You can’t help but have noticed a distinctly more festive feeling in the air over the last week or so. Christmas decorations are going up, there are festive specials on menus and mulled drinks are popping up left right and centre.
You will probably also have noticed the arrival of the Manchester Christmas Markets which this year are centred in Piccadilly Gardens. The markets tend to get plenty of attention every year but there are quite a few other options for festive markets in Manchester this year, with a wider range of independent traders to shop, eat and drink with.
We’ve rounded up some of the best places to do your Christmas shopping in the city.
Escape to Freight Island has opened what they claim is the UK’s largest fully outdoor and heated market outside the Depot Mayfield. Winter Island boasts independent traders and stalls, a Christmas tree forest and a series of festive events.
New festive food traders include Great North Pie Co, a bratwurst grill, a traditional hog roast, a mulled wine and hot cider hut, a local chocolatier and an artisanal cheese stall. There’s also an ice rink, workshops, live karaoke and film nights planned. Full info here.
Salvi’s Italian Christmas Market
Salvi’s is hosting an Italian Christmas Market at Deansgate Square ahead of the launch of their upcoming new restaurant which is opening at the development in the new year. The market will run from 27 November to 22 December featuring Italian street food like sweet and savoury sofietti (deep fried dough balls), cosy fire-pits with free blankets, an independent indoor market hosted by Pop-Up Club, as well as festive huts filled with the best Italian produce.
There’ll also be bars serving Peroni on draft, Vin Brulé (Italian mulled wine), Hot Mulled Negronis (!!), wines, prosecco, lots more cocktails and soft drinks. Follow Salvi’s for more details.
Indie Winter Markets at Kampus
As part of Bread Flower‘s upcoming residency at Kampus, they are hosting two Indie Winter Markets on Saturday 4th and 11th December from 10am to 4pm. The line up of independent traders includes The Palms Bakery, Le Social Wine, Beaches and Cream jewellery, North and Soy candles, Prestwich Gin and lots more.
Upstairs in the Bread Flower cafe there will be bagels, coffees, mulled wine and more sweet treats, as well as wreaths and other floral arrangements to buy. For more details, head to the Bread Flower page.
Ancoats Pop Up
The Ancoats Pop Up market recently expanded from its mini markets at Block 23 to a much larger location at Cutting Room square, with room for a whole lot more traders. They are hosting festive markets in the square over two weeks in December from 11th to 12th and 18th to 19th.
Ancoats Pop Up is also hosting another market at Angel Gardens Saturday 4 December. Follow their page for more details.
A Refuge Christmas Carol
As part of a wider programme of festive events, The Refuge is hosting two Christmas Fairs on Sundays 5th and 12th December on their heated terrace. Traders lined up include Top of the Town Vintage, Deadstock General Store and more. There’ll be beers from Manchester Union Lager, a twist on the traditional German bratwurst from Grandad’s Sausages and sweet treats from Longbois Bakes.
Ramona Winter Village
Ramona and the Firehouse have been transformed into the Winter Village with tequila cabins, firepits, live stages and dance tents. There will also be mini festive markets on site with independent retailers popping up in the lead up to Christmas including A Few Scoops boozy ice cream, Biophillia plants, Clay and Coats accessories and Hugo and Co gourmet dog treats.
The ever-popular Levy Market is hosting markets every Saturday in the lead up to Christmas from 10am to 4pm. They’ve also got their monthly night markets which take place on Friday 19th November and Friday 17th December which are on from 5pm to 9pm.
They’ve always got a really good range of traders and street food available at their events, so it’s well worth a trip to Levenshulme if you don’t already live there.
Christmas at GRUB
From Friday 26 November, GRUB is hosting their own Christmas market with a pop up shop featuring indie makers, alongside a street food offering, campfires, boozy hot chocolates, beers and a festive bottomless brunch. More info on their Instagram page.
Makers Market will be hosting their usual line up of events across the region with events in Northern Quarter, Chorlton, Didsbury, Sale, MediaCity, Stockport and more. For the upcoming dates visit their website here.