April

Creative Tourist

April is here, meaning that summer is close. Here are our most recommended things to do throughout April in Manchester and the North. This list includes: unique exhibitions, stand out live music and excellent food/drink.

Things to do in April

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Activity 1 April 2020 2:00 pm, from £6

Victoria Baths Guided Tour

Visit the stunning Victoria baths now that the building has reopened for Summer. Get to know the stories of bathers and activists whose continuing work could one day lead to the baths reopening as a working swimming pool.

Derek Jarman PROTEST! exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery
Cinema 2 April–31 August 2020, FREE

Derek Jarman: PROTEST! at Manchester Art Gallery

Derek Jarman: PROTEST! is a major retrospective of one of the most influential figures in 20th century British culture including many works which have never been seen in public before.

walking tour
Activity 2 April 2020 3:00 pm, from £3

A Walking Tour Of The Ruins Of Pontefract Castle

Explore the ruins of Pontefract Castle with local expert Ian Downes as he leads a relaxed walking tour through the grounds.

Classical Music 2 April 2020 8:00 pm, from £11

Eliza Carthy: Restitute Live at The Stoller Hall

One of the most prominent figures in the English folk revival, Eliza Carthy is bringing her brilliant solo album Restitute to The Stoller Hall this April.

Music 4 April 2020 9:00 pm, FREE

ATL + Super Electric: Wild Combination (Arthur Russell Special)

Above the Line and Super Electric are joining forces for a night dedicated to the life and work of musical visionary, Arthur Russell.

Adult and child looking at part of the collections
Families 6–11 April 2020, FREE

Our Collections at Castleford Museum

What are collections and why do museums have them? Find out by exploring Castleford Museum’s collections this April.

Snakes and Ladders at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Exhibitions 6 April 2020 10:30 am, FREE

Snakes and Ladders at The Piece Hall in Halifax

Head to Snakes and Ladders – a free day of large-scale outdoor board game making and playing – at The Piece Hall in Halifax.

Classical Music 9 April 2020 8:00 pm, from £11

The Grahams at The Stoller Hall

With guitars and whiskey in tow, travelling troubadours The Grahams are laying down their hats at The Stoller Hall this April.

Music 11 April 2020 7:00 pm, from £27.50

Thundercat at Manchester Academy

A week before he drops his highly anticipated fourth album, funk-soul-jazz bass extraordinaire Thundercat will perform at Manchester Academy.

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature 12 April 2020 11:00 am, from £5

Secondhand book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

‘Possibly the best secondhand book sale in Manchester’ takes place every second Sunday of the month in the Servants Hall of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House on Plymouth Grove, a short walk from the city centre.

Literature 14 April 2020 11:00 am, FREE

Poetry Walk at The Reader in Liverpool

Every Tuesday morning you’re invited to join the Poetry Walk with The Reader in Calderstones Park. Get into the great outdoors and escape the everyday, while exploring poetry and making the most of the beautiful surroundings.

Classical Music 16 April 2020 7:30 pm, from £12.50

BBC Philharmonic: Brahms/Mahler/Hindemith at The Bridgewater Hall

This BBC Philharmonic concert features two gleaming works by Hindemith and Brahms, as well as a selection of songs from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn.

Music 16 April 2020 7:30 pm, from £14.50

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs at Gorilla

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs mix acid rock, psych metal, and stoner influences into a thick sludge of riffs and menacing bellows.

People Play Artist Led Workshop with Alice Irwin at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Activity 17 April 2020 10:30 am, from £3

People Play Artist Led Workshop with Alice Irwin at The Piece Hall in Halifax

Join Alice Irwin – the artist behind People Play at The Piece Hall in Halifax – to learn more about what inspires her work.
Open to all ages.

West Side Story at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 18 April–23 May 2020, from £10.00

West Side Story at the Royal Exchange

Powerful and fast-paced and heart-breaking, we’re thrilled to hear that West Side Story will return to the Royal Exchange next spring.

Author Hilary Mantel. Photo by Els Zweerink copy
Literature 19 April 2020 7:00 pm, from £16

Hilary Mantel at RNCM

Manchester Literature Festival in partnership with the Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester present An Evening with Hilary Mantel, hosted by author Kamila Shamsie.

