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.

Our top picks
Theatre 4–18 March 2017, from £10.00

City of Glass at HOME

This multi-layered meta show from 59 Productions has as many thrills as any good detective tome, only with added weirdness as fractured central character Dan Quinn loses the plot – quite literally.

Cinema 31 March–17 April 2017, from £5.00

¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival at HOME: Film Programme

HOME’s annual celebration of the best in new Spanish and Latin American filmmaking returns with an exciting line-up of UK premieres, one off events and filmmaker Q&As.

Theatre 24–25 February 2017, from £5.00

Dance: Sampled at The Lowry

Dance: Sampled is a weekend of amazing acrobatics, sensual strutting and challenging ballet, with taster sessions from the world’s top contemporary dance companies – not to mention a packed programme of workshops and pop-up performances.

Theatre 8–25 March 2017,

SICK! Festival

SICK! Festival makes just the kind of art we like: challenging, entertaining and always aimed at changing the world for the better.

Exhibitions 2–12 March 2017, FREE

Wonder Women 2017

Manchester’s feminist festival returns 2-12 March, with all-female DJ line-ups, queer punk documentary screenings, speed mate-ing and much more.

Cinema 5–19 March 2017, from £5.00

Paul Auster: Man of Cinema at HOME

Paul Auster has a long association with cinema, as source material, screenwriter and also as a film director in his own right. This March, Home presents an Auster-inspired film season with titles chosen by the novelist himself.

Families 1 April 2017, from £10.00

Art On The Run at LIVIA Forest

A ridiculous April Fool’s run around the forest produced by Wild Rumpus (Just So Festival) and the Forestry Commission – take in large scale art installations, live music and more.

Exhibitions 24 February–15 April 2017, FREE

…in Dark Times at Castlefield Gallery

An exhibition on the thingness of things in the age of the thingless medium. Confused? Read on…

Exhibitions 19 November 2016–16 April 2017, FREE

Artist Rooms: Andy Warhol at the Whitworth

If you’ve seen one exhibition about Andy Warhol, you’ve seen a thousand… Not so with ARTIST ROOMS: Andy Warhol at the Whitworth, which brings the master of repetition’s work into an entirely new context.

Exhibitions 16 November 2016–1 July 2017, FREE

After The Bees at Manchester Museum

This exhibition explores the haunting consequences of a world without bees through a series of photographs and artworks.

Culture Guides


This month, we round up some of the disreputable treasures and genuinely ambitious pieces of film art that are screening around Manchester and the North.


An immersive sound installation about death, the art of deception and extraordinary art out of Syrian – our top exhibitions in Manchester and the North.


This month it’s all about a ridiculous art race through the forest, operatic introductions, amazing animals and theatrical adventures. Our guide to the top family things to do and book now.

Writer Simon Armitage. Credit Paul Wolfgang Webster


The shortest month won’t disappoint, kicking off some special centenary celebrations to take us into March for talks, tours and some rather big names.


Why not try some new music for the new year? How about a residency (or two) in a former mill, an original take on a film soundtrack, or the cream of Manchester’s current music scene coming together for an action-packed all-dayer?


There’s all sorts happening on North West stages right now, from blockbuster productions that push the boundaries between theatre and film to small-scale shows that give intimate insights into the lives of real people.

Destination Guides

Discover the BBC Philharmonic’s
2016/17 concert season

Things to do right now

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