7 Reasons Why Winter Is The Best Season Of Them All

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Wrap up warm and brave the Winter weather to enjoy one of these festive activities in Manchester...

1. The Christmas Markets

Because Winter just wouldn't be the same in Manchester without them! From mid-November to just before Christmas every year, the city centre is bustling with people browsing the Christmas Market cabins for nutcrackers, decorations, jewellery, knitwear, handmade soaps and musical instruments! 

You name a trinket and they’ll probably have it. We also have to mention the food and drinks! Be sure to browse armed with a nutella crepe, a hog roast roll, strudel and custard or Gluhwein (just to name a few!) 

The Christmas Markets are mainly concentrated on Albert Square, overlooked by Manchester’s enormous Town Hall Santa, Market Street and Exchange Square. 

The Christmas Markets are open until the 21st December. On Albert Square stalls open 10am to 9pm each day excluding 20th December when they open 10am-6pm, all other market sites open 10am-7:30pm in November and 10am-8pm in December. 

All other locations: Brazennose Street, King Street, St Ann's Square, Exchange Square, Exchange Street, Market Street, New Cathedral Street, The Corn Exchange and Cathedral Gardens.

2. Pop-up skating

This year, Manchester’s landmark London Road Fire Station building has been transformed into a winter wonderland! The Grade II listed building, now home to The Winter Gathering, has it’s own pop-up ice skating rink in the run-up to Christmas. 

With a street food stalls and bars aplenty it’s the perfect place to gather your friends and family and feel festive! DJs will play as you eat, drink and skate! London Road Fire Station will also be home to a pop-up art gallery throughout the festive season. 

The Winter Gathering event will be open until January 8th 2017. 

Winter Gathering at London Road #mancmade #notquitelight

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The Winter Gathering will run from Tuesday to Sunday throughout the festive season. Under 18s must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Admission for under 18s ends at 9pm and they can enjoy the fun on the ice until 10pm. 

Find tickets on sale here.

3. Festive films

We all love to curl up in front of the TV with our festive favourites, but this year, from Wednesday December 21st to Friday December 23rd a Christmas drive-in cinema will be opening at Old Trafford Football ground. Enjoy classic Christmas films on a 100 square metre cinema screen  from the comfort of your car. 

Audio for each film will be transmitted directly through your car's FM radio using a special frequency provided on arrival.  The Muppets Christmas Carol, Home Alone and Elf will play during this three-day film festival, perfect for a day out with the kids, or for the child at heart! 

Of course there will also be a screening of cult alternative festive-classic Die Hard. Though not strictly a Christmas movie, you'll find Die Hard on TV every year over Christmas. The film starring Bruce Willis takes place on Christmas eve and that's good enough for us! 


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On Wednesday December 21st you can see The Muppet Christmas Carol at 1:30pm, Home Alone at 6pm and Elf at 9:30pm. 

On Thursday December 22nd you can see Elf at 1:30pm, Home Alone at 6pm and Die Hard at 9.30pm.

On Friday December 23rd you can see Elf at 1:30pm, 6pm and 9pm. 

Book Tickets Here.

4. The January sales

Manchester’s fashionistas are always out in force to grab themselves a bargain in the January sales! Most of the shops in the Arndale Centre will start sales on boxing day, with some starting as early as Christmas Eve. 

You can also bag yourself some discounted designer goods at the city’s department stores such as Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Debenhams and House of Fraser and of course on super-chic King Street. 

The Boxing Day sales are not for the faint-hearted however, expect to see people queuing outside certain stores long before they open. 

Last year Manchester Arndale opened at 6am and the Trafford centre at 7am. Wake up early if you fancy rushing around the stores trying to find yourself a good deal - you might even burn off some of the turkey and trimmings in the process!

5. Christmas Jumpers

Speaking of shopping - one of our favourite Winter traditions is the gaudy Christmas jumper. Would we wear such an article at any other time of year? Of course not! Christmas gives us an excuse to wear a big, woolly, garish jumper and we couldn’t be happier about it.

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This Topshop Christmas Sequin Bauble Jumper has just the right amount of festive sparkle for £65.

6. Snow sports 

The chill in the air is the perfect excuse to try snow sports at Chill Factore...

Whether you’re experienced or a complete beginner you can take part in indoor skiing and snowboarding taster sessions and lessons with professional instructors, or of course, you can just do your own thing. You can also watch professionals from chill Factore’s viewing balconies whilst wrapped up warm with a hot drink. Watch Santa himself going down the slopes:

The Chill Factore at Trafford Quays Leisure Village opens 7:30am-10pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9am-11pm Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and 9am-10pm Sunday.

7. Watching the world go by

One of our favourite past-times in the winter months is watching the snow… Whilst we’re warm indoors with a hot cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate!

Coffee shops like Teacup in the Northern quarter are the perfect place to relax and enjoy a bit of people watching. Teacup’s large windows are perfect for watching people preparing for Christmas, the bustling crowds Christmas shopping on and around Thomas street and battling the snow or struggling with their umbrellas whilst sipping on a cup of tea and enjoying your favourite cake.

And so it begins ❄️☃ #winterishere #snowy

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Teacup on Thomas Street open from 8am-6pm Monday-Thursday, 8am-8pm Friday-Saturday and 9am-6pm on Sundays.

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Written By

Lucy Ireland

A connoisseur of all things vegan in this fine city! Afternoon tea enthusiast with a fondness for a good farmers market.