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Manchester Christmas Markets food and drink vendors announced for 2023

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Manchester Christmas Markets

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Manchester City Council

The countdown is on for the Manchester Christmas Markets and here’s all the festive food and crafts vendors that will be serving up a treat.

The wooden alpine huts, featuring across nine different locations around the city, are set to open on November 10th.

The nine different ‘zones’ will see various different food, drink and crafts vendors as thousands of Mancunians and visitors from further afield get ready to feast on some fantastic festive delights.

Manchester City Council

Piccadilly Gardens

Piccadilly Gardens will be transformed into the wonderful Winter Gardens and is the main hub again this year as the Town Hall continues to undergo restoration works in Albert Square.

Councillors have said they are taking extra measures to ensure the grassed areas of the gardens are not ruined this time round.

Here, the Scandi-style overhead cover will return decked with lights and cosy log fires. Live music will take place each evening with plenty of sheltered seating. Winter Gardens will also be home to the iconic windmill, which stands at four-metres high.

Visitors can expect a variety of winter tipples and exclusive cocktails alongside fresh churros, Korean corndogs, tasty Gyros and plenty more.

Manchester City Council

St Anne’s Square and Exchange Street

The oldest market site in the city centre, visitors can expect to find a variety of continental cheeses, authentic paella, bratwurst, or salt and pepper chicken from Northern Quarter favourite, Yard and Coop. Or why not just cosy up in the undercover bar with a hot drink to keep you warm.

Market Street

You can finish your Christmas shopping in this ultimate crafts and gifts area.

Expect over 40 stalls selling gifts including tweed hats, spiced rum, Christmas decorations and candles, to jewellery and much more. And don’t forget to pick up your freshly baked hot macaroon!

Manchester City Council

King Street

This zone will be the seasonal home to food stalls including the authentic Italian deli, Ballaro. 

They will be serving up fresh cannelloni and arancini, and El Gato Negro will bring some Mediterranean menu flavours for Christmas shoppers to sit down and enjoy as they watch the crowds go by from the special seated area outside their stall.

Visitors to King Street markets can also expect a range of crafts including the always popular French soap stall, personalised tree decorations, handmade wooden furniture and beautifully illustrated bottles from local distillery, Salford Rum. 

Manchester City Council

New Cathedral Street

This zone is your go-to spot for high end gifts and foodie favourites. Craft-lovers will be enchanted by the selection of handmade candles, ceramics, local spirits, and thoughtful keepsakes on offer. 

Stop off to enjoy a cold beer and currywurst from The Witch House, a hearty burrito from Mango Rays, or a cheesy ‘Parmo’ from local legends, Parmageddon. 

Exchange Square

One of the largest of the city centre Christmas market sites, market-goers can warm-up at The Mill Exchange with their Mancunian mulled wine made on-site, while admiring the legends of Manchester artwork adorning their walls.

This is also the place to try the much-loved legendary Yorkshire pudding wrap from Porky Pig, as well as everything from birria bowls and hot curries to mini pancakes and fresh fudge. You’ll also find clothing, soaps, boutique babywear, local crafts, and handmade gifts.

Manchester City Council

The Corn Exchange

Set between Corn Exchange and Shambles Square, you’ll find some of the most unique gifts available from our crafters.

Expect handmade pies, Nepalese woollen jumpers, handmade jewellery, Christmas decorations made from recycled wood, plus photo frames, artisan chocolates and much more.

Cathedral Gardens

This is the place to go if you enjoy seasonal ice-skating. Whirl around with your pals at Skate Manchester’s huge, covered ice rink which is open daily.

There will also be free live entertainment hosted every Thursday to Sunday, all the way up to New Year’s Eve. Enjoy a warming treat with authentic crepes, gourmet hotdogs, hot chocolate, and much more.

Manchester City Council

Manchester’s Christmas Markets open on Friday November 10th and close on Thursday, December 21st. All craft stalls open daily from 10am-8pm. All bars and food stalls open daily from 11am-9pm.

Father Christmas will take up residence in St Peter’s Square after Remembrance Sunday.

The Ice Rink in Cathedral Gardens will be open for Christmas skaters from November 2nd- January 2nd, but will also be offering spooky Scare Skates (only if you dare!) from October 27th to October 31st. 

The food and drink stalls in Cathedral Gardens, alongside the skate rink, will remain open until December 31st.

