Unmissable things to do in Manchester and the North

Discover fantastic things to do in Manchester and the North – from cinema, concerts, art exhibitions and theatre to outdoor family events and sizzling spoken word.

Our top picks
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Families 1 October 2016, FREE

Fun Palaces at Contact

Get down to Contact this Saturday as it is transformed into a family friendly creative paradise. Fly a virtual kite in spectacular settings across the world, DJ, dance and draw on the windows.

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Theatre 28 September 2016–8 October 2016, from £10.00

The Emperor

Master of transformation Kathryn Hunter brings to life an extraordinary fable of corruption, avarice and the collapse of absolute power.

Humanities in Public Festival
Exhibitions 7 October 2016–24 June 2017,

Humanities in Public Festival

The annual Humanities in Public Festival enjoys a strong reputation for its city-wide programme of events – and over 7,000 regular attendees.

Tracey Emin and William Blake in Focus
Exhibitions 16 September 2016–3 September 2017, FREE

Tracey Emin and William Blake in Focus

An exhibition focusing on the work of Tracey Emin and William Blake to reveal surprising links between the two artists.

Design City Film Season
Cinema 12 October 2016–23 October 2016, from £7.00

Design City Film Season

The team behind DM16 celebrate design in cinema with a terrific short season of films each introduced by an industry expert.

Giselle
Theatre 27 September 2016–2 October 2016, from £12.00

Akram Khan’s Giselle

in Khan we’ve got a real master of the craft. Pair him up with the immaculate dancers of the English National Ballet and it is hard to see what could go wrong

Lemn Sissay at the 8th Black and Asian Writers Conference
Literature 8 October 2016, from £7.00

Lemn Sissay at Contact

Join poet, author and MBE Lemn Sissay as he closes this year’s Black & Asian Writers Conference.

Charlie Adlard
Literature 14 October 2016–16 October 2016, from £4.00

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016

Aimed at both fans and creators of comic art, young and old, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival is the only one of its kind in the UK and, for a fourth year, takes over the Cumbrian town of Kendal for a weekend.

Image courtesy of Wild Rumpus
Families 22 October 2016–31 October 2016, from £16.00

The Enchantment of Chester Zoo

A major new outdoor arts spectacular for one week only this autumn is set to reveal the incredible natural super powers of some of the Zoo’s mysterious and endangered nocturnal animals.

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Families 24 October 2016, from £12.00

The Philosopher’s Scone: magic tricks at Harvey Nicks

Enter the world of Harry Potter and experience a family afternoon tea like with Roger Highfield, author of The Science of Harry Potter: How Magic Really Works followed by a screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Culture Guides

Artist Film Weekender 2016

Cinema

As always, October brings with it a surplus of scary films timed to coincide with Hallowe’en.

Tim Etchells, Lets Pretend (Large) (2014), installation view, Grundy Art Gallery. Photo: Phill Heywood, courtesy Grundy Art Gallery.

Exhibitions

An overview of the current best exhibitions in Manchester and the North might be summed up in the following directive: think differently.

Image courtesy of Wild Rumpus

Families

Autumn is drawing in and half term adventures are on the horizon. Here are our top tips for outdoor and indoor hot tickets to book and do now.

Lemn Sissay at the 8th Black and Asian Writers Conference

Literature

From Rising Stars to World Literature, nothing says October in the Rainy City like Manchester Literature Festival. And the region is abuzz with words this month – and, in the case of the South Lakes, words and pictures.

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Music

As the festival season draws to a rainy close now is the time to enjoy your…

The poster image for Giselle

Theatre

I don’t think there’s a more enticing time of year to visit the theatre than autumn – when the nights draw in it just feels more exciting to be sat in a theatre seat.

Destination Guides

Discover the BBC Philharmonic’s

2016/17 concert season

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Things to do right now

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Daisies - Image courtesy of Kino Film
Cinema 1 September 2016–30 September 2016, FREE

Scalarama

Shakespeare, his Wife and the Dog
Theatre 27 September 2016–1 October 2016, from £12.00

Shakespeare, his Wife and the Dog

Giselle
Theatre 27 September 2016–2 October 2016, from £12.00

Akram Khan’s Giselle

Artist Film Weekender 2016
Cinema 30 September 2016–2 October 2016, from £3.00

Artist Film Weekender 2016

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Theatre 28 September 2016–8 October 2016, from £10.00

The Emperor

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Exhibitions 24 September 2016–9 October 2016, FREE

Projects: Rachel Goodyear – Glimpse

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Theatre 8 September 2016–15 October 2016, from £11.00

To Kill a Mockingbird at Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Open Eye for Liverpool Biennial 2016
Exhibitions 9 July 2016–16 October 2016, FREE

Open Eye for Liverpool Biennial 2016

Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Bluecoat
Exhibitions 9 July 2016–16 October 2016, FREE

Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Bluecoat