Your guide to Christmassing at intu Trafford Centre

We don’t know about you but Christmas has to be our favourite time of year. The decorations are already up, we’ve filled the diary with loads of parties and we’re ready to shop our novelty socks off.

Feeling the festive fever too? You’re in the right place, because we’ve rounded up all the festive fun you’ll find at intu Trafford Centre. Anxious about the big Christmas shop? Fear not, we’ve got loads of exciting brands to shop, so there’s no excuse for not finding the perfect gift. 

And don't forget, we’ll be open until 11pm on weekdays and Saturdays from Monday 11 December, and parking is free! Find out more information about parking here and opening hours here

Christmas round every corner

We’ve got lots of ways to help you get Christmassing! Here’s a short guide to help you plan your festive schedule at intu Trafford Centre.

The Big Switch On

When: 2 Nov, 7.30pm

Where: Main Dome

We’re starting the countdown to Christmas with a never-before-seen line-up of influential Manchester artists. Described as ‘Britain’s most adventurous orchestra’, Manchester Camerata brings together 21 local musicians with legendary Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam to produce an innovative set with a festive twist. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this exceptional Christmas performance.

The Polar Expedition grotto

When: 6 Nov to 24 Dec

Where: Barton Square

Join us on an epic augmented-reality journey to Lapland to seek out Santa Claus. Meet Norbert, the newest addition to the reindeer herd, then set off with the eskimo elves to an icy world so frosty it glitters. Remember to watch out for seals, polar bears, and penguins along the way!

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Magical Christmas parade

When: 18 Nov, 11.30am and 2.30pm 

Where: The Orient 

Follow your favourite TV and film characters as they parade through the centre. Look out for all the big names including Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Minions, Shimmer & Shine and many more. They’ll also be joined by Father Christmas for a grand finale sing-along on the Main Stage led by the big man himself.

Find out more

The Big Wheel

When:  Until 7 January

             Mon-Fri: 11am - 10pm

             Sat:        11am - 9pm

             Sun:       11am - 6pm

Where: Outside The Great Hall

Get swept up, up and away this winter as the big wheel returns to give you a unique bird’s eye view of the city. Keep an eye out for the Bridgewater Canal, MediaCity, Old Trafford and of course the stunning architecture of intu Trafford Centre itself! The ride costs £5 for an adult, £4 for a child and £15 for family ticket (2 adults and 2 children).

Festive Fare at Barton Square

When: 11 Nov – 24 Dec

Where: Barton Square

With a beautiful Victorian carousel as its centre piece, our Christmas market is packed with tasty treats, traditional gifts and mulled wine.

Festive food stalls opening times: 

Mon-Fri: 10am - 8pm

Sat:        10am - 9pm

Sun:       11am - 6pm  

Christmas Eve: 9am - 5pm 

Boxing Day: 9am - 5pm

New Year's Eve: 9am - 6pm

New Year's Day: 12noon - 6pm

Want more inspiration for Christmas activities? View our Christmas Calendar here

Find your festive wardrobe

Gift giving and festive entertainment aside, our favourite part of Christmas is shopping for the perfect party outfit. From Selfridges to John Lewis, Zara to Stradivarius, Me Me Me Shoppers will find something irresistible to sparkle in this party season.

See the full list of our fashion stores here.

A (smart) home for Christmas

If you’re looking for gift ideas for those choosy few, why not get them something for the home? We house a wide range of retailers specialising in affordable yet stylish homeware and interior design, from Next Home to Muji, The White Company to HomeSense and even high street hero John Lewis.

Buying for a too-cool-for-school nephew or tech savvy son? Get them a gadget gift they’ll be proud to show off. Try a speaker from audio experts Bose, bag them the latest iPhone or iPad from Apple or check out the newest console releases at Game and HMV.

Want more gadget gift inspiration? Try out our innovative Gift Finder here

See what's big in beauty

Whether trying a bold new look or buying for a fellow aficionado, beauty is always a big hit at Christmas, and you’ll find some of the biggest names in beauty here, including KIKO Milano, MAC and Charlotte Tilbury, as well as The Body Shop and Boots (love their 3 for 2 offers!).

When it comes to ticking presents off the list, gift sets are always going to be a winner. Our pick for this season’s must-haves? Urban Decay’s latest eyeshadow palettes, Molton Brown gorgeous new 1973 collection, and MAC’s high-fashion Christmas collections.

Read more about MAC’s gorgeous Christmas collection here.

Refuel and relax

There comes a point on every big shopping trip when you just have to take a break!

intu Trafford Centre has over 60 restaurants, cafes and bars serving tasty treats from all over the globe. We think you can’t beat the Selfridges Champagne Bar for an indulgent lunch; think seafood platters, artisan meats and a fine selection of cheeses - it’s what Christmas is all about really!

If you’re looking to let your hair down a little more, look no further than the newly opened All Bar One. Renowned for their potent cocktails, they also have an extensive range of wines and beer.

Hoping to stay health-conscious this season? You’ll be delighted to hear that The Garden, the mega-popular healthy eatery in Hale Village, has set up its own pop-up in Selfridges, so you can indulge without the guilt.

Check out our full list of eateries here.

Looking for even more inspiration? Check out our Christmas calendar here; it's updated daily with everything you need to see, shop and eat this festive season.

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