Manchester's Christmas Lights Switch-On
Friday 8 November
Manchester's spectacular Christmas Lights Switch-On will once again light up Albert Square - on Friday 8 November at 7pm. There will be special guest performances and an amazing firework display to kick-off Manchester's Christmas celebrations, and best of all - it's free!
Please note that entry to Albert Square will be controlled based on capacity of the venue.
Manchester Christmas Markets
15 November - 22 December
Manchester's award-winning Christmas Markets return this winter to celebrate 15 magical years! Over 300 beautifully festooned wooden houses will tempt you with local and European gifts, crafts, jewellery, clothes and toys and don't miss the amazing array of food and drink!
Spinningfields Ice Rink
8th November - 5th January
Spinningfields Ice Rink is back this winter for its sixth successive year! Manchester's only outdoor ice rink is celebrated over 8 weeks as Spinningfields transforms into a winter wonderland.
Manchester Arndale Grotto
21 November to 24 December
Even Father Christmas knows Manchester Arndale is the best place to pick up all the hottest pressies. So put your order in when he sets up in his brand new Christmas tree star grotto in Halle Square from Thursday 21 November. Book online at manchesterarndale.com for just £4.50 per child (plus booking fee) with a great gift whatever the age.
Magical Christmas Fair
29 November - 1st December
At 'The Magical Christmas Fair' in Manchester Central, you will find hundreds of stands full of products that you will not easily find in the high street. It's not just about buying gifts… There will be entertainments throughout each day to get you in the Christmas spirit. Expect live music, spectacular decor, surprises appearing around the venue, a chance for kids (of all ages) to meet Santa and his friends, plus licensed bars and restaurant areas.
National Football Museum Game Changers: 125 years of the football league
until 27 April 2014
The Football League and National Football Museum have created a fascinating new exhibition to celebrate 125 years of the football league. Discover the major players on and off the pitch who shaped football as we know it. The exhibition also showcases amazing new interactive artwork commissions, inspired by stories in the show.
For more information please go to visitmanchester.com/christmas
John Rylands Library
In July, 'Locating Boccaccio in 2013' opens at The John Rylands Library. It celebrates the enduring popularity of the works of Giovanni Boccaccio and marks the 700th anniversary of his birth. Taking a wide-ranging overview of his works, it 'locates' Boccaccio in different times, languages, and places, from the 14th century to the present day, in manuscript, print and beyond. The exhibition showcases some of the riches of The John Rylands Library along with loans from private collections, and a new series of artists' books specially commissioned to commemorate the anniversary.
Running through until November, 'Warriors of the Plains: 200 years of Native North American honour and ritual' is an exhibition that focuses on the material culture of Native North American Indians of the Plains between 1800 and the present and the importance of the objects in a social and ceremonial context. The exhibition explores the world of the Plains Indians through exceptional examples of feather headdresses, shields, moccasins, painted hides, scalps, pipes, tomahawks, and traditional and contemporary dress.
The National Football Museum
Visit the National Football Museum in its new home at Urbis in Manchester city centre. Explore the world's finest collection of football artefacts and archives. Admission is free and there is plenty to keep kids of all ages occupied.
Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
Based on the site of the oldest passenger railway station in the world, MOSI is must-see for visitors. Kids big and small will be fascinated by the hands-on exhibitions and the huge collection of vintage vehicles and historic working machinery. This summer there's the Steam School where you can learn to drive steam trains, and a Day out with Thomas family fun day.
The Quays is Manchester's unique waterfront destination. Just 15 minutes by tram from the city centre, it's an ideal destination for a day out or weekend break. Visit the IWM North for the fascinating children's exhibition Once upon a Wartime. Entry is free, and you can get one child's meal free for every 2 hot adult meals purchased in the Watershard cafe.
Walk Talk Tours
Go walk about in Edinburgh, York and Manchester with your own audio tour guide from Walk Talk Tours. Download and away you go. Enjoy seeing the sights on your own terms and at your own pace.
Is the place to go to put the bloom back in everyone's cheeks. Check out the family events, golf course, animal park and loads more.
Manchester United Football Club
The most famous club in the whole world. Only Manchester City fans might want to give it a miss...
Manchester City Football Club
Not second best by any means! Not everywhere could have hosted the celebrated 2002 Commonwealth Games.