10 Magical Christmas Events in Manchester 2023

Magical Christmas Events in Manchester – Here at Yorkshire Wonders we are massive Christmas fans.  We are often in Manchester over Christmas, so I thought I would put a list together of some of the fabulous Christmas events going on this year!  There are Santa’s Grottos, Ice Skating, Magical Lanterns and Illuminated Christmas Trails. 

Something festive for everyone! 

Do check the individual websites for more info.  I have included events from the last two years and will hopefully be able to add dates as and when they are announced.  Fingers crossed all the lovely festive events will still be able to go ahead.


christmas manchester


Christmas Illuminated Trail at Dunham Massey

17 November 2023 and 31 December 2023

Magical Illuminated Trail at Dunham Massey – Christmas – Christmas at Dunham Massey returns to the historic National Trust property in Cheshire on various dates from 17 November 2023 and 31 December 2023.  We love these illuminated trails. 

As well as the illuminations there will be a Victorian carousel, helter-skelter and other family rides (you will need to pay extra for these) and keep your eyes peeled for Father Christmas and his helpers along the way. 


Book tickets for Christmas at Dunham Massey.



christmas at dunham massey, manchester


Home Alone in Concert

AO Arena Manchester on December 3rd 2023

The beloved Christmas family film Home Alone will be brought to life this festive period, when it is toured across the UK for the first time accompanied by a live orchestra.  Home Alone In Concert will feature the beloved film’s charming score, composed by the renowned John Williams, performed live to picture by a full live orchestra.

Home Alone Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy who’s accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacation, and who must defend his home against two bungling thieves (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern).  Released in 1990, the film also stars Catherine O’Hara and John Candy, and was nominated for two Academy Awards® for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (“Somewhere in My Memory”). 

Home Alone is heart-warming fun for the entire family, now passed down through generations of adults and kids alike as festive tradition, and now, Home Alone In Concert will be a new way for audiences to experience a classic.


Book tickets for Home Alone in Concert.


whats on in manchester at christmas


Christmas at the Movies at Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral, Manchester.  Saturday 30 December 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Join the London Concertante as they celebrate the festive season through the magical world of Christmas movies. This enchanting programme will include excerpts from Christmas classics such as ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Elf’, ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Home Alone’, as well as the animated excitement of ‘Polar Express’ and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. This is a concert to bring the whole family together and make your Christmas truly special. Get your tickets now for Christmas at the Movies at Manchester Cathedral!

  • Enjoy an exciting programme of Christmas movie soundtracks
  • Stunning performances from the highly acclaimed London Concertante
  • Perfect option for first-time classical concert-goers
  • The beautiful Manchester Cathedral gently illuminated by candlelight


Book tickets for Christmas at the Movies




Manchester Christmas Markets

Saturday the 11th of November 2023 until Friday the 22nd December 2023.

The Christmas Markets in Manchester have several different themes.  Cathedral Gardens, Market Street, Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street and the Corn Exchange all have the traditional Christmas Market.  Exchange Street has an Arts and Crafts Market, while you can find the French Christmas Market on King Street. 

A traditional German Market can be found in Manchester on St Ann’s Square, and Brazennose Street hosts the World Christmas Market.

See our post all about Christmas Markets in Manchester.


christmas events Manchester




Santa Train – East Lancashire Railway Santa Specials

25, 26, November, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 20 – 24 December 2023

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! at the East Lancashire Railway,

Treat the family to an enchanting voyage through the magical Irwell Valley, kick start your Christmas on one of our famous Santa Specials! There’s more family friendly fun, colourful characters and seasonal surprises than you can fit under a Christmas tree.

Immerse yourself into the festive atmosphere as you take a steam train trip with a host of happy elves and of course, Father Christmas!

Upon arrival you will make your way through the beautifully decorated winter wonderland at Bury Station, meet Mrs Claus and keep an eye open for the singing polar bears and the talking magic tree! You will then board your steam train for a journey up to Rawtenstall Station and back again. During the approximately 80-minute trip you will get a chance to meet your favourite Christmas characters, and have a good old sing along with the band.

