December on Oxford Road

Christmas is coming, and while last-minute shopping and crowded German markets are unavoidable, there are plenty of other things to do this December around Oxford Road.

October gets off to a flyer with Neighbourhood Festival returning to Oxford Road stages, bringing us indie titans The Snuts, local heroes Everything Everything and alternative quartet Sundara Karma alongside a quality line-up of eighty-plus other acts. Also on this first weekend is Emergency, Manchester’s twenty-second micro-marathon of the bizarre, the bold and the beautiful in the world of performance art.

Manchester Literature Festival takes place at spaces across Oxford Road this month, celebrating imagination, ideas, stories, and voices from around the world. It is part of Manchester’s rich literary tapestry and we’re delighted to have a preview introduction from the festival’s organisers.

October is Black History Month and it remains as important as ever. This is reflected in the programming of spaces across Oxford Road, both celebrating the achievements and contributions of Black people to the UK and around the world, and ensuring Black history is represented and celebrated.

A blockbuster arrives at Palace Theatre this month as The Lion King begins a two-month run in Manchester. On a slightly smaller stage, we’re very excited to see Keisha Thompson team up with Contact Young Company to bring us Halo, a new show inspired by the Halo Code, a campaign fighting for the protection and celebration of Black hair and hairstyles, Halo explores young people’s experiences in schools and workplaces in regards to their hair.

There are new exhibitions at Castlefield Gallery, the Whitworth and HOME as well as another superb month of gigs including Sampa The Great (now postponed), Manchester Folk Festival, GZA, Gilla Band and many many more.

There’s so much to do this October around Oxford Road, here are just a few of the best bits…

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External shot of The Lass O' Gowrie one of the many pubs and bars on Oxford Road
Bars and Pubs on Oxford Road

Oxford Road is packed with a great range of bars and pubs where you can get your fill of cocktails, spirits and any other liquor you can think of. 

People laughing on University Green one of the many parks and green spaces on Oxford Road
Green Spaces

Oxford Road Corridor has a number of historic parks and contemporary green spaces to enjoy.

Food and Drink on Oxford Road

The food and drink in Manchester is some of the best in the UK with many of the finest offerings found here on the Oxford Road Corridor.

More things to do in October

exhibition At Home with the Pankhurst Family
The Pankhurst Centre | 29 August 2021 – 31 August 2025

The transformation of the Pankhurst Centre exhibition space is incredible thanks to its new permanent exhibition, At Home with the Pankhurst Family.

exhibition Open House
The Whitworth | 26 November 2021 – 10 December 2022

Wallpapers began arriving at the Whitworth in 1967, this exhibition delves into the galley’s collection of around 10,000 examples.

exhibition Exchanges
The Whitworth | 19 February 2022 – 10 February 2023

Exchanges sets art and artist together, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in opposition – always with insight and intention.

families Fairy Tales
Z-arts | 5 April 2022 – 26 February 2023

Fairy Tales is Z-arts latest exhibition, an interactive world of play and storytelling for children up to 8-years old and their grown-ups.

exhibition Rooms of Our Own
Manchester Central Library | 11 October 2022 – 3 January 2023

Rooms of Our Own is an exhibition at Central Library, part of a project to reveal the hidden ‘herstory’ of the Pankhurst Centre.

exhibition Slip.Stream.Slip Part 2
Modal Gallery | 13 October – 16 December 2022

Slip.Stream.Slip Part 2 looks at game engine culture and the shift toward gamification as a model for understanding our lived experiences.

exhibition Althea McNish: Colour is Mine
The Whitworth | 21 October 2022 – 23 April 2023

The Whitworth presents the first major retrospective of Althea McNish, one of the UK’s most influential and innovative textile designers and the first designer of Caribbean descent to achieve international recognition.

theatre Disney’s The Lion King
Palace Theatre | 27 October 2022 – 23 February 2023

Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s multi-award-winning musical is a unique theatrical experience you can experience at Manchester’s Palace Theatre.

exhibition Brigitte Jurack: Fieldnotes
HOME | 29 October 2022 – 29 January 2023

Artist and climate activist Brigitte Jurack’s largest solo show to date, bringing together works produced in the UK, Spain and India.

exhibition Nina Chua and Daniel Silver
Castlefield Gallery | 30 October 2022 – 29 January 2023

A lively and exuberant exhibition of the work of Nina Chua and Daniel Silver, part of Castlefield Gallery’s ongoing series of two person shows.

cinema Christmas Film Season
HOME | 25 November – 30 December 2022

HOME is offering up yet another cinematic selection box of festive favourites this Christmas – get together and enjoy them on the big screen

theatre Split Britches: Last Gasp
Contact | 30 November – 1 December 2022

Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver combine spoken word, movement and Zoom technology to respond to a world turned upside down in Last Gasp.

cinema HOME Artist Film Weekender
HOME | 1 – 4 December 2022

HOME’s annual celebration of the wild and wonderful world of artist film returns with a packed weekend of screenings, talks, and workshops.

theatre The Dan Daw Show
HOME | 1 – 3 December 2022

The Dan Daw Show is a peep into living with shame while bursting with pride. A show about care, intimacy and resilience, about letting go and reclaiming yourself.

music Manchester Collective: Places We Know with Pekka Kuusisto (violin)
Royal Northern College of Music | 2 December 2022

Once or twice in a generation, music fans embrace an artist who totally redefines what is possible in their field. Pekka Kuusisto is one of these artists.

music All I Want For Christmas is… Retro Silent Disco
Manchester Central Library | 2 December 2022

A Retro Silent Disco Chrismas Special takes over Manchester Central Library this festive season.

music Duckwrth
Gorilla | 3 December 2022

Duckwrth is an American rapper and songwriter from Los Angeles. Don’t miss this rare Manchester visit on 3 Dec 2022.

music Idle Hours
YES | 3 December 2022

Call it indie-rock, call it post-punk; it’s guitar music. Idle Hours bring social observation and fuzzy guitars to YES this December.

music The Rills
The Deaf Institute | 3 December 2022

Indie/Post-Punkers The Rills play The Deaf Institute this December, armed with biting, streamlined tracks from debut EP, Do It Differently.

activity Melanin Markets Manchester
Contact | 4 December 2022

This Christmas Contact will become a festive haven for Melanin Markets Manchester – set to be Manchester’s biggest Christmas market event showcasing Black businesses.

music Manchester & Districts Hospital’s Choir Christmas Carol Concert
The Bridgewater Hall | 5 December 2022

Choirs from around Manchester featuring medical and nursing staff sing in this Carol Concert to raise money for CLIC Sargent Young Lives vs Cancer.

music Stephen Hough with RNCM Songsters: Love and Loss
Royal Northern College of Music | 6 December 2022

One of the most distinctive artists of his generation, Stephen Hough lines up alongside students for this performance.

activity Christmas at The Pankhursts’
The Pankhurst Centre | 8 December 2022

Explore the iconic home of the Suffragette movement on an expert-led tour complete with Christmas crafts, mince pie and mulled wine.

theatre There’s a Rang-Tan in my Bedroom & Other Stories
HOME | 9 – 23 December 2022

A magical mix of puppetry and music as we discover more about our animal friends and what we can do to help.

music Max Cooper
Gorilla | 9 December 2022

Electronica, techno producer and artist Max Cooper returns to Manchester with a brand-new immersive concept.

music Rimzee
The Deaf Institute | 9 December 2022

Rimzee depicts a life of luxury through creative wordplay, highlighting the struggles he has faced in life through vivid storytelling and carefully structured lyrics.

theatre Rob Newman
HOME | 9 December 2022

Fresh from his BBC Radio 4 series Rob Newman On Air, the a comedian’s new show comes to HOME.

