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.

We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis.

Theatre 12–18 July 2021, from £10

Little LTF – Liverpool Theatre Festival of New Works at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church

The perfect teaser event for Liverpool Theatre Festival in September – Little LTF offers audiences the chance to experience an eclectic programme of brand-new performance.

Families Until 20 June 2021, FREE

University of Manchester Community Festival 2021

Free digital festival with interactive, behind-the-scenes access to world-changing discovery in the fields of arts, science, languages and medicine.

Exhibitions 2–10 July 2021, FREE

I Love You Too – part of Manchester International Festival 2021

Kemang Wa Lehulere collaborates with 11 Manchester writers and over 100 residents of the city to create a surprising collection of love letters – a new book for Central Library.

Literature 7–18 July 2021, FREE

Notes On Grief – part of Manchester International Festival 2021

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s powerful reflection on family, love and loss journeys from page to stage in Rae McKen’s new production.

Exhibitions 10–11 July 2021, FREE

Arcadia – part of Manchester International Festival 2021

Be the first to experience new work at MIF’s future year-round home with a special installation bringing the natural world into the heart of the city – created especially for the site by director Deborah Warner.

Activity 26–30 July 2021, FREE

A Week with PINS from Brighter Sound

Brighter Sound are offering the chance for early career musicians aged 16-21 to spend a week creating, learning and collaborating with PINS.

Cocoa Butter Club play at Refract: 21 Festival.
Festivals 22–31 July 2021,

REFRACT:21 at Waterside

Trafford’s flagship arts festival returns to Waterside for ten days of experiential performance and cultural delight.

Classical Music Until 22 July 2021, from £18.50

The Hallé Summer Season 2021 at The Bridgewater Hall

The Hallé returns to The Bridgewater Hall in glorious style this summer, with six thrilling concerts for audiences to experience in person.

Yorkshire Sculpture International 2021
Exhibitions 10 July–19 September 2021, FREE

Yorkshire Sculpture International 2021

The second edition of Yorkshire Sculpture International – the UK’s largest dedicated sculpture festival – opens this summer.

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2022, from £6

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum

Use Hearing Protection tells the story of Factory Records’ formative years from 1978-1982, when the label made waves with its innovative work in music, technology and design.

Exhibitions Until 31 August 2021,

Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security at the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester

TOP SECRET: the Science and Industry Museum digs into the history of British national security over the last 100 years.

Talent at Sheffield Crucible
Theatre 30 June–24 July 2021, from £15

Talent at Sheffield Crucible

Over four decades after it was first commissioned by Sheffield Theatre’s, Wood’s comedy masterpiece will return to the Crucible stage with an all-star cast.

The Global Playground
Childrens 2–18 July 2021, from £10.00

The Global Playground – part of Manchester International Festival 2021

Fusing dance, music, theatre and puppetry, this bright, family-friendly show explores the concept of play and how we connect with one another.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat at Z-arts
Families Until 4 September 2021, from £8

The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat

Discover the magical world of Judith Kerr’s books and learn more about the life of their legendary author in this eagerly awaited exhibition.

Bloody Elle at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 23 June–17 July 2021, from £7.00

Bloody Elle – A Gig Musical at the Royal Exchange

A one-woman show written and performed by the brilliant Lauryn Redding telling the story of a young woman who falls in love for the first time.

Culture Guides

Cinema in Manchester and the North

Curated seasons, brand new releases and some outdoor screenings. Cinema is back.

Laure Prouvost: The long waited, weighted gathering at the Manchester Jewish Museum


Life is back! From the return of Yorkshire Sculpture International to a major Lucian Freud retrospective, checkout our top picks.

Doodle Den at the People's History Museum


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 Jason Allen-Paisant


There’s plenty on as we head into June, including a county-wide celebration of libraries and some tempting sniffs of upcoming real-life live literature…


We round up the best socially distanced and full-scale gigs coming up in Manchester and the north.

Theatre in Manchester and the North.


We’ve got outdoor performances, summer theatre festivals, gig musicals and much more in our theatre guide this month. Welcome back live performance – we’ve missed you.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

District Manchester

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

A guide to Food and Drink in Manchester and the North, including plenty of new bars and restaurants and exciting new menus from old favourites.

Online events

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

Tours and Activities

The days are getting longer, the sun is shining brighter and the flowers of spring have truly sprung. We’re welcoming in the new season with a guide of Tours and Activities that will inspire you to make, learn and move.

Welcome Back Manchester. It's Time To Restart.