21 December – Exploring Wonderland at the Craft Centre & kicking back in Ziferblat

Polly Checkland Harding
Origami paper with red dusting

Our cultural countdown to Christmas… Discover an Alice in Wonderland inspired exhibition and the pay-as-you-go comforts of Ziferblat.

The Manchester Craft & Design Centre knows what it’s about: not only is it a top spot for Christmas shopping (we’ve chosen our top five studios to give you somewhere to start), there’s also a rather special exhibition on throughout December. Exploring Wonderland commemorates 150 years since Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland was first published, with 28 different makers responding in their own unique way to the stories Carroll told. The pieces on show are intricate, varied, and well worth a visit. Exploring Wonderland, Manchester Craft & Design Centre, until 14 February 2016, free entry

 Alice in Wonderland-inspired craft and pay-as-you-go relaxation

If you’re in need of a bit of time to rest your feet, head for Ziferblat Edge Street nearby. Here, you only pay for the time you spend (5p/minute, which works out at £3 an hour) – the tea, coffee, cake, biscuits, cereal and other snacks are all free. It’s a sociable place, with areas to sink into patterned sofas and play board games, or tables for the more studious visitors. Ziferblat also has a regular roster of events, and is sure to be given some festive touches in the run up to Christmas. Drop in any time of the month. Ziferblat Edge Street (open 10am-10pm daily)

Culture Guides

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North as we head into autumn.

Cinema

David Bowie, Japanese classics and some early spooky screenings all feature in this month’s cinema guide.

Exhibitions

Welcome the autumnal season with all of the art goodness that it brings – there are so many brand new exhibitions to see!

Families

As we say bye to the summer holidays and begin to welcome in the cooler months, Manchester’s events and activities continue to bring joy and fun to families.

Kamila Shamsie. Photo Alex von Tunzelman

Literature

There are plenty of online readings and live launches as Manchester and the North welcomes some great writers with book festival season getting underway, and there are loads of new spoken word nights and open mics to check out…

Music

Autumn’s a fine old time for gigs in Manchester and the North. From otherworldly folk to life-affirming soul, here are our top picks for October onwards.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

As the new theatre season gets ready to launch, we champion some of the star performances happening over the next few months.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Tours and Activities

Every season change is an excuse to try something new, and when it comes to tours and activities, autumn delivers!