11 December 2014

Polly Checkland Harding
Photo of a man with billowing material around him

Introducing our Advent Calendar – the eleventh post in a cultural countdown to Christmas. Today: Light art and a snow show.

A brand new light art festival pilots in Piccadilly Gardens today: organised by Curated Place, Enlighten Manchester is just a taster of a bigger event in 2015, but already has artists such as Ulf Pederson (one of the founders of Durham’s Lumiere festival) involved. Expect large-scale projections, light-based artworks and more. What better way to stave off the early dark of winter? Piccadilly Gardens, 11-13 Dec, 4.30pm-8pm; 14 Dec, 4.30-6pm, free.

Do more. Running until 13 December, Slava’s Snowshow at The Lowry feels like an nearly-at-the-end-of-the-week kind of treat. It’s brilliantly bonkers, a clown’s approach to Christmas that manages to be touching as well as spectacular. Don’t forget to drop into Booths for foodie goodies while you’re at The Quays. Slava’s Snowshow, The Lowry. Tickets from £18.

Culture Guides


Some excellent bands descend on Manchester this month, with the old and new guard of post punk in particularly strong supply.

Theatre in Manchester


Check out our updated guide for lively theatre festivals, rip-roaring rooftop circus and dreamy outdoor shows.

Classical Music

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

Food and Drink

Plan your May Bank Holidays with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.


We look at the ingenious, atmospheric outdoor screenings popping up across the North this summer.


The spring season in museums and galleries continues, with an abundance of new exhibitions all over the North.

Winnie the Pooh at Manchester Opera House


The sun has finally got his hat on! Enjoy our top picks of family-friendly events and activities, both indoors and outdoors.

Anita Sethi


Festival fever has live literature land gripped, and libraries get their very own celebration in Greater Manchester, so you have your pick of performances from a star-studded cast this month…

Tours and Activities

New in our Tours and Activities section – drink and draw sessions, political reading groups and tours of some of Manchester’s most unique museums.