Unmissable things to do in Manchester and the North

Discover acclaimed music and stand-out exhibitions, groundbreaking theatre, family, cinema and literary events in Manchester and the North.

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DaDaFest International 2020: Translations
Festivals 27 November–3 December 2020, FREE

DaDaFest International 2020: Translations – online

With a vibrant showcase featuring 14 brand-new works by D/deaf and disabled artists, DaDaFest International 2020 goes online for its first-ever digital festival.

Grayson's Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions 25 November 2020–18 April 2021, FREE

Grayson’s Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry presents a major exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery featuring work made by the nation during the initial weeks of lockdown.

Story Seekers at IWM North
Families Until 1 November 2020, FREE

Story Seekers at IWM North

Intrepid adventurers wanted: Get hands-on with real artefacts, discover brave real-life stories and ignite big imaginations.

A Christmas Carol at Storyhouse
Families 7 November 2020–17 January 2021, from £23.00

A Christmas Carol at Storyhouse

You will go to a Christmas show this year…packed with song, laughter and festive joy, head to Chester for a cracking adaptation of Dickens’ timeless tale.

Classical Music 12 November 2020 7:00 pm, from £5

Psappha: New Traditions (3×3) at Hallé St Peter’s

‘New Traditions’ will see Psappha showcase contemporary music for stripped-back ensembles, including works by Luciano Berio and Helmut Lachenmann.

Art Comes HOME at HOME, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021,

Art Comes HOME at HOME, Manchester

HOME reopens its main gallery with three simultaneous exhibitions of new work by Nick Burton, Joy Yamusangie and duo Mike S Redmond & Faye Coral Johnson.

Author Lucie McKnight Hardy
Literature 4 November 2020 7:30 pm, from £4

The New Abject at Northern Short Story Festival online

Join Comma Press at the launch of The New Abject, an anthology just in time for Halloween, featuring contributing authors Ramsey Campbell, Matthew Holness and Lucie McKnight Hardy.

Music Until 1 November 2020, FREE

Fat Out Fest 2020 (online)

On Halloween weekend, Fat Out Fest 2020 will celebrate alternative and queer culture with experimental performances, films and panel talks.

Music 12 November 2020 7:00 pm, from £10

Believe in Magic: 30 Years of Heavenly Recordings at YES

Join Heavenly Recordings for their book launch, featuring Jeff Barrett, Robin Turner and Stuart Maconie, plus a live set from Katy J Pearson.

Jonathan Baldock Facecrime
Exhibitions Until 1 November 2020, FREE

Jonathan Baldock: Facecrime at Bluecoat in Liverpool

Inspired by ancient forms of written communication, encounter Jonathan Baldock’s towering ceramic sculptures that stand whispering among themselves in Bluecoat’s main gallery.

Silhouette of people standing in front of an exhibit at Manchester Science Festival 2018
Activity 12–21 February 2021, Tickets TBC

Manchester Science Festival

Expect another action-packed programme of inspiring, entertaining and playful experiences for all ages as Manchester Science Festival returns.

Sheffield Doc/Fest
Cinema Until 30 November 2020, FREE

Sheffield Doc/Fest

Having taken place in Sheffield annually in June, this year Sheffield Doc/Fest extends its activities throughout the rest of the year – both in Sheffield and virtually.

Theatre Until 31 December 2020,


The Homemakers series of virtual theatre continues with this interactive, fantasy musical set in and around your own home.

Cinema 15–30 November 2020, from £5

Manchester Animation Festival

Manchester Animation Festival moves online with an eclectic programme catering to animation professionals, enthusiasts and fans alike.

2020 Banner Display at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021, FREE

2020 Banner Display at People’s History Museum

Visit People’s History Museum’s 2020 display of political banners from across the years – including several that will go on public show for the first time.

Culture Guides

Sculpt with Jim Parkyn

Cinema in Manchester and the North

Both in-person and online, there are film festivals galore in this month’s Cinema Guide.


With galleries finally back open, there’s an abundance of stellar offline exhibitions to satisfy those keen to get back to seeing art in the flesh.

Makefest At Home


Need some inspiration for online activities and creative family fun? Look no further than our top picks online for families across Manchester and the North.

Poet Jade Anouka


From book launches to festival readings and open mics to creative writing workshops, activities and events in Live Literature Land continue virtually as mochas and pints have to accompany substantial meals, not just a garibaldi or a bag of Monster Munch.

Jon Gomm


Discover the best upcoming music events taking place on a stage or a screen near you.

Theatre in Manchester. Image courtesy of RashDash.


Whether you’re looking to get wrapped up and catch an outdoor show or stay home and watch some digital performance – our guide to theatre in Manchester has got you covered.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Higher Ground

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

For the October guide, we’ve found the very best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North to explore, despite the introduction of the 10 pm curfew.

Isolation Broadcast

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Embrace your creative side or find out what local activists have been up to this year in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.