Manchester’s Best Christmas events of 2016

Manchester is well known as ‘The Christmas Capital’ of the UK, and with the festive season fast approaching there is something for everyone in store. From celebrities switching on the lights to mulled wine at the world famous markets there certainly will be Christmas spirit in the air in Manchester.

Manchester’s Christmas Light Switch-On

Christmas in Manchester this year kicks off on November 4th with the famous light switch on in Albert Square. The event is attended by thousands every year and features a star studded line up. X Factor star Louisa Johnson will take to to stage as well a John Thomson, known for his role in Cold Feet. The 10 second countdown will see comedian and actor Paddy McGuinness and Coronation Street star Brooke Vincent push the big button, illuminating Manchester.


A firework spectacular follows the switch on and the Town Hall’s famous ‘Zippy Santa’ will once again sit overlooking the festivities in the Square.

The event is free to attend offering live music, fireworks, and entertainment thought. The official festivities start at 7:30pm although people are advised to arrive early as the area will be sealed off once Albert Square is full.

You can find out more about the light switch on on Visit Manchester.

Manchester’s Christmas Markets

Manchester’s world famous European Christmas markets will once again spread across the city center this month, starting November 10th and lasting until December 21st.


Every year the markets attract tourists from all over the Europe, securing Manchester’s name as The Christmas Capital. The authentic chalet’s will span across 10 sites through the city this year, offering a wide range of beer, wine, food, gifts and more from all around the world. There will be live music from various artists around the city and the much loved Windmill Bar will return to Cathedral Gardens, the perfect place to put your feet up after a long day shopping and enjoy a glass of mulled wine.

People are getting into the festive spirit now as they look forward the Christmas descending on Manchester once again.

The markets this year will span across 10 sites: Albert Square, Market Street, Exchange Square, Corn Exchange, Exchange Street, New Cathedral Street, King Street, St Ann’s Square, Brazennose Street and Cathedral Gardens.

The main site at Albert Square will be open from 10.00am daily until 9.00pm. You can find out more about the markets on Visit Manchester.

Manchester Ice

Along side the Christmas markets this year, there will be a new addition. A brand new ice rink coming to Cathedral Gardens between November 4th and January 8th.


London Road Fire Station will be transformed into a winter wonderland this Christmas as the Christmas markets return again but this year sees a new ice skating rink open to the public. Families can enjoy ice skating around the historic site full of festive cheer. Visitors can indulge in street food, music, art gallery, bars and hundreds of shopping stalls.

Tickets are available on the door or you can book in advance on the website.

There are many more festive events happening around the city this Christmas including festive shopping at the Arndale center, The Trafford Center and The Lowry Outlet. Mark these key dates in your diary as Christmas in Manchester is not to be missed.

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