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The Bridgewater Hall unveils full programme of festive events for Christmas

A whole host of Christmassy shows and performances are lined up this festive period…

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Bridgewater Hall

Christmas is nearly upon us and gearing up in style is Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, which has just unveiled its festive programme for 2022.

Running from Sunday December 11th to Tuesday January 3rd is an unmissable lineup of shows for the whole family to enjoy at the most wonderful time of the year.

Here’s what’s on…

Bridgewater Hall

A Dickensian Christmas

A Dickensian Christmas will be kick starting the festivities with a sublime selection of carols, classics, and readings from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, presented by Stephen Mangan.

Following this, audiences can toast the Christmas spirit and join in with season favourites including Joy to the World, Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful and many more.

A Dickensian Christmas, Sunday December 11th. Get tickets here.

Bridgewater Hall

Christmas at the Movies

Christmas at the Movies will be bringing the greatest music from a selection of classic festive films together for one magical concert.

Music will be performed by the talented Manchester Concert Orchestra, with popular songs from the likes of The Polar Express, Elf, E.T. Home Alone, White Christmas, Love Actually, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street and The Snowman.

Christmas at the Movies, Thursday December 15th. Get tickets here.

Bridgewater Hall

Christmas Spectacular

The Christmas Spectacular is returning to The Bridgewater Hall for the ultimate Christmas party, with an extravagant show full of festive fun.

Guest singers Kerry Ellis and Ricardo Afonso will be taking to the stage with the best Christmas hits in a sensational night of music, song and dance complete with all things Christmassy.

Christmas Spectacular, Monday December 19th. Get tickets here.

Bridgewater Hall

Horrible Christmas

Brand new for 2022, Horrible Histories proudly presents a hilarious and heart-warming family adventure through the darker side of Christmas.

In the unique play, the likes of Charles Dickens, Oliver Cromwell, King Henry VIII and St Nicholas will join forces to save the festive season in Horrible Christmas.

Horrible Christmas, Tuesday December 20th. Get tickets here.

Bridgewater Hall

Christmas Carol Singalong

The Bridgewater Hall’s Christmas Eve tradition, Christmas Carols Singalong, is back this year  with Jonathan Cohen leading viewers through the very best Christmas carols and songs in one irresistibly family-friendly extravaganza.

Christmas Carol Singalong, Saturday December 24th. Get tickets here.

Bridgewater Hall

Last Night of the Christmas Proms

There’s plenty to look forward to after Christmas Day with The Manchester Concert Orchestra set to perform a stellar selection of rousing classics including Ravel’s BoleroElgar’s NimrodPuccini’s Nessun Dorma and many more at Last Night of the Christmas Proms.

Last Night of the Christmas Proms, Monday December 26th. Get tickets here.

Bridgewater Hall

The Music of Zimmer vs Williams

The Music of Zimmer vs Williams will be bringing the very best epic scores from the two greatest film composers of all time with music from Gladiator, Superman, Man of Steel, Harry Potter, Inception, Jurassic Park, The Dark Knight Rises, Pirates of the Caribbean, Hook, Jaws, E.T. and many more.

The Music of Zimmer vs Williams, Tuesday December 27th. Get tickets here.

Bridgewater Hall

The Glenn Miller Orchestra

The UK’s renowned Glenn Miller Orchestra will be returning to give guests a magical trip down memory lane, performing wartime chart toppers and swinging hits from the forties, directed by legendary band-leader Ray McVay.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Wednesday December 28th. Get tickets here.

Bridgewater Hall

The Nutcracker

Into the New Year, the critically acclaimed Varna International Ballet and Orchestra arrive in Manchester as part of their debut UK season where they will delight you with breath-taking performances of The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker, Monday January 2nd and Tuesday January 3rd. Get tickets here.

What's On

A Rock ‘N’ Roll Bingo night where ‘cheating is encouraged’ is happening in Manchester

Get your black lipstick and Dr. Martens at the ready…

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Rock N Roll Bingo

The humble game of bingo is set to undergo a head-banging makeover with the arrival of Manchester’s first ever Rock ‘N’ Roll Bingo at Cooper Hall.

The concept was dreamt up by Mancunian ‘Bingo Matt’, who has spent the last few years growing and establishing Rock ‘N’ Roll Bingo over in Indonesia.

And now, the musical game is coming back home to Manchester, where it will be taking over the Northern Quarter’s Cooper Hall this Friday, December 2nd.

Rock N Roll Bingo

Rock N Roll Bingo

The rules of Rock ‘N’ Roll bingo are simple; bingo-goers will have to identify and cross off artists and musicians along with the songs played by the resident DJ.

There will be a mix of rock, metal, indie, pop, soul, and rhythm and blues on the set list, and guests will be expected to get up and dance throughout the game – yep, this will be a far cry from your usual game of bingo down the local Mecca.

And for those whose music knowledge is a little rusty, the game’s number one rule states that ‘all cheating is fully encouraged’, so get your Shazam apps at the ready.

