Family things to do in Manchester and the North

Gemma Gibb, Families Editor

Autumn is drawing in and half term adventures are on the horizon. Here are our top tips for outdoor and indoor hot tickets to book and do now.

Book to play your part in half-term hauntings and nocturnal animal encounters like no other at the first major experience of its kind, The Enchantment of Chester Zoo and head to Contact this weekend for Fun Palaces, its free day of creative fun. Snap up tickets before they all go like hot cakes for The Philosopher’s Scone, Manchester Science Festival’s Harry Potter inspired afternoon tea, film screening and magic masterclass. Be thrilled, inspired and a little bit scared at Z-arts’ Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Bad Things experience and book ahead for fun events in Manchester Literature Festival’s Young Readers Programme.

Here are our top 5 picks

Culture Guides

Tim Etchells, Lets Pretend (Large) (2014), installation view, Grundy Art Gallery. Photo: Phill Heywood, courtesy Grundy Art Gallery.


An overview of the current best exhibitions in Manchester and the North might be summed up in the following directive: think differently.

Lemn Sissay at the 8th Black and Asian Writers Conference


From Rising Stars to World Literature, nothing says October in the Rainy City like Manchester Literature Festival. And the region is abuzz with words this month – and, in the case of the South Lakes, words and pictures.



As the festival season draws to a rainy close now is the time to enjoy your…

The poster image for Giselle


I don’t think there’s a more enticing time of year to visit the theatre than autumn – when the nights draw in it just feels more exciting to be sat in a theatre seat.

Artist Film Weekender 2016


As always, October brings with it a surplus of scary films timed to coincide with Hallowe’en.

Destination Guides

Things to do right now

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Families 1 October 2016, from £6.50

Cake at Waterside Arts Centre

The Manchester School of Art MA show 2015
Exhibitions 30 September 2016–8 October 2016, FREE

Manchester School of Art MA Show 2016

Theatre 28 September 2016–8 October 2016, from £10.00

The Emperor

Artist Film Weekender 2016
Cinema 30 September 2016–2 October 2016, from £3.00

Artist Film Weekender 2016

Music 30 September 2016–2 October 2016, from £5.00

Oxjam Manchester Takeover 2016