Enjoy the very best North West Christmas

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat …

After one Christmas under lockdown restrictions and the possibility of more to come this festive season, why not make the most of what the North West has to offer? (socially distanced, where necessary)

Whether it’s out and about in the winter cold or snuggled up in front of the gogglebox, here are a few ideas for activities with family and friends:

Light up your life with illuminations!

Take a stroll along the brightly lit paths of Delamere Forest, Lightopia at Heaton Park, the Christmas Light Trail at Bolesworth, or through the Magical Woodland in Blakemere Village (Sandiway) to name but a few. Alternatively, why not stay local and wander around your very own neighbourhood to find the best lights.

Stretch your legs with a great pub walk

The North West offers some fantastic public trails that make for excellent walks to take in winter’s best scenery. For inspiration you could take a look at the Sandstone trail, Macclesfield Forest, the Gritstone Trail and the Peak District. Don’t forget to wrap up well! Mulled wine and hot chocolate can only warm you up so much…

Find yourself a North West Christmas film

At the cinema for Father Christmas’ origin story A Boy Called Christmas, at a drive-in cinema for Elf and more at Park N Party MCR drive-in cinema, or find something special like It’s a Wonderful Life at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic on Christmas Eve.

See what special performances are happening near you

Car Park Panto: Horrible Histories Presents Horrible Christmas at a variety of locations, Aladdin at Manchester’s Opera House, Sleeping Beauty at Salford Arts Theatre and The Snowman & Hairy Maclary at Bridgewater Hall.

Panto laughs with Aladdin at Manchester Opera House

Panto laughs with Aladdin

Avoid the crowds and settle in for a night or two of unmissable telly.

Keep an eye out for new treats and family favourites:

  • Christmas Eve 9pm – All Creatures Great and Small Christmas Special. a favourite show amongst the Merrick staff, we can’t wait!
  • Christmas Day 7.30pm – Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby, featuring national treasures Julie Walters and Hugh Dancy.
  • Christmas Day 8pm – The Great Christmas Bake Off. Watch the stars of the hit It’s A Sin take on festive bakes in the famous tent.
  • Boxing Day 5.50pm – Around the World in 80 Days. A nine-episode series featuring former Doctor Who David Tennant as Phileas Fogg.
  • Boxing Day 7.30pm – Death in Paradise Christmas Special. A little piece of the sun and sea of the Caribbean to be found on Boxing Day
  • 28 December 7.15pm – Worzel Gummidge. Detectorists’ magic duo Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones bring the books back to life on screen.
What’s Christmas without the games?

If you’re celebrating Christmas as part of a big group, parlour games make cheap and cheerful options to entertain.

Charades: Classic Christmas fun

Charades: Classic Christmas fun


Ibble-Dibble; Who Am I? Post-it note game; Wink Murder and Charades are classic examples. A word to the wise, think carefully before picking up board games, particularly ones that test friendships to their limit (Monopoly, we’re looking at you).

– Each of the live events above is likely to have some restrictions in place so please check the booking website or contact the venue for further information.

Regardless of what you choose to do, from all of us at Merrick, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Merrick helpline remains open