How are we already in our last full week of November?
It’s safe to say the past few months – probably even the year – have absolutely flown by, and given that we’re just over a week away from December, it’s only natural to be looking ahead to Christmas, especially as Manchester Christmas Markets 2022 recently kicked-off earlier this month, and are now spreading festive cheer across the city.
The events calendar is, once again, absolutely jam-packed this week, so we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide.
As always, some of the events we’re going to mention are completely free, while others will set you back a few pounds, and many will need to be booked in advance.
Here’s our top picks.
FIFA World Cup 2022
Manchester City Centre
Monday 21 November – 18 December
The FIFA World Cup 2022 has officially kicked-off.
With Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions looking to bring home a trophy, Mancs are right to be wondering where to watch the World Cup in Manchester.
International tournaments are always a special occasion we eagerly await to come around and while we’re sure you could walk into any old pub and enjoy yourself, there are some seriously good venues showing Qatar 2022 this winter – so, with that in mind, we thought we’d put together a list of the best places to watch in our city.
Escape to Freight Island has brought its highly-popular Winter Island back to Manchester, just in time to get you in the mood for the festive season.
Having landed at Depot Mayfield‘s premier event space and cargo park, this year’s Winter Island is promising visitors everything from DJs, live entertainment, and Massaoke, to Christmas workshops, pop-up markets, and all the festive food you could hope for.
Food and drink to be scoffed from some of the best local and independent traders.
From Manchester favourites like Northern Soul grilled cheese and the award-winning Great North Pie Co. to Ancoats chocolatiers Cocoa Cabana, who will be letting you create your own boozy hot chocolate (the best kind), there’s so much to tickle your festive fancies.
What’s a festive season in the city without Skate Manchester?
Back once again for 2022 with twinkling lights, the smell of gingerbread, and Christmas songs playing on repeat, Skate Manchester’s stunning outdoor ice rink is in the heart of the city at Cathedral Gardens until 2 January 2023.
With covered rink having a roof to allow everyone to enjoy the ice, whatever the weather, this year, there’s also a brand-new ice path allowing you to skate around the beautiful Christmas tree centre.
The highly-anticipated and long-awaited exhibit is currently showcasing 145 iconic Banksy pieces all amassed from private collections across the globe to create the world’s largest touring collection of Banksy artworks.
Visitors will have the chance to experience the infamous artist’s most well-known works alongside those rarely seen by the public, all on loan from private collectors.
Manchester Christmas Markets are officially back for 2022.
The iconic annual event – which draws in visitors from all across the globe each year, and has been voted the best Christmas markets in the UK for 2022 – are here once again to spread some cheer right across the city centre.
Open every day until Thursday 22 December, the the main market hubs in will be in Exchange Square, St Ann’s Square, King Street, and Market Street.
Other zones, however, are set to open after Christmas Day and run into the New Year.
You can find out everything you need to know here.
Miracle on Cross Street
Monday 21 November – onwards
A new Christmas bar has opened in Manchester, and it’s absolute festive overload.
While some venues lean towards alpine throws and a few tasteful candles at Christmas, Miracle on Cross Street has gone the other way entirely and thrown everything shiny and festive into one room, making it completely nostalgic and unflinchingly festive.
We’re talking candy canes, tinsel, baubles, lights, trees, presents, stockings, and ‘Santa Stop Here’ signs – and even the walls are wrapped in shiny patterned wrapping paper.
There’s a full menu of winter cocktails being served up too, like an apple pie martini and an espresso-ho-ho martini.
Did you see that Manchester’s newest cinema has opened on the roof of Depot Mayfield?
Backyard Cinema brings its immersive movie going experience to the north for the ever first time, and features way more than a cosy purpose-built cinema room, as it comes complete with an Enchanted Forest, two bars, street food trucks, and a live music stage to boot.
The 330-capacity indoor cinema’s film schedule for the autumn / winter season also has some absolute crackers in there too.
Tinseltown is now back at the Trafford Centre for Christmas.
The Stretford-based shopping centre has been transformed into “a magical haven full of festive fun”, and is all set to be the perfect place to spend time “creating memories and celebrating the Christmas season”.
