Festive Activities in Manchester

Holly Eliza Temple

Winter Island @ Escape to Freight Island
Depot Mayfield, M1 2PZ

 
Hidden inside a freight depot, Escape to Freight Island is an eclectic new venue bringing people together with local food and drink vendors, culture and entertainment. The venue is currently fully outdoor, but is expanding on 30th October to open their heated indoor Ticket Hall boasting more local hospitality businesses, like The Jane EyreMi n Pho and Belzan Bistro and Deli. From November you can take full advantage of the space Depot Mayfield with Escape to Winter Island, as the venue is transformed into a fully outdoor, heated Christmas experience. With Manchester’s famous Christmas Markets cancelled, this is sure to be the biggest attraction this season, with a 45ft Christmas tree, festive food and drink, and entertainment programme to be announced.  Winter Island launches on 12th November. Bookings for Escape to Freight Island and Winter Island can be made here

 


Skate Manchester Ice Rink
Cathedral Gardens, M4 3BG
 

You don’t have to rely on snowfall in Manchester to put on your skates and gloves, with the Skate Manchester Ice Rink returning to Cathedral Gardens this year. Duck out of the rain under a fairy lit clear roof, with an even bigger rink this year giving you more room to socially-distanced skate. Open from 11am to 9pm, this is the perfect festive family day out or evening date idea. 
 
The Cathedral Gardens ice rink is open 17th November – 3rd January, with family tickets and season passes available – you can book your session online now.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Christmas @ The Drive In
Emirates Old Trafford, M16 0PX
 

Providing a nostalgic (and COVID-safe) cinema experience from your own car, The Drive In returns to Emirates Old Trafford for a programme of Christmas favourites. With family-friendly flicks like Elf, A Muppet Christmas Carol and Home Alone, or something for the grown-ups with Bridget Jones, The Holiday or Love Actually, you can keep warm inside the comfort of your own car, sit back and begin the countdown with a unique movie experience, with snacks and drinks ordered from your phone. And for those of you without a car itching to join the audience, private dome or chalet tickets are available for up to 6 people.
The Drive In comes to Manchester from 26th November – 13th December – book tickets here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Christmas Light Trail @ Dunham Massey
Altrincham, WA14 4SJ

 
If you’re after a bit of peace and quiet out of the crowded city of Christmas shoppers, book your tickets for the Christmas Light Trail at Dunham Massey. Guiding visitors through the National Trust gardens and deer park, you can forget all of your worries as you immerse yourself in colour-changing lights surrounded by shadows of trees and lakeland. In its fourth year, this after-dark attraction is bound to be more popular than ever, so don’t miss out. For a frosty afternoon outing, trail times start at 4:30pm, and end at 8:15pm for a night-time stroll ending with mulled wine.
 
The Christmas Light trail runs from 20th November – 30th December, and early booking is advised. 
 
 

East Lancashire Railway Festive Diner Experience
From Bury Bolton Street Station, BL9 0EY


For something a little different, The East Lancashire Railway has a host of experiences available to book, to take you back in time on a traditional steam engine. Starting from Bury and taking you on a 2 ¾ hour journey through the Irwell Valley, the Festive Diner Experience offers a welcome glass of fizz followed by a four course meal in a traditional dining carriage, complete with festive decorations, fairy lit stations and views of postcard villages (and maybe even some snow!)
 
Dining with Distinction offers a Festive Lunch for £49 per head or a Festive Diner for £58, running on selected dates throughout December. All menus, dates and booking details are available here.

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