12 Days of Christmas

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Image credit: Mark Waugh

Looking for exciting events and tantalising trips to get you in the festive mood? Look no further! We’ve scoured the area for some winter wonders and we’ve compiled the perfect seasonal ‘To Do’ list. In no particular order, detailed below are North West delights that are guaranteed to give you 12 days of Christmas fun.

1. Santa Cruises at the Anderton Boat Lift
Forget about the sleigh, how about taking a jolly cruise with Santa? Journey down the River Weaver and enjoy a Christmas sing-song on various dates up until 24 December. Each child is guaranteed a festive treat!

2. Manchester’s Christmas Markets
Manchester’s iconic Christmas Markets are in full swing across the city. Pop along to find the perfect stocking fillers, warming winter drinks and delicious festive delicacies. Make sure to visit before 21 December.

3. Santa Specials with East Lancashire Railway
Enjoy a train ride with St Nick! Hop aboard at Bury Station and choo choo through Lancashire whilst soaking up the Christmas spirit. There will be mince pies and children’s gifts on board and you can enjoy Santa’s grotto back at the station, as well as joining in with the odd Christmas carol.

4. Hansel & Gretel at Bury Met
Lyngo Theatre Company have revamped the children’s classic and given Hansel & Gretel the musical theatre twist. You can enjoy this festive treat from 22-24 December. It’s perfectly suited to entertain a family audience with children aged 4+.

5. Bolton Winter Festival‘s Snow Slide
From 10 December 2016 until 8 January 2017, Bolton’s Newport Street will see the return of the artificial snow slide. Sponsored by the University of Bolton, this huge snow slide is certain to set your pulses racing.

6. Santa’s Grotto at Chill Factore
Father Christmas will be surrounded by snow this December at Chill Factore. Your children can experience the magic of Santa in this white winter wonderland and enjoy time in the venue’s Snow Park. The Grotto will be open until Santa heads back to his sleigh on Christmas Eve.

7. Bolton Octagon’s Cinderella
Check out this quirky take on Cinderella until 14 January 2017. Bolton Octagon have shaken things up and turned the fairy tale on its head. Watch the story unfold through the eyes of the rats and follow Cinders’ journey with a furry perspective. A fantastic family night out and suitable for children aged 5+.

8. Manchester Cathedral’s Christmas Sing-along
To get yourself in the festive mood, take a stroll to Manchester Cathedral on 17 December. From 12pm-1.30pm, you can join in with a Christmas Sing-along. It’s a drop in session, so if you have a spare ten minutes, head into the warmth of this stunning building and perform your best rendition of Silent Night.

9. The Hallé’s Christmas at the Movies
There’s nothing better than a good Christmas film, so The Hallé have selected some of our favourite winter movies and they are devoting a whole evening to reliving  their fantastic musical scores. If you love White Christmas, Frozen & Polar Express, then you will want to be at The Bridgewater Hall on 23 December.

10. Peter Pan at Stockport Plaza
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a panto! Stockport Plaza are telling the tale of Peter Pan this year and it’s guaranteed to be a swashbuckling treat. Catch Peter, Wendy, John and Michael until 8 January 2017.

11. It’s a Wonderful Life at HOME
It’s a Wonderful Life is a staple of any Christmas and you can watch this Frank Capra classic at HOME this December. Various showings of the film will be screened across the month and we know it will put you in the best of festive moods.

12. Stitched Up’s Winter Warmer
If mince pies and crafting are right up your street, then we have just the thing for you. On 17 December, between 12pm & 3pm, visit Chorlton’s Stitched Up for family friendly workshops and hot spiced drinks. Make recycled gift bags and crochet snowflake decorations!