This year’s Tinseltown celebrations include a festive funfair full of exciting rides for all the family, and a huge covered winter ice rink for visitors to glide away on under a sky full of twinkling lights while festive music plays, all before sitting down to watch SNOWSTORM 2 – the “sensational” ice skating show with an international cast of skaters and performers on the 200 sq ft of shimmering real ice.
The hugely popular woodland trail inspired by the forbidden forest from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchise has officially returned.
After what was undoubtedly a massive success back in 2021, with people travelling from all across the UK to see what it was all about, organisers of the Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience have announced it’s back to the Grade II-listed Arley Hall & Gardens in Cheshire.
Having arrived just in time for Halloween, Potter-heads can “walk into the depths of a dark forest”, and “discover fantastic beasts and iconic Wizarding World moments illuminated like never before”.
Looking for some new restaurants and bars to try out in Manchester city centre this month?
As ever, a host of exciting new restaurants and bars have opened up November.
Not only do we have the return this month of Manchester’s Christmas markets, which has brought with it a host of exciting and varied food and drink stalls, we also have a host of new wine bars, bakeries, pasta restaurants and food halls to shout about.
You can read our round-up to find out where to put on your list this month here.
Great Northern Square
Monday 21 November – onwards
Popular après-ski village Bar Hütte is officially back in the city centre.
After what was an undeniably successful run in 2021 and the plenty of years prior, Bar Hütte is better than ever this year, with 15 cosy Alpine cabins dotted across the Great Northern square courtyard to bring a lively, festive, and vibrant atmosphere.
Inspired by some of the coolest après ski bars in Europe, there’s everything from live music and free-flowing festive drinks, to the chance to try out the bar’s legendary ‘shot skis’, as well sing-along to all of your favourite tunes inside a private wooden karaoke cabin that’s festooned with twinkling tights.
Lightopia is all set to make another return to Heaton Park with a new Christmas-themed immersive experience this week.
Getting ready to once again light up Manchester and captivate audiences for the fourth year in a row, award-winning illuminations event Lightopia is promising to bring the magic of Christmas back to the grounds of Heaton Park from this Thursday – with a brand-new immersive experience set to take over the park until January.
Through brand-new and unseen audiovisual displays, this year’s festival is promising to be a “once-in-a-lifetime adventure” for the all the family to enjoy.
Find out more about Lightopia 2022 and grab tickets here.
Festive Wreath Making Workshop
Sunday 27 November
Bar Hütte is not about karaoke, live music, and free-flowing festive drinks, as the return of the popular après-ski village is also bringing its very own wreath-making workshops too.
This means that for just £45 each, you can take part in a friendly class with friends and create your very own handmade Christmas wreath. The class includes everything you need to create your masterpiece – including a glass of prosecco to start your evening for all who take part.
Classes will be taking place outside under the stretch tent, so you’re advised to wrap up warm in the chilly Manchester weather.
Featured Image – Winter Island | Skate Manchester | Road To Victory
The Weeknd at Etihad Stadium — stage times, support acts, setlist and more
It is an absolutely massive few days of music here in Manchester and although while plenty will be focused on the arrival of Parklife, there’s another big name arriving at the Etihad this Weeknd.
See what we did there?…
That’s right, Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd is one of many amazing incredible acts set to perform this Saturday, following Coldplay last week by taking the stage at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.
With The Courteeners kicking off the Heaton Park party vibes on Friday before the Parklife festivities get into full swing, you obviously can’t cram absolutely everyone onto one big field, so for those of you that are going along, here’s everything you need to know.
Are there any tickets left for The Weeknd’s Manchester gig?
We’ve got some bad news for you, tickets to see The Weeknd at the Etihad sold out a while ago — we’re talking seated, standing, hospitality, the lot.
He is one of the biggest pop and R&B artists on the planet, so not that much of a surprise, to be fair.
You can obviously always keep your eye out on resellers like TicketSwap and Twickets for any spares that might go up but, as always, we advise caution when purchasing second-hand tickets from anyone and to steer well clear of ticket touts.
Who are The Weeknd’s support acts?
As for those of you who have managed to bag a ticket, you’re in for an absolute treat as not only will you be seeing The Weeknd but his support acts are absolutely dynamite.
