6 Places To See Christmas Lights In Manchester And Pubs, Bars Or Restaurants For Afterwards

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The winter season is well and truly upon us, so that means it’s time to pull out the cosiest clothes you own and hit the streets for a little festive sightseeing. From the massive displays across the city centre to amazing trails a little further out, here are the best places to see Christmas lights in Manchester - alongside pubs, bars or restaurants to visit afterwards.

City Centre: The Anthologist, Miracle On Cross Street & The Old Wellington

While the 2024 Manchester Christmas lights switch-on event isn't going ahead, the displays themselves will still be stretching across Piccadilly Gardens, St Peter’s Square, New Cathedral Street, St Ann’s Square and more. There’s plenty of places to stop for dinner and a drink after you're finished exploring them all throughout the festive period, including The Anthologist, OTT festive-themed bar Miracle On Cross Street or the oh-so charming Old Wellington.

Manchester City Centre Christmas Lights | DesignMyNight

These Christmas lights in Manchester city centre are close to plenty of the best places to eat.

Dunham Massey: The Con Club

Taking place between 17th November 31st December, the 2024 Dunham Massey Christmas lights see a local favourite return. Found just outside of Manchester in nearby Altrincham, this pretty walk through a National Trust site will have you gazing in awe over festive gardens and photogenic locations. Once you’re all finished? Head to the charming Con Club restaurant for elevated British dishes and micro-brewed beers. There’s even a stunning rooftop tipi when you need a little alfresco action too.

Duham Massey Christmas Lights 2023 | DesignMyNight

After you're done at Dunham Massey, head to nearby Altrincham for bites to eat.

Lightwaves Festival: The Alchemist, The BotanistLime

MediaCityUK probably isn't the first place you’d think of when it comes to a Manchester Christmas light trail, but it’s got some pretty darn gorgeous displays year-after-year. Once you’re done snapping pictures of twinkling set-ups and glowing trees around Salford's Lightwaves Festival (running from 7th to 10th December), pay a visit to the area's many restaurants and bars, such as The Alchemist if you're after cocktails, The Botanist for hanging turkey kebabs, or the cheap and cheerful Lime.

Christmas Light Trail Manchester Lightwaves | DesignMyNight

As far as Christmas light festivals go, this one's a doozy.

Heaton Park: OSMA

While there will be no Lightopia Manchester this 2024, Heaton Park remains a top destination to get your fix of twinkling scenes that'll have you in the mood for the season. Playing host to the team behind Dunham Massey's displays, the park will be illuminated in bright colours between 1st and 31st December - perfect for a festive outing. Plan ahead and get OSMA, the Michelin-recommended eatery in Prestwich, on your list for a meal afterwards.

Heaton Park Christmas Lights 2023 | DesignMyNight

The 2024 Heaton Park Christmas lights are nothing short of magical.

Glow 2024 At RHS Garden Bridgewater: The Blind Pig Eccles

After outdoor Christmas lights in Manchester? Then you must've heard of Glow 2024 at RHS Garden Bridgewater. From 15th November to 30th December, the space will feature an unmissable after-dark spectacle, including trails, halo juggling shows, festive shopping and warming drinks from the cafe. If you're feeling peckish afterwards, then a trip to nearby Eccles to eat at The Blind Pig is in order.

Glow 2023 RHS Garden Bridgewater | DesignMyNight

There'll be plenty of festive snapping and scoffing here.

Looking for more fun things to do this winter? Explore our guide to the best events right here. Or, sign up to the Manchester newsletter and make sure you're in the know.