August

Creative Tourist

Browse our things to do in August in Manchester and the North this August, to find a fantastic exhibition, live music performance or restaurant that interests you and/or your family, we have options for all ages.

Don’t forget to check out our guide to the August Bank Holiday.

Things to do in August

Powered by culturehosts
Activity 4 August 2021 7:00 pm, from £4

Sir Walter Scott and Elizabeth Gaskell

Join Dr. Diane Duffy for a look into the literary works of Sir Walter Scott and his relationship to Elizabeth Gaskell in our literary canon.

Pride and Prejudice at Sheffield Botanical Gardens
Theatre 12 August 2021 7:00 pm, from £8.50

Pride and Prejudice at Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Join The Pantaloons for a comic adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic in the beautiful open-air surroundings of Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Sale 14–15 August 2021,

Art in the Pen

Art in the Pen gives you a chance to explore a mix of artistic talents from the North, within the livestock pens fo Skipton Auction Mart.

Families 28–30 August 2021, from £24.95

5 on the Farm Festival

Billed as the ‘perfect British day out and dog-friendly weekend’ the three-day 5 On The Farm Festival combines all of the best family friendly activities into one fabulous unmissable event.

Björk
Music 29 August–19 September 2021, from £15

Björk Orkestral – Live From Reykjavík

Icelandic pop icon Björk is live-streaming a four-part series of concerts, showcasing new orchestral arrangements of songs spanning her entire career.

Still showing this month

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives – exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 14 December 2021, FREE

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives at Manchester Art Gallery

Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.

These Lancashire Women are Witches in Politics with The Turnpike
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2022, FREE

These Lancashire Women are Witches in Politics with The Turnpike

A collaborative project that takes inspiration from the history of the Leigh Female Reformers of 1819 and the monstrous representations of them in the media of the time.

Literature Until 5 February 2025, FREE

The Little Library in Spinningfields

Take your pick from The Little Library’s carefully curated collection of classics and new releases, adding a recently read book of your own as a replacement.

Hamilton - Streaming on Disney Plus
Theatre Until 15 October 2021, from £5.99

Hamilton – Streaming on Disney Plus

Politically charged with a hip-hop soundtrack, there is no doubt that this filmed performance is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2020.

What is Manchester Art Gallery?
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2023, FREE

What is Manchester Art Gallery? at Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery reopens with a thought-provoking new exhibition that delves into the history of the public institution and its role within the city.

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North
Exhibitions Until 24 September 2021, FREE

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North takes a close look at the moral dilemmas surrounding overseas aid.

Cinema Until 30 September 2021, FREE

Make Up – Streaming on BBC iPlayer

Cornwall has seldom seemed eerier than in Make-Up, the vivid first feature from director Claire Oakley.

#WELCOME? at the People's History Museum
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2021, FREE

#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum

#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum explores the wider impact of media coverage and changing immigration controls.

Blackburn Open Walls
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Blackburn Open Walls

Over 3 years, forgotten walls of Blackburn were brought to life with the creation of a vibrant outdoor gallery, by international, national and local artists, who together over 2 weeks, created a collection of large scale murals and art walk trails for the residents and visitors of Blackburn to enjoy.

Pendle Witch Experience Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £18

Pendle Hill Witch Experience Tours

Group tours of Lancashire in the area surrounding Pendle Hill. Through visiting the countryside and villages of Pendle, visitors learn all about the dark deeds and wicked plots surrounding the Pendle Witches in the 1600s.

Discover Buxton Tram Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £80

Discover Buxton Tram Tours

Enjoy a journey through time on Discover Buxton Tour’s unique vintage tram.

Discover Buxton Character Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Character Tours

These colourful character guides offer unique and entertaining insights into the history of some of Buxton’s most iconic buildings.

Discover Buxton Walking Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Walking Tours

Have your history delivered by expert guides whose passion for the heritage of Buxton spills into the unexpected.

