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
Music Until 14 December 2019, from £21

RNCM Opera ‘Dialogues des Carmélites’ at RNCM

A powerful story of faith, bravery and redemption, Poulenc’s ‘Dialogues des Carmélites’ promises to be a highlight of the RNCM’s Autumn season.

Theatre Until 21 December 2019, from £20.00

The Manchester Project at Christmas at HOME

Experience Manchester at the most wonderful time of the year. Monkeywood Theatre style.

Music 14 December 2019 8:00 pm, from £18

Awake Arise: A Christmas Show for Our Times at The Stoller Hall

Five of the English folk scene’s most inventive artists join together for a collaborative event that celebrates the riches of our winter traditions.

Classical Music 14 December 2019 7:30 pm, from £12.50

BBC Philharmonic: Gubaidulina/Bruckner at The Bridgewater Hall

Omer Meir Wellber’s first Bridgewater Hall concert as the BBC Philharmonic’s Chief Conductor is set to be a great one, featuring works by Sofia Gubaidulina and Bruckner.

Roots at HOME
Theatre Until 30 December 2019, from £10

Roots at HOME

Looking for something a little bit different this Christmas? 1927 have got just the ticket.

40 Years | 40 Projects: the work of stephenson STUDIO at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 22 December 2019, FREE

40 Years | 40 Projects: the work of stephenson STUDIO at Castlefield Gallery

40 Years | 40 Projects: the work of stephenson STUDIO at Castlefield Gallery marks 40 years of the stephenson STUDIO.

Christmas at Quarry Bank
Activity Until 5 January 2020, Free event (normal admission charges apply)

Christmas Festivities at Quarry Bank

Christmas at Quarry Bank is welcoming families to search the grounds for reindeer, experience what Christmas would have been like for the Georgian Mill Workers and warm up with some cosy festive treats.

Festivals Until 24 December 2019, FREE

Evergreen at Hatch

Head to Hatch for this ‘Festival of Winter and Christmas’, it’s open now and runs right up until Christmas Eve.

Eat The City - Scranchester Tours
Food and Drink Until 19 November 2022, from £50

Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

Satisfy your hunger for knowledge as well as lunch with Scranchester’s food tours of the city centre. You may discover a new favourite hidden gem or learn a bit more about the cultural or historical significance of the food you eat all the time.

The snowman and the boy flying in the sky
Classical Music 20–23 December 2019, from £17.50

The Hallé – The Snowman at Bridgewater Hall

It’s basically illegal to not watch The Snowman at Christmas so why not watch it with full orchestral accompaniment of Manchester’s finest, the Hallé?

Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto: Sleeping Beauty at Liverpool Everyman
Families Until 18 January 2020, from £15.00

Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto: Sleeping Beauty at Liverpool Everyman

Well, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to see Liverpool’s jukebox-sensational Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto, would it?

Give Handmade this Christmas at Manchester Craft and Design Centre
Festivals Until 24 December 2019, FREE

Give Handmade this Christmas at Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Reliably festive, MCDC launches a season of Christmas-related events and workshops. It’s also the perfect place to pick up unique handmade gifts.

Family things to do. An art installation at Lightopia.
Families Until 31 December 2019, from £11

Lightopia at Heaton Park

This is a brand new, unique event sure to captivate young and old alike. Take a breathtaking journey through six magical, interactive art installations in Manchester’s historic Heaton Park.

Edward Allington: Things Unsaid at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 19 January 2020, FREE

Edward Allington : Things Unsaid at the Henry Moore Institute

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.

We Two Boys: Early Works by Alan Davie & David Hockney at The Hepworth Wakefield
Exhibitions Until 19 January 2020, FREE

Alan Davie & David Hockney: Early Works at The Hepworth Wakefield

A major new exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield brings together the work of two major figures of post-war British painting: Alan Davie and David Hockney.

Culture Guides

Cinema

We round up the best Christmas movies and new releases this December.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Exhibitions

Top of our list of highlights this month, we’re looking forward to the opening of ‘Vivian Suter’ and ‘Theaster Gates: Amalgam’ at Tate Liverpool.

Screening of The Snowman at Bridgewater Hall, part of our family things to do guide

Families

Check out our top picks this Christmas and enjoy some quality family time together in this most magical of seasons.

Poet Jennifer Lee Tsai.

Literature

There’s still some festive fun to be had in bookland and lots of live literature happenings to look forward to after the tree’s been chipped and mulched down to be turned into your new favourite tome.

Music

From Irish hip hop to Afrobeat, absurdist punk to post-metal, this month’s music guide is a real melting pot.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Soaring aerial theatre, unique filmic performance and our pick of the pantos. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

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

Our expert guide to food and drink in Manchester and the North. Taking in bars, restaurants and everywhere to go to eat, drink and get merry.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Get outdoors this winter or retreat into the warmth of a workshop with our December guide of Tours and Activities.