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
Four Minutes Twelve Seconds at Oldham Coliseum
Theatre 21 February–7 March 2020, from £17.00

Four Minutes Twelve Seconds at Oldham Coliseum

An award-winning and perceptive thriller exploring the timely themes of consent, online safety and crime and punishment.

Back to the future half term in manchester
Theatre 20 February–17 May 2020, from £19.95

Back To The Future The Musical at Manchester Opera House

Turn your flux capacitor on and set your destination to the Manchester Opera House in the year 2020. Your future depends on it.

Until 27 February 2020, from £7.50

Parasite at HOME

Bong Joon-ho’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winning thriller finally hits UK cinema screens this February following months of awards, nominations and critical adulation.

Poet Lemn Sissay.
Literature 21 February 2020 10:00 am, FREE

International Mother Language Day 2020 at various venues

Manchester celebrates this year’s International Mother Language Day through a number of exciting events taking place in various venues around the city.

A Celestial body in the night sky. Part of the Science show at jodrell bank.
Families Until 23 February 2020, from £6.50

February Half Term: Science Show at Jodrell Bank

Jodrell Bank became a World Heritage site in July 2019. This half term visit the Science Show and discover some of the important moments in the site’s history, which make it such an important place.

Cabaret at the Palace Theatre
Theatre 25–29 February 2020, from £13.00

Cabaret at the Palace Theatre

Promising “divine decadence, darling”, this award-winning show – directed by Rufus Norris – is absolutely unmissable.

February Half Term Fun at Science and Industry Museum
Families Until 23 February 2020, FREE

February Half Term Fun at Science and Industry Museum

February Half Term Fun at Science and Industry Museum looks like another hit. Whether you travel by train, tram, bike or bus, make your way to the museum for loads of transport-themed fun.

Exhibitions 24 February 2020 7:30 pm, FREE

The Foetals + Fruit Tones at YES

In celebration of Musica! Musica! Musica!, a solo exhibition by Raissa Pardini, The Foetals and Fruit Tones are playing a FREE party at YES.

Poet Eleanor Rees. Photo by Elly Lucas
Literature 20 February 2020 6:30 pm, from £4

Other Cities/Other Lives Eleanor Rees, Zoë Scolding and Helen Tookey at the Bluecoat

Three leading contemporary poets Eleanor Rees, Zoë Skoulding and Helen Tookey read from their new collections.

Edward Allington: Things Unsaid at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 23 February 2020, FREE

Edward Allington : Things Unsaid at the Henry Moore Institute

LAST CHANCE. An artist who believed that we often know more than can be spoken, Edward Allington’s restaging at the Henry Moore Institute offers a poetic response to the complexity of the world.

Bang on a Can All-Stars at RNCM
Music 25 February 2020 7:30 pm, from £18

Bang on a Can All-Stars at RNCM

Blurring the lines of classical, jazz, rock, world and experimental music, the Bang on a Can All-Stars present a wonderfully adventurous programme at RNCM.

People Play by Alice Irwin at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Exhibitions 28 February–1 June 2020, FREE

People Play by Alice Irwin at The Piece Hall in Halifax

Artist Alice Irwin’s Matisse-esque friendly giants at The Piece Hall in Halifax embody an enchanting spirit of play, early innocence and imagination. Yet, they also have a more serious side to them.

Theatre Until 22 February 2020, from £5.00

Extraordinary Wall o̶f̶ ̶Si̶l̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ at HOME

Combining stunning physicality with the beauty of British Sign Language, Ad Infinitum illuminate a pivotal time in history for the D/deaf community.

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 10 May 2020, FREE

Emii Alrai: The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds

Combining demon lures and invented artefacts, ancient mythology and family lore, The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds is the latest new work by upcoming artist Emii Alrai.

Hallé Beethoven - Symphony No. 5
Music 11–15 March 2020, from £14.50

The Hallé – Beyond The Score: Beethoven’s Faithful Blows at The Bridgewater Hall

Part of the Hallé’s Beethoven 250 celebrations, Beyond the Score® offers a breathtaking multimedia experience of Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Valentine’s events, horror marathons and the best new releases.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield

Exhibitions

Art and women’s boxing, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Half term fun - Young girl sat next to the tiger as part of the The Tiger who came to tea and the adventures of mog the forgetful cat exhibition

Families

Check out our top picks for Families this month. Whether it’s art, music, theatre, science, crafts or insects (!) you’re after, we’ve got you covered…

Poet and performer Kate Tempest.

Literature

From Helen Fielding to Hilary Mantel, the literati hard-hitters are in town as Manchester Literature Festival and UNESCO City of Literature turn up the gas.

Music

Lost in the middle distance between Christmas and spring, this funny old time of year has a saving grace: So. Many. Gigs.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Stage adaptations of cult film classics, award-winning verbatim performance and charming slapstick. You’ll find all this and more in our guide to the best theatre in Manchester and the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

It’s time to find the best restaurants for the weeks ahead. Here’s our guide to the best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Tours and Activities

Expect thrills, informative discussion, politically charged tours and wobbly towns in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.