Field trips.

Creative Tourist

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

Culture Guides

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022

Cinema

Classic pre-Code cinema, the Artist Film Weekender and the music of John Williams are amongst our highlights this month.

Exhibitions

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

Families

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!

Poet Helen Mort. Photo by Jan Bella

Literature

There’s live literature and book-buying opportunities a-plenty as November unfolds and Manchester – celebrating five years as a UNESCO city of Literature – and the wider North region welcomes some great writers, both in real life and online.

Music

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

Theatre

Alongside radical sci-fi adaptations and free arts festivals, we take a look at some of the Christmas shows happening in the North.

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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Compass Festival 2022
Activity Until 27 November 2022, FREE

Compass Festival 2022

sunny bank mills
Activity Until 27 November 2022, from £2.00

Sunny Bank Mills Christmas Art & Makers Market

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios