The Manchester Christmas Markets are well and truly back and bigger than ever! Like most locals at this time of year I frequent the markets whether I want to or not as they literally take up the entirety of the city centre. However, I’ve never actually delved into the market stalls and been an active participant. When it’s on your doorstep I guess you figure you always have time, but like tomorrow that time never seems to come. Unless that is your sister comes to visit with her five month old son and all the joy of a first time mum on baby’s first Christmas!
And so it was; we made a plan. Babes (and husbands) in tow to try every kind of food we could find from chocolate dunked marshmallows to ice cream covered cookie dough and more. Contrary to popular belief despite having an awesome selection of bratwurst, the market hosts a lot more than just Bavarian bangers.
Just remember to take your mugs back as there is a refundable deposit for each one, which if not returned can make a basic round seem extortionately over priced. Although, a lot of tourists do often opt to keep their market branded mugs as a cheap souvenir.
Veggies and vegans
Don’t feel put off either. Food wise there are stalls from all over the world (not just Merkels EU)! As well as your standard meaty treats there are also a plethora of stalls hosting a variety of meat and dairy free delicacies. Two biggies being Northern Soul with their famous cheese toasties and Tikka Kebab Kitchen returning to the markets with their heart warming and belly hugging vegan curry.
If you are with little’ns we recommend you visit the markets mid week, when they are far less busy and easier to explore. Another good tip is to start from the outskirts, near the Corn Exchange and work your way into the centre. From there you’ll not only the largest of the under cover log cabins (more buggy space), but also a good variety of high street bars and restaurants. We found a large selection of well maintained public toilets with baby changing facilities, just to the right side of the town hall as you head towards Saint Peters Square. So, what did my sister Connie think of the busy bee city and its wintery offerings?
“We had a great family day out, getting in the Christmas spirit ready for our babies first Christmas.”
The markets will continue to run right up until the 20th of December, with no booking required. For more info on this and other UK, family friendly outings email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was originally posted Christmas 2017, most info listed still stand but some dates/times and stalls may have changed slightly. Why not check Manchester Councils .gov site for updates on the markets this year.