Have a merry Manchester Christmas!

From world famous Christmas Markets to ice villages and festive light trails, Manchester is the UK’s capital of Christmas and no mistake. And after a year of cancellations, we’re more than ready to celebrate in style for 2022.

What's on in Manchester this Christmas?

Manchester’s Christmas Markets have been attracting visitors to the city centre since the late ‘90s. They’ve been voted the best in the UK, and with over 300 stalls offering everything from homemade crafts and toys to gifts and garments, not to mention the obligatory whopping bratwurst sausages and mugs of steaming mulled wine, it’s easy to see why. Millions of visitors have enjoyed the markets over the last two decades and they have become one of the UK’s most popular festive events, attracting fans from around the globe.

It’s not just about the markets, of course. The Christmas Lights switch-on has always marked the start of Christmas in the city, attracting a crowd of thousands as well as a host of famous faces. In recent years, the city has been home to a stunning Ice Village with a magical ice cavern full of spectacular sculptures, an ever-popular ice rink, and a raft of bars and food stalls. Or if a festive light trail is more your thing, the Lightopia festival features magical and multi-sensory interactive lights, lanterns and installations at Heaton Park. The immersive experience is the perfect Christmas adventure for family and friends.

Festive food and drink plays a big part in the city’s celebrations, of course. From special seasonal menus in the city’s restaurants to street food stalls lining the streets, local businesses go the extra mile to make Christmas special. No wonder Manchester is so popular for Christmas parties.

And in the true spirit of Christmas, the season also brings out the charitable side of big-hearted Mancs. From local restaurants feeding the homeless to charity appeals meaning disadvantaged children in Greater Manchester are able to wake to presents on Christmas Day, Mancunians know that Christmas is all about giving.

If all that’s not enough, the city was voted one of the best Christmas destinations for 2021 in top international magazine, Forbes – the only UK destination to make the list. We can’t say we’re surprised.

Happy Christmas, Manchester!

Manchester Christmas Lights Switch On 2021

Date: 12 November 2021

The annual Christmas Light Switch-on event is usually one of the biggest events of the year attracting thousands of people into the city centre to start the festive season with a bang.

The pandemic has meant that the usual event could not go ahead this year, but three NHS workers will have the honour of pushing the button on this year’s lights, who will be joined by some of Manchester’s front-line health and social care workers.

The small, socially distanced event will take place at Manchester Cathedral on Wednesday, 2 December at 6.45pm and will be live on BBC Radio Manchester, BBC North West Tonight and live streamed on social media for people to enjoy safely from home.

Interviews with the NHS staff chosen to switch on this year’s lights will also appear on BBC Breakfast and on social media.

Manchester Christmas Markets 2022 dates and locations

It’s official! Manchester’s Christmas Markets are the best in the UK. Manchester was the first city in the UK to host dedicated Christmas markets. 20 years later, we’re still the UK’s number one.

Christmas Markets 2022 opening dates

The markets will officially be open to the public from Thursday, 10th November to Thursday 22nd December 2022, with certain areas reopening after Christmas into the New Year.

Christmas Markets 2022 opening hours

10am until 9pm every day – exact times to be announced.

Christmas Markets 2022 locations

Winter Gardens at Piccadilly Gardens, King Street, St Ann’s Square, New Cathedral Street, Exchange Square, Market Street and Cathedral Gardens.

Lightopia Festival is a magical display of illumination in Heaton Park Manchester. The award winning Lightopia is back and ready to light up Heaton Park this Christmas brighter than ever with brand new installations and routes. Embark on a magical journey through our new Fantasy themed light trail through the parklands. Showcasing bright immersive installations, colourful lasers, and water shows, this is a festive wonderland for all ages. Tickets for 2022 are now on sale…

4 December 2021 - 2 January 2022

The Original Silcock's Winter Wonderland Manchester is back!

The festive magic returns to Manchester with Silcock’s Winter Wonderland Manchester from 4th December 2021 to 2nd January 2022, the UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park sponsored by Boohoo and BoohooMAN, returns to EventCity next to the Trafford Centre.

Where to have your party this Christmas

“The Chronicles of The Lowry Hotel” – this season will be one you won’t want to miss at The Lowry Hotel, step into Narnia and enjoy the best Christmas parties in Manchester.

Experience an enchanting evening like no other when you step through the wardrobe doors on our shared party nights.

The Lowry Hotel’s party nights are famous for great food, service and atmosphere. We have key dates available for our Narnia at night Christmas shared party nights which include a festive feast, a DJ, festive crackers and novelties for The Lowry Hotel’s wonderful Christmas.

Enjoy a drink on arrival followed by a decadent and festive three course meal followed by further refreshments and dancing till 1am.