Music 22 April 2020 7:30 pm, from £12.50

BADA ft Anna Von Hausswolff at Soup Kitchen

Featuring the excellent Anna Von Hausswolff, Swedish collective BADA are bringing their cinematic drone/noise rock to Soup Kitchen this April.

Cinema 23 April 2020 5:00 pm, FREE

DNA Day Screening: Jurassic Park at Manchester Museum

Come experience Steven Spielberg’s classic Jurassic Park in the atmospheric surrounds of Manchester Museum’s fossil gallery.

Wobbly Town
Activity 24 April 2020 10:00 am, from £60

Wobbly Town – Wet Felted Panel Workshop

Join artist and expert felter Charlotte Bain as she hosts a day of wet felting wobbly town making in the picturesque town of Saltaire.

Music 24 April 2020 7:00 pm, from £15

Amp Fiddler at Band on the Wall

Among a sea of beige imitations, Joseph ‘Amp’ Fiddler makes authentic funk straight from the heart of Detroit.

Week 53 Festival 2020
Theatre 24 April–3 May 2020,

Week 53 Festival 2020

From interactive poker games, aerial performance and Street Culture, Week 53 celebrates bold and brilliant contemporary performance.

Introduction to Screen Printing at the Artworks in Halifax
Activity 25 April 2020 10:00 am, from £45

Introduction to Screen Printing at the Artworks in Halifax

Taking inspiration from Alice Irwin’s stunning print exhibition (part of People Play at The Piece Hall in Halifax), artist Harriet Lawton will lead this beginner’s workshop at the Artworks.

Education 25 April 2020 11:00 am, FREE

Dino Ranger Day at World Museum Liverpool

Live out your long lost palaeontologist dream by being a Dino Ranger for the day! Surely the best thing about having kids is getting to attend events like this?! 

Music 27 April 2020 7:30 pm, from £11

Braids at Soup Kitchen

Montreal-based art rockers Braids are playing Soup Kitchen days after the release of their anticipated fourth album, Shadow Offering.

Festivals 30 April–19 May 2020, from £00.00

Leeds International Festival 2020

Leeds International Festival, the UK’s leading metropolitan festival of new ideas and innovation, is back for its third year.

Classical Music 30 April 2020 7:30 pm, from £12.50

BBC Philharmonic: Strauss/Schnittke/Shostakovich at The Bridgewater Hall

From the dread of Schnittke to the playfulness of Strauss, this wide-ranging BBC Philharmonic programme is guaranteed to thrill.

Still showing this month

Holly Hendry, Cenotaph, 2018. Liverpool Biennial Touring Programme 2019
Exhibitions Until 3 May 2020, FREE

Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour

Whether Liverpool Biennial 2018 passed you by or you diligently ticked-off every last one of its multiple offerings (if so; bravo), the Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour seems unlikely to disappoint.

Exhibitions Until 15 May 2020, FREE

Poulsen Arc Dream Radio at Storyhouse in Chester

What does it mean to be transported into another person’s memories? Step into a new digital art commission at Storyhouse in Chester to find out.

Exhibitions Until 20 April 2020, FREE

Louise Giovanelli at Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery prepares to present a series of new paintings by artist Louise Giovanelli, alongside rarely-seen early Renaissance panel paintings.

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley, Liverpool Biennial 2019 touring programme
Exhibitions Until 3 May 2020, FREE

Holly Hendry / Taus Makhacheva at The Tetley

As part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, The Tetley is hosting works by artists Holly Hendry and Taus Makhacheva.

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields
Exhibitions Until 20 July 2020, FREE

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields

‘a place lived’ by Maddi Nicholson is a new public artwork that delves into the near-forgotten history of Manchester’s thriving financial district.

Unreformed: Wallpaper and Design Diversity at the Whitworth
Exhibitions Until 5 July 2020, FREE

Unreformed: Wallpaper and Design Diversity at the Whitworth

Unreformed: Wallpaper and Design Diversity at the Whitworth examines the powerful the voices of the Design Reform movement.

Hallé
Classical Music Until 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.

