Manchester is going all out for Christmas this year with its first ever ‘First Day of Christmas’ ceremony.
Now, the city is already gearing up to host a whole array of festive events following the disaster that was last Christmas (thanks, Covid), such as the return of the iconic Christmas Markets, the UK’s largest outdoor winter market and a ton of other mulled wine-fuelled fun.
But this year, for the first time, Manchester will be having its very own Christmas opening ceremony, complete with live bands and entertainment.
The city-wide event, organised by the Manchester Business Improvement District, will see more than fifty performers appear on the city’s streets throughout the day as they help Manchester not only celebrate the ‘first day of Christmas’, but bring a bit of festive joy to all.
Visitors will also be able to meet the beautiful puppet Aurora and her Arctic Fox in an unmissable roaming performance on Exchange Square by the Scandinavian Global Grooves, while stilt-walking reindeers making their way into the city centre.
Over at The Royal Exchange Manchester, visitors will be transported to Narnia where they can meet the Ice Queens at Photo Corner as well as see The Living Lamp Posts as they illuminate the streets of Manchester, while a life-size Snow Globe Queen entertains crowds over on St Ann’s Square.
Families will also be able to enjoy music courtesy of a live brass brand throughout the afternoon with Bloco Brass Band and, in the evening, SPARK! Band’s one of a kind light up Christmas Music Show.
Other entertainment will come courtesy of the Winter Circus as they welcome you into the city from Deansgate and onto Market Street.
First Day of Christmas celebrations will take place across the city this Saturday, November 13th, the day after the opening of the Christmas Markets. Locations and times of acts may change on the day, so head over to the council’s website for more information.
Take That are coming to Co-op Live as part of huge UK tour
‘Today this could be, the greatest day of our lives…’
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.
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.
UK’s largest heated outdoor winter market returns to Manchester this Christmas
All the festive magic you need in one place!
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.
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).
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.
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.
“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.
“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 email@example.com.
A huge FREE Polish dumpling and vodka festival coming to Manchester next week
An annual Polish food festival, featuring traditional Pierogi dumplings and a variety of vodkas, is returning to Manchester next week.
Polish restaurant Plazki will bring the famous Pierogi Festival to Deansgate on Wednesday September 27th and Thursday 28th from 5pm until sold out, and foodies can tuck into some of its hearty traditional dishes.
Visitors can try Platzki’s many mouthwatering dumplings which come with a variety of delicious fillings.
Food lovers choose from savoury options such as the ‘Kaczka’ – full of perfectly slow cooked duck accompanied by fresh plum, or the ‘Karkowka’ stuffed with delicately roasted pork and roasted vegetables.
For non-meat eaters there’ll be plenty of vegan and vegetarian options too. Sample the ‘Fasolka’, which is packed with crushed butter beans, roasted tomatoes and roasted peppers.
Or try a unique non-savoury twist on the Polish staple with the ‘Slodkie’, which is a temptingly sweet Pierogi loaded with cottage cheese, vanilla sugar and juicy blueberries.
In traditional Polish style, as well as a variety of melt in your mouth dishes, there will also be a selection of flavoured vodkas to wash all the scrumptious food down with.
Visitors can sample an exciting range including salted caramel, strawberry, golden black cherry, hazelnut and a delicious cherry-chocolate flavour.
Platzki has been a fixture in the city since 2018, started by two food fanatics Lukasz and Przemo.
It has since built up a reputation for serving a list of Polish traditional cuisine with a modern twist, as well as an interesting selection of vodka, wine and beer.
Pierogi festival visitors can choose to either eat in or take out. There’s no need to book a table, diners can simply show up with their Pierogi loving pals and enjoy traditional Polish dishes from the comfort of Platzki, or grab a takeaway with Pierogi to go and enjoy from home.
To find out more about Platzki, you can visit the website by clicking HERE.
You can find Platzki at 229 Deansgate.