music RNCM Opera: Die Fledermaus
Royal Northern College of Music | 10 – 17 December 2022

This Christmas, the RNCM are hosting opera’s biggest party, Die Fledermaus, and you’re all invited.

theatre Eight-freestyle presents Robin Hood: The 80s Panto
Contact Theatre | 10 – 31 December 2022

The wildly popular eight-freestyle and Contact panto returns and this season we present something a little different…a panto 80’s remix of Robin Hood!

music The Snuts
Gorilla | 10 December 2022

West Lothian indie heroes The Snuts come to Gorilla in support of their latest album, Burn The Empire.

comedy HOME Comedy Club Presents Laff Til Ya Fart
HOME | 10 December 2022

HOME Comedy Club is back with a Laff Til Ya Fart Christmas Special.

music Joy Orbison
YES | 10 December 2022

Joy Orbsison brings his powerful nightclub constructions to the intimate surrounds of The Pink Roomat YES.

literature Second-hand Book Sale
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House | 11 December 2022

This book sale is held regularly on the second Sunday of every month at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House. Described as ‘Manchester’s best second-hand book sale’ by one visitor it is a popular and favourite destination for book lovers.

theatre Bourgeois & Maurice: Pleasure Seekers
HOME | 16 – 17 December 2022

Gloriously unhinged yet bizarrely life-affirming, this brand new show is a high-energy homage to hedonism in all its filthy, fabulous glory.

music Delta Sleep
Gorilla | 17 December 2022

Math rockers Delta Sleep play Manchester’s Gorilla this December with support from guests The Physics House Band.

families Christmas Family Day: The Gruffalo
Royal Northern College of Music | 18 December 2022

An day of festive family fun and musical treats, including a screening plus live orchestra of the magical film The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.

music Hallé Carol Concert
The Bridgewater Hall | 18 – 17 December 2022

Start your festivities with these most beloved carols as the Hallé Carol Concert comes to The Bridgewater Hall.

families Horrible Christmas Horrible Histories
The Bridgewater Hall | 20 December 2022

Horrible Histories proudly presents the terrific tale of Christmas at The Bridgewater Hall this December.

music Hallé – The Snowman
The Bridgewater Hall | 21 – 23 December 2022

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without settling down at The BridgewaterHall with the Hallé and Raymond Brigg’s classic animated film, The Snowman. 

music The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Bridgewater Hall | 21 December 2022

The Muppet Christmas Carol is live in concert this winter at The Bridgewater Hall, featuring its musical score performed live alongside the film.

music Jane Weaver
YES | 23 December 2022

A special Christmas show with Jane Weaver, live at YES The Pink Room on 23rd December 2022

See what’s on
View of Circle Square from the pavilion at Symphony Park
Circle Square

Circle Square is an exciting multi-million pound, mixed-use neighbourhood, created on the site of the former BBC building on Oxford Road.

Back of Engels statue at First Street Manchester
First Street

First Street is a vibrant neighbourhood between Oxford Road and Deansgate, it is home to a number of businesses and is a popular spot for food, drink and culture.


Hatch is Manchester’s pop-up retail, food and drink destination on Oxford Road with something for just about everyone. It is a place to shop, eat and drink, 7 days a week at over 30 independent traders.

Where to stay

The lobby of Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in Manchester's Oxford Road Corridor
Kimpton Clocktower Hotel

Kimpton Clocktower Hotel offers an unforgettable stay on Oxford Road Corridor in one of Manchester’s most iconic buildings.

Midland Hotel Lobby Manchester Oxford Road Corridr
The Midland Hotel

The Midland Hotel is one of the most famous places to stay in Manchester, and one of Oxford Road Corridor’s most lavishly decorated hotels.

Image of the chandelier at Holiday Inn Express Oxford Road
Holiday Inn Express

The Holiday Inn Express on Oxford Road is a centrally located hotel that offers visitors great value for money.