BBC Philharmonic 2019 2020 season bridgewater hall manchester
Classical Music Until 13 June 2020,

BBC Philharmonic 2019/20 Concert Season

An outstanding orchestra live in a world-class concert hall – read about the BBC Philharmonic’s 2019-20 season at The Bridgewater Hall.

Activity Until 2 July 2020, FREE

Technical Tours at the National Coal Mining Museum

Get into the the heart of the machinery with technical tours of the mines at the National Coal Mining Museum.

A Healthy Profit Exhibition at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire
Exhibitions Until 19 April 2020, FREE

A Healthy Profit at Quarry Bank

A Healthy Profit at Quarry Bank offers an important look at one chapter in the continuing story of capitalism’s impact on the human body.

Northern Chamber Orchestra
Music Until 15 May 2020,

Northern Chamber Orchestra 2019/20 Season

Northern Chamber Orchestra’s 2019/20 Season features the likes of violinists Chloe Hanslip and Anthony Marwood; pianist Martin James Bartlett; percussionist Colin Currie; and their President, cellist, Raphael Wallfisch.

Judy Chicago exhibition at BALTIC, Gateshead
Exhibitions Until 19 April 2020, FREE

Judy Chicago at BALTIC, Gateshead

One of the most important feminist artists of the last half-century, Judy Chicago is about to receive her first major survey exhibition in the UK, staged at BALTIC in Gateshead.

Animalesque / Art Across Species and Beings at Baltic, Gateshead
Exhibitions Until 19 April 2020, FREE

Animalesque / Art Across Species and Beings at BALTIC, Gateshead

‘Animalesque / Art Across Species and Beings’ at BALTIC in Gateshead invites visitors to rethink the human position in the world.

Theaster Gates: Amalgam at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 4 May 2020, from £8.5

Theaster Gates: Amalgam at Tate Liverpool

Marking his UK debut, Theaster Gates responds to the little-known history of Malaga – a small island off the north east state of Maine, USA.

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives – exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 14 December 2021, FREE

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives at Manchester Art Gallery

Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.

Ian McKay: Collier Street Baths at Salford Museum and Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 1 April 2020, FREE

Ian McKay: Collier Street Baths at Salford Museum and Art Gallery

This December, Salford Museum and Art Gallery presents a new exhibition by local artist Ian McKay based on the architecture of Collier Street Baths

Rock and Goal
Activity Until 1 June 2020, from £4.5

Rock and Goal Tour

Join Joe Feeley a Mancunian through and through, who guides you into Manchester’s two pillars of cultural excellence with his Rock and Goal tour.

sunday night waves
Activity Until 14 July 2020, from £7

Sunday Night Waves 5Rhythms Drop In

Embrace the effervescent energy of Sunday Night Waves, a 5Rhythms dance class where you can move with the flow of your own body and explore.

Young girl playing with a tea set at Toddler Tuesdays
Families Until 30 June 2020, FREE

Toddler Tuesdays at Castleford Museum

These lively mornings of crafts and singing are fun, creative sessions for toddlers.

Talking Sense: The changing vocabulary of mind and brain at The Portico Library
Exhibitions Until 13 April 2020, FREE

Talking Sense: The changing vocabulary of mind and brain at The Portico Library

Talking Sense at The Portico Library aims to open up a space for helpful conversations around the future of care.

Exhibitions Until 30 April 2020, FREE

Visage(s) d’Europe at Alliance Française

Fifty photos from Pascal Dosset’s international portrait of Europe, Visage(s) d’Europe, will be on display at Alliance Française. One photo per country.

Richard Bartle, Nomadic Tales, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
Exhibitions Until 13 April 2020, FREE

Richard Bartle: Nomadic Tales at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

Richard Bartle: Nomadic Tales at Millennium Gallery in Sheffield explores the modern-day city of Istanbul, viewed through a series of 14th-century miniature illustrations.

Activity Until 19 December 2020, from £55

Local Leeds Food Tour

Fresh local produce is always on the menu of the Local Leeds food tour. Visit six pubs and restaurants serving up some of Yorkshire’s finest cuisine.

Leeds Street Food Tour
Activity Until 19 December 2020, from £55

Leeds Street Food Tour

Eat your way through some of the best street food Leeds has to offer, with insights into the people and stories behind each bite. Try something new with the Leeds Street Food tour.

