What do you buy for the person that’s got everything? It’s an age-old challenge that we face every Christmas, we all know someone who is incredibly hard to buy for. 

Luckily Greater Manchester may just have the answer. With plenty of places to pick up a unique gift and countless gift experiences that could help someone make incredible memories; Greater Manchester could just save Christmas. From foodie experiences to tours and so much more, Greater Manchester has more to offer than Santa and his elves could ever make.

Here are our top picks for unique gift shops and gift experiences across Greater Manchester.

Oklahoma, NQ

Unique Gifts

Manchester Themed Gifts

If you’re looking for a Manchester-themed gift, then look no further than The Manchester Shop. Located in the heart of the city centre in the iconic Afflecks Palace, it’s ideally placed to pick up unique souvenirs, gifts and more. Maybe you want to give someone who lives further afield a taste of home this Christmas or you simply want to give a true Manc a gift representing the greatest city in the world. Either way, The Manchester Shop can deliver.

Northern Quarter

From the legendary Piccadilly Records to Oklahoma, the Northern Quarter should be your first port of call when looking for a unique gift. There are countless vintage shops, gift shops and more independent shops ready to help you find a special gift for the whole family from music lovers to fashionistas and everyone in between.

The Makers Market

Greater Manchester is home to many markets but the Maker’s Market has a real bohemian and handmade edge which may just help you find a truly unique gift. There are food and alcohol gifts, home décor, pottery, accessories and plenty more to inspire you. The Maker’s Market now runs all across the North West including Salford, West Didsbury, Stockport, Sale and Manchester City Centre on differing weekends, so you should be able to find one near you.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Manchester Craft and Design Centre is home to over 19 studio shops which host some of the region’s most talented designers and makers. You can see the makers at work, discover what they do, and find that special handmade gift for Christmas which will add a truly personal touch. Not only will you find something truly unique, but you can tell them the story behind it too.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Gift Experiences

Gin making at the Spirit of Manchester Distillery

The festive season often calls for a tipple or two and for many of us this means gin, but this Christmas you can give so much more than a bottle. The Spirit of Manchester Distillery offers a fully immersive tour and gin-making experience with Manchester Gin which could be the perfect Christmas gift for someone special. With a guided tour they’ll get to truly understand their palette and the flavours they most enjoy as well as the complexities of the gin-making process so that they can learn the art of distilling. For gin connoisseurs, you can also add a trip to Manchester Gin’s gin school where they’ll be able to create their very own gin to take home, made to their tastes and remind them of a great day out. It will be a Christmas gift food lovers and gin drinkers will never forget.

Theatre Tickets

Greater Manchester’s theatre scene is booming with a huge variety of shows and spectacles to suit all tastes. So, if you’re looking for a memorable Christmas gift this year, why not investigate what is coming up at your local theatre? With huge performances at Manchester Opera HouseThe Lowry and Manchester’s Palace Theatre you’re sure to find something for theatre lovers. HOME, Contact Theatre and more are home to more creative spaces and local theatres from Stockport to Bury host intimate and unique shows. Whether they’re looking for a sing-a-long musical, laugh-out-loud comedy or inspiring play, Greater Manchester’s theatres will have something to offer. Find out what’s on in Greater Manchester’s Theatres here.

A heritage train journey with East Lancashire Railways

Give train lovers a day to look forward to this Christmas with a trip on the East Lancashire Railway. Whether it’s a gift for a family day out or a relaxing trip for two, this heritage railway spans generations and can make a great day out for all. Take in the stunning surroundings of Greater Manchester and Lancaster from the comfort of the steam train. You’ll see rural landscapes, picture-perfect villages and bustling Victorian market towns. Stop off wherever you like to take in pubs, bars, tea rooms and more for a real day out. 

Manchester Taxi Tour Afternoon Tea experience

Giving the gift of an afternoon tea is a surefire way to beat the January blues as it gives them a sweet treat to look forward to when the holidays are over. However, in Greater Manchester, we like to deliver an unforgettable afternoon tea experience that showcases the best of the city. Giving the gift of an Afternoon Tea Taxi Tour this Christmas means they can enjoy a tour of the city sights as well as sandwiches, cakes and scones brought to you by the award-winning Slattery Patissier & Chocolatier. You can completely customise the tour to ensure your must-see sights are visited, then sit back and relax. The afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the taxi or in one of Manchester’s gorgeous green spaces, either way, it’s a unique experience that will create lasting memories for someone special.

