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Everything we know about Manchester Christmas Markets 2023 so far

They’re returning very soon!

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@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

Here’s everything we know so far about this year’s Manchester Christmas Markets, as the city prepares for winter festivities.

Like it or not the countdown is now on for currywurst, glühwein and strudels at the Manchester Christmas Markets 2023.

The popular European food, drink and crafts stalls, housed in wooden alpine-style huts and dotted around the city centre, will be making their big return on Friday, November 10th from 10am.

It won’t be long until most of the city will be huddled together on chilly evenings hugging a mug full of hot mulled wine with frozen fingertips, while getting into the spirit of the build up to the big day.

@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

The trusty markets will be sure to get you in the mood and fuel you while you shop for presents, until they shut up shop for another year on Thursday, December 21st.

Among some of the biggest in Europe, Manchester’s festive markets boasted some 220 stalls last year and were voted the best in the entire UK last year, attracting visitors from across the country.

The exact locations of the markets haven’t been confirmed as of yet but there’s talk that Piccadilly Gardens will not be the main hub, after the weather combined with footfall destroyed the grass beneath the plastic walkways last year, leaving it looking like a mud bath.

@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

Council bosses have been urgently looking for other options to use as the main hub of the markets with St Peter’s Square being suggested as a possible contender for 2023.

Originally, Albert Square was the main location for the markets, but due to restoration work taking place on the Town Hall this has not been possible for some years. Although, it is hoped works may be completed in time for it to be ready for this year’s winter markets extravaganza.

The council has said it will be confirming the exact whereabouts of the festive markets along with further details later this month.

@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

One thing we are certain of is that the ice rink will be returning to Cathedral Gardens along with a range of wooden festive stalls. The ice rink will run a little while longer than the markets, all the way up until December 31st – though it will be closed on Christmas Day.

The markets will also be returning to Exchange Square along with popular stall Porky Pig’s Yorkshire Pudding Wraps, where visitors can get themselves a Yorkshire pudding wrap filled with a mini Christmas dinner, while waiting in queues as long as your arm.

The markets are also set to spread out across New Cathedral Street, St Ann’s Square, King Street and Market Street.

@mcrchristmasmarkets / Instagram

The Christmas Parade, a huge hit with families, will be back again for one weekend this December, but the exact dates have yet to be confirmed.

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “With the last rays of summer sun now fading fast, it’s time to track down the tinsel and get ready for Manchester’s favourite time of the year.

“And with only eight weeks to go until the opening of Manchester’s world-famous Christmas markets it will be glühwein and bratwurst time before we know it. Mark it on your calendar – November 10th – Christmas starts here!”

@mcrmarkets / Instagram

The Christmas Markets will be open daily from 10am until 9pm on Friday, November 10th until Thursday, December 21st. Entry is free and no ticket is required.

The Cathedral Gardens festive ice rink will open on Thursday, October 26th and will stay throughout the festive season until December 31st. The ice rink will be closed for Christmas Day.

More updates on locations of markets and details of the Christmas parade are to follow when confirmed.

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Blackpool’s festival village is returning to the seafront for Christmas 2023

Attractions include food and drink markets and a 100 ft-long snow slide

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Blackpool Council & @visitblackpool / Instagram

A spectacular Christmas village is returning this winter in Blackpool for fun and festivities in the run up to the big day.

Christmas by the Sea is back for its third year and promises to be an absolute cracker filled with all sorts of fantastic activities and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

Situated on the headland just across the way from Blackpool Tower, the free-to-attend Christmas festival village will include a free ice rink, light installations, Bavarian-style food and drink markets, artificial snow falls, Christmas trees and Christmas tram rides.

Blackpool Council

There will also be a variety of children’s attractions including the return of the Star Flyer, which at 196 ft tall, is one of Europe’s tallest swing rides, exciting new fairground rides and a 100 ft-long snow slide.

Open every day from 12pm -9pm, the village will run from November 17th, 2023, until January 1st, 2024. Last year’s event delivered the highest visitor numbers ever recorded on the seafront during the winter months.

The staging of the village is in association with the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID), Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Triangle Attractions.

Announcing the exciting news, Blackpool Council said: “We can’t wait for Christmas By The Sea to kick off and hope everyone enjoys all the free family activities on offer!”

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, added: “Christmas By The Sea has established itself as one of the most popular events in our calendar, attracting visitors from far and wide who come to enjoy a unique Christmas experience.

“Many of the attractions including the rink, projection shows, snowfalls and light installations will again be free to access, giving families the opportunity to enjoy a magical and memorable Christmas. “

@vistblackpool / Instagram

“This year, we will be extending the opening hours for the rink giving even more residents and visitors a chance to skate in what is a wonderful seafront setting,” she added.

For further details about Christmas by the Sea, you can head to the VisitBlackpool website by clicking HERE

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Take That are coming to Co-op Live as part of huge UK tour

‘Today this could be, the greatest day of our lives…’

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Co-op Live

Co-op Live has announced Take That will be returning to Manchester next year to perform at the new £365 million music-first arena in its opening season.

