Our guide to what you can do in and around the borough this weekend

Date published: 13 December 2018

‘Santa Special’ Train Rides, Villages Unite & Free Senior Citizens Christmas Parties, Middleton’s Christmas Float Tours The Streets, Shows & Pantomimes, Choirs & Carol Services, ‘Life for a Life’ 5K Race, Autism Friendly Cinema Saturday and Craft & Food Fairs - lots to do in and around the borough this weekend.

  • Events happening all weekend

Christmas Events - Whether you fancy a festive shopping trip to a Christmas Fair or Market, a night out with friends, taking the kids to a panto or to see Santa, singing along to your favourite carols, or making something crafty for Christmas - we have something listed for you:

Skylights Circus Arts presents Mr Kite – Skylight Circus Arts Studio, Fri 14 & Sat 15 Dec, 2pm & 7pm

Featuring performances from the Juggling Mime Twins, Strong Woman 'Yugoslavavic', Acrobatic Performers, Misses Lay Lay, Lulu and Linda - the Trapeze Family and the legend himself Jimmy the Clown!

The Greatest Show – Rochdale Town Hall, Thurs 13, Fri 14 & Sat 15 Dec, 7pm – 1am

Immerse yourself in the freaky world of circus, drama and greatness. Tickets still available for Thursday night.

Treasure Island – The Curtain Theatre, running until Saturday 15 December

There’s digging, sailing and singing going down at Rochdale’s Curtain Theatre this December with a 19-strong cast of pirates, grandmas, cabin boys and parrots.

Christmas Pantomime: Aladdin – Middleton Arena from Fri 7 to Sun 30 Dec, shows at various times

Join Shone Productions this Christmas for their biggest, brightest and most magical Pantomime yet... Aladdin!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Heywood Civic Centre from Sat 15 to Thurs 27 Dec, shows at various times

Join Snow White this Christmas in her fairy-tale adventure of a lifetime.


  • Friday 14 December

Make and Take Art & Craft Group - So Northern Creative Art Studios, 10am – 12noon

For just £5, all crafting materials and expert tuition is provided and each time is something different.

The Rotary Club of Middleton Christmas Float – Hollin, 6.40pm – 9pm

Friday sees the float in Hollin = Nowell Road, Sherbourne Road, Furness Road, Whalley Road, Tintern Road, Abbey Road, Hopwood Road.

Make we Joye in this Fest – Hare Hill House, doors open 6.30pm, 7.30pm start

The Friends of Hare Hill House present a pre-Christmas concert with The York Waits.

Christmas Celebration with Notability Choir – St Gabriel’s Church, 7pm

The Notability choir will be performing in a Christmas Celebration with the children from St. Gabriel’s school. Tickets cost £5 per person.

Rochdale Football Referees Association - Rochdale Cricket, Lacrosse and Squash Club, 7.30pm

Rochdale Referees member and Contributory referee Conor Brown will be leading an interactive discussion on the law amendments and laws of the game. All referees welcome.

Old School Christmas Party ft Slade Tribute Band - Empire Rochdale, 6pm – 4am

With a free buffet, join our old school disco Christmas party!

For a full list of Friday’s events see the Rochdale Online Events Diary


  • Saturday 15 December

Santa’s Grotto – Touchstones Rochdale, 10.15am – 4pm

Join us for creative fun and meet Santa. Each child will receive a gift to take home.

Christmas Coffee Morning – Syke Methodist Church, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Warm mince pies, Christmas goodies and games.

Bernadette Bower 'Life for a Life' Tree 5K Cowm Reservoir Race – From the Cock & Magpie Pub, 11am

Andems Runners 5K race for Springhill Hospice who cared for Bernadette during the last 4 weeks of her life.

Santa is Coming to Town – Cherwell Wellbeing Hub, 11am – 4pm

Meet Santa and his real life reindeers for £5!

Autism Friendly Cinema Saturday – Nativity! – Rochdale Pioneers Museum, 11am

Tuck shop available on site, suitable for all the family.

Christmas Craft & Food Fair – Westfield Catholic Club, 11am – 3pm

Tombolas, raffle, licensed bar and coffee and cakes. Come and find the perfect Christmas present.

Villages Unite Christmas party for the lonely and vulnerable elderly – Butterworth Hall, 1pm – 5pm

For 60 elderly guests who are lonely, vulnerable or bereaved.

Kirkholt Community Church Christmas Special – Kirkholt Community Church, 2pm – 6pm

With a Christian Gospel Choir from The Lighthouse Manchester.

Mess Around Messy Christmas Play – Heywood Sports Village, 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Mess around with reindeer dust, Brussel sprout rolling, candy cane rice, Santa goo and Christmas pud.

Rochdale AFC v Plymouth Argyle + Christmas Family Fun Day – Crown Oil Arena, 3pm kick off

Rochdale Football Club are holding a Christmas Family Fun Day when they host Plymouth Argyle with a free Santa’s grotto and Wardle Brass Band spreading Christmas cheer.

Middleton Band presents Christmas with the Houghton Weavers – St Michael’s Church, 7.30pm

An evening of folk and festive favourites.

Live Music: The Jam Restart – Empire Rochdale, 6pm – 4am

A true celebration of british Mod culture & heritage.

For a full list of Saturday’s events see the Rochdale Online Events Diary


  • Sunday 16 December

Hollingworth Lake Craft Fair – Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre, 11.30am – 3.30pm

Lots of stalls selling handmade items, plus have-a-go at activities.

'Santa Special' Train Rides – Springfield Park, 12noon – 3pm

Miniature railway rides with Santa and sweets for the children.

Empire Rochdale & Springhill Hospice - FREE Senior Citizens Christmas Party – Empire Rochdale, 1pm – 6pm

There will be fabulous live stage performances, bingo, a raffle draw, free food buffet and we will be collecting donations for the hospice throughout.

Rochdale Northern Soul & Motown Afternoon – Brickcroft Social Club, 3pm – 8pm

Brilliant day with fantastic tunes played on vinyl.

Jazz on a Sunday – Newtown National Club, doors open 7.15pm

With Dixie Beats.

There are a variety of church carol services in the borough on Sunday. For a full list of Sunday’s events see the Rochdale Online Events Diary:


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