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.

Music Until 2 April 2023,

RNCM Spring Season 2023

RNCM’s Spring Season is packed with typically exciting concerts from both established artists and the next generation of musicians.

The Nature of Forgetting at The Lowry
Theatre 30–31 January 2023, from £16.00

The Nature of Forgetting at The Lowry

Acclaimed company Theatre Re have created a beautifully realised physical theatre piece exploring the memories lost to dementia.

Music 10 February 2023 8:00 pm, from £9.00

Manchester Collective: Bag of Bones at the RNCM

Manchester Collective bring a brand new staged world premiere of Alice Zawadski’s Bag of Bones to the RNCM as part of their spring season.

Exhibitions 12 February–12 March 2023, FREE

Tale of the Frozen Bits at Castlefield Gallery

The first major solo exhibition of work by El Morgan focusing on the issue of fertility and the medical structures that surround it.

Queer Contact 2023
Comedy 4–18 February 2023,

Queer Contact Festival 2023

The ultimate celebration of art and creativity in the LGBTQ+ community, Queer Contact Festival returns to the Contact Theatre for 2023.

Exhibitions Until 19 March 2023, FREE

Lakwena Maciver: A green and pleasant land (HA-HA) at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Hide from the rain and immerse yourself in the bright and colourful paintings in ‘Lakwena Maciver: A green and pleasant land (HA-HA)’ at YSP.

The Smartest Giant in Town at The Lowry
Childrens 21–26 February 2023, from £18.00

The Smartest Giant in Town at The Lowry

Kids and adults alike will be entertained by Little Angel Theatre’s heartwarming and moving adaptation of The Smartest Giant in Town.

Lemn Sissay at Leeds Lit Fest
Literature 3 March 2023 8:00 pm, from £22.00

Lemn Sissay at Leeds Lit Fest

Poet, playwright, memoirist, performer and broadcaster (and until recently the Chancellor of the University of Manchester) Lemn Sissay OBE presents his life story My Name Is Why, at Carriageworks Theatre.

Activity Until 31 January 2025, £8.50 with concessions

Old Dock Tours, Liverpool

The Old Dock tour is a treat for younger and older visitors alike, fans of Liverpool’s maritime past, and anybody curious about local history.

Activity Until 22 March 2023, FREE

Guided Tours at People’s History Museum

Join PHM for a series of guided tours with their expert staff, curators and conservationists, it’s an incredibly human look at the National Museum of Democracy’s exhibitions.

Culture Guides


The world of art and exhibitions never quite stops, so we have lots of new shows to look forward to at the start of 2023.

Cardboard Carnival at The Edge


New year, new start, and what better way to welcome in 2023 than by planning and experiencing all sorts of exciting family events in Manchester and the North?

Gwendoline Riley. Photo by Adrian Lourie


Live literature land welcomes in 2023 with lots lined up in Manchester and beyond, from book launches and bookshop openings to prize-winning poets and award-laden authors sharing their secrets and stories.


More brilliant gigs appear on the horizon as we inch further into 2023.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Queer Contact Festival, stunning physical theatre and intimate in-the-round performance top our eclectic list of drama, comedy and dance this month.

Classical Music

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

Food and Drink

Start 2023 as you mean to go on, with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.


Black and white classics and a Tarantino-scripted pop-thriller are amongst our Valentine’s themed picks for February.

Tours and Activities

New years are for new experiences, and we have a whole lot of ideas to inspire you as 2023 gets underway.

Looking for the best breakfast spots in Manchester?

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 3 February 2023, from £30.00

Baumka Conscious Clubbing at Victoria Warehouse

Activity Until 8 February 2023, from £170.00

Drawing course with Nina Hunter

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 23 February 2023, from £59.99

Write Like A Grrrl: Ignite

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour