Things to do in July 2016: Liverpool Biennial, Graphene & Ryan Gander

Polly Checkland Harding

The Creative Tourist Cultural Calendar. This month: Liverpool Biennial returns, a Graphene exhibition and a Night at the Museum.

Liverpool Biennial. The UK’s Biennial of Contemporary Art returns for the ninth time and, as ever, will exhibit and commission work by top national and international artists. Various venues, Liverpool, until Oct

Manchester Jazz Festival. Manchester’s longest-running music festival celebrates its 21st birthday, delivering ten days of music in iconic venues across the city. Various venues, Manchester, Until Jul 31

Wonder Materials – Graphene and beyond. MSI is holding the UK’s first exhibition about graphene. First isolated in Manchester in 2004, for which the two physicists concerned won the Nobel prize, graphene is the world’s first ever two-dimensional material at just one atom thick. Fusing art with science, this brand new, object rich exhibition shines a spotlight on the past, present and future of this remarkable material. Museum of Science and Industry, until June 2017

The Encounter. In this acclaimed solo performance, Simon McBurney traces National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre’s time lost among the people of the remote Javari Valley in Brazil in 1969 using binaural technology (3D audio) in this Complicite production.  HOME, Manchester, 13-16 July

Picnic Cinema. Outdoor cinema just doesn’t get any better than this: open air films in some spectacular settings. Various venues, Cumbria

Night in the Museum. This major new Hayward Touring exhibition from the Arts Council Collection has been selected by leading British artist, Ryan Gander. Using the Collection’s holdings of figurative sculpture as a starting point, Gander has forged unlikely correspondences and unions between hitherto unrelated works. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 16 July – 16 Oct

The Hobbit. Follow Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and friends to the far ends of middle Earth. Or, in reality, you’ll be recreating this journey through the woods and pathways of Lancaster’s Williamson park. The Dukes, Lancaster, 5 July – 13 Aug

Culture Guides

Backyard Cinema


It only takes a quick glance at the film listings to realise that Christmas is coming, and quick. We’ve rounded up some of our festive highlights alongside standout seasons and festivals.


Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry


It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean


There are spooky stories, Christmas crime thrillers and plenty of books for stocking fillers as December unfolds and Manchester and the wider North region switches on the live literature lights.


The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Contemporary cabaret, powerful monologues and world premiere musicals. 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 and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

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T'was the gig before Christmas at Z-arts
4 December 2022 11:00 am, from £9.00

T’was the gig before Christmas at Z-arts

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022
Cinema Until 4 December 2022, from £5

HOME Artist Film Weekender 2022

Red Squirrel at Lightwaves
Festivals Until 4 December 2022, FREE

Lightwaves at Salford Quays

Cinema Until 8 December 2022, from £7.95

Aftersun at HOME

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 11 December 2022, from £4.50

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre
Families Until 11 December 2022, from £27.00

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre

Music Until 17 December 2022, from £5

RNCM Autumn Season

Melissa Wan
Literature Until 17 December 2022, from £7

Ghosts at the Old Library

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 17 December 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks