10 quirky Christmas events in Manchester

You can thank me later, as I have scoured the globe, and by that I mean Manchester, for ten quirky events to try this Christmas!

We all know there’s about a million different Christmas Markets to get our teeth in to, literally, have you seen the amount of food stalls?! But what about the other six days of the week, where we simply can’t stand by a crowded hut any longer?

Well, to put some allspice into your life, I have hunted down ten alternative festive experiences for you to try this Christmas. From festivals to gigs and crafty workshops, there should be something to suit most people’s taste and budget.

elf the musical

1. Elf the Musical @ The Lowry

Starting with the best Christmas movie ever? Ok, let’s not argue about this but it is pretty high on most lists. This over the top comedy tells the story of an elf who learns he is human and struggles with life in our cynical world. I’m intrigued to see if this Musical adaptation keeps the humour. Either way, it looks like an explosion of glitter and tinsel making it a top-notch alternative to the Panto.

Prices are a little on the expensive side but it looks like a quality production!

24th November 2017 – 7th January 2018 | £25 + (depending on seats)

dunham massey

2. Christmas @ Dunham Massey

I love going for a walk wrapped up against the crisp winter cold and National Trust’s Dunham Massey is the place to do it. It will become a winter wonderland this Christmas as a one mile track will glow with an after dark illumination. There are also Makers events such as candle making demonstrations as well as a Rudolph trail making it a great family day out.

Make sure you pre-book a time slot! And please note, the Georgian House is closed for refurbishment until Feb 2018.

1st – 30th December | From 4.45pm | £16

Adam-K3. Adam Kay’s Smutty Christmas Songs @ Frog and Bucket Comedy Club

We’re all familiar with Christmas songs… or are we? Adam Kay is a British comedy writer, author and performer who is putting a healthy glug of whiskey into the carols we think we know. If you’re up for a bit of smut and don’t take offence easily, this might be the perfect Christmas gig for you. It is sure to make you cracker a smile*

*He is a lot funnier than I tried to be. Check out his stuff on YouTube.

5th December | 7pm | £12

the noise next door

4. The Noise Next Door Christmas Special @ The Comedy Store

Here’s a bit more humour, because who doesn’t like a laugh! The Noise Next Door are an improv comedy troupe who have been given rave reviews! Using their wit and wackiness, and with some helpful suggestions from the crowd, they can turn anything into a ridiculous song or scene. They’re touring once again but this time, shiz gets festive.

This’ll be a night you can’t second guess and pretty good for your dollar.

5th December | 8pm |  £12

east lancashire railway

5. Shopping Experience @ East Lancashire Railway

This might be a little left field, but that’s what I’m here for! If you’re a shopaholic, or a train enthusiast, then this trip is for you. East Lancashire Railway is a 12 and a half mile heritage rail line between Heywood and Rawtenstall. You can hop on and off this beautiful steam train to hunt down the perfect gift at each stop.

You can buy a cheaper return ticket if you know which stop you want!

6th, 13th and 20th December | £15

christmas cruise

6. Christmas Cracker Cruises with The Liquorists

Right, take a deep breath as this is at the pricier end of the scale… but it is pretty darn cool! Jump on board a 3 hour canal cruise with The Liquorists. Using the finest liquor, expect to taste seven seasonal cocktails like a Mince Pie Mojito as well as nibble on locally sourced goods. It’s an up market booze cruise with Christmas cheer.

The best Christmas jumper wins a hamper of booze so there’s that!

6th & 7th December | 7pm | £50

lightwaves festival

7. Lightwaves Festival @ Salford Quays

Now to calm you down a little, here’s a fabulous free experience. The Salford Quays Lightwaves Festival runs for most of December and takes over that side of the city. Enjoy grand light displays and dazzling installations so you can Instagram until your heart’s content. Meander over and see what lights up your eye.

Why not get a cheeky water taxi down to the Quays for a change?

8 – 17th December |  Free

home mcr

8. Christmas Film Nights @ Home

Home is a sparkling new addition to the cultural scene in Manchester. Only opening in 2015 it boasts a cinema, gallery and theatre used to showcase the cream of the arts crop. This season they are indulging in a selection of Christmas films such as Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Muppet Christmas Carol. Classics or what?!

I know there’s Netflix, but it’s nice to get out of the house sometimes!

8th, 9th & 17th December | 6.10pm |  £5-£9

christmas paperchase

9. Project Craft with Paperchase

Crafts are a vital part of Christmas and Paperchase are doing it with all the trimmings. For a super reasonable price you can make paper wreaths, gingerbread houses and Christmas Cactuses (or is it Cacti?) Bloggers are crying with joy right now. No flamingos from what I can see though. I think this would be a lovely hour or so spent with friends and family.

Whilst I’m on the subject, do check out my crafty workshop vlog and subscribe! 

Various dates and times | £10


10. A Swingin’ Christmas @ The Bridgewater Hall

To finish things off I’m going big! The Halle is an English Symphony Orchestra from Manchester and with legendary tunes such as It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and White Christmas, this is sure to get your foot tapping and shoulders swaying. I think it is a lovely way to celebrate Christmas with a bit of glamour and class.

A limited number of under 30s tickets are available, so snap them up while you can.

21st December | 7.30pm | £15 + (depending on seats)

Phew! I’m sweating my baubles off from researching and writing this post. I’ve really tried to capture a variety of events from across Manchester that will tickle your fancy.

Please let me know if you give any of these a go! What have you got planned this Christmas?

Image Credits: Visit Manchester, National Trust, Turner Sims, British Comedy Guide, MEN, Home, iloveventslondon, Made in Shoreditch


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