Manchester is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK. Several fantastic Christmas markets located throughout the city center are the main attraction to visitors. At night, they glow and shimmer with millions of Christmas lights. A large Christmas tree, a giant Santa, illuminated sculptures and buildings can be seen at Piccadilly Gardens, St. Peter’s Square, St. Ann’s Square, and New Cathedral Street. Manchester Christmas lights go on after the gorgeous Switch-on ceremony, held in mid-November.
Manchester Christmas Light Switch-on (canceled in 2023)
The annual Christmas light switch-on event in Manchester is one of the biggest parties of the season, which draws thousands of people into the city center. Crowds usually gather near the Manchester Cathedral to enjoy live music and various entertainment. The night ends with a spectacular fireworks display.
Lightopia at Heaton Park (unconfirmed in 2023)
Lightopia is a magnificent light festival, held at Heaton Park. Fantasy-themed magical light trails feature laser technology, immersive installations, interactive lanterns as well as light and water shows. The shows are meant to create unforgettable memories with the use of the latest technology and innovations. Lightopia consists of light displays, light sculptures of animals and local heroes, lanterns, and tunnels. Visitors can also enjoy Heaton Park's Woodland fairytale and Lakeside displays. The event runs from 5 to 10 pm daily.
Escape to Freight Island (September 21–November 30, 2023)
Escape to Freight Island is an outdoor entertainment space in Manchester, which turns into a winter wonderland during Christmas. A giant Christmas tree, garlands, and decorations create a special atmosphere of a traditional Christmas market. In addition, there's live entertainment: concerts, cabaret shows, DJ sets, movie nights, comedy shows, and karaoke. Escape to Freight Island is open daily from 3 pm on Monday-Thursday, from noon on Fridays, and 10 am on Saturdays and Sundays.
Dunham Messey (November 17–December 31, 2023)
Dunham Massey Hall is a historical estate in the Greater Manchester area, home of the last Earl of Stamford. Every winter it showcases a Christmas lights trail with a beautiful light tunnel and various installations. A giant reindeer, snowflakes, and other holiday-themed sculptures are most popular with the public. The trail features over a million lights and a laser show that will surely create lasting memories,