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Get half price tickets to see a Cinderella pantomime in Manchester this December

The fairy godmother of all pantomimes is back – Oh, yes it is!

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Credit: Shay Rowan

A Cinderella pantomime is coming to Manchester’s Contact Theatre for laughs, songs and dance in a series of fantastic performances throughout the festive season.

The Cinderella pantomime is set to take over Contact Theatre with Manchester drag sensations Lady Bushra and Misty Chance, who will take centre stage in this enchanting production from eight-freestyle this December. 

And our followers can bag themselves half price tickets to see it.

Theatre guests can expect a fresh twist on the traditional storyline as Cinderella fights for her freedom from her cruel Stepsisters and their questionable fashion choices. 

Credit: Shay Rowan

Marvel at the inventions of Lord Stoneybroke, share laughs with Buttons, and help the Prince find true love – all set to an upbeat modern soundtrack of ballroom bangers mixed by DJ Dandini. 

The show stars eight-freestyle’s regular cast of all-singing, all-dancing performers, making it a treat for children of all ages – even the grown-up ones!

This year’s Cinderella pantomime not only features an exceptional LGBTQ+ cast but also emphasises sustainability through recycled costumes and a collaboration with Hart-Work.

Credit: Shay Rowan

Hart-Work is a reworked clothing brand founded by Kimberly Hart-Simpson with the aim of promoting a positive buying experience and a goal to get people talking about clothing regardless of opinion.

The production team is committed to reducing its environmental impact, making this an eco-conscious and inclusive event for all. 

Sean Canning, Director of eight-freestyle, said: “Directing Cinderella with this fabulous team has been an absolute ball! With the unrivalled energy of our cast and the brilliant collaboration with Contact Young Company, we’re confident this will be eight-freestyle’s best panto yet.

“We’re all about the magic of storytelling and the joy of pantomime, and this production brings both to life in the quirkiest, most sustainable way possible.”

Credit: Shay Rowan

Keisha Thompson, Artistic Director and CEO of Contact, said: “We’re over the moon to partner with eight-freestyle for another extraordinary production.

“With sustainability woven into the fabric of the show, it’s like Cinderella’s glass slipper – a perfect fit for our commitment to eco-conscious fun.

“And let’s not forget the wild creativity of Contact Young Company! Cinderella is going to be a hoot, showcasing that entertainment can be both a riot and responsible.”

Credit: Shay Rowan

Cinderella runs from Saturday December 9th until Sunday December 31st at Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester. Tickets range from £15 – £25. 

The run includes a range of access provisions, including BSL, captioned performances, relaxed conditions and a range of discounts.

Our followers can get half price tickets on selected performances with code: FAIRY50% at checkout. For more information and to book tickets, please click HERE.

The selected performances include:

  • December 14th at 7 PM
  • December 15th at 7 PM
  • December 16th at 7 PM
  • December 20th at 10AM
  • December 21st at 3.30 PM
  • December 22nd at 7PM

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Celebrate Christmas in style at Manchester’s King Street

Visitors can get their hands on some excellent prizes in the run up to Christmas

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Manchester's Finest Group

Celebrate this Christmas in style at Manchester’s King Street – the city’s premium shopping and dining destination.

What better way to celebrate the festive season than on the picturesque King Street against a backdrop of 18th and 19th century buildings featuring a variety of premium shopping and dining destinations, plus plenty more.

Nestled in between historic landmarks in the city’s old banking district are a host of Alpine festive market stalls selling a tempting selection of European goods as well as crafts, food and drinks.

Manchester’s Finest Group

This beautiful street features an eclectic collection of fantastic high-end and designer brands, salons, an art gallery and even a tailor-made travel agents. Just some of these include the likes of The White Company, Hobbs, Patagonia, Kuoni Castle Fine Art, and Nailed It.

Some fantastic dining destinations here include El Gato Negro, Franco Manca, Gordon Ramsay’s Lucky Cat, Miller & Carter, and many more.

To add an extra sprinkle of festive magic, weekly competitions will be held where visitors to King Street will be in with the chance of winning prizes from various brands and shops situated here.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Visitors can simply scan the QR code, located on King Street, to enter the competition and be in with the chance of winning.

Winners of prizes will be announced each week with goodies from the likes of: TAST, Charles Tyrwhitt, Franco Manca, Kala, Castle Fine Art, and Kuoni.

