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The Christmas events still taking place in Manchester to get you in the festive spirit

How to get in the festive spirit in tier 3…



Some festive events will still be taking place across Manchester despite Tier 3 restrictions. 

Over the festive period, up to three households can gather in the five-day Christmas plan set out by the government.

And despite the Tier 3 restrictions across Greater Manchester, some festive events can still take place.

Be sure to check with the event organisers before you travel as everything is subject to change and it could be last minute!



Taking over Heaton Park, Lightopia has announced they will continue the twinkling event from December 2nd until January 10th. They will be following the rule of six across the event. Tickets are £20 for adults and £13 for children.

Book Now.

The Parking Lot Social

The Parking Lot Social’s Winter Festival

Drive-in pantomime performances are taking over intu Trafford Centre, with food delivered right to your car as well as winter warmers like hot chocolate and gingerbread men. Tickets cost £37.38 per car and you will get a full refund if the event has to be cancelled.

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Another drive-in event but this time showcasing all your favourite Christmas films including a selection of ‘Nice’ films for kids such as The Grinch and Elf, as well as ‘Naughty’ films for adults like Bad Santa and Die Hard.

There will also be live actors as you pass through Santa’s mailroom tunnel, Santa’s House and the elf workshop. Tickets cost £40 per car.

Book Now.

Dunham Massey National Trust

Christmas at Dunham Massey

Another Christmas light trail, Dunham Massey will be taken over with a glittering festive winter wonderland. You’ll be ale to get mulled wine and hot chocolate as you take in the sights. Family tickets cost £60, adults cost £20 and children cost £13 with kids under the age of under two going free.

Book Now.

Car Park Panto/Facebook

Car Park Panto

The best way to get your panto kick this year is via a car park! Taking over AJ Bell Stadium in Salford on December 26th and 27th, expect five productions of Horrible Christmas across two days from Horrible Histories and Birmingham Stage Company. Tickets are £47 per car (plus £2.50 booking fee).

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Manchester, Albert Square

David Dixon/Geograph

Manchester’s Virtual Christmas Light Switch On

Three of Manchester’s NHS frontline workers will be switching on the lights this week while it is live streamed across the city. Exact details are yet to be confirmed so keep your eyes peeled!


Santa’s Grotto

Book a virtual trip to Santa’s Grotto in Lapland via the magic of video calls. You’ll get a fully personalised HD video experience and you can add on multiple guests so the whole family gets to experience the special occasion. Tickets are on sale now with dates from November 28th to December 20th.

Book Now.

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Manchester’s ‘biggest beer garden’ is now taking walk-ins

Just in time for the weekend!



@escapetofreightisland / Instagram

Just to make that Friday feeling a little sweeter, Manchester’s biggest beer garden is now accepting walk-ins.

It’s no secret that the whole ‘bookings-only’ system that many venues have been adopting across not only Manchester but the whole country is less than ideal – long gone are spontaneous trips and day seshes in the pub; strategically planning your impulsive pint is now a sad reality of post-lockdown Britain. 

So this news really couldn’t have come at a better time – the sun is shining, Manchester has gone longer than a week without any rain, and England are playing Scotland in the Euros tonight.

@escapetofreightisland / Instagram

Life. Is. Marvellous. 

Escape to Freight Island, the venue to boast Manchester’s biggest beer garden, has announced that its doors are now open to walk-ins, just in time for the weekend and Father’s Day on Sunday (you haven’t forgotten, have you?)

Since opening after the pandemic, the Depot Mayfield-based food and drinks hub has operated a strict ‘bookings only’ system under the ‘Safe + Social Manifesto’, a plan committed to maintaining a safe environment for everyone amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

But now that the world is starting to resemble a little normality again, the venue is starting to accept walk-ins.

@escapetofreightisland / Instagram

Freight Island boasts an impressive lineup, with a huge array of local food and drink vendors. 

