December has rolled around suspiciously fast, which means we’re all caught up in a confusing flurry of excitement and slight panic. Luckily, there’s lots of Christmas shopping potential this weekend, alongside a free gift wrapping service and FREE BOOZE. This is not a drill.

Family Fun Day at John Rylands Library (pictured)
Spend an afternoon at the glorious John Rylands Library this Saturday for an event that’s got the whole family covered. Learn to make unique Christmas decorations and at the end of the afternoon, Grumbold the library dragon will need help from younger guests to decorate the tree with all of the crafty creations from the day, before turning on the spectacular Christmas lights.
Sat 6 Dec, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, M3 3EH, 1pm – 5pm, FREE,

Southern Comfort Wrapping Boutique at Black Dog Ballroom NQ
Free booze klaxon! Kill two birds with one stone this Saturday as the Northern Quarter’s Black Dog Ballroom opens up its basement space to Southern Comfort’s wrapping boutique. Here you’ll be able to drop in, hand over presents to be wrapped before kicking back with a complimentary Southern Comfort, lemonade and fresh lime whilst Santa’s little helpers do all the hard work for you. Please note, the event is limited to one gift-wrap and one drink per person, and obviously it’s an over 18s kinda thing.
Sat 6 Dec, Black Dog Ballroom NQ, basement of Affleck’s Palace, Church Street, M4 1PW, 12pm – 5pm, FREE,

Apophenia live art event at Regent Trading Estate
Situated just behind Islington Mill, Apophenia is an evening of live performances curated by #temporarycustodians, a new R&D project initiated by Helen Kaplinksy and Maurice Carlin. The event will ask how the shift towards the share economy and peer-to-peer distribution might constitute new models for collecting art, featuring newly commissioned work by artists Josephine Callaghan, Susanna Davies-Crook and Gery Georgieva plus guest performances by New Noveta, Mycological Twist and Joey Holder. See the Islington Mill website for more details.
Sat 6 Dec, Regent Trading Estate (behind Islington Mill), 6.30 – 10pm (Potluck dinner from 6.30pm; performances begin at 8.30pm), FREE (suggested donation on the door),

Ramsbottom Christmas Markets ft. a reindeer
We’ve definitely got a good deal for Christmas markets here in central Manchester, but for those situated a little further out – or those who no longer find themselves able to elbow their way around Albert Square – this Sunday sees the Ramsbottom Christmas Markets open up in the town’s centre. Along with stalls selling Christmas crafts, gifts and festive foods, there’s also a real life reindeer and the big bearded man himself.
Sun 7 Dec, Town centre, Ramsbottom, BL0 9HT, From 10am, FREE,

Fri 5 Dec - Sun 7 Dec
Jess Hardiman
Published on:
Tue 4 Nov 2014