Ho Tzu Nyen: The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia Volume 10: N for Nameless at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art – exhibition
Exhibitions Until 12 April 2020, FREE

Ho Tzu Nyen: The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia Volume 10: N for Nameless at CFCCA

CFCCA presents Singapore artist Ho Tzu Nyen’s alternative ‘A to Z’ account of Southeast Asia, focusing on the region’s neglected histories.

Rae-Yen Song: *May-May Songuu*
Exhibitions Until 12 April 2020, FREE

Rae-Yen Song: *May-May Songuu* at CFCCA

An exhibition by artist Rae-Yen Song at CFCCA which explores British-Chinese identity through the prism of her own family history.

2020 Banner Display at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021, FREE

2020 Banner Display at People’s History Museum

Visit People’s History Museum’s 2020 display of political banners from across the years – including several that will go on public show for the first time.

Classical Music Until 9 May 2020, from £3

The Stoller Hall Spring Season

Spanning a plethora of genres, from classical to folk to Americana, The Stoller Hall’s Spring season is an eclectic delight. Read about it here.

THE PEOPLE’S CITY EXHIBITION at The Refuge – Photo © Rob Bremner
Exhibitions Until 31 May 2020, FREE

The People’s City at The Refuge, Manchester

Organised by the British Culture Archive, The Refuge in Manchester presents a remarkable selection of images that capture Britain from the 1960s onwards.

Utopias exhibition at the Whitworth
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2020, FREE

Utopias at the Whitworth

How have visions of utopia and the visual culture that helped form it impacted upon the Brexit debate? A new exhibition at the Whitworth explores.

skyliner
Activity Until 12 July 2020, from £9

Skyliner: Modern History of the Northern Quarter Tour

Join Skyliner for an alternative view of the Norther Quarter, learn about the area’s political happenings through it’s stunning public art.

Literature Until 5 February 2025, FREE

The Little Library in Spinningfields

Take your pick from The Little Library’s carefully curated collection of classics and new releases, adding a recently read book of your own as a replacement.

Bill Brandt / Henry Moore at The Hepworth Wakefield
Exhibitions Until 31 May 2020,

Bill Brandt / Henry Moore at The Hepworth Wakefield

This major exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield brings together over 200 works by Bill Brandt and Henry Moore highlighting their shared interests.

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.

Taus Makhacheva: Hold Your Horses at The Tetley in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 10 May 2020, FREE

Taus Makhacheva: Hold Your Horses at The Tetley in Leeds

Taus Makhacheva’s new solo exhibition at The Tetley in Leeds explores the traditions of history-making and its encounters with experiences of everyday life.

Mark Making at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre
Exhibitions Until 2 May 2020, FREE

Mark Making at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre

Mark Making at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre opens up fascinating new perspectives on humanity’s innate drive to leave its mark.

July Days at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre
Exhibitions Until 2 May 2020, FREE

July Days at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre

July Days by Aron Rossman-Kiss at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre revolves around a single, blurry image taken around 1917.

Beatles
Activity Until 1 December 2020, from £75

Liverpool Beatles Walk and Ticket to Ride Tour

Immerse yourself in the world of John, Paul, George and Ringo as you walk in their footsteps through The Beatles’ home city in this six-hour extravaganza of a walking tour.

Two hour Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club
Activity Until 1 December 2020, from £20

Two hour Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club

This Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club is the perfect way to learn more about The Beatles while discovering the city of Liverpool.

Little Lambs Toddler Sessions at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Childrens Until 12 May 2020, from £3

Little Lambs Toddler Sessions at The Piece Hall, Halifax

Visit The Piece Hall in Halifax for a series of People Play inspired early years mornings complete with songs, stories and a craft activity.

New Digital Experiences at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 23 December 2020, FREE

New Digital Experiences at People’s History Museum

Can cutting-edge tech bring us closer to the events of the past? People’s History Museum unveils a series of new digital artworks and experiences.

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
Exhibitions Until 31 December 2020, from £8.00

The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat at Z-arts

In this immersive exhibition, children can let their imaginations go wild as they take centre stage alongside some of their favourite characters from beloved children’s author, Judith Kerr.

