As the opening date for the Manchester Christmas Markets looms ever closer, Manchester City Council has unveiled the full list of traders and locations for this year’s festivities.
From November 10th, the Christmas Markets will once again be transforming Piccadilly Gardens into the Winter Gardens, with over 220 stalls confirmed to be opening at the usual locations of Market Street, Cathedral Gardens, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, St Ann’s Square, Exchange Square, The Corn Exchange, and King Street.
The council has also confirmed the return of the magical Manchester Christmas lights trail, which will illuminate the city centre throughout the festive season with its walk-through giant baubles, light arches and a Manchester bee.
And the iconic Big Santa will be making a return to the Central Library at St. Peter’s Square, where he will be keeping an eye on all things Christmas in Manchester from his perch atop of the library.
Here’s the full rundown of what to expect at this year’s Christmas markets:
Piccadilly Gardens will once again be transformed into the Winter Gardens, which the council has promised to be ‘bigger and better’ than ever before.
On the food and drink side of things, the Winter Gardens will serve up the likes of pancakes, churros, cookie dough, vegan bratwursts, Korean hotdogs, pork barms, and Amsterdam Frites. There will also be an array of winter tipples and a selection of continental and foreign ales.
There will also be dedicated weekly trial spots for new local traders as they step into winter trading and try out their wares on the Christmas market crowds.
And brand new for this year, the Winter Gardens will host a giant Nordic-themed double tipi bar, which will be fully heated, and festooned with ambient lighting, wooden benches, fake furs, and a roaring fire pit.
There will be live music and entertainment within the tipi bar most nights, making it the perfect spot to spread some Christmas cheer throughout the whole week.
St. Ann’s Square and Exchange Street
St. Ann’s Square – which is actually the original site for Manchester’s Christmas markets – will be returning with its large undercover bar providing German beers and warm cherry Gluhwein, all of which will keep Christmas revellers warm and merry throughout the winter season.
St. Ann’s Square and Exchange Street will also host a number of local traders, including Yard and Coop with their salt and pepper chicken fries and Manc and Proud, who will be serving up Mancunian themed treats, plus continental chocolates, English cheeses, and art emporiums.
A firm favourite with Christmas shoppers, Market Street will be home to stalls selling a wide range of gifts from a whole host of amazing crafters and producers. Customers will be able to get everything from tweed hats, spiced rum and Christmas decorations, to candles, jewellery, and gift sets of cheese truckles.
Home to some of the best food in Manchester, the Christmas deli stalls on King Street will once again take foodies on a world tour of some of the best loved dishes on the planet, ranging from Italian cannelloni and arancini, Greek gyros, halloumi fries, French garlic mushrooms and even Salford Rum.
And new for 2022, middle eastern restaurant Habas will be bringing their middle eastern menu and seating area to King Street- great for those wanting to eat their way round the world!
New Cathedral Street
New Cathedral Street will boast a range of stalls selling high-end gifts including fine-cast ornaments, old fashioned liquorice, handmade cocktails for home, and light up Christmas decorations.
There will also be a number of tasty food stalls offering everything ranging from vegan five bean chilli to New York Bagels. These can then be washed down by one of cosmopolitan Bar 3’s famous smoking cocktails.
Additionally, the famous Witch House will be making its grand return to New Cathedral Street armed with its traditional steins and mouth-watering currywursts.
Market-goers will be able to warm up at the beloved Mill Exchange bar, who will be bringing back their special Mancunian mulled wine.
2022 also sees the return of the famous Porky Pig’s Yorkshire Pudding Wrap, alongside stalls selling hot curries, German kebabs, gourmet Italian pizza mini pancakes and fresh fudge.
The Corn Exchange
Nestled between Manchester’s historic Corn Exchange building and Shambles Square, visitors can expect to find unique fairtrade hats and jackets, character themed hats and belts, as well as handmade pies, cupcakes and soaps.
The much-loved undercover ice rink Skate MCR has opened just in time for the half term and Halloween. There is live entertainement on from Thursday to Sunday each week, all the way through to New Year’s Eve.
Next to the ice rink, hot food, warm drinks, pancakes and tipples will be on offer from nearby market stalls to help warm up cold hands and feet after a skate on the ice.
Councillor Pat Karney, lead councillor for Christmas at Manchester City Council, said: “Christmas is looking better than ever this year in Manchester with our world-beating Christmas markets set to open in four weeks’ time, and a whole host of other unmissable free festive treats also coming our way.
“Everyone knows that Manchester does Christmas better than anywhere else and I’ve been counting down the days to the opening of our Christmas markets again since the day they closed last year.
“We’ve got some fantastic new festive additions to the markets this year, as well as some other soon-to-be announced unmissable festive surprises which are set to get everyone in Manchester smiling in the run-up to Christmas. More announcements on this very soon – I can’t wait!”
The Christmas markets will open on Thursday 10 November and will close on Thursday 22 December.
James announce 40th anniversary tour with homecoming gig at Co-op Live
Sit down, we’ve got something to tell you… Co-op Live has announced the artist James will be heading to the huge new music-first arena during its epic opening season next year.
James will be heading to the stage at the £365 million venue as part of their 40th anniversary UK arena tour.
Performing live for their hometown, the ‘Sit Down’ hitmakers will play in Manchester on Friday, June 14th 2024.
James will be joined by popular UK band Razorlight, who’ll be sure to get guests excited for a night of great music and nostalgia for all to enjoy.
The exciting news coincides with the release of James’ 17th studio album in April 2024, the first single of which will be announced in January – with further details to follow soon.
One of Britain’s most enduring success stories, James have released 16 studio albums, selling over 25 million copies with their recent run of Top 5 albums proving to be a golden era for the band.
