12 December – Stunning, interactive light installations at The Quays

Polly Checkland Harding
Giant white rabbits

Our cultural countdown to Christmas… Today, Lightwaves Festival opens, bringing a Cathedral of Mirrors and more to The Quays.

Lightwaves Festival is one of our most favouritist things in December. It’s kind of amazing how, every year, the team at Quays Culture deliver a stunning festival of digital light across the public spaces at The Quays, for free. This year, the centrepiece of the festival is comprised of three major installations by international artists: there will be a Cathedral of Mirrors that responds to movement, a family of giant, luminous bunnies and a psychedelic maze filled with wonders to be discovered both privately and in public. Throw in pop-up performances, talks and workshops, and you’ve got this year’s programme – a visual-audio feast, and a very good reason to visit. Lightwaves, The Quays, 12-27 December (closed Christmas Day), 4.30pm-10.30pm, free

Giant luminous bunnies and a Cathedral of Mirrors at The Quays

If you are planning on going, take a look at our guide to The Quays first. We’ve rounded up the best things to see, do, eat and drink in the area, along with a little history, geography and advice on how to get there.

Culture Guides

Cinema

David Bowie, Japanese classics and some early spooky screenings all feature in this month’s cinema guide.

Exhibitions

Welcome the autumnal season with all of the art goodness that it brings – there are so many brand new exhibitions to see!

Families

As we say bye to the summer holidays and begin to welcome in the cooler months, Manchester’s events and activities continue to bring joy and fun to families.

Kamila Shamsie. Photo Alex von Tunzelman

Literature

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Music

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Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

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Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North as we head into autumn.

Tours and Activities

Every season change is an excuse to try something new, and when it comes to tours and activities, autumn delivers!