Discover Buxton Roman Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Roman Tours

Join local historian Brian Shepherd for a walk around the town and learn what Buxton may have looked like during Britain’s Roman occupation.

Discover Buxton Audio Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Audio Tours

Discover Buxton’s audio tours of The Peak cover the area around Buxton and are designed to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle.

Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon – Online
Dance Until 1 April 2022, FREE

Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon – Online

The world’s first ‘visual dictionary’ of movements found within Bhangra, compiled by World Bhangra Day founder, Hardeep Sahota.

doodle den at people's history museum, young girl using thick marker pen to drawer on a glass panel
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Doodle Den: Playful Protests Online

Pick up a pen and encourage the whole family to explore the art of peaceful protest.

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank is a perfect way to keep children (and their adults) busy while learning from home.

Don’t Touch My Hair
Theatre Until 1 August 2021,

Don’t Touch My Hair with HOME

Fearless social activism meets unapologetic hip hop. A concentrated dose of Hot Brown Honey is just what we all need right now.

Hidden Winter
Families Until 31 August 2021, FREE

Hidden Winter

Round the family up and head outside for this wonderful story walk adventure from Stand and Be Counted Theatre. Perfect for livening up a lockdown walk.

Cinema Until 21 February 2022, FREE

Queer Treatment

To coincide with LGBT History Month, Heart of Glass launches Queer Treatment, a new animated short film by the amazing Amy Pennington. Queer Treatment is inspired by conversations with members of the LGBTQIA+ community and explores connection, identity, representation and celebrating queer icons past and present.

PUSH Festival - HOME
Festivals Until 31 December 2021,

PUSH Festival 2021 at HOME

Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.

Closed Hands with HOME
Theatre Until 31 August 2021,

Closed Hands with HOME

An interactive, experimental and political video game exploring the complex effects of extremism and radicalisation.

Unease by Grace Sharp – Online and at Manchester Craft & Design Centre
Exhibitions Until 31 August 2021, FREE

Unease by Grace Sharp – Online and at Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Unease is an exhibition of work by glass artist Grace Sharp.

Electric Dreams – Online with Venture Arts
Exhibitions Until 31 August 2021, FREE

Electric Dreams – Online with Venture Arts

Venture Arts presents the first of three online exhibitions featuring new work made by learning disabled artists over lockdown.

Activity Until 24 August 2021, FREE

Zoom Tours: Jonathan Schofield’s New Series

Join expert tour guide Johnathan Schofield as he travels chronologically and geographically through the culture, architecture and geography of Manchester.

Sound Stage
Theatre Until 1 October 2021, TBC

Sound Stage

An exciting, new audio-digital venture, Sound Stage has been designed by theatre-makers and leading technologists, to give audiences a unique online theatre experience.

Tai Shani: The Neon Hieroglyph – Online with Manchester International Festival Virtual Factory
Exhibitions Until 31 March 2022, FREE

Tai Shani: The Neon Hieroglyph – Online with Manchester International Festival Virtual Factory

Turner Prize winning artist Tai Shani takes us on an LSD-inspired hallucinatory journey across time and space. Prepare to have your consciousness expanded.

The Earth Asleep at HOME, Manchester
Cinema Until 11 September 2021,

The Earth Asleep at HOME, Manchester

The Earth Asleep, a new film and original live score from creative duo Clara Casian and Robin Richards, premieres this spring at HOME.

Ad Minoliti at BALTIC in Gateshead
Exhibitions Until 13 March 2022, FREE

Ad Minoliti at BALTIC in Gateshead

Argentinian artist Ad Minoliti’s immersive exhibition draws upon queer and feminist theory to offer new understandings of the world around us.

women and girls night
Activity Until 26 August 2021, from £8

Women and Girls Skate sessions at Projekts

Join Projekts skate park for exclusively women and girls skating, every Thursday from 7 – 9 pm. Be warned the sessions are very popular so book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 12 December 2021, FREE

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and award-winning garden is a must-see, with the famous book sale back on 18 April and scheduled thereafter for 9 May, 13 June, 11 July, 8 August, 12 September, 10 October, 14 November and 12 December 2021, 11am-4pm.

