VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS MARKET | Lowry Outlet | Fri 5 - Sun 7 Dec
Bigger and better than last year but still completely free to enter, this four-day event will feature a bustling Victorian Market with more than 100 stalls. You will find gorgeous gifts and stocking-fillers from jewellery and silk scarves to wooden puzzles and toys. Also to be found are fabulous food and drink stalls, along with stalls offering beautiful decorations and homeware. The Market is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 11am - 7:30pm, Sunday at 11am - 5pm.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND | Bolton Octagon | Until Sat 10 Jan
The intimate in-the-round theatre space will be transformed to create a spectacular Wonderland packed full of magic. In her pursuit of a rabbit in a hurry, Alice tumbles into a world of adventure - where March Hares and Mad Hatters take tea, and a grinning Cheshire Cat appears and disappears like magic.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS | Royal Exchange Theatre | Fri 5 Dec - 31 Jan
This Christmas, catch a charming, kooky and hilarious 1950s musical sci-fi spoof. Fuelled by Faust and fertiliser, with music by the legendary Alan Menken - best known for his numerous Walt Disney film scores - Little Shop Of Horrors is a cult film and one of the longest running off-Broadway shows of all time.
PRINCESS FIONA IN-STORE | Selfridges Trafford Centre | Sat 6 Dec
Here's a great pick for the kids and fans of Shrek. Princess Fiona (actress from the musical Faye Brooks) will be in-store at Selfridges Trafford for a meet and greet and a fairytale reading. Families can get a picture with everyones favourite royal ogre. The event is free of charge and no booking is required.
Brought by the team behind Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair, the only way to shop retro returns to the People's History Museum in Manchester giving you the chance to shop from the UK's largest vintage wholesaler and buy your vintage clobber by weight. They'll be bringing five tonnes of retro menswear and womenswear to rummage through. You simply select what you like, take it to the weigh station and pay at £15 per kilo - that's around four to five items. Great for quirky Christmas gifts.
MIRANDA THE OCTOPUS | Sea Life | Trafford Centre| Tue, Thu and Sat between 1 - 24 Dec
Known for having one of the smartest brains in the ocean, SEA LIFE Manchester’s resident (and only) Octopus Miranda is taking a hands-on approach to Christmas with her very own advent calendar. Miranda's challenge is to open up 25-drawer containing a fishy treat or toy for every day throughout December. Each numbered drawer is sealed except for the relevant one and it’s Miranda’s task to find the right one.
BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB | 02 Apollo | Sun 7 - Mon 8 Dec | £27.95
Electric English indie outfit, Bombay Bicycle Club from London's Crouch End, received widespread critical acclaim this year for their album So Long, See You Tomorrow. Now four albums down in nine years and with their own studio, the only thing the boys would change is their name: "We would have picked a better name if we knew it would last this long," said bassist Ed Nash in a recent interview.
ENLIGHTEN MANCHESTER: PILOT LIGHT ART FESTIVAL | Piccadilly Gardens | 11-14 December
The pilot for a new light art festival will see Piccadilly Gardens illuminated for four days (4.30-8pm) by a series of work from local, national and international artists. In preparation for a wider light festival in 2015, visitors will be able to explore innovative large-scale installations. Curated Place - the Manchester-based arts-production company behind the project - hope to build on work in Iceland and the Faroe Islands and bring together Nordic artists with home-grown talent to illuminate the city centre.
CLAYTON WHITTER: DAMAGED GOODS | Future Artists | Virgin Money Lounge | 12 - 19 December
Future Artists are proud to present Salfordian artist, Clayton Whitter, a talented 'photo-realist' artist whose delicate and intricate pop-cultural works, including subjects from Breaking Bad and Joy Division, are crafted over months at a time on grubby street pavements and alleys. All prints will be available to purchase at the exhibition.
JOOLS HOLLAND plus guests | O2 Apollo | Fri 12 Dec | £41.50
Dust off them dancing shoes, because the ex-Squeeze man turned solo artist turned TV presenter brings his show to Manchester, expect an array of different instruments and a whole lot of boogie-woogie jazz.
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