We think Manchester’s the greatest (of course) but sometimes even diehard Mancunians like us get wanderlust. Fortunately, we don’t have far to go for fantastic family cultural adventures…
This summer, we’ll be packing the kids into the car/bus/train and striking out for Leek, where the Just So Festival, a boutique weekend of creativity for kids and their families in an enchanted Staffordshire wood. This year’s festival features theatre and puppetry, children’s authors David Lucas and the Etherington Brothers, music for dancing from Polly and the Billets Doux and the Zen Hussies, plus lots of chances to get painty, muddy and inspired. It takes place 19-21 August at Barnswood, Staffordshire.Weekend tickets including 3 nights camping cost £80 for adults and £35 for children (under 3s free).
We’ll also be heading north for Lakes Alive, the summerlong programme of performance and arts events in the glorious setting of the Lake District. This year’s highlights include Zircus Plus (top), the contemporary circus festival in Barrow (15-17 July), magical nightime aerial shows above Whitehaven and Maryport harbours, a full-of-surprises family garden party to celebrate Lake District National Park’s 60th birthday (13 August) and the always-excellent Mintfest, Kendal’s International Festival of Street Arts (2-4 September).
Images courtesy Lakes Alive and Just So Festival
The very best exhibitions in Manchester and the North include a collaboration with a renowned dance company, the return of Manchester Science Festival (bigger and better than ever), a showcase of exquisite craft at the Old Granada Studios, and much more. All in all, it’s an exciting, boundary transcending time for art in the North.
With Rising Stars and World Literature, nothing says October in the Rainy City like Manchester Literature Festival. As we enter the final furlongs, there are still tickets available for some events, from creative non-fiction to a canalside special commission. And once MLF is over, Manchester Science Festival will be chemically enhancing words with poems about the periodic table.