February

Creative Tourist

Delve into our pick of the best things to do in February in Manchester and across the North, including new exhibitions, live music, literary events, family things to do, theatre, tours and great food/drink.

As we kiss goodbye to January and forget about all the ghastly resolutions, it’s time stop hibernating, concentrate on culture and get that diary nice and full.

We’re also starting to fill up our guides to Valentines Day and February Half Term. Take a look!

Things to do in February

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Lumen Festival of Lights
Visual Arts 17 February 2023, FREE

Lumen Festival of Lights

The colourful light-art trail of Lumen will visit the town centre and Crew and give audiences the chance to be immersed in art, light and sound.

Song From Far Away at HOME
Theatre 22 February–11 March 2023, from £10.00

Song From Far Away at HOME

Will Young makes his return to the stage in this powerful one-man show written by Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens and Mark Eitzel.

Still showing this month

Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions Until 31 May 2023, FREE

Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Experience YBA artist Damien Hirst’s towering and provocative outdoor sculptures at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

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.

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Visit the home influential Mancunian writer Elizabeth Gaskell, with expert guides and refreshments within the home it’s a truly immersive way to learn about her life.

The Zoom Tours Series
Activity Until 31 July 2023, from £6

Jonathan Schofield Walking Tours

Jonathan Schofield Is well known for his expertly informed, charismatic and intriguing guided tours, join him on one to find out why.

Activity Until 31 December 2023, from £60

Eat The City – Scranchester Tours

Satisfy your hunger for knowledge as well as lunch with Scranchester’s food tours of the city centre. You may discover a new favourite hidden gem or learn a bit more about the cultural or historical significance of the food you eat all the time.

Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds
Exhibitions Until 5 June 2023,

Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Stop and spend an hour or two with this special creation, nestled within a stand of birch trees beside Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Upper Lake.

At Home with the Pankhurst Family at the Pankhurst Centre
Exhibitions Until 29 August 2024, FREE

At Home with the Pankhurst Family at the Pankhurst Centre

The Pankhurst Centre’s new permanent exhibition offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of the people behind the iconic Pankhurst name.

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts

Z-Arts presents Fairy Tales, an enchanting exhibition that takes children aged 0-8 to an interactive Fairy Tale wonderland.

A still from the animation 'Hole' by Rachel Goodyear, depicting two hand-drawn female figures wearing pink dresses on a black background.
Exhibitions Until 26 February 2023, FREE

Rachel Goodyear: Stirrings at Salford Museum & Art Gallery

Salford Museum & Art Gallery presents a ‘homecoming’ exhibition – the first major solo show in the North by the Salford-based, internationally renowned artist Rachel Goodyear.

Activity Until 31 December 2023, from £269

DJ Gym at Hatch

Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch.

life drawing
Activity Until 31 July 2023, from £10

Life Drawing Manchester

Whether you have never put pencil to paper or have been honing your artistic skills for years, Bee Creative studio runs life drawing sessions for people of all abilities.

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

For those eager to expand their Vegan culinary repertoire the Vegetarian Society Cookery School’s new Vegan Supper Club is a must. With easy to follow instructions from expert tutors you can create sumptuous vegan meals which are then enjoyed as a group.

Jadé Fadojutimi at The Hepworth Wakefield
Exhibitions Until 19 March 2023, from £10

Jadé Fadojutimi: Can we see the colour green because we have a name for it? at The Hepworth Wakefield

This September, The Hepworth Wakefield is giving audiences the opportunity to experience the wonderfully colourful world of Jadé Fadojutimi.

Exhibitions Until 3 September 2023, FREE

Sahej Rahal: Mythmachine at BALTIC Gateshead

Sahej Rahal and his new exhibition ‘Mythmachine’ continues BALTIC’s season of exhibitions with the leading theme of ‘play’.

Activity Until 25 December 2023, FREE

Sí Manchester Daily Tour

Sí Manchester’s daily tour is a brilliant way to get an overview of the city with tours running in both English and Spanish.

Exhibitions Until 4 June 2023, from £5.00

JMW Turner with Lamin Fofana: Dark Waters at Tate Liverpool

See JWM Turner’s work like never before paired with Lamin Fofana’s immersive exhsound environment in ‘Dark Waters’, a very special exhibition at Tate Liverpool opening this September.

Exhibitions Until 30 September 2023, FREE

Daniel Arsham: Relics in the Landscape at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Daniel Arsham’s large-scale sculptures are making an appearance at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in his outdoor show ‘Relics in the Landscape’.

Exhibitions Until 1 May 2023, FREE

Dandy Style at Manchester Art Gallery

Set in the brand new dedicated Fashion Gallery, ‘Dandy Style’ celebrates all the is most elegant, dramatic and fascinating in menswear.

