Salford Quays: the home of MediaCityUK will host a season of festive fun for all to enjoy this November and December. Celebrating 18 Years In The Making, Greater Manchester's contemporary waterfront destination will be awash with festive events, merry markets, entertaining shows and illuminating art displays, for its anniversary year.

The Quays, Salford

Here are 18 reasons to visit Salford Quays this season:

1. This winter, Quays Culture will host a free interactive light festival. The annual festival, Lightwaves 2018 will showcase inspiring digital light art; illuminating the public spaces for an unforgettable 10 days, from Friday 7 December until Sunday 16 December 2018, as 16 FREE light experiences span across Salford Quays and MediaCityUK. #Lightwaves2018

2. Be part of the launch of Lightwaves 2018. The celebratory launch weekend will feature special additions to the programme, with a public performance by Manchester Survivors Choir at 7pm on Friday 7 December, and interactive workshops, talks and tours throughout the weekend.

3. A huge family favourite, Doctor Dolittle returns to the stage, at The Lowry, in Leslie Bricusse's acclaimed family musical. Join the eccentric Doctor, his human companions and his exotic menagerie of animal friends on an extraordinary adventure. The larger-than-life Doctor Doolittle teaches us not only to talk to the animals but to listen to them as well! Tuesday 11 December – Saturday 5 January.

4. Get festive at the Grade I listed Ordsall Hall. Visit the Great Chamber (said to be one of the most haunted rooms in Ordsall Hall) for an afternoon of festive family, ghostly tales. Sunday 2 December. Meet the big man himself, at Santa's grotto and receive a magical gift on Sunday 9 and 16 December. And The Tin Soldier has all the ingredients for a perfect family show! Toy soldiers, goblins and ballerinas; this family Christmas story not to be missed is filled with wonderful puppetry, multimedia and live music. Thursday 13 December.

5. At the Lowry Outlet MediaCityUK Shoppers can find plenty of inspiration for that extra special present for a loved one at the Christmas Makers Market. Artisan producers from Manchester and across the region will be showcasing their arts and crafts as well as local food and drink at the festive market. (22- 25 November and 1-2/8-9/15-16 December). Santa Claus is taking time out from his busy schedule to bring the magic of the North Pole to Lowry Outlet. Children and big kids alike can step into the enchanting Claus' Christmas Cabin. Rudolf and his friends will bring this festive interactive experience to life; families can visit the reindeer stables and meet Santa and Mrs Claus. Each child will also receive a special toy. Opens on on Thursday 22 November, until Christmas Eve.

6. A brand new exhibition at The Lowry is Lowry & The Pre-Raphaelites, which is set to bring together works by Rossetti and other members of the Pre-Raphaelite movement for a major exhibition about LS Lowry and his admiration for the Pre-Raphaelites. Saturday 10 November – Sunday 24 February.

7. Independent restaurant and bar located in the heart of Salford Quays, Lime Bar & Restaurant also celebrates its 18th year this year. The popular establishment will celebrate in style with a three-day party from Friday 9-Sunday 11 November, featuring live music from local lads Ellwood on the Friday night and a mammoth four hour long DJ set from Manchester-favourite Clint Boon on the Saturday night.

8. Visit the wonderful Tudor Manor House, Ordsall Hall for Opera North's brilliant pop up opera. Be entertained by professional opera singers and an accordionist, in an operatic taster packed with comedy, deceit, love and tragedy. And be treated to scenes and songs from the iconic opera, Don Giovanni. For one day only on Monday 12 November.

9. If you're looking for a fully-fledged, festive knees up in December, Lime Bar & Restaurant have pulled out all the stops this year, with live music and DJs planned every weekend throughout December. The Christmas menu includes options ranging from a two or three course sit down meal, to a selection of hot buffets and drinks packages, starting at just £15 p/head - perfect if you're in charge of planning the works 'do'!

10. Sign the kids up to the Junior Sailing Club at Helly Hansen Watersports Centre. This fun, exciting club aims to get children aged 8 - 18 years learning how to sail, develop skills and encourage them through the RYA Stages and NGB qualifications. These tailored sessions, from basic to advanced racing techniques, include social events and racing at other clubs. Available for all abilities from November.

