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
Jerry Springer The Opera
Theatre 8–31 August 2019, from £20.00

Jerry Springer – The Opera at Hope Mill Theatre

Not for the faint-hearted or easily offended, expect chaos and debauchery to ensue in this smash hit musical based on the infamous talk show. On now.

Music 19 September 2019–30 May 2020,

The Hallé 2019-20 Season

From a brilliant range of symphonies, concertos, vocal works, operas and more, we select our five top picks from the Hallé’s 2019-20 season.

Future Cities: Technolpolis & Everyday Life at CFCCA, Manchester
Exhibitions 2 August–19 October 2019, FREE

Future Cities: Technopolis & Everyday Life at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

How is the Digital Revolution affecting the future of our cities? A new season of exhibitions and events at CFCCA explores.

Power UP Late at the Science and Industry Museum
Activity 24 July–21 August 2019, from £12.00

Power UP Late at the Science and Industry Museum

With hundreds of consoles and games from the past 40 years, get your game face on at one of the adult-only Power UP sessions.

Activity 20 July–12 September 2019,

Summer Holidays at Quarry Bank

Avoid those cries of boredom. For fun during the summer holidays, head to Quarry Bank for a jam-packed day-out inspired by the great outdoors.

Music 21 September 2019, from £5.50

BBC Philharmonic: Prokofiev/Coates/Walton at The Bridgewater Hall

Opening the BBC Philharmonic’s 2019-20 season, conductor John Wilson pairs light with darkness, sugar with spice, in an eclectic and thrilling programme.

Vintage by the Sea
Families 31 August–1 September 2019, FREE

Vintage by the Sea in Morecambe

Celebrate the brilliance of 20th century design, fashion, vehicles and entertainment at this award-winning festival set around Morecambe’s famous art deco Midland Hotel.

Digital Dimensions at Eureka! Children playing in digital dimensions with light pillars
Exhibitions 25 May–5 November 2019, from £5.95

Digital Dimensions at Eureka!

Step in to a world of immersive, cutting edge technology in this interactive exhibition. Children can take centre stage at Eureka! as they use their own bodies to interact with 3D shapes, creating vivid visual effects and stunning sounds.

Theatre 10 September 2017–15 October 2019,

SICK! Festival

Challenging, entertaining and always trying to change the world for the better, SICK! Festival makes just the kind of art we like.

British Ceramics Biennial 2019 – Stoke-on-Trent
Exhibitions 7 September–13 October 2019, FREE

British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent

For its 10th anniversary edition, British Ceramics Biennial returns with its most ambitious programme yet, featuring work by over 300 artists.

Manchester Art Fair 2018
Exhibitions 11–13 October 2019, from £5

Manchester Art Fair 2019 at Manchester Central

A firm favourite in Manchester’s cultural calendar, the Manchester Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary weekend is not to be missed. Tickets are free for Creative Tourist readers.

Exhibitions 22 June–29 September 2019, FREE

Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019

Billed as the UK’s largest dedicated sculpture festival, the inaugural edition of Yorkshire Sculpture International seems rich in promise.

Exhibitions 20 July 2019–5 January 2020, from £6

The Sun at the Science and Industry Museum

Museum of Science and Industry’s blockbuster summer exhibition, The Sun, sets out to bring us as close to the star as many of us are likely to ever come.

Summer Season of fun at the Museum of Science and Industry
Exhibitions 20 July–1 September 2019, FREE

Summer Season of Fun at the Science and Industry Museum

Head to the Science and Industry Museum this summer for daily family shows, fun activities and events, whatever the weather.

Music 24 August 2019, from £15.40

Peter Broderick & Friends play Arthur Russell at Soup Kitchen

At a night dedicated to visionary musician Arthur Russell, Peter Broderick and friends will perform a selection of Russell’s most celebrated songs.

Culture Guides


Escape to the cinema this month. We round up the best new releases, special one-off screenings and retrospectives showing near you.

Christina Quarles at The Hepworth Wakefield


Like the 58th Venice Biennale which opened earlier this May, our latest pick of exhibitions across the north also has a strong ecological bent.

Digital Dimensions at Eureka! Children playing in digital dimensions with light pillars


All the most creative experiences for your family; inside, outside and in to space! The best family things to do in Manchester and the North.

Guy Garvey


August is quiet, but the books are back in September with one-off reading events, some much-anticipated launches and the return of the Northern Lights Writers’ Conference as we gear up for Manchester Literature Festival in October.


Get ready for some massive shows in Manchester and the north this summer!

Theatre in Manchester


We’re gearing up for the new theatre season – our guide this month features all the best performances happening now and over the next few weeks.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Discover the best food and drink that the North has to offer in our expert guide to food and drink in Manchester and beyond.

comedy character

Tours and Activities

Challenge yourself to try something different this summer with our guide of Manchester based Tours and Activities. You’re bound to find something new to do in the city.

Things to do right now

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Cinema 18–21 August 2019, from £5.50

MIF19: Blue Velvet at HOME

Power UP Late at the Science and Industry Museum
Activity 24 July–21 August 2019, from £12.00

Power UP Late at the Science and Industry Museum

The Den at Stalybridge Civic Hall
Families 13–24 August 2019, All tickets are pay what you decide, available from Stalybridge Civic Hall.

The Den at Stalybridge Civic Hall

Henry V at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Theatre 26 July–25 August 2019, from £26.50

Henry V at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Music 20 May–26 August 2019, from £5

NQ Jazz at the Whiskey Jar

Cinema 20–27 August 2019, from £9

Transit at HOME