Exhibitions Until 4 February 2023, FREE

Cerith Wyn Evans: ….)( at MOSTYN

MOSTYN is currently hosting a major solo show by Wales’ most internationally recognised artist Cerith Wyn Evans with a show entitled ‘….)(‘.

Still from a film by artist Sin Wai Kin, A Dream of Wholeness in Parts (still) 2021 © the artist. Courtesy the artist, Chi - Wen Gallery, Taipei and Soft Opening, London. Produced by Chi - Wen Productions, Taipei. Supported by Hayward Gallery Touring for British Art Show 9
Exhibitions Until 19 March 2023, FREE

Turner Prize 2022 at Tate Liverpool

This year, Tate Liverpool will have the pleasure of hosting what is possibly the most important event in contemporary art in the UK – the Turner Prize.

Exhibitions Until 1 May 2023, from £1.00

Hannah Starkey: In Real Life at The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield presents a major survey of work by Hannah Starkey, tracing the development of two decades of her photographic practice.

Exhibitions Until 21 May 2023, from £6.00

Turn It Up: The Power of Music at the Science and Industry Museum

Prepare to get hands-on, with your ears and hearts open, at a new major exhibition exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold over us and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share.

Exhibitions Until 23 April 2023, FREE

Althea McNish: Colour is Mine at The Whitworth

Explore the life and work of Althea McNish, one of the most influential textile designers, in the major, touring retrospective ‘Althea McNish: Colour is Mine’ at The Whitworth.

Exhibitions Until 5 March 2023, FREE

Pure Brilliance: The Boodles Story at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

‘Pure Brilliance: The Boodles Story’ takes viewers on a journey full of sparkle, glamour and some of the finest jewels you’ll see, on the Lady Lever Art Gallery’s 100th anniversary year.

Exhibitions Until 30 April 2023, FREE

Hinterlands at BALTIC Gateshead

Experience the folklore, mythologies and history of the landscape of the North East in Baltic’s new group exhibition ‘Hinterlands’.

Exhibitions Until 30 April 2023, FREE

Jala Wahid: Conflagration at BALTIC Gateshead

Visit the BALTIC to experience Jala Wahid’s ‘inferno’, an exploration of Kurdish identity, Britishness and diaspora through the lens of oil.

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre
Families Until 11 March 2023, from £20.00

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre

The sun may have set over our Manchester theatres during the pandemic – but now “it’s rolling high through the sapphire sky” once again. Hit musical The Lion King has added even more dates to its previously postponed run.

Activity Until 29 April 2023, from £300.00

School of Comedy at the Frog and Bucket

Try your hand at stand up comedy with an eight week intensive course with Dave Williams in the Frog and Bucket’s School of Comedy.

Exhibitions Until 19 March 2023, FREE

Lakwena Maciver: A green and pleasant land (HA-HA) at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Hide from the rain and immerse yourself in the bright and colourful paintings in ‘Lakwena Maciver: A green and pleasant land (HA-HA)’ at YSP.

Activity Until 31 January 2025, £8.50 with concessions

Old Dock Tours, Liverpool

The Old Dock tour is a treat for younger and older visitors alike, fans of Liverpool’s maritime past, and anybody curious about local history.

Exhibitions Until 25 February 2023, FREE

Christine Kowal: They Think They Are Fallen Angels at Williamson Gallery

Christine Kowal: They Think They Are Fallen Angels at Williamson Gallery explores our relationship with the natural world and its inhabitants.

Exhibitions Until 9 April 2023, FREE

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley & Josèfa Ntjam

FACT presents the final instalment of the Radical Ancestry programme with a new show by Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley & Josèfa Ntjam.

Activity 4 January–8 February 2023, from £170.00

Drawing course with Nina Hunter

Nina Hunter founder of Saltaire Art School is hosting a six week drawing course in the new year, the perfect way to get to grips with new techniques.

Childrens 19 January–23 March 2023, from £5

Experitots at the Science and Industry Museum

Keep the youngest kids entertained in hands-on Experitots sessions, featuring multisensory activities for children aged 1–4.

Activity 19 January–23 February 2023, from £59.99

Write Like A Grrrl: Ignite

Start the new year with a creative project with Write Like A Grrrl, a warm and encouraging writing course for womxn in Leeds.

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals 20 January–18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

A celebration of the North West’s creative talents, PUSH Festival at HOME Manchester is always a highlight of the theatre calendar.

Things to do right now

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Cinema Until 8 December 2022, from £7.95

Aftersun at HOME

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 11 December 2022, from £4.50

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre
Families Until 11 December 2022, from £27.00

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre

Music Until 17 December 2022, from £5

RNCM Autumn Season

Melissa Wan
Literature Until 17 December 2022, from £7

Ghosts at the Old Library

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 17 December 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Star of Wonder at Theatre Porto
Families Until 21 December 2022, from £0.00

Star of Wonder at Theatre Porto

Cinema Until 22 December 2022, from £20.00

Backyard Cinema