As well as prolific producer Mike Dean (not the one that’s usually at the Etihad) as the first support, who has worked with the likes of Kanye West, Travis Scott, Drake and countless other big names — The Weeknd included, obviously — you will also get to see global DJ and electronic sensation Kaytranada before the main event.
Madness, right? For anyone still sleeping on Kaytra (there can’t be many of you left in the world), the fellow Canadian is arguably one of the best live acts going at the minute, selling out stadiums all across the world, headlining Coachella and costing a fair few quid to see alone.
Now, when it comes to setlists, given that artists like switch things up from show to show all the time, we can only ever really give you predictions.
However, according to Setlist.fm and his last show in Passeio Marítimo de Algés, Portugal, he is what you very well be hearing come Saturday night.
We’ll warn you now, it’s an absolute whopper of a line-up.
Take My Breath
Sacrifice (Swedish House Mafia remix)
How Do I Make You Love Me?
Can’t Feel My Face
Lost in the Fire
House of Balloons
Out of Time
I Feel It Coming
Die for You
Is There Someone Else?
I Was Never There
Call Out My Name
Save Your Tears
Less Than Zero
Creepin’ (Metro Boomin cover)
What a show this is going to be.
Speaking of the lineup, in case you’re wondering when you can expect each of them to rock up to the Etihad stage, doors are set to open at 4pm and with Manchester set for yet another gorgeous day, you can spend hours enjoying tunes in the heat before the sun even goes down. Wonderful stuff.
While the exact times of each act are yet to be fully announced, the live entertainment is set to start around 7pm, with The Weeknd expected to take the stage around 9pm.
With a setlist this long, who knows how long he tends to go on for, but we’d ballpark that the show will finish around 11pm.
How to get to the Etihad Stadium
Last but not least, getting to the Eithad should be a doddle regardless of how you’re getting there. If you’re choosing public transport, the Metrolink is the most direct route, with a tram stop right outside the ground and just a few stops away from Manchester Piccadilly.
Both Holt Town and Velopark Metrolink stops, located on either side of the Etihad Campus stop, will not be open for at least an hour after an event at the stadium and they’ll obviously be very busy, so just make sure plan accordingly.
The trams will be very busy though, and since the weather looks so nice again, so you might prefer to walk; if so, it’s only around a 30-minute stroll from town with this safe walking route recommended.
If you need to drive in, official car parking is priced at £25 for cars, £50 for coaches and £40 for minibuses. There are of course other unofficial car parks and drop-off points nearby too, so just make sure you’re not getting ripped off.
Not only has the sun been shining bright in the region over the last few weeks, signalling that summer is well and truly here, but we’ve also got an events calendar thats jam-packed full of festivals, family-friendly activities, foodie feasts, immersive experiences, and so much more to get stuck into.
Once again, we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide this week.
Here’s our top picks.
Monday 12 June – Saturday 29 July
A huge circus tent has been installed onto the roof of Depot Mayfield in Manchester, as the world-leading cabaret La Clique is in town.
The trailblazing show – which has had its stay in the city extended right through to 29 July – features the best circus and cabaret acts in the world.
Presented by live entertainment company Underbelly, La Clique is wowing audiences with its genre-defining cabaret show, and for its Manchester stint, performers will include tension strap artist LJ Marles, singer Chastity Belt, aerial contortion artist Miranda Menzies, comedy and stunt performer Sam Goodburn, and more.
Mancs now now get up close to rare personal items of Stephen Hawking’s in a new exhibition that’s now opened down at the Science and Industry Museum.
Stephen Hawking at Work explores the remarkable life of a world-renowned scientist, who passed away in 2018 – with significant objects from his office giving an insight into his life as a scientist, science communicator, and as a person who lived with motor neurone disease.
Highlights include a rare copy of his PhD thesis, and a wager he made with his peers about whether things that fall into a black hole are lost forever, while there’s also a ‘time traveller’ party invitation that he sent to his peers after the party had taken place, to prove that time travel to the past is impossible.
Chester Zoo is bringing its ‘after hours’ events back this summer after they proved so popular last year.
Giving visitors the chance to explore the UK’s biggest charity zoo “like never before”, the Into The Night series was launched to massive success in 2022, and offered unlimited access to animal habitats, indoor areas, and restaurants after hours for the first time ever.
And this summer, it’s back for animal lovers who missed out.
