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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Ad Minoliti at BALTIC in Gateshead
Exhibitions 1 April 2021–13 March 2022, FREE

Ad Minoliti at BALTIC in Gateshead

Argentinian artist Ad Minoliti’s immersive exhibition draws upon queer and feminist theory to offer new understandings of the world around us.

The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum
Families 1–17 April 2021, from £7.00

The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum

Previously postponed due to Covid-19, we’re pleased that The Jungle Book is set to run at Oldham Coliseum in April 2021.

Flying Scotsman Eats Lancashire Railway
Activity 2–4 April 2021, from £12.4

Flying Scotsman at East Lancashire Railway

Calling rail enthusiasts big and small! Celebrate steam’s golden age with a trip on the Flying Scotsman this Easter. Locomotive No. 60103  really is the stuff of legends! Not least because it was the world’s first steam train to officially travel at 100 miles per hour, subsequently securing its pivotal place in rail history.

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature 11 April–12 December 2021, FREE

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and award-winning garden is a must-see, with the famous book sale scheduled (assuming Lockdown is lifted at the end of March) as follows: 11 April, 9 May, 13 June, 11 July, 8 August, 12 September, 10 October, 14 November and 12 December 2021, 11am-4pm.

Music 16 April 2021 7:30 pm, from £10

Victoria String Quartet Livestream at The Stoller Hall

Beaming live from The Stoller Hall on 16th April, the Victoria String Quartet will perform an emotion-filled programme of Mozart, Beethoven and Puccini.

Music 21 April 2021 8:00 pm, from £30.50

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at Manchester Arena CANCELLED

One of the world’s great live acts, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are returning to Manchester next year in support of their extraordinary album, Ghosteen.

Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever at The Lowry
Families 28–29 April 2021, from £18.15

Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever

It’s Peppa’s Best Day Ever! Join Peppa Pig and all her friends and family on as they embark on fun-filled day long adventure. With all the familiar faces, and plenty of chuckles, chortles and trademark snorts this show will have your little ones captivated.

Psappha
Classical Music 29 April 2021 7:30 pm, from £5

Psappha: Black Milk at Hallé St Peter’s

Black Milk, the penultimate concert in Psappha’s 2020-21 season, features a world premiere by Mark-Anthony Turnage plus two Viennese chamber group classics.

Still showing this month

Grayson's Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 18 April 2021, FREE

Grayson’s Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry presents a major exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery featuring work made by the nation during the initial weeks of lockdown.

Activity Until 30 April 2021, from £5

Online Meditation with the Manchester Buddhist Centre

As we learn to live with uncertainty now is a better time than ever to explore meditation, let the friendly community at Manchester Buddhist Centre help you on this journey.

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.

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.

System Crasher at HOME, Manchester - director Nora Fingscheidt's distinctive depiction of dysfunction in an under-resourced care system.
Cinema Until 2 April 2021, from £4.99

System Crasher – Streaming on Curzon Home Cinema

Controversial from the moment it premiered in Competition at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, documentarian Nora Fingscheidt’s fiction feature debut portrays the life of a chaotic and troubled young girl.

Posters from the civil rights era – an online exhibition
Exhibitions Until 30 June 2021, FREE

Posters from the Irish civil rights era – Online with the Working Class Movement Library

Working Class Movement Library presents an online exhibition of powerful posters made by young activists fighting for civil rights in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

What it is to be here: Colonisation and Resistance – Online at The Portico Library
Exhibitions Until 27 July 2021, FREE

What it is to be here: Colonisation and Resistance – Online at The Portico Library

The Portico Library marks 250 years since British explorer James Cook first landed on the shores of what we now call Australia with an online exhibition that explores the history of violence and resistance that followed.

online events I am falling in love with you and its making me do stupid things
Festivals Until 31 July 2021,

Homemakers

NOW EXTENDED: HOME have invited theatre and live art makers to create new works at home, for an audience who are also at home. 

Exhibitions Until 1 May 2021, FREE

The Gardener Digs in Another Time – Online at the Whitworth

the Whitworth in Manchester invites you to step into the garden as subject with an online version of its 2016 exhibition, The Gardener Digs in Another Time.

Life drawing Manchester
Activity Until 25 April 2021, from £6

Life Drawing Manchester Online Classes

The popular Northern Quarter community, Life Drawing Manchester, have migrated to zoom, opening up their classes to models and artists from all over the world.