Guests can swig on beers from Camden and Pomona Island, sip natural wines from Forever Changes, enjoy BBQ food from Baratuxri, pizza from Voodoo Rays, tacos from Madre, a selection of Italian dishes from Belzan Pasta Kitchen, delicious burgers from Patty Queen, Vietnamese delights from Mi & Pho, vegan offers from Plant Grill – and that doesn’t even scratch the surface.

So, if you’re fancying an evening (or an entire day) at this fabulous venue, you can now stroll on down without a booking – though, due to it’s popularity, walk-in space may be limited, so make sure you get down nice and early!

For more information, visit their website here.

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Legendary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes to host special black tie event in Manchester

You won’t want to miss this…



Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office / Flickr & Bowden Rooms / Facebook

For the first time ever in the North West, the legendary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes will be hosting an intimate black tie event. 

The evening, hosted at Altrincham’s Bowdon Rooms, will give guests the opportunity to experience an authentic red carpet event with live entertainment and art installations showcasing Sir Ranulph’s many expeditions.

The Grand Edwardian Ballroom will also be serving a spectacular three course meal as guests enjoy live on stage entertainment and take part in an auction offering one of a kind pieces of memorabilia.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office / Flickr

Sir Ranulph himself will also be in attendance where he will be doing meet-and-greets and photographs.

The explorer is famed for leading twenty-two major expeditions to remote parts of the world, including both the South Pole and the North Pole. 

He is also the only man alive to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface, and was the first explorer to completely cross the Antarctic continent unsupported.

Since 1969, when he led the British Expedition on the White Nile, Sir Ranulph has been at the forefront of many groundbreaking exploratory expeditions.

Commonwealth Secretariat / Flickr

And, in 2009 at the age of sixty-five, the explorer climbed to the summit of Mount Everest. As a result, he became the oldest Briton ever to summit the tallest mountain in the world.

Tickets include a three course meal with dietary options available. For more information and to buy your tickets you can head here.

Located in Bowdon, Altrincham, The Bowdon Rooms is an example of stunning Edwardian architecture with Art Deco influences in the immaculate interior. 

Dating back to 1903, the award-winning venue is a great choice for exclusive events with its abundance of old style charm and grandeur, authentic character and beautiful features.

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A huge new ‘oriental grocery experience’ and sushi restaurant is coming to Chinatown

Manchester’s Chinatown is set to get an exciting new addition…



Samuel May / Linkedin & Vinicius Benedit / Unsplash

A huge ‘oriental grocery experience’ and sushi restaurant has been given the go-ahead to set up shop in the heart of Manchester’s Chinatown. 

Now, the best part of going on holiday abroad is browsing the foreign supermarkets to see what weird and wonderful things they have on offer – and now, you’ll be able to do that right here in Manchester (though Fanta Lemon may not be included, sorry).

The Blue Whale Supermarket, which has stores dotted across not only the North West but the whole world, will be opening a 5,500 square foot high-end ‘oriental grocery experience,’ offering up fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and seafood, and a whole array of the wonderful foods and drinks from the other side of the world.

Samuel Mays / Linkedin

Shoppers can expect to find a selection of goods from countries like Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and beyond.

The supermarket will also boast a sixty-cover sushi restaurant – details surrounding their dining experience have been kept tightly under wraps so far, but it is known that they will be using fresh ingredients directly from their shelves, so it’s bound to be a good one. 

A further description of the project on Skyscraper City read: “Excited to have completed on yet another leasehold site acquisition for a new brand to enter the market – Blue Whale Oriental supermarket @ St James Tower, Manchester. 

Louis Hansel / Unsplash

“From the team at Bon Pan Asian restaurants, Blue Whale will be a brand new circa 5,500 sq ft high end oriental grocery experience offering fresh fruit and veg, Fish and Seafood, with a large 60 cover Sushi restaurant counter under a new brand Aka Sushi.”

The application to fit out the supermarket and restaurant at Unit 1 Charlotte Street has been accepted according to the Manchester City Council website, so we can hopefully expect some exciting things very soon!

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