Close this search box.

Christmas extravaganza Winter Island set for November return

One of the UK's largest fully outdoor heated Christmas festivals will open their magical winter wonderland next month

Winter Island is making a return to Escape to Freight Island, opening on Saturday November 12th.

One of the UK’s largest festivals with space for nearly 2,000 people, Winter Island will transform the food hall and its outdoor space into a magical winter wonderland.

This year’s edition will feature an incredible selection of food and drink, a Christmas tree forest, an ice rink in the sky, festive traders, a pop-up market and much, much more.

There will also be Christmas workshops and events to keep kids entertained with something for everyone to get involved in.

Booking ahead is advised, which you can do by clicking here.

Food and drink will be available from Escape Freight Island’s much-loved traders: Burgerism, Carnival, Lucky Foot, Voodoo Ray’s, The Smoking Coal, One Star Döner Bar, Mi & Pho, Forever Changes and The Jane Eyre.

But that’s not all.

Manchester’s culinary scene will be showing what it can do as local traders strut their stuff.

There will be banging grilled cheese from Northern Soul, award winning pies from the Great North Pie Co., and warming hot chocolates from Cocoa Cabana where guests can build their own hot chocolate and even spice them up with a bit of booze.

There will be a classic Mulled Wine Barrell bar with all the classics for traditionalists and a special vimto mulled wine in the mix too for those who want to try something new.

An Après Bar from Grey Goose joins the bar line-up, plus a brand-new pub-inspired Freight Tap Room serving the finest draft and craft beers.

After enough food and drink to get you in the mood for a dance, you can get moving to some of the UK’s finest selectors.

The line up has been carefully curated to pump up this festive season and includes: Norman Jay MBE, Greg Wilson, Dele Sosimi, DJ Paulette, Crazy P, Krysko, and a special takeover from Flash at Pikes Ibiza.

More into live performance?

Not a problem.

You can get down to music from Massaoke, Hip Hop Karaoke, The House and Garage Orchestra, AMC Gospel Choir, The Incredible 11 and Finesse.

If sport is more your thing, every World Cup Game that England play in will be shown on a big screen as part of the Festival of Football.

Still in the market for Christmas presents? Look no further!

Winter Island will host its own craft market where you can pick up presents for friends and family.

The winter market will be home to Gra-Design who specialise in handcrafting minimalistic contemporary homewares and ceramics; MissPrint for exceptional stationary, gift wraps and cards; Rare Finds Flea Market for vintage and handmade pieces; Zara Cakes for tasty treats; and screen printing available for t-shirs, bags and more.

For those who want to get creative and create their own masterpieces, Winter Island has teamed up with various workshop organisers to help you create the perfect gifts for your loved ones.

Wonderhaus will craft Jewellery, Macrame, Jesmonite; Cork and Canvas as well as Cork and Clay will offer their signature art classes; Sally Guilford from Salford Makers will host a screen-printing class; plus, wreath and candle making workshops too.

In a bid to be as inclusive as possible, those visiting with young family members can enjoy a series of fun events at the dedicated family zone.

There will be a Santa’s Grotto, pop up pantomimes, cinema club and events held by Teach Rex, Our Kids Social and Circus House for the kids to enjoy.

Winter Island opens on Wednesday to Sunday only from Saturday 12th November, and opens seven days a week from Wednesday 7th December until Friday 30th December.

Opening hours are 4pm to 11pm Monday to Thursday, 4pm to 1am Friday, 12pm to 1am Saturday, 12pm to 10pm Sunday.

It will be Closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

A New Year’s Eve special event is set to be announced soon.

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

Want to be the first to receive all the latest news stories, what’s on and events from the heart of Manchester? Sign up here.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to [email protected]

Close this search box.