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
IndieFlicks Monthly Short Film Festival - Manchester
Beat the Frog
The Comet Is Coming
The Midnight Beast - 10th Anniversary Tour
Poets of the Fall
Donell Jones Valentines Concert
We Were Promised Jetpacks
Angel Haze (Academy 3, Manchester)
Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics
Manchester Music Tour Special
Gorton Philharmonic 2019 Christmas Concert with Carols
Alabama 3 ...A Celebration of Cold Harbour Lane
Rob Beckett - Wallop
Chameleons Vox - Home Is Where The Heart Is: The Ritz Set March 1985
Fisher Stevens as ELVIS!
Mark Lanegan Band
VIENNESE CHRISTMAS by Candlelight
Dan Reed Network | GUN | FM
We Love the 90's - Prime View
Shed Seven Official Manchester Aftershow Party With Rick Witter
Motel California (Eagles Tribute)
Jack Whitehall: Stood Up
Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra
Definitely Mightbe + Ocean Colour Scheme
Dirt Box Disco 10th Anniversary Show
Apf Records Showcase Iii
Andy Scott February Sax Workshop
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:
- What’s on in Manchester in December
- What’s on in Manchester in January
- What’s on in Manchester in February
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.
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?
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.
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.