All The Colours Of You released in 2021 was their most critically acclaimed in years, preceded by Living in Extraordinary Times and Girl at the End of the World which narrowly missed out on the top spot in 2016 to Adele.
Iconic Manchester band James have now entered into a golden era, and will continue to do so in 2024 and for many more years to come.
Band members; Tim Booth, Jim Glennie, Saul Davies, Adrian Oxaal, David Baynton-Power, Mark Hunter, Andy Diagram, Chloe Alper, Deborah Knox-Hewson, are all looking forward to coming to the brand-new Co-op Live to perform for fans next year.
Singer Tim Booth says: “Deeply proud to announce that we are touring next year to coincide with the release of a rather wonderful new album that we are mixing this week.
“The new songs sound belting, and will fit this arena tour. Really looking forward to celebrating with you. Expect a mixture of the expected and unexpected – just like life. Nothing but love”.
Jim Glennie, says: “We are delighted to announce our 2024 Arena Tour, supported by the wonderful ‘Razorlight’. Come and share a night of biggies, rarities and a sizeable chunk of our exciting, next NEW album! See you there folks. With love, Jim from James”.
Co-op members will gain first-in-line access to tickets to see James at Co-op Live in Manchester through a designated presale from 9.30am on October 4th, 2023. General sale will then go live from 9.30am on Friday, October 6th.
Download the Co-op App now to become a member and receive some fantastic and exclusive benefits.
To become a member and enjoy access to presale tickets, click HERE.
Sample the world’s ‘most unusual’ wines and spirits at special tasting event
Sounds like my kind of ‘spirit journey’
Tipples invites you to grab a glass and sip away on a variety of wines and spirits at its celebratory event in Manchester.
Tipples are hosting a celebration of the ‘world of drinks’ at Albert Hall on Saturday, November 4th.
The winter showcase will see a wide variety of the ‘most unusual’ and ‘interesting’ wines and spirits across the globe, as well as being the perfect opportunity to purchase Christmas presents for loved ones in the run up to the big day.
The event will be split into two sessions, kicking off at 12.00pm and 5.00pm, featuring some of the newest wines and spirits, along with some of Tipples’ long-time favourites.
Upon arrival guests will be given a tasting glass, a bottle of water, and a floorplan as they go on a ‘spirit journey’.
They can then make their way around the space and approach any of the stands they like the look of and ask for a sample. It will be a great opportunity to learn a little more about the brands, and the brand reps will take care of the rest.
Guests will join the owners of Tipples, Greg and Tom, at their very first showcase to explore their range of some of the finest sips from over 40 brands covering over 300 products from here, there and everywhere.
Local Manchester based brands will also feature at the event including the likes of Manchester Gin and Pod Pea vodka.
And with all that sipping, guests are likely to get a little peckish. You’ll be delighted to know that a hot dog stand provided by Albert’s Schloss will be available for anyone who gets the munchies.
Bottles of fine wines and spirits will be available to purchase at the event, and will make an excellent Christmas present for the wine or spirit connoisseurs in your life.
Tipples is an independent city centre spirits shop and gin specialist stocking a wide range of spirits and liqueurs, including over 75 gins, which they pride themselves on.
They have a wide range of suppliers to ensure that their selection is as broad and comprehensive as possible, with over 500 products for customers to choose from.
Tickets for Tipples of Manchester’s ‘world of drinks’ showcase are £27.07. To find out more or purchase tickets, click HERE.
Chester Zoo launches new ‘mystical’ Halloween trail with ‘enchanted river boat ride’
Mind the hanging bats!
Chester Zoo has announced it is launching a new ‘mystical’ Halloween trail which features an ‘enchanted river boat ride’, just in time for October half term.
Luna’s Legendary Creature Halloween Trail will run throughout the whole of October, including half term and Halloween.
Event organisers say the ‘spellbinding route will see visitors encounter five magical species’ such as the majestic crowned pigeon, the super agile Sulawesi macaque and the strong Sunda gharial crocodile.
The ‘spooktastic’ journey will highlight deforestation and the importance of protecting the rainforest.
Visitors to the trail will go on a quest to collect key words about the unique qualities of each animal before helping Luna the witch discover a legendary creature living deep inside the charity zoo’s Monsoon Forest habitat – the UK’s biggest indoor zoological building.
Guests who unlock the secrets of the rainforest will receive a spooky Halloween treat – no tricks!
Newly added to the trail this year, will see guests able to hop onto Halloween-themed boats and take a ride on the Lazy River Boats where they can see hanging bats, skeletons and pumpkins along the way.
Ellie Trigg, Chester Zoo’s customer development manager, said: “There’s a special mystical quest across South East Asia to discover at the zoo this October. We need visitors to help us find ‘Luna’s Legendary Creature’ which holds the secret to protecting the rainforest.
“This new trail will take guests through our huge Monsoon Forest habitat, where visitors will be challenged with collecting a number of key words from five locations to complete their log book and help us discover Luna’s Legendary Creature.”
She added: “Halloween provides us with a great opportunity to highlight some of the world’s rarest animals, especially those that can sometimes be a little misunderstood or which often fly under the radar.
“This new trail will also show visitors how small actions, such as swapping a few items in their weekly shop to sustainable alternatives, can help the species found on the trail to thrive in the wild.”
The trail is free to all zoo visitors who purchase normal zoo tickets and no time slot booking needed. Visitors of the zoo can go on the trail at any time throughout the day – which takes around 90 minutes to complete.
To book tickets, costing from £22.72 for children and from £29.99 for adults, visit the website by clicking HERE. Children aged two and under go free.