Things to do in Winter in Manchester

Winter is a season full of celebration. Over the months of December, January and February we’re taken on a rollercoaster of events, including Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day – not to mention all the festivities in between. It’s the time to spend with loved ones, whether that’s your family, your partner or yourself! And Manchester has lots of events and activities in store this winter to get the party started…

Kate Rusby at Christmas

Kate Rusby at Christmas

1 Dec

The Lowry

From£24.00

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IndieFlicks Monthly Short Film Festival - Manchester

Festival

IndieFlicks Monthly Short Film Festival - Manchester

2 Dec

YES

From£8.00

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Beat the Frog

Comedy

Beat the Frog

2 Dec

Frog And Bucket

From£6.00

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Dido

Gig

Dido

3 Dec

O2 Apollo

From£39.00

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The Comet Is Coming

Gig

The Comet Is Coming

4 Dec

Gorilla

From£19.00

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Midland

Gig

Midland

4 Dec

O2 Ritz

From£26.00

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The Midnight Beast - 10th Anniversary Tour

Gig

The Midnight Beast - 10th Anniversary Tour

5 Dec

Manchester Academy

From£37.00

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Poets of the Fall

Gig

Poets of the Fall

5 Dec

Gorilla

From£22.00

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Donell Jones Valentines Concert

Gig

Donell Jones Valentines Concert

5 Dec

O2 Ritz

From£34.00

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We Were Promised Jetpacks

Gig

We Were Promised Jetpacks

6 Dec

Gorilla

From£17.00

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Angel Haze

Club

Angel Haze

6 Dec

Manchester Academy

From£18.00

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Angel Haze (Academy 3, Manchester)

Gig

Angel Haze (Academy 3, Manchester)

6 Dec

Council Chambers, Manchester University Students Union

From£15.00

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Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics

Club

Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics

7 Dec

Manchester Arena

From£54.00

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Manchester Music Tour Special

Gig

Manchester Music Tour Special

7 Dec

Vinyl Revival

From£30.00

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Celebration: Manchester

Gig

Celebration: Manchester

7 Dec

St. Ann's Church

From£7.00

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Gorton Philharmonic 2019 Christmas Concert with Carols

Gig

Gorton Philharmonic 2019 Christmas Concert with Carols

8 Dec

The Monastery

From£4.00

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Devin Townsend

Gig

Devin Townsend

10 Dec

Albert Hall

From£33.00

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The Darkness

Gig

The Darkness

13 Dec

Manchester Academy

From£29.00

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Alabama 3 ...A Celebration of Cold Harbour Lane

Gig

Alabama 3 ...A Celebration of Cold Harbour Lane

13 Dec

O2 Ritz

From£31.00

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Rob Beckett - Wallop

Comedy

Rob Beckett - Wallop

13 Dec

O2 Apollo

From£27.00

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AJR

Gig

AJR

14 Dec

Manchester Academy

From£20.00

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Chameleons Vox - Home Is Where The Heart Is: The Ritz Set March 1985

Gig

Chameleons Vox - Home Is Where The Heart Is: The Ritz Set March 1985

14 Dec

O2 Ritz

From£26.00

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Rob Beckett

Comedy

Rob Beckett

14 Dec

O2 Apollo

From£28.00

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Fisher Stevens as ELVIS!

Gig

Fisher Stevens as ELVIS!

14 Dec

Longfield Suite

From£17.00

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Mark Lanegan Band

Gig

Mark Lanegan Band

15 Dec

Manchester Academy

From£27.00

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VIENNESE CHRISTMAS by Candlelight

Gig

VIENNESE CHRISTMAS by Candlelight

15 Dec

Manchester Central

From£21.00

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Swede Dreamz

Gig

Swede Dreamz

17 Dec

Longfield Suite

From£14.00

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Bury Tomorrow

Gig

Bury Tomorrow

20 Dec

Manchester Academy

From£25.00

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Dan Reed Network | GUN | FM

Gig

Dan Reed Network | GUN | FM

20 Dec

Manchester Academy

From£31.00

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We Love the 90's - Prime View

Gig

We Love the 90's - Prime View

20 Dec

Manchester Arena

From£55.00

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Shed Seven Official Manchester Aftershow Party With Rick Witter

Club

Shed Seven Official Manchester Aftershow Party With Rick Witter

20 Dec

Night People

From£11.00

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Grade 2

Gig

Grade 2

20 Dec

Star and Garter

From£7.00

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Motel California (Eagles Tribute)

Gig

Motel California (Eagles Tribute)

20 Dec

Longfield Suite

From£14.00

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Jack Whitehall: Stood Up

Comedy

Jack Whitehall: Stood Up

21 Dec

Manchester Arena

From£121.00

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Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra

Gig

Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra

22 Dec

O2 Apollo

From£40.00

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Definitely Mightbe + Ocean Colour Scheme

Gig

Definitely Mightbe + Ocean Colour Scheme

22 Dec

O2 Ritz

From£18.00

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Dirt Box Disco 10th Anniversary Show

