Even though we are on our 4th year since moving to UK we have never thought of going to the so well-known Manchester Christmas Market, let alone going with the kids. So we decided that this year would be different and taking advantage that we had family staying with us over the weekend we decided to give it a try. It is always a good excuse to go when you have someone who is not local.
Let us share our experience with you and maybe you can get some tips so that if you decide to visit you can make the most out of it.
Because we live 20 minutes drive from the centre we went by car, but usually the most affordable way of going is by Metrolink. If you’re travelling with the family they have a family ticket you can get, which I think goes around £6 for a day travel card (2 adults + 3 children) which is really good. So as I said, we drove there cause it was just more convenient for us, but unfortunately we had to spend a bit too much on parking. It was raining and to be honest, I wasn’t in the mood to walk 20 minutes so I could get a better price. Sometimes it’s worth doing it if you’re with little ones and you know they will get tired easily.
Before going I checked their website and saved their Manchester Christmas Market trail map.
It is quite useful cause then you know which areas you want to skip and which not. As I said, we were with family on that day so we decided to start our little tour on Albert Square. There it has the main concentration of food stalls, some crafts, and yummy hot chocolates., AND the giant Santa! The lights, the atmosphere, always busy on a Saturday, so you need to be very careful with the kids. I didn’t let my 5 year old go for a second. As soon as she started smelling the frankfurts, burgers, etc and “begging” to try some of it we took off and went somewhere else. haha.. it’s not we’re stingy, but we weren’t going to spend 10 pounds per head on food on that day. I was ready with some snacks that I had brought from home. 🙂
We walked down Market street, all the way up to Cathedral Gardens, where you can find the family friendly area.
No alcohol allowed, more space to walk around and a few rides the kids can go. Also they have an ice rink. You can find exact prices on the website but it goes around £10 for an adult, £7 something for an under 14, for a 45 minutes session. Rides are usually 2 tokens and each token equals 1 pound. You can get them from the Ice Rink ticket office too. We weren’t that lucky on that day cause a couple of rides weren’t working but J had some fun at a little train.
Oh well! As usual, anywhere you go, if you’re accompanied with the right people it doesn’t matter that much so we can say our day out was lovely. J enjoyed herself quite a bit, and we all had a nice walk around the market, which for the first time for us we went intentionally, and not just by accident! Probably locals and frequent attenders must think we missed many things but for our little family of 4 with 2 under 5’s was more than enough for a first visit 🙂
**We’ve got really cool pics of the day on our Instagram account. Don’t forget to pop by and follow us there too** 🙂