Mindscapes While Waiting, Wait Here
Visual Arts Until 16 May 2022, FREE

MINDSCAPES: While Waiting, Wait Here – Merel Smitt

Created in collaboration with service users and staff, this online interactive game explores the benefits system and the process of applying for Universal Credit.

Mindscapes //OUTSIDEIN//
Visual Arts Until 16 May 2022, FREE

MINDSCAPES: //OUTSIDEIN// – Theater DEGASTEN

A brand-new online work, by Amsterdam-based Theater DEGASTEN, exploring the connection between mental health and where we live.

Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at BALTIC, Gateshead
Exhibitions 8 May–31 October 2021, FREE

Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at BALTIC, Gateshead

Sutapa Biswas’ major solo show explores the artist’s role in illuminating the imperialist structures that still exist within British society.

Open Air Theatre in Manchester and the North
Theatre 18 May–12 August 2021,

Open Air Theatre in Manchester and the North

Open air theatre shows are happening across the north over the next few months – we’ve collated our top picks into a neat guide for you.

Portable Sculpture at Henry Moore Institute in Leeds
Exhibitions 18 May–29 August 2021, FREE

Portable Sculpture at Henry Moore Institute in Leeds

Portable Sculpture will explore sculptures from 1934 to the present day that are designed to fold up, pack down or dismantle.

Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security at the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions 19 May–31 August 2021, FREE

Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security at the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester

TOP SECRET: the Science and Industry Museum digs into the history of British national security over the last 100 years.

Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life
Exhibitions 21 May 2021–27 February 2022,

Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life at The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield celebrates its 10th birthday with the largest exhibition of Barbara Hepworth’s work since the artist’s death in 1975.

The Jungle Book at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Families 29 May–30 August 2021, from £28

The Jungle Book at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

A vivid new version of this charming story will swing into Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre this summer.

Music 2 June–1 August 2021, from £16

A Summer of The Untold Orchestra

This Summer, The Untold Orchestra are packing six of their renowned ‘icon’ shows into eight dates at Escape to Freight Island.

The Merry Wives of Windsor at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Families 4 June–30 August 2021, from £30

The Merry Wives of Windsor at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Enjoy this hilarious Shakespearean comedy in the wonderful open-air surroundings of Grosvenor Park.

Music 7 June–4 October 2021,

NQ Jazz Live

NQ Jazz have teamed up with The Stoller Hall and The Yard to bring us dozens of COVID-safe jazz events featuring established and emerging artists.

Nicola Ellis and Ritherdon & Co Ltd: No gaps in the line at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions 13 June–1 August 2021, FREE

Nicola Ellis and Ritherdon & Co Ltd: No gaps in the line at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

After a year of mostly silent and empty galleries, we look forward to this clamorous return to exhibiting ‘in the flesh’.  

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum
Exhibitions 19 June–16 December 2021, from £5

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum

Use Hearing Protection tells the story of Factory Records’ formative years from 1978-1982, when the label made waves with its innovative work in music, technology and design.

Pride and Prejudice at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Theatre 9 July–30 August 2021, from £28

Pride and Prejudice at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

A tale of comedy, passion and endless dancing, and one of the most cherished love stories in English literature plays in the open air this summer.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
Theatre 15 July–7 August 2021, from £5.00

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland at Homeground

We’re thrilled that a new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s fantastical story will play in the open air in Manchester this summer. Perfect.

Festivals 29 July–1 August 2021, from £22.00

Kendal Calling Festival 2021

Featuring over 200 artists and performers, immersive arts experiences and kids activities, Kendal Calling is a great, family-friendly festival set in the stunning Lake District.