4 family-friendly things to do in Manchester this Christmas

Looking for family-friendly fun in Manchester this Christmas? Fear not – we’ve got just the list for your calendar.

Whether exploring the outdoors is your thing or you’d rather cosy up indoors instead, you’re bound to find something to suit your clan in this vibrant northern city.

Christmas Light Trail at Dunham Massey

Christmas light trail Dunham MasseyDunham Massey is one of Manchester’s most popular destinations for a day out in nature, featuring a historical Georgian house, medieval deer park and 400-year-old mill. Following a day exploring the Massey’s ancient grounds, why not take a tour of their unmissable Christmas Light Trail? This year’s event will showcase new light and sound installations, as well as the crowd-pleasing, colour-changing favourites regular visitors know and love. Explore twinkling paths and tunnels of stars, plus an array of family-friendly rides and refreshments to conclude a night of fun. Christmas at Dunham Massey will run from 17th November to 31st December – book ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

Glow 2023 RHS Garden Bridgewater

The Royal Horticultural Society knows how to throw an outdoor extravaganza, and Glow 2023 at Bridgewater is no exception. During an after-dark festival of light, visitors will get the chance to experience Salford’s famous garden like they’ve never seen it before. Weave through yew domes festooned with fairy lights and stroll the illuminated archways of the Kitchen Garden. At Garden Cottage, you can even hit the rainbow dancefloor and lose yourself in a soundtrack of Manchester anthems, as chosen by you. There’ll be cosy drinks on offer throughout the event, as well as plenty of snacks and refreshments for the whole family. Glow 2023 at RHS Garden Bridgewater will run Wednesdays to Saturdays only from 15 November to 30 December 2023, so book now to secure your spot.

Home Alone in Concert

live orchestraHome Alone has become a Christmas staple for every member of the family since its release in 1990. Its memorable soundtrack, composed by the one and only John Williams, is one of the reasons why people love it so much. During Manchester’s buzzing Christmas season, you can watch the film live at the AO arena– brought to life by music from The Heritage Orchestra. While watching the yuletide classic on a giant HD screen, allow yourself to be entranced by tunes from Williams’ score, including the main title track and iconic Carol of the Bells. The show will come to Manchester for one night only on 3rd December 2023, so make sure to book your tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!

Lanterns and Light at Chester Zoo

Lanterns and Light is one of the biggest events of the year at Chester Zoo, attracting visits from excited families across the nation. Produced and managed by Sony Music and Culture Creative in partnership with Chester Zoo, this radiant festival transports its guests into a world of bright lights and animal magic. You’ll have the chance to explore new installations and colour-changing displays, all while meeting orangutans, lions and dolphins along the way. New to the show this year is a 3D projection of a life-sized woolly mammoth, plus flickering fire gardens, a bustling Christmas market AND Father Christmas hiding in the trail. Tickets start at just £12, with the event running from 17th November to 31th December 2023.