The festive season has finally arrived and is in full swing, and naturally, we’re seeking out the very best ways to make the most of it before it inevitably comes to an abrupt end. Fancy celebrating in style this year? Here’s everything that team Secret Manchester is looking forward to this Christmas.
1. Grab a Yorkshire pudding wrap at Porky Pigs
When it comes to Manchester’s market traders, Porky Pig is iconic. Popping up every single year, the beloved stall offers up their now-famous Yorkshire pudding wraps, which are stuffed with pretty much an entire roast dinner and smothered in gravy before being sealed to perfection on the grill. It’s not a successful Christmas without one, that’s for sure.
2. Practise your skating skills at Winter Island
New to Manchester for 2021, Escape to Freight Island has created a wonderful ‘Winter Island‘, with its very own ice rink sitting on a brand new mezzanine under the Depot Mayfield’s historic roof. Glide across the ice while taking in the festive atmosphere, with tons of live entertainment taking place below in the Ticket Hall and even more festive food and drink available to order across the venue. If you haven’t visited yet, Escape to Freight Island is one of the biggest hotspots in the city right now, so you’re guaranteed to be in for a fun night.
3. Catch a Christmas film at the Everyman Cinema
There’s no better cinema experience than cosying up on the sofas at Everyman Cinema – especially at Christmastime. Get comfortable in front of the big screen on your very own private sofa, while enjoying the luxury of food and drink delivered right to your seat by the hospitable team.
4. Browse quirky Christmas gifts at the annual markets
It might be a novelty, but that’s kind of the point. Here once a year only, Manchester’s wonderful market traders have some lovely, quaint gifts to explore – even if it’s just to have a look. From cute, festive ornaments to locally made crafts, there’s tons to explore.
5. Immerse yourself in all things festive at Miracle on Cross Street
New for 2021, Miracle on Cross Street might just be the most Christmassy bar Manchester has ever seen. Fully decked out with all the festive decor, guests can feel like they’ve been transported into a Christmas film at the brand new venue, with plenty of festive treats on offer during your visit.
6. Grab some Christmas shopping under the festive roof of the Trafford Centre
There’s nowhere better for shopping in Manchester than the Trafford Centre. It’s kind of like the holy mecca for retail addicts, with tons of big names under one roof. But what makes it extra special? Its unique architecture resembles the grand baroque era, and is annually decked out with sparkling Christmas lights once the festive season comes around.
7. Get lost in a trail of Christmas lights
Manchester’s Christmas lights are officially back, and just like recent years, people enjoying the city can enjoy a huge trail of them spanning across some of the most popular areas in town. It’s free to do, and perfect for festive strolls in the evening.
8. Cosy up in one of the city’s historic pubs with a warming glass of wine
Nothing beats kicking back in a pub on a cold day, and luckily for us, Manchester is absolutely full of ’em. From the Marble Arch to the Peveril of the Peak, there’s plenty to choose from – with many of which serving up proper hearty grub and warming glasses of mulled wine.
9. Enjoy Christmas Carols at The Refuge
Hosting a number of events throughout the festive season, The Refuge is taking things back to tradition, with a number of lovely Carol services coming up throughout the season. Taking place every weekend, the events are the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit, before tucking into a delicious Christmas dinner, courtesy of The Refuge.
10. Catch a Panto at the Opera House
Nothing says Christmas quite like a pantomime, and thankfully, the Manchester Opera House has just the sauce for panto lovers this festive season. This year’s panto is in the form of the classic Aladdin, with shows taking place from December 11th, right through until January 2nd – giving fans plenty of time to get their fix this year.
11. Indulge in a hot chocolate by the campfire at Ramona
Another new instalment for Christmas 2021, Ramona has opened its very own Winter Village, consisting of a huge tipi to take cover under, a warming campfire, live music and a number of good old festive treats to enjoy. Think mulled wine and drool-worthy hot chocolates, alongside their beloved menu of Detroit-style pizzas and cookies.
12. Sit in Costa on Market Street and watch the world go by
Need a retreat? One of our favourite places to hide away is the Costa right at the bottom of Market Street, which, at Christmas, looks out onto the alpine huts that house tons of festive gifts. If you manage to get a seat in the window, it’s a great spot to watch the world go by, undoubtedly a little condensed from the warm atmosphere of the coffee shop.
13. Most importantly, drink plenty of festive tipples!
The greatest thing you can do at almost any corner of Manchester this winter? Knock back a few festive tipples! Whether it’s a warming hot chocolate that’s your flavour, a brandy or a mulled wine – there’s plenty of places serving the very best Christmas-themed drinks this year. Eat, drink and be merry – as they say!