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Christmas will soon be upon us, which means it’s time to wrap up warm and hit the shops for a bit of Christmas shopping and a few treats for ourselves of course. If Lancaster doesn’t fit your shopping mecca dreams, which I am almost certain it won’t, then don’t fear as there’s plenty of places locally aside from Lancaster where you can find a variety of gifts for friends and loved ones.
Manchester is a great place for shopping any time of the year but at Christmas it lights up even more and there is more to offer than just gifts and presents. Firstly there are hundreds of shops in the Arndale Centre and Triangle centre as well as all the shops located on the streets outside from clothing and accessories to entertainment and sport, there are shops to suite everyone’s needs in Manchester. Reportedly the Trafford Centre has spent over £1.5 million on Christmas decorations, with lights hanging down from windows every window like streamers to giant baubles and Christmas trees. There is even a Santa’s Grotto to keep children of all ages (and adults) entertained and in the Christmas spirit.
To get individual and different gifts or to try some seasonal food there is no better place to head to than the famous Manchester Christmas market which is broken down into seven markets this year specialising in different areas. The German market which offers all sorts of hand-crafted gifts and food such as bratwurst in St Ann’s Square, the World market is located in Brazennose Street, the European market in Albert Street which sells gifts, food and drinks such as Dutch beer. A craft and gift market in Exchange Street and in New Cathedral Street and Exchange Square the general Christmas markets can be found. There is also a weekend craft and gift market at The Triangle in Exchange Square and a new French market which is visiting for the first time this year where you will be able to buy traditional French food such as profiteroles. The market is mostly set up in traditional, chalet’s and surrounded by stunning Christmas lights and atmosphere; it is a great place to pick up a bargain.
But Manchester has more to offer in the Christmas spirit than just shopping; beautiful lights don the streets and trees and there are plenty of other atmospheric things going on. At Spinningfields there is an out-door ice-skating rink which opened on the 20th November and will be there until 4th January 2011. So whether you wish to show of your ice-skating talents or just have a laugh with some friends; the ice-skating rink will definately be providing lot of entertainment.
After shopping or skating there are plenty of other things to do in Manchester to help you warm up such as going to one of the many bars and restaurants or going to see a show. No Christmas and New Year would be complete without a pantomime; the Opera House Manchester is putting on their production of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’ which will run from the 3rd of December to the 2nd of January 2011.