It’s finally here; the much anticipated news their fans have been waiting for after the band released a huge hint yesterday showing an image of their double-T logo projected onto the new area, due to open in April 2024.

Take That’s iconic logo also appeared on a number of other music venues, arenas and stadiums across the UK, ahead of today’s announcement, driving music fans absolutely wild. The boyband, known for their hits including ‘Back for Good’, ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and ‘Greatest Day’ dropped the news that they will being touring the UK and Ireland in 2024.

Co-op Live

The band, who formed in Manchester in the ’90s, will be performing live for not one, but four huge nights at Co-op Live, on May 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th.

The city will see the group welcome more than 80,000 fans to the huge arena as Mancunian bandmates Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen deliver an unforgettable performance of all your favourite Take That hits, old and new. 

The trio will be joined on tour by pop star Olly Murs.

The news follows the release of their new single ‘Windows’ today (September 22nd), which is the first track of their album ‘This Life’ coming on November 24th.

Co-op members will gain first-in-line access to tickets through a designated presale from 09.30 am, on September 27th, 2023. To become a member and enjoy access to pre-sale tickets, click HERE.

General sale tickets will be available through Co-op Live from 09.30 am on September 29th.

Download the Co-op Live app to become a member and receive exclusive benefits now.

Updates with further announcements will follow in the coming weeks about the biggest and most exciting arena opening season in recent memory.

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UK’s largest heated outdoor winter market returns to Manchester this Christmas

All the festive magic you need in one place!

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Freight Island / We Are Indigo

A magical winter wonderland is coming to Depot Mayfield, including a new dazzling light trail, for seasonal festivities the whole family can enjoy.

Winter Island will transform Freight Island at Depot Mayfield into the UK’s largest heated outdoor and indoor winter festival, from Thursday November 9th until Christmas Eve on Sunday, December 24th.

Beginning the journey with the Twilight Trail at Mayfield Park, visitors will explore enchanting lighting installations taking over the 6.5 acre park and finish the trail at Freight Island where they can stay for further festive experiences from Christmas food and drink, to Visit Santa Experience and more.

Seasonal festivities at Winter Island include a variety of Christmas street food and beverage pop-ups from the likes of Cocoa Cabana, Parmogeddon, Formaggi by Lazy Tony’s, Smoking Coal German BBQ, and a Paulaner Tap Takeover – for any thirsty visitors.

Freight Island / We Are Indigo

Foodies can get stuck into a festive feast of bratwurst, hog roast butties, and a carvery. Other cuisines on offer include smash burgers, pies, tandoori street food, pizzas, gyros and plenty more to satisfy any craving. Table bookings are now open, to book click HERE.

As a sparkly new addition this year, The Twilight Trail winter light show will come to Mayfield Park from Friday, November 17th. 

Affordable tickets for the light trail are available now – with tickets priced at £7 per child and £9 per adult for November dates, and at £8 per child and £10 per adult for December dates.

Save money with family tickets (for two adults and two children), available at £28 for November dates and £32 for December dates. To book a ticket for The Twilight Trail, click HERE. (Adults 13+ and child three-12 years).

Freight Island / We Are Indigo

A brand new Grotto will take over the Plant Room for the young ones to enjoy an interactive Visit Santa Experience. 

The experience costs £22.50 per child and includes a small Lego gift, a Lindt Chocolate and photo opportunity with Father Christmas and his elves. Tickets are free for accompanying adults. To book a ticket, click HERE.

The Mezz will transform into a cosy Alpine Lodge where you’ll be able to keep warm with a Grey Goose and other fancy tipples – the perfect drinking and dining den for Christmas parties.

Freight Island / We Are Indigo

Further festive planning includes a wreath-making workshop with plants and homeware experts from Ancoats, Northern Lights and dog lovers can watch the adorable Santa Paws dog show.

To keep the atmosphere alive and buzzing all day long, there will be curated entertainment, DJ sets and live performances to keep everyone happy.

Laura Percy, Development Director at LandSecU+I, leading the regeneration of Mayfield, said: “The new Twilight Trail promises to be a brilliant addition to both Mayfield Park and the whole of Manchester city centre, complementing the Christmas markets, which are such a popular destination for thousands of visitors every year.

Freight Island / We Are Indigo

“We are thrilled to be able to offer our neighbours in Ardwick and Brunswick, particularly families, a large number of complimentary tickets so that as many people as possible can come and enjoy the Trail.

“The spirit of innovation at Mayfield is long-established and it’s great to see our partners at Freight Island continuing to push the boundaries with this exciting autumn programme.”

Jon Drape from The Twilight Trail said: “We are thrilled to bring a new festive experience to Mayfield Park this year. The Twilight Trail’s unique light installations will completely transform this incredible park. 

Freight Island / We Are Indigo

“We are very proud to be able to deliver such a wonderful experience at an affordable price this year, whether for the family, groups of friends or a date night and with the opportunity to visit the brand new Winter Island next door we believe Depot Mayfield is set to be an unrivalled Christmas destination in the UK.”

To book a table at Winter Island and find out more about what’s on, click HERE.

For Christmas bookings, larger parties and private hire enquiries, please email christmas@freightisland.com.

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