Party nights are available on select dates throughout December from £72.50 per person, with a non-refundable deposit of £25pp.

Christmas 2022 promises to be fantastic!

Atlas Bar has a range of menus and spaces to choose from so no matter what your size of party or however extravagant or low-key you want Christmas to be, they can look after you.

Christmas party menus start from £10 per person, or for an easier casual party night why not treat your party to Christmas barms from £6 each, or they even do canapes from just £2.50 per choice.

Make a bigger deal of your party and go for one of their Christmas Buffets for just £18 per person and as well as amazing Christmas sandwiches you’ll also get an amazing selection of dishes and the much-needed mince pies!

For all dates available and any party enquiries, simply email enquiries@atlasbarmanchester.com

Are you planning a festive event with your friends, family or colleagues? If so, Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel is for you.

We have everything you need for the perfect festive get-together. We have a range of private suites available for up to 800 guests. From decorations and entertainment to selected wines and indulgent menus, our elves are on hand to add that festive sparkle to your celebrations.

  • Private party nights priced from £45pp for a 3-course party dinner including Live DJ and after-party bar.

The Roaring 1920s are back with style. Whether you’re joining us with colleagues, friends or family, we have the ultimate party night for you. Join us for a unique celebration and enjoy a delicious three-course meal with the finest festive flavours before our DJ gets everyone on the dance floor. Are you ready old sport?

  • Roaring 20s parties priced at £55pp for a 3-course meal, DJ and dancing.

Make it one to remember!

Manchester Hall has everything to offer all year round, especially at Christmas time.

With over 13 different function spaces, set across 5 floors, from Masons Restaurant on the Ground Floor, to our John Rylands Terrace which holds up to 500 guests, Manchester Hall has it all to offer.

A choice of menus are available for all parties, from elegant affairs to more traditional festive feasts, plus lots of entertainment to make your party extra special.

Menus start from £54 per person for a three course meal or £39 per person for a selection of canapes

Party at Manchester’s most Christmassy restaurant! Rosso Restaurant is the perfect place for your festive celebration.

In true Rosso style the Christmas menu has been refined to provide you with a meal like no other.

A beautiful three-course menu is available throughout the Festive period, with a selection of Italian delights including Crocchette Di Pesce, Branzino and a Rosso-style Christmas dinner. Every menu is lightly finished with Cheesecake Al Cappucino.

Festive menus available at lunch for £40 per person from Midday to 4pm, dinner is £50 per person and served from 4pm onwards.

Availability at varying times for large parties – booking required.

Whether you’re looking for a festive dinner in James Martin’s restaurant or a Christmas party package within their exclusive event space, their dedicated event team is on hand to create the perfect one-of-a-kind celebration for you.

Our shared parties include a glass of bubbly on arrival, delicious three-course Christmas menu, Live entertainment, free bet and an after-dinner DJ in Vega Bar till late. Prices start at just £40pp.

Minimum spend and T&Cs apply.

Festive Dining at James Martin Manchester can be enjoyed with a traditional yet lavish Christmas Dinner, starting at just £38 for two courses, or book your private festive party event from £29pp (minimum 30 guests)

In time for the start of the world famous Christmas Markets in Manchester, we are launching our three course Festive Menu!

Enjoy three courses for £40 per person from the set menu, in our 2 AA Rosette Awarded Podium Restaurant. Perfect for work Christmas Parties or for dinner before heading out to the Markets!

Bookable online for up to 20 people. Groups larger than 20 are welcome; please contact the venue for information. Please note groups of 10 or more require a preorder.

Take the stress out of your festivities this year. Christmas bookings are now open at Australasia, and we are ready to welcome parties large or small into our haven of laid-back luxe.

Opt for our 3 or 4 wave sharer menu or delicious 4 wave vegan menu designed to take you on a Christmas journey around the Pacific Rim.

Enjoy something a bit more chic with our festive afternoon tea in the luxurious surroundings of Sunset.

Priced from £39 per person for the 3-wave menu and from £45.50 for the 4-wave menu.

3 wave menu available 12noon – 3pm only.

It’s das season of celebration at Albert’s Schloss.

Chefs have created an Alpine-inspired Winter menu for your delectation, including Cook Haus Klassics and some festive creations, alongside authentic festive smorgasboards. Wunderbar!

Winter in the Cook Haus will see a variety of indulgent dishes being served, with Bäkery items including Pretzel Haus, a Haus pretzel served either plain or as a Cheese & Bacon or Jalapeño Pretzel, each served warm with Haus mustard.

Christmas party bookings are available from 14th November to 24th December 2022 priced from £35 per person for four courses or £40 for five courses.

