Festivals and Events

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

Cape Farewell presents: Cloud Crash


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.

Dr Dee’s Secret Curiosity Shop


Autumn, half term and Halloween adventures are here. Here are our top tips for outdoor and indoor hot tickets to book and do now.

Image of David Gaffney copyright Kezia Tan.


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.

Field Music


As the days get shorter, Manchester’s music calendar gets busier – with the city’s music…

Penny Arcade at Unity Theatre


You’ll be pleased to hear that this month’s theatre selections serve up a rich slice of everyone’s three favourite things: sex, swearing and scandal.

Victoria - Image courtesy of HOME


As always, October brings with it a surplus of scary films timed to coincide with Halloween.

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

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HackManchester : Junior edition
Families 24 October 2016–25 October 2016,

HackManchester : Junior edition

Theatre 5 October 2016–29 October 2016, from £9.50

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Science Showdown
Families 24 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Science Showdown

Manchester Megapixel
Families 24 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Manchester Megapixel

Science Showdown
Families 20 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Manchester Science Festival free family events

Royal Society Science Exhibition
Exhibitions 24 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Royal Society Science Exhibition

HAND 01.1_1
Exhibitions 8 September 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

HAND CRAFT at Manchester Craft & Design Centre

The Chronarium.
Exhibitions 20 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

The Chronarium Sleep Lab at Manchester Arndale

Theatre 20 October 2016–30 October 2016, from £2.00

Women in Comedy Festival

Members of Public Service Broadcasting in space
Exhibitions 20 October 2016–30 October 2016, FREE

Manchester Science Festival 2016

Image courtesy of Wild Rumpus
Families 22 October 2016–31 October 2016, from £16.00

The Enchantment of Chester Zoo

Snowdrift by Edward Onslow Ford
Exhibitions 10 June 2016–31 October 2016, FREE

Elizabeth Price Curates at The Whitworth