Rainy City Loves The Weekend: 12 Family Adventures

manchester kids family snowWe’re making a list, we’re checking it twice. A list of things to get up to this weekend that is. We’ve been exploring the  joys of the traditional and the not-so traditional approaches to Christmas this week (drag queens and rock star animals anyone?) and of course this weekend is packed with festive goodies too. Have a good one!

Limelight Launch

Not technically the weekend but we think this place will be great for Old Traffordians. A full day of interactive activities and celebrations will be on offer starting at 2pm and finishing at 8pm. Local community groups will be offering pilot group activities at Limelight during the course of the day. Plus Lemn Sissay and Diane Modahl will be there, just sayin’.

Limelight Old Trafford, Thursday 7 December, 2pm-8pm, free

Lightwaves, Salford Quays

Starting this Friday, we’ve already previewed this free light extravaganza down on the quays. Worth a wander for sure.

Lightwaves takes place at Salford Quays from 8-17 December, free

Walton Winter Wonderland

Head over to Walton Hall Parks and Garden for a festive market, bands, choir and other Christmassy treats. Father Christmas will be dishing out presents from his grotto, so make sure you stop by and say hello. Tickets are just £7.50 per child including gift (tickets can be bought onsite) with adults and older children (and even the family dog!) welcome to accompany younger children into Santa’s grotto free of charge.

Walton Hall Park and Garden, Friday evening, all day Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 (10.30am – 4pm)

stick man yoga manchester family christmas

Family Yoga, Royal Exchange

December’s workshop sees Yogi Life journey through the favourite story Stick Man, by Julia Donaldson. Explore yogic movement, breath and sound through storytelling, song and somatic movement.

Royal Exchange, Sunday 10 December 11am-12.30pm, £7

Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, HOME

You may think you know the story of Red Riding Hood, sugar and spice and all things nice. But there are two sides to every story, so let’s hear it from the Wolf himself! Here’s the story never heard of a kind and hungry wolf who strayed from the path and lost his friends.

This wolf isn’t big or even bad, in fact he’s rather shy. He won’t gobble up your grandma or tell you lies. He’s polite and very gentle, he’s an all-round nice guy. So before you make up your mind about the wolf you think you know so well, enjoy a whole new spin on this fairy tale and remember to never judge anyone by how they look! Recommended for 6+

HOME, Thu 7 Dec 2017 – Sat 30 Dec 2017, relaxed performance 12 Dec, adult ticket £8.50 child ticket £6.50


harry potter manchester kids family

Enter The Magical World of Harry Potter, Central Library

We previewed this event a while ago (click here for full details) and if you have even the slightest interest in Potter you will be heading along

Central Library, Sunday 10 December, free

The Nutcracker, Savoy Cinema

A film broadcast of the ballet as it is danced live at the Royal Opera House: The young Clara creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a Nutcracker doll. But the mysterious magician Drosselmeyer is waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure. After defeating the Mouse King, the Nutcracker and Clara travel through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy treats them to a wonderful display of dances. Back home, Clara thinks she must have been dreaming – but doesn’t she recognize Drosselmeyer’s nephew? A stone-cold Christmas classic and if you’ve got a ballet-obsessed little one a lovely tradition to start.

Savoy Cinema, Heaton Moor, 10 December 2pm, tickets £12-£15

Christmas Family Concert, Bridgewater Hall

Calling all children, parents and grandparents. Join Alasdair Malloy and Santa’s little helpers, the Hallé, for the annual fun-filled festive family concert, full of sing-alongs, jingle-alongs, seasonal surprises, orchestral antics and audience amazement. The perfect way to start a family Christmas, this cracker of a concert is so popular, even Father Christmas takes time out to attend. Why not get into the spirit and dress up as a snowman or Rudolph? If you have any sleigh bells – homemade or real – then bring them along and join in.

Bridgewater Hall, Sunday 10 December 3pm, Adults £25, Children (aged 17 and under) £16, Family Tickets (4 people minimum 1 child) £64

bear waterside arts christmas theatre

The Bear, Waterside

With dazzling puppetry, delicious music, dreamy storytelling, and dozens of laughs, The Bear is an unforgettable experience for the whole family and a perfect introduction to theatre. So come join Tilly and her great big white friend on a wild and magical adventure. This heart-warming and humorous wintry tale is brought to you by Pins and Needles – the team behind the hugely successful Father Christmas – who are delighted to be bringing to life another of Raymond Briggs’ much-loved storybooks. Recommended age: 3-11 years.

Waterside, from Tuesday 5 December, tickets from £12.50, matinee performances available

Enchanted Christmas Cinema, Victoria Baths

A mix of Christmassy films, including Elf, Frozen, Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street and Love Actually. The Baths will be transformed into an Enchanted Christmas Cinema where audiences will uncover magical decor, sparkling Christmas trees, festive tunes and feel good Christmas films, plus yummy street food stalls.

Victoria Baths, 8-10 December, £12-£15

Beeing Special, People’s History Museum

Meet Little Bee, the bee who wants to be different. Join in the busy bee dance, search for flowers in the museum and follow Little Bee’s adventure to find out how he becomes the hero of Victorian Manchester. Suitable for under 5s and their grown-ups.

People’s History Museum, Saturday 9 December 11am-12pm, free but book ahead (suggested donation: £3)

Christmas Crackers, Alexandra Park

The Friends of Alexandra Park Manchester invite you to their annual Christmas event, this year entitled ‘Christmas Crackers’, being held in the Pavilion and Chorlton Lodge. Gift stalls, festive food, father Christmas, plus a lot more…

Alexandra Park, Sunday 10 December 12-4pm, free

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As always, if something on this list has taken your fancy, we highly recommend checking on the links provided to make sure a session hasn’t been moved or cancelled before you travel.

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