Other rules include:

  • All cheating is fully encouraged!
  • Five rounds of Rock ‘N’ Roll Bingo will crown the victor.
  • If multiple ‘Rock N Roll Bingo-ers’ win on the same round, a suitable competition will ensue to decide the winner!
  • The Bingo Master is always right!
  • Should one fall foul of a FALSE BINGO, an appropriate shaming will ensue.

Rock N Roll Bingo

Rock N Roll Bingo

The Rock ‘N’ Roll Bingo will be taking place this Friday, December 2nd at Cooper Hall, with doors opening at 7pm and last entry at 7:45pm.

Going forward, the event will be happening every second Friday at Cooper Hall, where you can expect ‘high-energy, musical bingo with absolutely banging tunes, a plethora of prizes and lots and lots of dancing’.

Early bird tickets are just £8 (fees excluded), so make sure to get yourself booked in for what is billed to be the greatest bingo night in the land.

Grab your tickets HERE.

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Manchester’s first ever Christmas Parade is coming to town next month

Make sure you don’t miss this!

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A festive first for Manchester is happening this year, with the announcement that our city is holding its first ever Christmas Parade. 

The magical parade will be filled with all things Christmas, and will weave its way through the streets of the city centre to bring some extra special Christmas cheer.

Building on the success of the city’s world-famous Manchester Day Parade – which after starting small back in 2010 now regularly sees thousands of people flock to the city to watch it – the inaugural Manchester Christmas Parade will take place on Sunday December 11th.

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Working in partnership with Manchester Business Improvement District and outdoor art experts, including Walk the Plank, Global Grooves, Handmade Parade and others, the city’s first-ever Christmas Parade promises to delight young and old.

With well over 100 parade participants, spectators will see everything from Jacks of Frost and Fairy stilt-walkers, an Arctic Fox, and runaway Christmas Presents, to Cocky Robins, Glowing Gastropods with elf riders, and a never-before-seen Christmas Toy Procession.

Also making a special appearance in the parade will be the Town Hall Clock, wound up and looking its very festive best.

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Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said: “Nowhere else does a parade quite like Manchester and and we can’t wait to bring the first-ever, not-to-be-missed Manchester Christmas Parade to Santa’s favourite city.

“Of all the places in the world that Santa could have chosen for this magical festive first, Manchester is the obvious choice. 

“It’s going to be fabulous and we can’t wait!”

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Jane Sharrocks, Manchester BID Chair and General Manager at Selfridges Exchange Square added: “We’re delighted to be involved in what will be Manchester’s first official Christmas Parade!

“As well as being a huge draw for families, it’s also a fantastic headline event for our programme of Festive Sundays which will see sparkling street performers including illuminated bands, roaming puppets, stilt-walkers, supersized penguins and more, take to the city’s main shopping streets for six consecutive Sundays during November and December.”

Starting at 1pm on Sunday December 11th, the Manchester Christmas Parade will head down Deansgate, St Ann’s Street, Cross Street and St Mary’s Gate.

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What's On

Full details of this year’s Manchester Christmas Markets as they get into full swing

The markets are billed as ‘bigger and better’ than ever before…

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Manchester's Finest Group

With the Manchester Christmas Markets now in full swing, let’s take a look at the full list of traders and locations for this year’s festivities.

The Christmas Markets opened on November 10th, transforming Piccadilly Gardens into the Winter Gardens, with over 220 stalls open 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 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 has made 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.

Here’s the full rundown of what to expect at this year’s Christmas Markets:

Winter Gardens

Piccadilly Gardens is once again transformed into the Winter Gardens, which the council has promised is ‘bigger and better’ than ever before.

On the food and drink side of things, the Winter Gardens is serving up the likes of pancakes, churros, cookie dough, vegan bratwursts, Korean hotdogs, pork barms, and Amsterdam Frites. There’s 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 is hosting a giant Nordic-themed double tipi bar, 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 – is 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 is also host to a number of local traders, including Yard and Coop with their salt and pepper chicken fries and Manc and Proud, who are serving up Mancunian themed treats, plus continental chocolates, English cheeses, and art emporiums. 

Market Street

A firm favourite with Christmas shoppers, Market Street is home to stalls selling a wide range of gifts from a whole host of amazing crafters and producers. Customers can get everything from tweed hats, spiced rum and Christmas decorations, to candles, jewellery, and gift sets of cheese truckles. 

King Street

Home to some of the best food in Manchester, the Christmas deli stalls on King Street 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 is bringing its 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 boasts 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’s also 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 is making its grand return to New Cathedral Street armed with its traditional steins and mouth-watering currywursts. 

Exchange Square 

Market-goers will be able to warm up at the beloved Mill Exchange bar, who are 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. 

Cathedral Gardens

The much-loved undercover ice rink Skate MCR opened in time for the half term and Halloween. There is live entertainment 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 are 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 are now open and will close on Thursday December 22nd. 

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