Everything That Rises Must Dance with HOME
Theatre Until 31 July 2021,

Everything that rises must dance with HOME

Produced by Complicité for Homemakers: Join a virtual gathering of women for an online dance project celebrating female movement throughout history.

Hamilton - Streaming on Disney Plus
Theatre Until 15 October 2021, from £5.99

Hamilton – Streaming on Disney Plus

Politically charged with a hip-hop soundtrack, there is no doubt that this filmed performance is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2020.

Swallows and Amazons For Ever! at Windermere Jetty Museum
Exhibitions Until 18 April 2021,

Swallows and Amazons For Ever! at Windermere Jetty Museum

Celebrate the spirit of adventure, learn more about the Cumbrian landscape and uncover the inspiration behind Arthur Ransome’s classic tale.

What is Manchester Art Gallery?
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2023, FREE

What is Manchester Art Gallery? at Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery reopens with a thought-provoking new exhibition that delves into the history of the public institution and its role within the city.

Don McCullin at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 9 May 2021, from £11

Don McCullin at Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool presents a major retrospective of work by Don McCullin, widely considered to be one of the greatest photojournalists of our time.

Psappha
Classical Music Until 27 May 2021, FREE

Psappha 2020/21 Concert Season

Psappha’s 2020–21 season explores the sharpest and smartest sounds in contemporary classical music, presented in concert and streamed online for free.

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North
Exhibitions Until 31 May 2021, FREE

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North takes a close look at the moral dilemmas surrounding overseas aid.

The Sheffield Project at Weston Park Museum, Sheffield
Exhibitions Until 3 May 2021, FREE

The Sheffield Project at Weston Park Museum, Sheffield

Commissioned in the mid-1980s, The Sheffield Project focused a lens on a unique chapter in the city’s history, when it embarked on a journey of radical change.

Cinema Until 30 September 2021, FREE

Make Up – Streaming on BBC iPlayer

Cornwall has seldom seemed eerier than in Make-Up, the vivid first feature from director Claire Oakley.

Fun and Games The Portico Library Joseph Strutt The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England
Exhibitions Until 24 May 2021, FREE

Fun & Games: Playtime, Past & Present at The Portico Library and Online

Fun & Games at The Portico Library explores the evolution and traditions of games and play throughout the ages up to today.

#WELCOME? at the People's History Museum
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2021, FREE

#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum

#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum explores the wider impact of media coverage and changing immigration controls.

Aliza Nisenbaum at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 27 June 2021, FREE

Aliza Nisenbaum at Tate Liverpool

International portrait artist Aliza Nisenbaum will present a new painting at Tate Liverpool this winter, depicting members of the city’s key workers.

Postal Exhibition Print Programme from OUTPUT
Exhibitions Until 1 June 2021, FREE

Postal Exhibition Print Programme from OUTPUT

OUTPUT in Liverpool launches a new programme of mail-based exhibitions, sending original artwork directly to your home.

Discover Buxton Tram Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £80

Discover Buxton Tram Tours

Enjoy a journey through time on Discover Buxton Tour’s unique vintage tram.

Discover Buxton Character Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Character Tours

These colourful character guides offer unique and entertaining insights into the history of some of Buxton’s most iconic buildings.

Discover Buxton Walking Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Walking Tours

Have your history delivered by expert guides whose passion for the heritage of Buxton spills into the unexpected.

Discover Buxton Roman Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Roman Tours

Join local historian Brian Shepherd for a walk around the town and learn what Buxton may have looked like during Britain’s Roman occupation.

Discover Buxton Audio Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Audio Tours

Discover Buxton’s audio tours of The Peak cover the area around Buxton and are designed to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle.

Pakui Hardware at BALTIC in Gateshead
Exhibitions Until 18 April 2021, FREE

Pakui Hardware at BALTIC in Gateshead

Lithuanian artist duo Pakui Hardware presents an immersive art installation about the future and ethics of virtual health care.

Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon – Online
Dance Until 1 April 2022, FREE

Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon – Online

The world’s first ‘visual dictionary’ of movements found within Bhangra, compiled by World Bhangra Day founder, Hardeep Sahota.

