It’s a busy time of year for Santa. One minute he’s busy in his Lapland workship making toys for good children. The next he’s flying all over the world on his sleigh.
He’s heading to Victoria Baths next month for its Festive Winter Fair. He’ll be looking out for the huge chimney that once served the building. Let’s hope he doesn’t get stuck in it.
His grotto will be unlike any other. Children will be able to join Santa by the original fireplace in the males first class ticket office, where they’ll also receive an individual gift.
Whilst the kids are meeting Santa, adults can enjoy a special Victoria Baths festive shopping experience, with over 50 handpicked stalls assembled in the sports hall bringing together high quality, crafted jewellery, ceramics, art, print work, textiles, candles, edibles and festive decorations from local makers and artisans.
Mulled wine and mince pies will be served alongside sandwiches, cakes, scones and drinks in the tea room whilst the gift shop is the place for stocking fillers and presents that have a Victoria Baths appeal to them.
Musical accompaniment to the shopping and festive fun comes in the form of two choirs – the Artful Playground will be performing on Saturday and The Music Place filling the gala pool with their pitch-perfect sounds on Sunday.
For anyone curious about the stories behind Manchester’s magnificent Water Palace, Victoria Baths’ guides will share all the inside information about its history in the Discover Victoria Baths tour. In the Off Limits tour, they take visitors to the lesser-known parts of the building. This tour is a must if you’re a Peaky Blinders fan.
Tours start from 12 noon and are bookable in advance or on arrival.
The Festive Winter Fair takes place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November from 11am to 4pm at Victoria Baths. Admission is £5, or £10 including a guided tour. Admission is free for children under 16 years old and Friends of Victoria Baths (visitors can join the Friends membership scheme on the day to gain free entry).
Tickets for Santa’s grotto are £6.50 per child, which includes meeting Santa, a gift and free entry to the Festive Winter Fair for the child and one accompanying adult. A place must be booked for each child and all bookings can be done here.
All the money raised from Victoria Baths’ weekend events helps to keep this beautiful building open to the general public and supports the Trust’s long-term vision to bring back into their original use some of the building’s historic features, including the Turkish baths.