Family things to do in Manchester and the North

Creative Tourist

Because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, our usual recommendations for family things to do in Manchester and the North are a little different. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses that make the North of England a great place to live and visit.

We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis. This means that, although venues remain shut and campaigns cancelled, our writers can be reengaged to help arts organisations and artists across the North of England share their online content with our culture-hungry readers.

Be sure to check out our full guide to the best online events from organisations in Manchester and the North too.

Stay well folks.

Here are our picks

More in Families

Half term fun - Young girl sat next to the tiger as part of the The Tiger who came to tea and the adventures of mog the forgetful cat exhibition
Exhibitions Until 31 December 2020, from £8.00

POSTPONED -The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat at Z-arts

In this immersive exhibition, children can let their imaginations go wild as they take centre stage alongside some of their favourite characters from beloved children’s author, Judith Kerr.

Love Letters to a Liveable Future with HOME
Activity Until 31 December 2020,

Love Letters to a Liveable Future with HOME

Part of Homemakers, this ongoing project offers the space to imagine how we would like our world to change once we emerge from lockdown.

Lost Online with HOME, Z-Arts and STUN
Families Until 31 December 2020, FREE

Lost Online with HOME, Z-Arts and STUN

One for our next generation of digital natives: an exciting new dance commission inspired by the dance challenges on TikTok and Instagram.

Swallows and Amazons For Ever! at Windermere Jetty Museum
Exhibitions Until 18 April 2021,

Swallows and Amazons For Ever! at Windermere Jetty Museum

Celebrate the spirit of adventure, learn more about the Cumbrian landscape and uncover the inspiration behind Arthur Ransome’s classic tale.

My First Protest Song online with the People's History Museum
Families Until 3 December 2020, FREE

My First Protest Song Online with the People’s History Museum

My First Protest Song goes online. Round up the family and join Matt Hill for this live-streamed event full of toe-tapping tunes.

Exhibitions Until 24 December 2020, FREE

Give Handmade this Christmas –Online with Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Now more than ever is the time to keep your Christmas shopping as local and handmade as possible. And Give Handmade makes this easy.

A Christmas Carol at Oldham Coliseum
Families 11 December 2020–2 January 2021, from £15

A Christmas Carol at Oldham Coliseum – CANCELLED

This performance has been cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum
Families 1–17 April 2021, from £7.00

The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum

Previously postponed due to Covid-19, we’re pleased that The Jungle Book is set to run at Oldham Coliseum in April 2021.

Can Mowgli outwit the cruel and powerful tiger, Shere Khan? With the help of his animal friends, he learns the law of the jungle and confronts the dangers in his path.

Packed with memorable characters, original songs, humour and brilliant storytelling, this modern musical reworking of Rudyard Kipling’s famous story is the perfect Easter treat for the whole family.

An Oldham Coliseum Theatre production
Directed by Sarah Punshon

Culture Guides

Sculpt with Jim Parkyn

Cinema in Manchester and the North

We’re looking at the best in home cinema for the next month, with Manchester Animation Festival and Aesthetica Short Film Festival at the top of our list.

Si Rawlinson. Photo credit: Ning Zhou


Galleries may be closed once again, for now, but there’s plenty of new exhibitions on the horizon to forward to.

Jessica Andrews


Live Literature Land has you covered for entertainment and intellectual stimulation with Zoom book launches, online readings and virtual open mics in plentiful supply as we head towards Christmas and beyond.


Discover the best upcoming music events taking place on a stage or a screen near you.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


We can’t wait to be back in the stalls again…until then our theatre guide features online performance you can enjoy at home and the live shows we’re most looking forward to.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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


Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

For the November guide, we’re looking at the best delivery options in Manchester, whether it’s for alcohol or food.

Isolation Broadcast

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Embrace your creative side or find out what local activists have been up to this year in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.