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Although we love travelling as often and as widely as possible, it's not always necessary to look to the horizon in search of festive cheer. Whether you're a Scrooge who wants a real Dickensian Christmas, a hip Scandophile in pursuit of all things "hygge" or simply a young-at-heart adult who likes the sound of a giant snowslide, we've found plenty of free events in the Northwest that are sure to get you feeling festive.

Here are some of our highlights:

  • The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester will host a 2-day Frost Fair, drawing inspiration from the Scandinavian concept of "hygge", or the art of living cosily. There will be a production of "The Snow Queen", a canopied Northern Lights cinema and Christmas markets, with craft ales from Cloudwater Brew Co. Free entry, 3-4 December from 11am-7pm

  • Join Heaton Park Astronomy Group for an expert guide to the Christmas skies. You'll observe planets, nebulae and other celestial objects, with a special talk on the science behind the fabled Star of Bethlehem. Free to attend (weather permitting), 15 December from 7-9pm

  • Ulverston, a cobbled market town in South Lakeland, will host its annual Dickensian Christmas Festival this November. You'll find a traditional fairground with a helter-skelter, steam-wagon rides for the children, outdoor hog roasts, fancy-dress characters and more. Free entry, 26-27 November from 10am-6pm

  • The atmospheric John Rylands Library in Manchester will host Salford Royal Choir in its historic Reading Room for an hour-long programme of Christmas carols. Free entry, 4 December from 2pm -- donations are welcome for Wood Street Mission

  • A giant 55-metre snow slide will return to Bolton, Greater Manchester, as part of this year's Winter Festival. Entry to the festival is free from 1 December; the snowslide is open from 10 December-8 January from 10am-8pm, and rides cost £2

  • Lightwaves will come to MediaCityUK in Salford this December for ten days of interactive light installations. Expect a fleet of origami boats on the Quays, fluorescent musical harp strings and a retrospective exhibition of Blackpool Illuminations. Free entry, 9-18 December from 12pm-10:30pm

  • Head to Manchester's Grade II-listed London Road Fire Station to join its annual Winter Gathering, and discover a winter wonderland with an indoor ice rink and an award-winning line-up of street-food stalls. Free entry before 6pm, 11 November-18 January; ice-rink tickets cost £6, and gigs cost from £5

  • A winter-themed Marketfest is coming to Artisan in Spinningfields, Manchester, with live music, expert beer labs and a host of festive treats from local traders. Free entry, 27 November from 12pm; beer mixology sessions and pasta-making classes with special guests Peroni start from £20 per person
Christmas Markets & Events in the Northwest
£Free Select dates Nov-Jan

Free -- Christmas Markets & Events in the Northwest*

Sold out - (6 December, 2016) A new deal from this provider was published on 28 November, 2016.
Photo
By Amy Groves

Although we love travelling as often and as widely as possible, it's not always necessary to look to the horizon in search of festive cheer. Whether you're a Scrooge who wants a real Dickensian Christmas, a hip Scandophile in pursuit of all things "hygge" or simply a young-at-heart adult who likes the sound of a giant snowslide, we've found plenty of free events in the Northwest that are sure to get you feeling festive.

Here are some of our highlights:

  • The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester will host a 2-day Frost Fair, drawing inspiration from the Scandinavian concept of "hygge", or the art of living cosily. There will be a production of "The Snow Queen", a canopied Northern Lights cinema and Christmas markets, with craft ales from Cloudwater Brew Co. Free entry, 3-4 December from 11am-7pm

  • Join Heaton Park Astronomy Group for an expert guide to the Christmas skies. You'll observe planets, nebulae and other celestial objects, with a special talk on the science behind the fabled Star of Bethlehem. Free to attend (weather permitting), 15 December from 7-9pm

  • Ulverston, a cobbled market town in South Lakeland, will host its annual Dickensian Christmas Festival this November. You'll find a traditional fairground with a helter-skelter, steam-wagon rides for the children, outdoor hog roasts, fancy-dress characters and more. Free entry, 26-27 November from 10am-6pm

  • The atmospheric John Rylands Library in Manchester will host Salford Royal Choir in its historic Reading Room for an hour-long programme of Christmas carols. Free entry, 4 December from 2pm -- donations are welcome for Wood Street Mission

  • A giant 55-metre snow slide will return to Bolton, Greater Manchester, as part of this year's Winter Festival. Entry to the festival is free from 1 December; the snowslide is open from 10 December-8 January from 10am-8pm, and rides cost £2

  • Lightwaves will come to MediaCityUK in Salford this December for ten days of interactive light installations. Expect a fleet of origami boats on the Quays, fluorescent musical harp strings and a retrospective exhibition of Blackpool Illuminations. Free entry, 9-18 December from 12pm-10:30pm

  • Head to Manchester's Grade II-listed London Road Fire Station to join its annual Winter Gathering, and discover a winter wonderland with an indoor ice rink and an award-winning line-up of street-food stalls. Free entry before 6pm, 11 November-18 January; ice-rink tickets cost £6, and gigs cost from £5

  • A winter-themed Marketfest is coming to Artisan in Spinningfields, Manchester, with live music, expert beer labs and a host of festive treats from local traders. Free entry, 27 November from 12pm; beer mixology sessions and pasta-making classes with special guests Peroni start from £20 per person
*Terms/Conditions:
Restrictions may apply.

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