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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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!
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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
Celebrate Christmas in style at Manchester’s King Street
Visitors can get their hands on some excellent prizes in the run up to Christmas
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.
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.
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.
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.
Paddy McGuinness announces first stand-up comedy tour in eight years
He’s coming to Greater Manchester in his first tour since 2016!
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.
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.
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
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