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 throughout the North.

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The Stoller Hall
Music Until 11 December 2021,

The Stoller Hall Christmas Season

The Stoller Hall’s Christmas programme is always a highlight of the festive cultural calendar, and this year is no different.

Hallé Christmas Family Concerts at the Bridgewater hall
Families 12–30 December 2021, from £16.50

The Hallé Family Christmas Concerts at The Bridgewater Hall

Experience the Hallé Christmas Family Concerts at The Bridgewater Hall this festive season, including ‘Bash & the Missing Merry Melody’, The Snowman & The Magical Music of Harry Potter.

Exhibitions Until 23 January 2022, from £16.50

Van Gogh Alive at MediaCityUK

This autumn, MediaCityUK welcomes Van Gogh Alive, an immersive, multi-sensory experience that elevates the Dutch master’s work to new heights with the help of modern technology.

The Snowman and hairy Maclary
Childrens 22–23 December 2021, from £17.50

The Hallé presents The Snowman and Hairy Maclary at Bridgewater Hall

This Christmas, bring your whole family to see a double performance of The Hallé’s The Snowman and Hairy Maclary at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Be enthralled by the magic of Christmas as Hallé Orchestra perform Howard Blake’s magical score live, followed on by the story of Hairy Maclary, the lovable canine.

Spinach at The Edge
Comedy Until 18 December 2021, from £14.00

Spinach at The Edge

An intriguing all-sung comedy-thriller that opens with two strangers tethered to one another in the basement of a house…

Chloë Hanslip
Classical Music 5 December 2021 3:00 pm, from £5.50

Northern Chamber Orchestra with Chloë Hanslip

British violinist Chloë Hanslip joins the Northern Chamber Orchestra for a concert of Shostakovich, Grieg, Elgar and Finzi.

The Lowry Autumn Winter Season 2021
Dance Until 15 January 2022,

The Lowry Winter Season 2021

With opera, dance, contemporary shows, musical theatre and high-flying circus adventures, it’s all happening in Salford this winter.

BC Camplight
Music 8 December 2021 6:30 pm, from £19.75

BC Camplight at The Ritz

Philadelphian-via-Manchester singer-songwriter BC Camplight performs his biggest headline show in the city to date.

Exhibitions Until 6 February 2022, from £0.00

Mark Hearld, Raucous Invention: The Joy of Making at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Mark Hearld’s exhibition Raucous Invention: The Joy of Making fills the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Upper Space and YSP Centre with dazzling, nature-inspired creations.

Beauty & The Beast at The Dukes
Families Until 31 December 2021, from £16.00

Beauty & The Beast at The Dukes

Make Christmas 2021 one to remember with this wonderful in-the-round stage production of the classic fairytale.

Music 6 December 2021 7:30 pm, from £14.00

Anika at YES

Anika – the project of Berlin-based musician Annika Henderson who is also a founding member of Exploded View – is performing at YES in support of her first new album in over a decade.

Exhibitions Until 31 March 2022, FREE

Cancer Revolution: Science, Innovation and Hope

Explore how science is fuelling a revolution in cancer care and offering a hopeful view into the future with Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope.

Manchester Christmas Markets 2021
Families Until 22 December 2021, FREE

Manchester Christmas Markets

The Manchester Christmas Markets are back, with many dozens of stalls in front of the town hall, and hundreds of traders spread across city-centre squares.

Childrens Until 9 January 2022, from £19

Stick Man at The Lowry

Stick Man, the much-loved Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler tale of misadventure, is brought to life for small people and their grown ups this festive season by Freckle Productions.

PUSH Festival - HOME
Festivals Until 31 December 2021,

PUSH Festival 2021 at HOME

Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.

Culture Guides


Christmas programming, Japanese classics and the latest new releases coming to a screen near you this December.


With autumn in full swing, we may be missing the daylight but there are plenty of fantastic exhibitions this month to indulge your senses.

Magical Father Christmas Experience at Wythenshawe Hall


Christmas is just around the corner and we can almost smell those delicious mince pies, as we round up some of the best family activities and fun days out taking place across Manchester and the North throughout the festive season. 

Writer and musician Anthony Joseph. Image: Bunny Bread/@icreatenotdestroy


There are plenty of writerly launches, open mics, literature festivals, pre-Christmas book fairs and festive readings to pop into your diary, some online, some in person – and some both.

BC Camplight


Manchester’s music scene in on glorious form as we head into winter, with artists and audiences reconnecting in ecstatic style. Here are our highlights from the city’s chock-a-block gig calendar.

Bree Smith (Glinda) in The Wiz at Hope Mill Theatre. Theatre in Manchester.


All-sung comedy thrillers, joyous musicals and our pick of the pantos. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Embankment Kitchen

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

We’re cramming two seasons of festive cheer into one as we present our top Christmas menus and cocktail lists in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

There is plenty to make, see and do in the winter months. This month’s top picks include soul-warming folk clubs, clay workshops and jewellery making.

Welcome Back Manchester. It's Time To Restart.