2 December – Pitch to Pixel & discounted shopping at Fred Aldous

Polly Checkland Harding

Our cultural countdown to Christmas… Today, head for interactive football gaming exhibition Pitch to Pixel, and drop into Fred Aldous for 10% off.

Not only does the National Football Museum have a football-fan-tastic exhibition on throughout December (and until 5 June 2016) in the form of Pitch to Pixel, it’s also an ideal stop off for football-related gifts. We were hugely impressed by Pitch to Pixel when we went; there’s a strong emphasis on interaction, with classic footballing computer games available to play, for free, as a hands-on way of exploring the history of football gaming. Genuinely something for all ages, this is an unexpected, but rather perfect injection of nostalgia. And, like we said, you can exit via the gift shop… Pitch to Pixel, National Football Museum, until 5 June 2016, free entry

Football gaming at the National Football Museum & a special discount at Fred Aldous

Over at stationary shop supreme Fred Aldous, meanwhile, there’s 10% off all purchases at both the Manchester and Leeds stores, as well as online. The gift guide the team put together for us demonstrates just how much they’ve got in store (27,000 craft and design products, people), with ideal picks for anything from Secret Santa to a splurge on someone special. There’s even a free Fred Aldous tote bag with every purchase over £20; you’ll need it to carry away your festive swag. Fred Aldous Christmas Shopping Event, 8.45am-5.15pm Manchester, 9am-5.30pm Leeds

Culture Guides

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022


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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!

Poet Helen Mort. Photo by Jan Bella


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.


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

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

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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