Babies listening to a man play the guitar as part of My First Protest Song
Families Until 1 April 2021, FREE

My First Protest Song online with the People’s History Museum

My First Protest Song goes online. Round up the family and join Matt Hill for this live-streamed event full of toe-tapping tunes.

Music Until 17 May 2021,

NQ Jazz Live – Postponed

NQ Jazz have teamed up with The Stoller Hall and The Yard to bring us dozens of COVID-safe jazz events featuring established and emerging artists.

Music Until 14 April 2021, from £5

The Hallé – The Event Horizon

The Hallé are joined by poet laureate Simon Armitage, virtuoso saxophonist Jess Gillam and Former Hallé Assistant Conductor Jonathon Heyward.

Cinema Until 30 April 2021, from £7.99

One Night in Miami – Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

One Night in Miami is a fictional account of one incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 60s.

Writer Michelle Green.
Literature 21 January–1 April 2021, from £75

Online Short Story Course with Michelle Green

Here’s a great idea for a Christmas present – or perhaps it might be something to go on your New Year’s Resolutions list – an online course from Manchester’s Comma Press all about the short story, led by writer Michelle Green.

POSTPONED – AI: More than Human at World Museum Liverpool
Exhibitions 22 January–20 June 2021, from £5

POSTPONED – AI: More than Human at World Museum Liverpool

Barbican’s major exhibition, AI: More than Human, comes to Liverpool, offering a tantlising look into the future.

Music 28 January–28 April 2021, from £5

The Hallé – Sibelius’s Third Symphony

The Hallé are joined by virtuoso pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason for Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto, plus Sibelius’s magnificent Third Symphony.

Vision & Reality: 100 Years of Contemporary Art in Wakefield at The Hepworth Wakefield
Exhibitions 31 January–25 April 2021, FREE

Vision & Reality: 100 Years of Contemporary Art in Wakefield at The Hepworth Wakefield

100 years of contemporary art in one sitting? Feast your eyes at The Hepworth Wakefield and discover the story behind its remarkable collection.

Music 11 February–11 May 2021, from £5

The Hallé – Henning Kraggerud: Artist in Residence

Hallé Artist in Residence, Henning Kraggerud curates a concert featuring the UK premiere of his adaptation of Grieg’s Third Violin Sonata.

Science Photographer of the Year – Online as Part of Manchester Science Festival 2021
Exhibitions 12 February–2 May 2021, FREE

Science Photographer of the Year – Online as Part of Manchester Science Festival 2021

A stunning online exhibition that brings together award-winning photographic images from the world of science, climate and art.

Music 25 February–25 May 2021, from £5

The Hallé – Shostakovich’s Dazzling First

The Hallé performs a varied programme of Grazyna Bacewicz, Aaron Copland and Dmitri Shostakovich under the baton of new Assistant Conductor, Delyana Lazarova.

Theatre in Manchester
Theatre 2 March–11 April 2021, from £22.00

C-o-n-t-a-c-t at Salford Quays

Hailed a “gripping thriller” and “pacy outdoor odyssey” – here’s an inventive outdoor performance we can all look forward to in 2021.

Music 11 March–11 June 2021, from £5

The Hallé – Movie Classics

Presented by the BBC’s Petroc Trelawny and conducted by Stephen Bell, the Hallé celebrates classical music on the silver screen.

Music 18 March–18 June 2021, from £5

The Hallé – Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale

Sir Mark Elder conducts a staged performance of Stravinsky’s 1918 masterpiece The Soldier’s Tale, directed by Olivier Award winner Annabel Arden.

Liverpool Biennial 2021 – The Stomach and the Port
Exhibitions 20 March–6 June 2021, FREE

Liverpool Biennial 2021 – The Stomach and the Port

The 11th edition of the UK’s oldest and largest festival of contemporary visual art is about to open, with work by over 50 artists.

Tony Phillips: 12 Decades at Bluecoat in Liverpool
Exhibitions 20 March–6 June 2021, FREE

Tony Phillips: 12 Decades at Bluecoat in Liverpool

Tony Phillips’ 12 Decades continues a survey of modern history that has occupied him over the last 40 years. The series will go on show at Bluecoat in 2021.

Music 25 March–25 June 2021, from £5

The Hallé – Trail-blazing Hallé

The Hallé is joined by Boris Giltburg for Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, before the world premiere of Huw Watkins’ Second Symphony.