£10 per person deposit required at booking

Christmas. Advent. Winter Solstice. Whatever you call it, the season to be jolly rolls around every year.

As Manchester’s most prestigious gastro pub, guests can expect an unrivalled festive feast. Beautifully crafted by head chef Ben Chaplin, The Winter Tavern will offer The Black Friar’s Christmas menu.

Enjoy a selection of starters, mains and desserts ranging from Winter classics to more adventurous dishes.

All Christmas bookings include crackers and freshly baked mince pies, with evening bookings also including a glass of prosecco for each guest. Lunch starts at just £27pp, and dinner £35.

The Pen and Pencil is one of the Northern Quarter’s most vibrant bars & 
restaurants and at Christmas they don’t hold back!

Menus to suit every budget and party size; have a full sit-down two or three course meal or be as casual as you want with sliders and a buffet.

Buffet package starts at £25 per person, set menu is prices at £20 for 2 courses or £26 for 3 courses per person.

Deposits, pre-payments and minimum spends apply to party bookings.

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with The Botanist and indulge in a selection of seasonal showstoppers.

Whether with friends, family or colleagues, celebrate those long-awaited Christmas get-togethers over mouth-watering dishes and wonderful concoctions from the bar.

Filled with seasonal delights and well-loved festive favourites, there is something for everyone on the delicious Christmas Set Menu.

2-course lunch from £27.95 per person, 3 course dinner menus from £34.95 per person. Both menus include an alcoholic or non-alcoholic cocktail.

This festive season, Manchester will be merry as the city’s destination venue, Ducie Street Warehouse will present a warm Christmas programme from Thursday 17th November with something for everyone.

The Festive Dining Menu has a selection of starters, mains and desserts. Two courses are priced at £35 per person available every day for lunch. Three courses are priced at £40 per person for Monday to Wednesday, and £45 per person for Thursday to Sunday.

Take the hassle out of your Christmas meal plans and take a traditional yuletide trip on luxuriously appointed festive dinners with East Lancashire Railways.

These evening meals are ideal for work parties, friendly gatherings or just a Christmas feast with those most important to you. Settle in and soak up the atmosphere on one of the wonderfully turned-out carriages, then enjoy your food as the twilight Irwell Valley glides by on the other side of the window.

Indulge in an enchanting evening meal complete with all the trimmings and festive foodie favourites. Dinner on the Christmas steam trains are the best way to celebrate the season in style.

  • A 2 and ¾ hour steam train ride through the Irwell Valley
  • A welcome glass of fizz
  • A traditional four course festive meal followed by tea or coffee and homemade mince pies

Make your Christmas effortlessly classy with a gem of Manchester’s Italian food scene.

Christmas party bookings available throughout December for your family, friends and colleagues.

Have a decadent Italian Christmas party, a three course menu is available from £34.99 per person

★ Book early to get yourself a little reward: book for December before the end of November to get a £50 voucher to use in 2023

Looking for somewhere to enjoy the best of British hospitality and a hearty British festive dinner? Perhaps you need a venue for your Christmas do? Sam’s Chop House is the place for you.

Let us sprinkle a little bit of our Chop House Christmas magic over your festive season. You can ever join us on Christmas Day itself, and hand over all of the faff.

Choose from a tasty selection of dishes including whipped burrata and ham hock terrine for your starter, and mains include salmon, porchetta and the classic Sam’s traditional turkey dinner.

3 course Christmas party menu priced at £54.99 per person

Other places to visit this Christmas

Home to a mouthwatering mix of restaurants and activity in the heart of the city centre.

Offering an eclectic selection of restaurants, with a menu for every taste and an exciting array of leisure activities to keep you captivated from brunch to cocktails.

Great Northern is perfectly positioned in the heart of the city centre as the perfect place to eat, drink, meet and play.

Our Grade II listed warehouse, public square and the longest Victorian terrace in Europe all fit together to create a must-visit destination in the city centre.

Discover an enticing and distinctive shopping experience, right at the heart of the city. Within one of Manchester’s most iconic buildings, you’ll find some of the world’s favourite high-street brands, chic independent stores and luxury boutiques.

The number one spot in the heart of Manchester for days out with the kids, nights out with your mates and everything in between.

With 14 bars and restaurants, leisure activities for every age and one of the largest IMAX screens in Europe, Printworks has it all.

We’re here to help when it comes to Christmas, Be Inspired to try something different.

Whether you’re looking for gifts for the whole family, fabulous food to serve at home, or something to keep the kids happy on your shopping trip – you’ll find all the information you need on the website.

Magical Manchester events this Christmas

Gift Guide

News about Christmas in Manchester