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Let it glow: 10 Christmas days out in or near Manchester

7 months ago

If you want to experience the Christmas tingles – that cosy, excited, nostalgic feeling that comes with this time of year – these Christmas days out in and around Manchester should deliver.

They’re the places that make a special effort for the festive season – whether it’s with a magical light trail in the woods, a twinkly Christmas market, fun activities for little ones, or sometimes all three.

They’re for families and chosen families (your friends) because you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy a Christmas day out. (Though maybe don’t sit yourself down on Santa’s knee unless you’ve cleared it with him first.)

  • Al fresco eating at The Village restaurant in Blakemere Village.

    Blakemere Village


    Blakemere Village is the Cheshire one-stop for shopping, outdoor activities and family-friendly events.

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  • Cockfields Farm at Christmas - one of our recommended Christmas days out in or near Manchester

    Cockfields Farm Park

    Farms, Zoos & Wildlife Parks

    Cockfields Farm Park, in the countryside between Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne, is a young child’s idea of the perfect day out.

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  • Dunham Massey - a National Trust property with parkland and gardens near Altrincham

    Dunham Massey

    Historic Buildings & Sites

    Dunham Massey is one of the National Trust’s top 10 most visited properties, bringing in 439,000 people in 2020/21. We reckon at least 80% of them were Mancunians escaping the city for their nearest bucolic country park.

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  • Freight Island in spring / summer
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Freight Island

    Music Venues

    Food hall meets music festival is how we’d describe Freight Island to anyone confused about what they’ll find at this regenerated rail depot beyond Piccadilly Station. 

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  • Christmas at Gulliver's World, Warrington, Cheshire.

    Gulliver’s World


    Gulliver’s World is a theme park that’s perfect for smallsters. It has rollercoasters and upside-downy things for tweens but these stomach-churners are vastly outnumbered by gentle planes, water rides, teacups and rollercoasters of the introductory variety.

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  • Heaton Park in Manchester, UK

    Heaton Park

    Historic Buildings & Sites

    If you’re craving greenery but don’t want to stray too far out of the city, Heaton Park, on the Manchester-Bury border, is one of your best options.

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  • Prescot

    Knowsley Safari

    Farms, Zoos & Wildlife Parks

    Knowsley Safari is an exciting day out for all animal-lovers – not just for kids. Who wouldn’t want to watch their car’s windscreen wipers being expertly deconstructed by some cheeky little baboons?

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  • A craft stall at Manchester Christmas Markets
    Manchester City Centre

    Manchester Christmas Markets


    You don’t have to walk far in Manchester city centre to find one of the many Christmas markets that pop-up in November and December.

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  • Things to do with kids this Easter in Manchester: the giant egg hunt at RHS Bridgewater
    Book Now Worsley

    RHS Garden Bridgewater

    Parks & Gardens

    The 2021 opening of this new 154-acre garden was greeted with much excitement and long queues, and rightly so. Once a derelict and overgrown site, it’s now a major visitor attraction with plenty to offer all year round. 

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  • Spring at Tatton Park

    Tatton Park

    Historic Buildings & Sites

    Tatton Park is a historic estate on the edge of Knutsford, home to an opulent neo-classical mansion, landscaped gardens, a farm, a huge deer park and a medieval Old Hall.

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