With tickets now on sale from as little as £10, Chester Zoo is inviting people to discover the zoo as the sun goes down with thrilling live entertainment, special guest appearances, and delicious food and drink.
A brand-new Coronation Street Experience has opened, and it’s giving fans access to areas they previously haven’t been able to before.
The Coronation Street Tour is known for giving people the chance to discover the hidden world that lies behind the camera at the external sets at MediaCityUK in Salford, and now, the already award-winning experience has got even better as the new exhibition extends the current 90-minute tour and makes it even more “immersive” for fans.
You’ll get the opportunity to see Dierdre’s famous glasses up close, take a seat in Roy’s Rolls, or even stand behind the bar at The Rovers.
Fancy trying out some new bars, and restaurants that have opened in Greater Manchester this month?
Summer is here, al fresco dining is on the cards, and it seems like the suburbs are having a moment again, as Urmston has not one but two exciting new openings to shout about, and Withington has just welcomed Almost Famous into its neighbourhood, as Manchester’s original dirty burger bar takes over the short-lived Libertine site.
Elsewhere, Gordon Ramsay moves into town with his Lucky Cat restaurant moving into the former Jamie’s Italian site at the top of King Street.
We think you’ll agree there’s a lot to look forward to now that June’s here, so if you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite this week, we’ve rounded up some of the best new openings to try.
Great Big Green Week: Take A Detour with a Tree Tour
Thursday 15 & Saturday 17 June
City of Trees is inviting Mancs to make the most of the long summer days by going on an hour-long stroll around the city this Thursday and Saturday.
Starting with a visit to see the magnificent garden of trees planted high in the sky on Castlefield Viaduct, guides will then take you down into the Roman gardens in Castlefield and beyond, teach you how to identify trees, and throw in some fun facts about the different species and their ability to adapt and survive the challenges of the former industrial city.
Tipsy Tapas is one of Manchester’s newest bottomless brunches.
If you love Middle Eastern-inspired small plates, and a good Saturday afternoon out on the town, then you absolutely need to add this one to your list.
Hosted at former Michelin-recommended King Street restaurant Habas, for £38 per person diners can enjoy a ‘tipsy tapas’ with 90 minutes of non-stop cocktails, wine, beer, and a mouthwatering selection of punchy small plates.
A massive festival especially for dogs and their owners is back at Tatton Park this weekend.
Described as being the “ultimate dog’s day out” and created by dog-lovers, for dog-lovers, DogFest returns to Cheshire by popular demand for another thrilling two-day event, so you and your pup can “try your paw” at a whole host of activities.
Dog diving, agility courses, the ever-popular hay bale race, or entering the Fun Dog Show for your chance to win ‘Best in Show’, are just some of the things four-legged friends can get involved with.
King Street Townhouse, is celebrating dads, grandads, and as-good-as-dads with a selection of themed Father’s Day film screenings at its very-own exclusive underground cinema this weekend.
With something for everyone to enjoy on the lineup, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the captivating worlds of aliens, superheroes, boxing legends, interstellar adventures, and high-octane aerial combat, as six smash-hit films will be screened over three days.
Optional additions to enhance the Father’s Day celebration include whiskey cocktails, lager, pic ‘n’ mix, and mouth-watering burgers, all served to your seat for the ultimate indulgence.
Find out more and grab tickets to each film screening here.
Saturday 17 June
Liverpool’s beloved taco joint Madre is bringing the spirit of Mexico City to Manchester when it opens at KAMPUS this Saturday.
With a menu made up of mouth-watering tacos, wood-grilled seafood and steaks, plus fresh oysters and ceviche straight from a huge ice counter, and a drinks list celebrating agave, this is a new opening you don’t want to miss.
GASP! Horror Festival is Manchester’s only horror film festival dedicated to minority filmmakers.
Taking over Manchester’s home of cult cinema, video games, and “cool nerdy events”, Cultplex – which is tucked away within the award-winning venue GRUB in Cheetham Hill – this weekend, there’s truly something for everyone within on the packed festival lineup that features the best new horror films by some of the most exciting filmmakers working today.
Six feature-length films and two short film showcases by female filmmakers, foreign language filmmakers, people with disabilities, people of colour, and the LGBTQ+ community make up the lineup.