6 December – Street Scene at the RNCM & Selfridges special Christmas events

Polly Checkland Harding

Our cultural countdown to Christmas… America’s first opera, and drop into Selfridges Exchange Square for special festive shopping events.

The RNCM is bringing Kurt Weill’s Street Scene to life, with what set designer Kate Ford describes as “a transparent house where there is no place for secrets” acting as the perfect stage for family and community tensions bubbling over during 24 hours in the high summer of 1946. The hopes, dreams and tensions between the characters make for a gripping, escalating operatic tragedy – a melting-pot that’s not to be missed in the chilly run up to Christmas. Street Scene, RNCM, 2-12 December, tickets from £12

Summer in New York and Selfridges’ festive events

Selfridges Exchange Square is rolling out all the stops in the run up to Christmas: little people will have the chance to meet Father Christmas and his Elf in store and pose for a free photograph with the great man himself (12pm-4pm Sat & Sun, 19-21 December). There are also live performances lined up (12pm-4pm Sat & Sun, until 20 December; 12pm-4pm every day 21-24 December), a complimentary personalisation service for cards and gifts, and a Hampers Desk on level 3 where you can create a bespoke hamper filled with the recipient’s favourite treats. Worth making a shopping stop-off, eh? Selfridges Chrismas events, times and dates vary, see website for details

Culture Guides

Backyard Cinema

Cinema

It only takes a quick glance at the film listings to realise that Christmas is coming, and quick. We’ve rounded up some of our festive highlights alongside standout seasons and festivals.

Exhibitions

Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

Manchester Christmas Parade

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!

Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean

Literature

There are spooky stories, Christmas crime thrillers and plenty of books for stocking fillers as December unfolds and Manchester and the wider North region switches on the live literature lights.

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

Contemporary cabaret, powerful monologues and world premiere musicals. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

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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Cinema Until 8 December 2022, from £7.95

Aftersun at HOME

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 11 December 2022, from £4.50

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre
Families Until 11 December 2022, from £27.00

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre

Music Until 17 December 2022, from £5

RNCM Autumn Season

Melissa Wan
Literature Until 17 December 2022, from £7

Ghosts at the Old Library

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 17 December 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Star of Wonder at Theatre Porto
Families Until 21 December 2022, from £0.00

Star of Wonder at Theatre Porto

Cinema Until 22 December 2022, from £20.00

Backyard Cinema