Family things to do in Manchester and the North

Gemma Gibb, Families Editor

This June marks the start of festival season with a raft of tip top celebratory family events to explore.

Book now for the first time the National Trust Children’s Book Festival has come to Quarry Bank – get the chance to meet some of the most-loved children’s authors and illustrators  in the land.

Each June we always love heading to Hebden for the incomparable Handmade Parade where killer street bands and crazy creations take over the stunning Calder Valley town.

Don’t miss the chance to book for weekend-long adventures at the more extensive summer camping festivals too. Timber festival in the National Forest on the border of Derbyshire and Leicestershire will be the first international forest festival in the UK. Celebrating how trees can transform the lives of people and places there is a world-class arts, ideas and music programme which includes the world premiere outdoor theatre adaptation of bestselling book The Lost Words.

Read our sparkly new full festival guide to all the top things to do at the Just So Festival this year. Book soon (this festival always sells out) to witness a daring high wire act, a Playground of Illusions, custard catwalk, midnight feast, pillow fights and dancing opportunities galore.

Enjoy!

 

Here are our picks

More in Families

MENU ON LOCATION CONTACT AND JACKIE HAGAN: THE FOREST OF FORGOTTEN DISCOS!
Families 11–23 December 2018, from £7.00 - 13.00

Contact and Jackie Hagan: The Forest of Forgotten Discos! at Hope Mill Theatre

This festive season, join CONTACT and Jackie Hagan for a new and exciting show for children aged 5+ (and the older ones who look after them!)

Dance 23 June 2018, FREE

Chameleon Youth Free Tasters at Z-Arts

Chameleon Youth, part of Company Chameleon, is calling out for new members for 2018-19. If you’re aged 11 to 21, this is an incredible opportunity to be part of a cutting-edge home-grown dance company.

Chameleon Youth
Dance 25 June 2018, FREE

Chameleon Youth Free Tasters at Central Library

Chameleon Youth, part of Company Chameleon, is calling out for new members for 2018-19. If you’re aged 11 to 21, this is an incredible opportunity to be part of a cutting-edge home-grown dance company.

Families 30 June 2018, from £6

Minifest Fun Day at Z-arts

An afternoon of arty fun and a music festival for little ones and their grown ups. Artful Playground’s Minifest is a fun musical experience for children that adults will love too.

Families 28 June 2018, FREE

Music Action International present Harmonise at The Bridgewater Hall

Music Action International explore culture and conflict with 100 children from four primary schools across Greater Manchester, featuring original songs written by the school children and traditional music influenced by Syrian, Roma and refugees.

Dance 18 June–7 July 2018, FREE

Chameleon Youth Free Tasters at Central Library

Chameleon Youth, Manchester’s youth dance company, is calling out for new members for 2018-19! If you’re aged 11 to 21, this is an incredible opportunity to be part of a dance company that is inspiring and different to the mainstream.

Families 28 July 2018, from £7.00

Perfect at Waterside Arts

Perfect is the touching story of a boy meeting his disabled sister for the first time, with puppetry, live music, animation and physical theatre.

Small Worlds at Waterside Arts - Refract:18
Families 25 July 2018, from £6.00

Small Worlds at Waterside Arts

Small Worlds is an unforgettable piece of visual theatre – a unique integration of puppetry, miniature landscapes, original animated film and music – all presented within a magical tent.

Families 22 July 2018, from £7.00

The Tale of the Cockatrice at Waterside Arts

A dark and winding fable for monster-lovers young and old, The Tale of the Cockatrice features breath-taking puppetry and spine-tingling live music

Culture Guides

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Exhibitions

Proto-feminism, the secret lives of birds, and the darkly satirical images of one of Britain’s leading political artists – we look forward to some of the top exhibition highlights coming up this month.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Open air performances, off-site productions and hotly anticipated world premières – we’ve got it all covered in our theatre guide.

Music

While this summer’s festivals – including bluedot, The Good Life Experience and Festival No. 6 – provide a welcome distraction, the likes of the RNCM and The Stoller Hall continue to provide adventurous programming.

Cinema

Salford-born actor, Albert Finney is celebrated with a career retrospective at HOME, whilst director Stanley Kubrick gets the same treatment at FACT. Elsewhere there are one off screenings of classics, both new and old.

Poet Amy McCauley. Credit Francesca Sophia.

Literature

There’s plenty of poetry and a fantastic flash fiction workshop and showcase to catch, book launches and new collections coming out of our ears, and experimental wordage a-go-go from writers of both prose and pomes. And if you don’t like sitting still, there’s even a literature trail or two on their way…