There’s a wealth of free activities to be getting on with this weekend, most (but not all) of which revolve around getting some Christmas shopping done and dusted. It’s all about mixing work with pleasure and killing two birds with one stone – all whilst being tipsy on mulled wine.

Quays Culture Present Hilary Jack’s ‘Inside Outhouse’ (pictured)
As part of the Quays Culture sculpture series, Manchester-based artist Hilary Jack brings an intriguing project to the studio foyer at MediaCityUK. Revisiting her interest in dwellings, Jack presents ‘Inside Outhouse’, which uses materials from skips, charity shops and wild woods that may normally be regarded as junk, but when combined become something of interest. With sections of ancient and reproduction furniture, all of which come with their own unique histories, the overall effect is one that isn’t far off the world of fairytales from the brothers Grimm, contrasting perfectly with the glass walls and clean lines of the building in which it is being exhibited.
Thu Nov 27 – Mon 6 Jan, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2EQ, Tel: 0161 886 5300, FREE,

Vintage Emporium at The Whim Wham Café
Shopping can be hard, especially when it involves rifling through rail upon rail of unique vintage pieces. What makes such an arduous task much better is when it is handily located in a bar serving fine food and gin cocktails. The Whim Wham Café’s Vintage Emporium perfectly blends shopping, grazing and boozing, making things both convenient and enjoyable. Head down this Saturday for the last of their monthly sessions before Christmas.
Sat 30 Nov, The Whim Wham Café, Arch 64, Whitworth Street West, M1 5WQ, 12pm – 5pm, FREE entry,

Christmas Market at Manchester Museum
Now, where on earth can you combine Christmas shopping with dinosaurs? The Christmas market at Manchester Museum this weekend, that’s where. With over 20 stalls of contemporary handmade craft, the market promises a diverse collection of festival toadstools, upcycled bags, bath and beauty treats and elaborate jewellery. And best of all, once you’re all finished buying presents and browsing the stalls, you can go and say hello to the dinosaurs.
Sat 30 Nov, Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, M13 9PL, 10am – 4pm, FREE entry,

Christmas Craft Fair at Cross Street Chapel
More handmade goodness with this Christmas fair, which brings a varied selection of local craft traders selling their Christmas cards, jewellery, jam, cupcakes, candles and a zillion other things. Once again, this event will give you the perfect chance to get some Christmas shopping ticked off, whilst letting you stock up on festive munch with a mince pie and drink for £1.50 – not free, but definitely close enough. Also, rumour has it Santa will be there. Potentially some elves too.
Sat 30 Nov – Sun 1 Dec, Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street, M2 1NL, Tel: 0161 833 0522, 12pm – 8pm,

Sun 1 Dec
Jess Hardiman
Published on:
Sat 30 Nov 2013