19 December 2014

Polly Checkland Harding
Photo of the responsive light installation

The cultural countdown to Christmas continues, with the opening of the nineteenth window in our advent calendar. Today: Football, Father Christmas and Quays Culture.

Two good things at the National Football Museum. It’s the opening of the museum’s new centenary-related exhibition The Greater Game: exploring the role of football in the First World War, this will be a way of showcasing the impact the sport had both at home and on the front during the conflict. With diary extracts and personal stories – such as the FA Cup Winner killed in the last days of war, and the injured soldier who went on to become England captain – The Greater Game offers a new, intimate angle on the First World War. If you have kids with you, then it’s worth popping into the NFM’s Father Christmas Grotto, too. Father Christmas Grotto, National Football Museum, 11am-4pm. Tickets £5.

Do more. When we first heard about Aeolian Light at the Quays, it sounded properly exciting. Now this incredible, light-based artwork, which responds to wind and movement, is live next to The Lowry from 10am-10.30pm daily. The result of six years of research and development by artist collective Squidsoup, commissioned by Quays Culture and the University of Salford, Aeolian Light will reflect the weather around it. Go at dusk to see it at its most striking. The Plaza, between The Lowry and the Outlet Mall, 10am-10.30pm daily. Free.

Culture Guides


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.

Gerry Potter (credit Lee Baxter)


Books are big this summer, with festival readings, poetry slams, creative writing activities and famous faces all putting in an appearance…


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

All signs point toward June being a scorcher of a month, so let’s take a look at all things summery food and drink.

Tours and Activities

From literary activities to brilliant independent shops, keep your minds and homes filled with the good stuff this month.