On the 18th November the festive season officially commenced in Altrincham with the annual Christmas Lights Switch On organised by Altrincham Unlimited and Stamford Quarter Shopping Centre.
The festive spirit swept through the town as twinkling lights and Christmas trees came to life. Since then the merriness has remained in the air with the Alt. Great British Christmas Markets starting and pop-up Santa sleighing his way across the town. A trip to Altrincham is bound to get anyone in the Christmas spirit!
For the first 12 days of December here are our 12 reasons why Altrincham is all you need this Christmas!
1. Lantern Parade
This Saturday Altrincham Unlimited is bringing a magical town-wide lantern parade to Altrincham’s Christmas calendar. Led by a samba band, the parade of dancers, street performers, professional lanterns and a brass ensemble will twinkle their way around the town centre from 4.30pm to a singalong festive finale in Stamford Square! And you can join in too! There will be lantern-making workshops in Open Studios (43-47 Stamford New Road) from 11.30-3.30pm (last entry 3pm). Click here for more info.
2. The Little Northern Contemporary Craft Fair
Tomorrow the Little Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF’s little sister) is setting up shop in Altrincham’s Town Hall for one day only! With 40 carefully selected designer-makers, the craft fair will display an exquisite range of designs from precious jewellery and hand-made leather bags to statement homeware which you can take home with you. Click here for more information.
3. Independent Shopping
Altrincham has become a hotspot for independent retailers in recent years, and it’s constantly growing. From unique homeware and gifts, to quirky art and jewellery you won’t find anywhere else, you won’t be left short on inspiration for those hard-to-buy-for friends and family members.
4. Stamford Orchestra Christmas Concert
The Stamford Orchestra's Christmas Concert is an annual Christmas tradition for Altrincham Market House, and will be performing on Monday 11th December this year from 7pm. Raising money for Francis House Children’s Hospice, they will be performing a variety of Christmas favourites including Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. Click here for more info.
You’ll be spoilt for choice for pantomimes in Altrincham this year, as there’s not one, but a whopping three pantomimes over the festive period. Oh no there’s not! Oh yes there is!
Jump on board a magical flying carpet in Aladdin’s classic pantomime on 17th December at Altrincham FC, and again on 21st December in Cresta Court Hotel. Or be enchanted by Sleeping Beauty in Altrincham Garrick’s pantomime running until 7th January. More festive events here!
6. Thursday late night shopping
On the sixth day of Christmas ... we're gearing up for some easy-peasy late night shopping! If you're after a stress-free shopping trip to pick up everything you need from your favourite high street retailers, walk this way on Thursday! Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Next, House of Fraser, H&M, Jake Shoes, Waterstones, Paperchase, Wilko, Boots, The Entertainer, Randalls Jewellers, The Works, Millets and many more will all be open until at least 7pm. Plus street and council car parking is free after 3pm, and once you're done you've got the best of the north west's independent food and drink waiting for you. What's not to love!
7. Santa's Grotto
On the seventh day of Christmas don't forget about pop-up Santa's grotto!
Santa has been taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Altrincham the past 3 weeks, and it’s his final visit on Saturday 9th December before the big day! Find him in his pop-up grotto in Kings Court from 12-4pm and tell him all your Christmas wishes.
8. Top quality High Street brands
Altrincham has an exceptional mix of top quality high street favourites, including Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Monsoon, Paperchase, Waterstones, River Island and many more. With something for everyone, you’re sure to soon finish your Christmas shopping with a trip to Altrincham. Take a look at the full list of shops in our directory.
9. Silver Blades Ice Rink
It’s not Christmas until you’ve fallen flat on your bum on ice, and where better to do that than in Greater Manchester’s only permanent ice rink? Great fun for the whole family, Planet Ice offers family sessions, as well as disco ‘meltdowns’ for the teens and penguin sessions for the little ‘uns. Don’t fancy taking to the ice yourself? Watch the professionals effortlessly glide across the ice in Planet Ice’s Christmas Show Around the World in 80 Days. Click here for more info.
10. Twilight Market
The famous Alt. Great British Christmas Markets twilight market is back another year for one night only. Head down on Friday 15th December from 6-9pm for one-off gifts, the best of regional food & drink, contemporary cards & decorations, live music and festive cheer. Click here for more information.
11. Food & Drink
There is no questioning that Altrincham is the hub of food and drink in Greater Manchester. Since the opening of Altrincham Market House in 2014, Altrincham’s food and drink scene has gone from strength to strength, with new restaurants and bars opening in the town centre to this day. So whether you’re out for a few drinks after work with the girls, or quenching your thirst after a hard days Christmas shopping, Altrincham has something suitable for everybody.