Taxi Tours

Football Club Stadium Tour

If you know a football lover, what could be a better Christmas gift than taking them behind the scenes at one of Manchester’s iconic football stadiums? Whether they’re a red, a blue or just a fan of the beautiful game, taking a tour of a Premier League stadium is surely top of their Christmas list, and in Greater Manchester, we can certainly deliver.

The Manchester City Football Club Stadium Tour gives you an interactive experience with an immersive film, the chance to interact with Pep Guardiola (thanks to technology) and an expert guide to take you behind the scenes, you’ll learn all of the facts and anecdotes behind the Etihad Stadium and the stars that grace the pitch. 

Alternatively, The Manchester United Museum and Stadium Tour provides a behind-the-scenes look at one of the world’s most famous football stadiums, Old Trafford. There is a tonne of history to take in and stories to hear. Sit in the dugout, walk through the tunnel and even visit the dressing room, as you put yourself in the shoes of a Premier League footballer. 

Manchester River Cruise

Give a sightseeing and relaxing gift this Christmas with Manchester River Cruises. From the 50-minute, Quays Adventures trips to a 4.5-hour expedition to Ellesmere Port, Manchester River Cruises provide the ultimate way to enjoy the historic Manchester Ship Canal and River Irwell. They’re great for history lovers, boat lovers or someone who would rather have a great day out than a gift. Get ready to take to the water and make some memories in 2023.

Scranchester walking tour

If you’re looking for an experience your foodie friends will never forget, how about Scranchester Food Tours? Booking a food tour for Christmas gives them something delicious to look forward to in the new year and this walking tour of Manchester is certainly a gift for the tastebuds. With at least eight stops across the city centre each with a different delicacy, Christmas eating doesn’t have to stop any time soon. Scranchester tours are a great way to learn about the city and its rich food history, taking in unique stories from an expert tour guide. But best of all you’ll enjoy tasty treats and hidden gems that you may not have found on your own. Vouchers are available for this food and drink experience and two tours are available, exploring Ancoats or Eat the City. It’s the ultimate Christmas gift for Manchester foodies, just make sure they turn up hungry.

Scranchester Tour

Coronation Street The Tour

If you have a soap fan in your house, what could be a better gift from Santa than a tour of Coronation Street and a visit to the infamous cobbles? With vouchers available for Coronation Street The Tour, they walk down Britain’s most famous street and witness where the drama unfolds. They can learn behind-the-scenes secrets, see where the action happens and feel as though they really are part of the street. Of course, they’ll also get the chance for photo opportunities outside the Rovers Return and other landmarks. It’s not often you get to see how your favourite show is made, and if you know a Coronation Street fan, this could be the ultimate Christmas gift for them, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Food Sorcery cooking class

Learning a new skill is the gift that keeps on giving and this Christmas, why not help someone with the gift of a class? With Food Sorcery you can encourage your friends to unleash their inner chef this Christmas. It’s definitely an upgrade from buying recipe books year after year. This way they can learn to cook a huge array of dishes from across the world from dim sum to tapas in classes that will ignite their tastebuds. Plus, there are even baking classes for those who have a sweet tooth. These hands-on cookery classes are led by expert chefs and are suited to all abilities so you don’t have to be the next Gordon Ramsay to give it a whirl. Located in Didsbury with views over the river, these classes make the perfect place for a foodie to expand their skill set and have a bit of fun along the way. Book a voucher or an existing session, and give them a delicious gift they’ll remember forever.

Manchester Craft Beer Tour

If you know a beer lover, then they’ll know that nothing beats a beer on draught. Instead of giving the gift of bottles or cans this Christmas, why not treat them to the best craft beers Manchester has to offer in some of the greatest pubs? The Craft Beer Tour of Manchester gives the opportunity to visit some of the best microbreweries and craft beer houses, some of which may not yet be on their radar and can make sure they have a great day planned to beat the January blues. They can taste at least ten varieties of craft beer and learn the secrets of each venue in a taste-filled afternoon, which certainly beats buying a bottle. With expert talks on each beer and the inspiration behind specific flavours, this tour is so much more than a bar crawl.

To find out more about what you can do in Greater Manchester, from free events to bookable experiences, visit our Things To See & Do page.

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