11. A festive sculpture trail is to take place around MediaCityUK and Salford Quays this Christmas to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Snowman. A first for nation's favourite Christmas story, Walking with The Snowman is presented by Wild in Art, organisers of the Bee in the City art trail, and is a collaboration with Penguin Ventures, part of publisher Penguin Random House UK. Walking with The Snowman will feature twelve giant Snowman sculptures themed around the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, each designed and decorated by one of twelve talented artists. These will be displayed inside cultural and leisure venues, around MediaCityUK to form part of the magical trail, before being auctioned off to raise money for BBC Children in Need. Smaller sculptures, designed by local schools, will also add to the trail. Thursday 22 November - Sunday 6 January (smaller sculptures will fly on to the trail for December). The trail starts at Lowry Outlet, where trail maps can also be collected. Local print solution company, Print Search will sponsor one of the sculptures in The Snowman trail.

12. Copthorne Hotel Manchester has #XmasWrappedUp with a host of festive treats planned. Enjoy Festive Afternoon Tea overlooking the waterfront from £15.95 p/head (Available from Saturday 1 December). Christmas Day and New Year's Eve menus are also available.

13. Set sail, and take a boat ride along Manchester's historic ship canal and see the ultra-modern skyline from the water with City Centre Cruises, which offer a range of cruise attractions including Sunday Lunch Cruises, available on Sunday 11 November and Sunday 16 December.

14. The Alchemist MediaCityUK. Is an eye-catching gold clad bar and restaurant, featuring an outdoor terrace, which cantilevers out of the canal, and offers sweeping views of the water and surrounding area. Masters in molecular mixology, join The Alchemist as they embrace the Spirit Of Christmas. Indulge in its delicious Christmas menu and explore the innovative drinks packages.

15. Discover a new way of renting at Clippers Quay, a prestigious new waterfront development of 614 new homes in Salford Quays. Designed exclusively for modern day renters, these stylish new apartments offer a range of excellent services and amenities, including free Wi-Fi, private gym, co-working hubs, a residents' lounge, 24-hour concierge and dedicated onsite management team – perfect for those looking for a new place at Salford Quays.

16. Take a winter stroll on The Salford Trail; the walk is divided into a series of ten walks with walk 1 starting from the cityscape of Salford Quays, and walk 8 finishing at Salford Quays. The whole trail is 50 miles/80 kilometres and the route is varied, going through rural areas and green spaces. It passes beside rivers and canals, through country parks, fields, woods and moss lands.

17. Christmas is such a magical time for families. Join Copthorne Hotel Manchester for a festive feast and a visit from Santa himself, plus a gift for children! Available from Sunday 9 – Sunday 16 December.

18. Unlocking Salford Quays: a permanent sculpture trail around The Quays, revealing the hidden history of the area from industrial hub to one of the country's most prestigious waterside developments. Supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund, this project brings together local communities, artists, performers, writers and historians.

Salford Quays is a hub for the Northwest's best cultural, sporting and leisure destinations, including The Lowry, City Centre Cruises, Ordsall Hall, Helly Hansen Watersports Centre, Quays Culture and Lowry Outlet. Also, located in the area is The Copthorne Manchester, The Alchemist MediaCityUK, Lime Restaurant, MediaCityUK and Clippers Quay, from Grainger PLC, a striking new residential development. Housed within one square mile, all of its attractions are within easy walking distance, making it the ideal location for a day out or weekend break.

The creation of Salford Quays, was one of the first and largest regeneration projects in the UK. Since its launch the area has gone on to tell a fascinating story, becoming home to some of the most spectacular attractions and iconic buildings in the UK. Salford Quays is now a world-class visitor, leisure, residential and business destination.

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The Quays
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The Quays is Greater Manchester's unique waterfront destination, situated just 15 minutes by tram from Manchester city centre and an ideal destination for a day out or weekend break.

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The annual festival, Lightwaves 2018 will showcase an eclectic programme of digital light art, taking over public spaces for an unforgettable 10 days.

Ordsall Hall
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Ordsall Hall is Salford's 'hidden gem'! Dating back over 600 years, it is one of the region's finest examples of an Elizabethan black and white half-timbered manor-house.

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Doctor Dolittle at The Lowry

Join the eccentric Doctor, his human companions and his exotic menagerie of animal friends on an extraordinary adventure.

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Lime Bar - Salford

Celebrating it’s eighteenth year on Salford Quays, Lime bar is a vibrant all day dining and drinking venue situated in the heart of Salford Quays, just a stone’s throw from the Lowry Theatre.

Helly Hansen Watersports Centre
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Helly Hansen Watersports Centre

The North West’s premier watersports centre.

Copthorne Hotel Manchester
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Copthorne Hotel Manchester

Situated in an envious location in the waterfront, the Copthorne Hotel Manchester exhibits spacious comfort in all 166 guest rooms. Visitors will appreciate the fantastic Quayside location and picturesque views over the waterfront.

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