Simeon Barclay: Bus2Move at The Turnpike
Exhibitions Until 18 April 2020, FREE

Simeon Barclay: Bus2Move at The Turnpike

Simeon Barclay: Bus2Move at The Turnpike is an exhibition inspired by the artists research residency at the internationally renowned Phoenix Dance Theatre.

Other Transmissions: Conversations with Outsider Art at The Whitworth
Exhibitions Until 14 June 2020, FREE

Other Transmissions: Conversations with Outsider Art at The Whitworth

‘Other Transmissions: Conversations with Outsider Art’ is a collaboration between a group of six artists, with and without learning disabilities.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield
Exhibitions Until 17 May 2020, FREE

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield

For her first solo exhibition, Welsh artist Phoebe Davies presents a new body of work inspired by her time spent with a group of teenage female wrestlers training in a local club on the outskirts of Oslo.

Back to the future half term in manchester
Theatre Until 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.

Runaway Brewery
Activity 22 February–11 May 2020, from £12

The Runaway Brewery – Tour & Tasting

One of Manchester’s up and coming breweries welcome you into their space to learn about the beer making process and, of course, sample the end products.

Eat The City - Scranchester Tours
Activity 26 February–1 May 2020, 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.

Adult Skateboard lessons
Activity 26 February–8 May 2020, FREE

Adult Skateboard Lessons at Projekts MCR

Open skateboarding session for adults, all abilities are welcome. Discover the creativity of this urban sport.

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.

Alice Irwin: People Play Trail at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Activity 28 February–1 June 2020, from £1

Alice Irwin: People Play Trail at The Piece Hall in Halifax

Drop into The Piece Hall Welcome Centre and collect a sculpture trail map that will take you on a sketching and symbol spotting journey.

Joana Vasconcelos exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions 7 March 2020–3 January 2021, FREE

Joana Vasconcelos at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the monumental work of celebrated Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos.

Rockets and Blue Lights at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 12 March–4 April 2020, from £19.00

Rockets and Blue Lights at the Royal Exchange

Staged in a former cotton exchange, Rockets and Blue Lights is an award-winning play that confronts an ugly time in history head-on.

Frances Disley 'Pattern Buffer' at Bluecoat
Exhibitions 13 March–21 June 2020, FREE

Frances Disley: Pattern Buffer at Bluecoat

Bluecoat prepares to present a new solo show by Frances Disley.

Jonathan Baldock: Facecrime at Bluecoat
Exhibitions 13 March–21 June 2020, FREE

Jonathan Baldock: Facecrime at Bluecoat

Bluecoat in Liverpool presents artist Jonathan Baldock’s first solo exhibition, Facecrime. 

Syd Shelton: Rock Against Racism at Gallery Oldham
Exhibitions 14 March–30 May 2020, FREE

Syd Shelton: Rock Against Racism at Gallery Oldham

Gallery Oldham presents a nationally touring exhibition of photographs by Yorkshire-born Syd Shelton capturing the legendary Rock Against Racism movement.

Edit. 06: Girl Gang Manchester – Everything I Know, I Felt at The Lowry
Exhibitions 14 March–4 April 2020, FREE

Edit. 06: Girl Gang Manchester – Everything I Know, I Felt at The Lowry

Everything I Know, I Felt at The Lowry will see Girl Gang create a collaborative and interactive space, celebrating the diverse emotional experiences of womxn.

Visual Arts 18 March–8 April 2020, from £30

Photorealistic drawing workshops at Galleria Quattro

Join Krystan-Grace Sharpe-Young for a double bill of workshops, in which, you’ll learn the skills needed, to create your own photorealistic artwork.

Soft Bodies at Castlefield Gallery
Exhibitions 20 March–10 May 2020, FREE

Soft Bodies at Castlefield Gallery

Soft Bodies at Castlefield Gallery will reference the body in relation to technology, politics, gender, race and sexuality.

Bridgewater Hall
Activity 23 March–20 April 2020, from £4

Guided tour at The Bridgewater Hall

Explore the underbelly of Manchester’s largest concert hall learning about the acoustics and architecture which make it such a unique venue.

Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here at Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth
Exhibitions 27 March–23 August 2020, FREE

Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here at Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth

Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here marks the only UK stop of a major touring retrospective dedicated to the American feminist artist.