Gig

Dirt Box Disco 10th Anniversary Show

28 Dec

Rebellion Bar

From£14.00

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Apf Records Showcase Iii

Gig

Apf Records Showcase Iii

1 Feb

The Bread Shed

From£14.00

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Andy Scott February Sax Workshop

Gig

Andy Scott February Sax Workshop

15 Feb

The Manchester College Shena Simon Campus

From£130.00

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MEta test

Gig

MEta test

21 Feb

Fatsoma Limited

From£6.00

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Each year, hundreds of stalls pop up across the city centre and in local towns selling everything and anything from food, craft beers, unusual gifts, quirky household items, artisan jewellery, handcrafted goods, soaps and bath products, vintage style children’s toys and much more. With good reason, Manchester’s Christmas markets are an anticipated event of the year, attracting hoards of visitors to its alpine-styled chalets and wooden huts. But Christmas doesn’t stop there, as Manchester hosts a range of Christmas events and activities, from ice-skating in the park to visiting Winter Funland and lots of parties and performances. And let’s all raise a glass of mulled wine to the start of pantomime season too (oh no we didn’t, oh yes we did)!

In quick succession of Christmas, Manchester prepares to tribute its legacy as one of the best cities for a wild party. New Year’s Eve brings a whole heap of mega club nights alongside family-friendly ways to ring in midnight. Then, just as the lull and those oh-so-familiar January blues set in, the city begins prepping for the next big event on the calendar; Saint Valentine’s Day. You may not be in Paris – the capital of romance, but the northern city still has a ton of inspiring date ideas to discover with your significant other. For those less lucky in love, Manchester continues to spin out great events throughout the entire winter period from top theatre shows to great gig nights, leaving you little time to even notice what day it is!

Discover the wonder of winter in Manchester with our guide of things to do this season.

Upcoming events in Manchester this winter

Find more things to do this winter in Manchester with our monthly inspiration guides:

Manchester’s Christmas Markets and Festivals

Manchester’s Albert Square is the most popular destination for those wanting to soak up the Christmas vibes and immerse into European culture and cuisine. Normally, they kickstart in November and close shortly before the holiday, which is an ideal time for buying gifts and enjoying a cheeky Bavarian beer or two.

The markets have won awards in the past for being the best market attraction and favourite Christmas market in the UK, and has even put Manchester in runnings for European awards. However, if you find the hustle and bustle a bit too much, or have simply seen that sparkling Santa on the town hall one too many times, why not keep it local or discover some of the city’s other fantastic festive markets and festivals?

Things to do for families in winter

We’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit and things to do for families across December, January and February. After all, the holiday season is known for bringing families together so it’s the perfect opportunity to spend time with loved ones.

For more inspiration on things to do with the family in Manchester, check out our family events page.

Pantomimes coming up

Tis the season to be jolly…and for some, that means keeping the kids merry and occupied for an hour or two. Luckily, the pantomime period is upon is and serves to do just that. A unique, engaging and surprisingly historic form of theatre, pantomimes are embedded in Manchester’s Christmas traditions. Children of all ages can enjoy the shout-outs, water spraying, crazy costumes and fairytale stories, while adults can get their kicks from spotting the odd comeback celeb on stage. Manchester’s theatres like the Palace, Opera House and The Lowry host their annual festive pantomime, so why not take a look at which are flying into town this winter?

First time going to a pantomime? Brush up on your panto etiquette.

Christmas events in Manchester

Looking for more ways to feel festive and Christmassy? Take a look at the themed Christmas events and things to do in Manchester over the winter holiday.

Find more ways to celebrate Christmas in Manchester

Find out what’s on this Boxing Day in Manchester

New Year’s Eve events in Manchester

Can’t find something for you? Browse more New Year’s Eve events in Manchester with our guide.

Things to do to beat the January blues in Manchester

Following the glittering madness of Christmas and New Year, it’s sometimes difficult to adjust to the get-back-to-normal routine. So instead of letting the January blues take hold of you, treat yourself with our list of things to do in Manchester this winter. Perhaps it’s that theatre show you’ve been wanting to see or that gig you’ve been wanting to go to? Or get the endorphins going at a comedy night or just a comedy at the cinema? There’s lots happening this January to cheer you up and start the year smiling.

Valentine’s Day events

Whether you prefer simple and sweet, fairytale and fanciful or adventurous and outrageous, Valentine’s Day should be one to remember. Or, perhaps the two of you want to celebrate your common interests by doing something you love together like going to see your favourite artist at a gig or taking a class? Undeniably, Manchester opens its heart to everyone, which means there’s sure to be something to help plan your Valentine’s Day in the city this year. Visit our date ideas in Manchester for more inspiration.

Anti-Valentine’s Day events

Singletons or anti-commercial and anti-hallmark folk – these are for you! If you don’t celebrate or perhaps you basically don’t enjoy Valentine’s Day, state your claim at one of these anti-Valentine’s Day events coming up. If these events don’t do the trick, find more things to with our Anti-Valentine’s Day guide to Manchester.

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Find more inspiration for things to do here.

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