While you travel, Santa himself will visit your carriage with a gift for every little one (selected by age band), there will be plenty of time to have a chat with him and take a Santa selfie or two. There will also be mince pies and a festive tipple or soft drink for every grown up in the party and an additional fruit shoot, chocolates and activity pack for the children.

Also have a look at our posts on Santa trains throughout the UK.



Christmas Lanterns at Chester Zoo

Selected dates from Friday 17 November – Sunday 31 December

This Christmas, something magical is happening at Chester Zoo as our enchanting festive event, The Lanterns, returns.  Join us as we transform the zoo into a spectacular wonderland, full of sparkle, illumination and a sprinkling of snow! 

Explore new captivating light installations and be transported into enchanting lands filled with colour and festivity, where you can meet orangutans, lions, dolphins and woolly mammoths as you make your way along the trail! Wonder at the colour changing displays stretching as far as the eye can see, while birds and stars adorn the zoo’s winding paths and trees. Take a walk through the spectacular Winter Cathedral tunnel of lights and even catch a glimpse of Father Christmas in his sleigh.

Join us this winter for a festive light trail like no other and take an unforgettable journey into the land of Lanterns and Light. Every ticket purchased helps us create a better future for wildlife.



Christmas lanterns Chester Zoo


Winterfunland, Eventcity, Manchester Christmas Events

Still waiting for details for 2023.

Christmas is rapidly approaching and the team at Winter Funland is working hard together with Santa and the elves to get the North West England’s Largest Indoor Winter Wonderland ready in time… This year’s Christmas Winter Wonderland bonanza is taking place in EventCity, intu Trafford Centre, Greater Manchester.

Winterfunland Tickets are all-inclusive and include access to great attractions, all undercover at BEC Centre (5 Minutes’ drive from Event City), Manchester:

  • A magical festival circus- The Circus of Truth
  • A indoor funfair
  • Variety of mouth-watering festive foods

Winterfunland Tickets are all-inclusive and include access to great attractions.

  • HUGE ice-skating rink
  • A Christmas festival circus
  • A gigantic indoor funfair
  • Variety of mouth-watering festive foods
  • Santa’s Grotto


Christmas events in manchester



Santa’s Grotto at Chill Factore – Christmas Events Manchester


Twinkly lights, real snow and a magical grotto can only mean one thing – Santa has come to Chill Factore. Treat all the family to the ultimate Christmas experience with family fun in Mini Moose Land and Snow Park, plus a snowy visit to see Santa himself for only £2.50 more than our full priced Snow Park or Mini Moose Land passes. Book below for an exclusive ticket. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so why not make it even more special by taking your little ones on an unforgettable journey where they can join in with the festivities here at Santa’s Manchester grotto. From meeting jolly Santa Claus to playing in real snow, we have everything you need for a magical Christmas experience.


Santa's Grotto at Chill Factore Manchester


Tatton Park – An enchanting Christmas Event in Manchester

Still waiting for details for 2023.

Tatton Park – Nostalgic family favourites are brought to life as we join the Fairy Godmother on an enchanting journey through dark magical woodlands and enchanting forests.  Find out who is the fairest of them all in the Dining Room and explore the Beast’s magnificent Library before being whisked away to Aladdin’s golden palace.

Meander through the grand staterooms into a stunning Winter Wonderland where you’ll find Cinderella’s magnificent pumpkin coach and see if the slipper fits! 

Guests can follow the sweetie trail through woodland towards the servants quarters where they’ll enter the Witches gingerbread house. Before you go, be sure to say a fond farewell to our resident fairy godmother who will have a tasty treat waiting for you!


Tatton Park Christmas events near Manchester





Also have a look at our post on Christmas events in Yorkshire, Chester and in the Lake District.