Manchester for things to do

@thetraffordcentre – Instagram

Dates: 18th November – 2nd January 2022 

Location: The Orient, The Trafford Centre

10. Miracle On Cross Street

Finally, to conclude our post on things to do for Christmas in Manchester is Miracle On Cross Street.

Situated just a stones throw from the Christmas Markets, this festive themed bar is yet again returning for another year.

Think over the top decor with festive lights, Christmas trees, fairy lights, boughs of holly, stockings, you name it, they have it,

You can enjoy a range of bevvies like themed cocktails, mulled wine, Irish cream, beers as well as some tasty food like pigs in blankets, candy canes and mice pies.

The pop-up bar is taking place at Salt Dog Slims and tickets are highly recommended to be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

@miracleoncrossstreet- Instagram

Location: 17 Bow Ln, Manchester M2 4FW

Dates: Opens 14th November 

There we have it, the top 10 things to do for Christmas in Manchester – they’ll be no resting Grinch faces now.

We hope you enjoy whatever you get up to for the festive season, you can even make the most of the communal spaces in your accommodation and host your own Christmas party!

Read next: 7 Best Cafes In Manchester To Grab A Coffee & Study. 

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