"The award-winning markets run from 17 November until 23 December."

Christmas Markets

The award-winning markets run from 17 November until 23 December, traditional wooden chalets lining the city centre serve up tasty treats - such as bratwurst sausage, European product, Spanish chorizo, European beers and, of course, mulled wine. In addition to this, you will be able to find jewellery, bags and accessories, trees, soaps and other handmade gifts for your nearest and dearest. The markets take place in Albert Square, Brazennose Street, St Ann's Square, Exchange Street, King Street, New Cathedral Street, Exchange Square and the Corn Exchange - so there is always plenty to keep you entertained.

After browsing the Christmas Markets, why not take a trip down to the illustrious Spinningfields, which will be in full festive spirit with its ever-popular Christmas ice-rink. Open from 22 November until 6 January, the pop-up rink is ideal for friends and family, with 'penguin' guides for hire to skate alongside the under 10s. However, if you're looking for a warmer, in-door option this Christmas, what better way to soak up the Christmas atmosphere than by visiting Santa at the Manchester Arndale Christmas Grotto in Halle square, from 22 Novemer - 24 December.

Shows & Entertainment

Why not check out a show at one of Manchester's fantastic venues. Both the Opera House and The Lowry offer their own exciting Christmas performances, whilst the big draw this Christmas will be The Lion King, playing at the Palace Theatre from December 1 through to March, 31, 2013. Other options include the Royal Exchange, Contact Theatre and The Palace Theatre. For live music - try the likes of intimate venues such as Sound Control, Deaf Institute, Night and Day, and the Castle Hotel. Larger venues include Manchester Arena, Manchester Academy and the Royal Northern College of Music.

Galleries & Museums

If culture is more your thing, Manchester has some fantastic free-to-enter museums to while away the hour at, including the MOSI, IWM North and the new National Football Museum which opened this summer. Other notable galleries and museums include Cornerhouse, the People's History Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Chinese Arts Centre and Manchester Museum.

Family fun

For a complete winter's day out this festive season - particularly for groups and families - there are many festive options. Sticking with the Christmas theme, you can get up close with the penguins at Chester Zoo or wrap up warm and go wild deer spotting at Tatton Park. Alternatively, Christmas is an exciting season of non-stop entertainment at The Trafford Centre, one of the most exciting group destinations in the UK. Decked in splendid decoration, thousands of shoppers pour in to pick up everything they need for loved ones and to visit the ever popular Ice Palace grotto. Whilst at the Trafford Centre why not pop in to Legoland Discovery Centre or get in on the snow action at Chill Factoré?

However you choose to visit you'll be enchanted by Manchester this Christmas.

More information: visitmanchester.com/christmas


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