Remember remember…there’s so much more to November than Bonfire Night.
November can be a difficult month, it’s cold and dark and still a bit too early to start on the mulled wine… Unless you live in Manchester where Christmas starts as soon as the markets arrive, which means it’s totally acceptable to have a mulled wine on your lunch break. And if you’re not quite ready to get in the festive spirit, there’s a whole host of cold-weather friendly events happening in Manchester this month.
1. Book An Oche At Flight club
Social darts venue, Flight Club, has officially opened in Manchester’s King Street. The club has reinvented the game of darts which, until recently, had been played by men called Big Les in dingy pubs, using patented dart-tracking technology designed by Flight Club’s own astrophysicist. Each board sits under the gaze of three precision cameras, that together can identify the location of each dart with sub-millimetre accuracy. Click here to book your board. Ship Canal House, 98 King St, M2 4WU.
2. Support Grassroots Music Venues At Fightback Festival (From November 16-30)
Once considered the beating heart of new music in the UK, the grassroots music venues in Manchester that have nurtured so many world-famous musicians are now under threat, with an estimated 35 per cent being forced to close their doors in the last 10 years, according to Music Venue Trust. But the trust has a plan to bring some much-needed attention to our vital venues. From November 16-30 the Music Venue Trust will host a two-week festival, Fightback Manchester, celebrating Manchester’s vital grassroots music venues. Organisers of the new campaign hope that it will encourage audiences to visit their local independent venue and help promote Manchester’s emerging and existing musical talent. More information here. Various locations.
3. See The Christmas Lights Switch-On At The Trafford Centre (November 8)
Two of Manchester’s most loved musical acts, Manchester Camerata and the AMC gospel choir, will take the traditional Christmas lights switch-on event to new musical heights on November 8, mixing the traditional with the modern. Widely regarded as Britain’s most adventurous orchestra, Manchester Camerata will be kicking off the night with some of the most iconic and recognisable Christmas pieces before the AMC gospel choir join them to raise the roof of the iconic Main Dome. Click here for more information. Stretford, M17 8AA
4. Be One Of The First To Dine At The Ivy (from November 27)
The Ivy Spinningfields will open in Manchester on November 27, offering Mancunians a totally new dining experience set across four fabulous floors, making it the largest restaurant to open in the UK this year, with space for approximately 535 covers. The restaurant will feature a ground floor brasserie, first-floor private dining room, an opulent Asian bar and restaurant on the second floor, as well a sumptuous roof garden complete with fire pits and lush greenery on the top floor. More information here. The Pavillion, Byrom St, Spinningfields M3 3HG
5. Snuggle Up At Hatch’s Urban Narnia (November 15 – December 20)
Hatch in Manchester’s Oxford Road will be transformed into a winter wonderland with urban attitude this Christmas. A place where the surreal will meet the sublime, Christmas cheer will meet nano-brewed beer and the darkest of spaces will be given the brightest of touches. The food, drink and retail concept will stage a bespoke Christmas pop-up experience that will see Hatch transformed into an urban winter escape, complete with festive trees, twinkling Christmas lights, heaters, blankets and a programme of exciting events and entertainment. For more information click here. Oxford Rd, M1 7ED
6. Stay Cosy In Your Mancunian Christmas Jumper
Christmas jumpers have become the ultimate form of seasonal self-expression and this year, GeekCore is helping Mancunians (and honourary Mancs) get in the festive spirit while supporting local charities with the I Love MCR charity Christmas jumper. The jumper features a Christmas tree built with 22 bees, on a gold background. A spokesman for GeekCore said 100 per cent of the profits from the Manchester Bee Christmas Jumper will be donated to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, the We Love MCR Charity and the Barnabus Manchester Charity. More info here.
7. Visit The Christmas Markets (from November 9)
The time is almost upon us. Traders from across the North West and Europe are preparing to descend on Albert Square, as Manchester is set to transform into the UK’s Christmas capital on Friday (November 9). The markets will see the city filled with international food and drink, provided by Manchester’s finest street food vendors and crafters. As well as more than 300 stalls, beautifully festooned (any excuse to use that word) chalets which will be spread across the city centre and the famous windmill bars. Click here for more information. Albert Square.
8. Have A Drink At The Bar In The UK’s First Ice Village (from November 9)
Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens will be transformed into an Ice Village this Christmas, complete with ice sculpture cave, ice bar, ice rink, Santa’s grotto and even a steam train! The train (made entirely from ice!) will take visitors on a tour the village, while the star of the show will be the ice cave, an immersive walk-through experience with a chilled ice bar and a menu of special festive drinks and cocktails. More information here.
10. Visit The Trafford Centre’s Peter Rabbit Grotto (November 14 – December 24)
The Trafford Centre has announced the theme for this years Christmas grotto and it’s so heartwarmingly nostalgic I can barely type. Beatrix Potter’s most loved character, Peter Rabbit, will be brought to life in an immersive Christmas grotto experience that will be outside the Great Hall throughout the festive period. Click here to book tickets.
11. Have Christmas Dinner At The Peaky Blinders Bar (from November)
A Peaky Blinders-themed bar and restaurant will open in Manchester’s Peter Street before Christmas. The news comes after signs have appeared in the windows of Pan Asian restaurant Sakana, advertising the opening of the venue. Sakana closed on October 1 and a statement on the restaurant’s website said it would be closed for two months for a full refurbishment and is scheduled to re-open this month. For more information click here.
12. Find Manchester’s New Secret Bar
There’s no shortage of secret bars in Manchester, but we’re also happy to welcome a new one. Especially bars like Bring & Mix, a password only BYOB speakeasy that opened today (November 2) in a secret location. The bespoke cocktail experience is set in the roaring 1920’s when prohibition had taken hold of the city and the only way to satisfy your cocktail urges was by getting the password to a secret establishment. All you need is a bottle (or two, or three!) of your favourite spirits and the bar staff will do the rest. More information here.
13. Be The Best Dressed At Deaf Institute’s Disney-themed club night (November 9)
We love a themed night, not just for the fancy dress opportunities, but because they’re a safe space where revellers can embrace their musical obsession with like-minded folk, judgment-free! On November 9, Deaf Institute will host a party that’s guaranteed to end in happily ever after, even if it’s just for one night. The club is promising to take you on a magic carpet ride to a whole new world where you can dress up as your favourite Disney princess (or prince) and sing along to the songs that shaped your youth. Get your ticket here.
14-17. Head To The Pictures And Escape The Cold
Some hotly-rated movies are ready to land in Manchester cinemas this month. Jake Gyllenhall and Carey Mulligan will star in moving drama Wildlife from first-time director Paul Dano, Widows will offer a bad-ass revenge-heist thriller with political overtones and the story of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where British forces attacked a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Manchester, will be brought to the big screen in Peterloo. Meanwhile, Potterheads will want to catch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald when it drops on November 16.
18. Visit The UK’s First Toastie Restaurant
Toasties are the ultimate convenience food, all you need is bread, cheese and fire and you’ve got yourself a tasty sandwich. Frankie’s Toasties, the UK’s first toastie restaurant, has opened in Manchester, offering ‘straight up’ toasties with a selection of outrageously good fillings, including Nutella, Supernoodles, alphabet spaghetti and loads more. 98a Portland St, M1 4GX.