The festive season truly begins in the North West when the Manchester Christmas Markets are in full swing. People from all across Greater Manchester and the surrounding areas swoop in to join the festivities – Whether it’s enjoying the food & drink, spending time with family & friends or just to shop for Christmas gifts. It’s only when the lights are glowing on the streets & the wooden stalls start to appear, that Christmas truly comes to life in Manchester. But when does the fun begin?
The Christmas Lights Switch On
November 4th sees the kick off of all the action – The Christmas Lights Switch on. If you’re ready to start celebrating Christmas the Mancunian way, the annual Switch On is certainly the way to do it. If you haven’t already noticed, santa has took his place perched over the town hall & the other lights around the town centre are being assembled throughout the week, ready to make Manchester glow in all it’s glory.
The event is completely free, featuring live music, a fireworks finale & fun for all the family. Although the fireworks and other entertainment only tends to last around an hour, so many hotspots to eat and drink in the City Centre make it more than easy to turn it into a full evening out. The atmosphere of the event alone year upon year, always has Manchester buzzing. People arrive from far and wide throughout the day to attend one of the biggest Christmas Light events in the North West.
Manchester Christmas Markets Opening
The 12 days of Christmas always feel too far away. Christmas begins in the North when the award winning Manchester Christmas Markets are in full swing. The whole of the town centre will be lit up by the festivities of each and every wooden stall the markets have to offer. Since 1999, each and every year at the Manchester Christmas Markets has beaten the last. Complete with pop up restaurants & bars, cafe’s, stalls & the original, charming German Markets.
The ever popular European Markets will be held in St. Alberts Square, as usual. Just around the corner, Brazennose Street will host the World Market. Once again, King Street will be the home of the French Markets. If you’re looking for an evening out with the family, head for the National Football Museum. Cathedral Gardens welcomes Children of all ages with fun, games, fair ground rides & the Family Friendly area. But it wouldn’t be the Manchester Christmas Markets without the hotspot that started it all, The traditional German Markets on St. Ann’s Square.
One thing that will forever make the markets a go-to location is the atmosphere. Every one of the spaces around the city is home to it’s own unique & distinct character & activities to offer. It’s impossible to not feel overwhelmed with that festive feeling when you’re surrounded by beautifully personalised stalls & chalets & kind, lively hosts. There’s a real sense of Christmas spirit the second you see the glow of the stalls. Which is one good enough reason why millions of people flood to the Manchester Christmas Markets each & every year. Not just from the UK, but from around the world.
So how will this year beat the last? The Manchester Christmas Markets are pretty much a mystery until the stalls start to arrive. However, the rumours and whispers around Manchester have been confirmed. This year Cathedral Gardens will be home to an Ice Skating rink for the very first time.
Dust off your Mulled Wine glasses and pull out your winter coats. Get yourself down to the Manchester Christmas Markets between November 10th & December 21st. It’s going to be a very merry Christmas indeed.