Family things to do in Manchester and the North

Gemma Gibb, Families Editor

Drumroll please for our Cultural Calendar of our top picks of family events for 2017. Five great happenings from January onwards to book and get in the diary now for a year filled with out of the ordinary cultural capers for all ages.

First up are some tip top theatrical experiences throughout the Spring including Compagnie Animotion’s re-telling of Grimm’s The Musicians of Bremen through contemporary circus and live music in the splendor of the newly refurbished The Met in Bury, a brand new adaptation of The Story Giant by the Everyman’s newly formed Company as part of Liverpool’s Summer of Love season and unrivalled puppetry genius in Michael Murpurgo’s Running Wild at The Lowry. Book now for summer adventuring at one of the best family festivals in the world, The Just So Festival and head for some winter japes in the Lakes at Penrith’s peerless Winter Droving festival.


Here are our top 5 picks

  • 1. The Musicians of Bremen at The Met

    Musicians of Bremen
    Compagnie Animotion

    The Musicians of Bremen at The Met, Bury, Manchester, 22 February 2017, from £7.00 - Book now

    Tumble through Compagnie Animotion’s startling new adaptation of Grimm’s tale of four aging animals and their incredible adventure. Circus, live music and puppetry in Bury’s glorious newly refurbished The Met.

  • 2. The Story Giant at Liverpool Everyman

    The exterior of Liverpool Everyman
    Everyman & Playhouse

    The Story Giant at Liverpool Everyman Theatre, City Centre, 13–29 April 2017 , from £10.00 - Book now

    A spellbinding new adaptation of the tale of four children from across the globe who meet at dreamtime by Mersey poet Brian Patten as part of the Everyman Company’s exciting new season and Liverpool’s Summer of Love.

  • 3. Running Wild at The Lowry

    Running Wild
    Johan Perrson

    Running Wild at The Lowry, Manchester, 18–22 April 2017 , from £13.50 - Book now

    All the amazing puppets, all the plot twists and all the emotions in this new production of Michael Murpurgo’s tale of a girl and an elephant fighting to survive.

  • 4. Just So Festival at Rode Hall, Cheshire

    Image courtesy of Just So Festival / Wild Rumpus

    Just So Festival at Rode Hall, Cheshire, 18–20 August 2017 , from £20.00 - Book now

    The multi-award winning family arts festival reveals four new experiences for 2017. Book now to guarantee a ticket for this most excellent of family adventures.


  • 5. The Winter Droving 2017 in Penrith

    The Winter Droving 2017
    Eden Arts

    The Winter Droving 2017, 28 October 2017, free entry - Visit now

    A wonderful winter escapade of outdoor arts, masquerade and pint carrying competitions in Penrith.

Culture Guides

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - Image courtesy of FACT


This month, we round up some of the disreputable treasures and genuinely ambitious pieces of film art that are screening around Manchester and the North.

Points of View by Tony Cragg. Photo: Charles Duprat.


For our Exhibitions guide in January, we’ve sifted through our calendar of upcoming exhibitions and picked out the very best from 2017. Step right this way…

Writer Adam O’Riordan. Photo by George Chevalier Lewis.


Start popping events for the new year in your shiny box fresh diary – there’s lots of live lit going on!

The Unthanks: How Wild The Wind Blows


Why not try some new music for the new year? How about a residency (or two) in a former mill, an original take on a film soundtrack, or the cream of Manchester’s current music scene coming together for an action-packed all-dayer?

Castle Rock


It’s a busy time for theatre followers, with two amazing festivals – Queer Contact and PUSH – as well as some exciting new stuff over at The Lowry.

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

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