7 December 2014

Polly Checkland Harding
Photo of an Elixir cocktail

Introducing our Advent Calendar – the seventh post in a cultural countdown to Christmas. Today: Game-changing art and a sing off.

It’s Castlefield Gallery’s 30th birthday – and we love the look of its new exhibition, 30 Years of the Future. Put together by some starry names in the art world, including artist Ryan Gander, critic JJ Charlesworth and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, the show promises to focus on the artists most likely to be serious influencers over the coming years. Castlefield Gallery, 1pm-6pm. Free.

Balance out some deep, intellectual musings with a cocktail: Elixir might be a little “Deansgate”, but they do serve treats with their drinks (and the ladies loos are pretty ace, too). For food, The Botanist is only a short stroll down the road. We’re still thinking about their salt and pepper onion curls…

Do more. The Choir of the Year Grand Final is being held at the Bridgewater Hall this evening, co-presented by Josie D’Arby and that bloke off the telly, Gareth Malone. Watch six choirs from across the UK battle it out to become the overall winner. Bridgewater Hall, 5pm. Tickets from £13.

Culture Guides

Backyard 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.


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

Manchester Christmas Parade


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


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.


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


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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Comedy 7 December 2022 8:00 pm, from £10.00

Tom Ward – Anthem

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