For those dreaming of jet-setting off to a sunny paradise on a luxury holiday, Kuoni will be giving away a £500 voucher towards flights as one of the prizes to be won, which will be announced at the end of December.

Manchester’s Finest Group

For those wishing to enter the competition, just visit one of the two vinyl screens located on 35 King Street and scan the QR code – you can’t miss them!

There will be POS signage in some stores for people to scan as well.

Once you’ve scanned the code, just sign up to the mailing list to enter the competition. Prizes will be announced each week with weekly giveaways until Christmas – find out more and sign up for the mailing list HERE.

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Paddy McGuinness announces first stand-up comedy tour in eight years

He’s coming to Greater Manchester in his first tour since 2016!

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@mcguinness.paddy / Instagram & Channel 4

Paddy McGuinness has announced his first stand-up comedy tour in eight years and he’s coming to Greater Manchester.

The Bolton-born comedian, best known for his roles in Phoenix Nights, Max and Paddy, and  The Keith and Paddy Picture Show, will perform his Nearly There tour on 40 dates at selected venues around the UK in 2024 and 2025.

McGuinness is a much-loved presence on British TV, presenting primetime shows such as Take Me Out and BBC’s Top Gear, as well as having previously sold out hundreds of venues across the country on his stand-up tours. 

SJM Concerts

In 2021 he released his acclaimed autobiography My Lifey, and is now raring and ready to get back to where he belongs – on stage, making people laugh, with his hotly anticipated show.

Paddy said: “It’s been eight years since my last tour and there’s lots of things to laugh about!

“I’m looking forward to getting back in front of a live audience, along with running the gauntlet of cancel culture, click bait and fake news!”

Tickets go on sale Friday December 8th at 10am, book yours by clicking HERE.

Channel 4

Paddy McGuinness will perform his Nearly There tour to venues around the UK next year on the following dates:

Thursday October 24th 2024     Blackburn King Georges              

Friday October 25th 2024          Sunderland Empire        

Saturday October 26th 2024      Hull Connexin Live         

Thursday Oct 31st 2024             Llandudno Venue Cymru Theatre            

Friday November 1st 2024         Leicester De Montfort Hall         

Sunday November 3rd 2024       Milton Keynes Theatre 

Thursday November 27th 2024  Middlesbrough Town Hall          

Friday November 8th 2024         Dunfermline Alhambra

Saturday November 9th 2024     Dundee Caird Hall          

Sunday November 10th 2024      Aberdeen Music Hall    

Thursday November 14th 2024   Leeds Grand Theatre     

Friday November 15th 2024        Leeds Grand Theatre     

Saturday November 16th 2024    Glasgow SEC Armadillo

Sunday November 17th 2024       Edinburgh Usher Hall    

Friday November 22nd 2024        Bradford St Georges Hall            

Saturday November 13rd 2024     Stoke-On-Trent Regent Theatre

Sunday November 25th 2024        Oxford New Theatre     

Thursday November 28th 2024     Halifax Victoria Theatre

Friday November 29th 2024          Sheffield City Hall

Saturday November 30th 2024      Newcastle O2 City Hall 

Sunday December 1st 2024           Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

Channel 4

The tour will continue on the following dates in 2025:

Thursday February 13th 2025        Truro Hall for Cornwall

Friday February 14th 2025             Swansea Arena

Saturday February 15th 2025         Cardiff New Theatre      

Thursday February 20th 2025        Ipswich Regent

Friday February 21st 2025             Southend Cliffs Pavilion              

Sunday February 23rd 2025          Dartford Orchard Theatre

Friday February 28th 2025            Birmingham Alexandra Theatre

Saturday March 1st 2025            Wolverhampton The Civic at The Halls

Sunday March 2nd 2025          Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Thursday March 6th 2025          Eastbourne Congress Theatre   

Saturday March 8th 2025            Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre

Sunday March 9th 2025          Torquay Princess Theatre           

Thursday March 13th 2025          Bath Forum       

Friday March 14th 2025             London Palladium          

Thursday March 20th 2025          York Barbican   

Friday March 21st 2025             Scunthorpe Baths Hall

Sunday March 23rd 2025          Stockton Globe

Friday March 28th 2025             Salford Lowry Lyric Theatre

Saturday March 29th 2025            Blackpool Opera House

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