Delve into our pick of the best things to do in February in Manchester and across the North, including; new exhibitions, stunning 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. Check our guides to Valentines Day and February Half Term.
This month HOME presents Adaptation: Impossible Novels, a series of films derived from novels once thought ‘unfilmable.’
Join Skyliner for an alternative view of the Norther Quarter, learn about the area’s political happenings through it’s stunning public art.
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.
The RNCM Spring Season is nearly here, and we can’t wait to tell you about it! Ranging from concerts to operas to short film showcases, read our top picks.
Saul Hay Gallery in Manchester prepares to present an exhibition of new work by artist Christopher Cook, following his involvement in the major exhibition Making a Masterpiece at York Art Gallery.
This major exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield brings together over 200 works by Bill Brandt and Henry Moore highlighting their shared interests.
Combining demon lures and invented artefacts, ancient mythology and family lore, The High Dam at The Tetley in Leeds is the latest new work by upcoming artist Emii Alrai.
Taus Makhacheva’s new solo exhibition at The Tetley in Leeds explores the traditions of history-making and its encounters with experiences of everyday life.
After growing up in the closed city of Ozyorsk – the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme – Yelena Popova’s work reflects a fascination with nuclear history.
Bong Joon-ho’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winning thriller finally hits UK cinema screens this February following months of awards, nominations and critical adulation.
Mark Making at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre opens up fascinating new perspectives on humanity’s innate drive to leave its mark.
July Days by Aron Rossman-Kiss at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre revolves around a single, blurry image taken around 1917.
Immerse yourself in the world of John, Paul, George and Ringo as you walk in their footsteps through The Beatles’ home city in this six-hour extravaganza of a walking tour.
This Beatles Guided Walk & Cavern Club is the perfect way to learn more about The Beatles while discovering the city of Liverpool.
Visit The Piece Hall in Halifax for a series of People Play inspired early years mornings complete with songs, stories and a craft activity.
Combining stunning physicality with the beauty of British Sign Language, Ad Infinitum illuminate a pivotal time in history for the D/deaf community.
Can cutting-edge tech bring us closer to the events of the past? People’s History Museum unveils a series of new digital artworks and experiences.
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.
Simeon Barclay: Bus2Move at The Turnpike is an exhibition inspired by the artists research residency at the internationally renowned Phoenix Dance Theatre.
‘Other Transmissions: Conversations with Outsider Art’ is a collaboration between a group of six artists, with and without learning disabilities.
New year. New start. So put the tub of chocolates away and check out this rare revival of J.M Barrie’s farce by Northern Broadsides instead.
February Half Term Fun at Science and Industry Museum looks like another hit. Whether you travel by train, tram, bike or bus, make your way to the museum for loads of transport-themed fun.
Jodrell Bank became a World Heritage site in July 2019. This half term visit the Science Show and discover some of the important moments in the site’s history, which make it such an important place.
There’s a whole host of bugs and beasties that call the house at Lyme Park their home. This half term, join the team at Lyme to find out how they protect the treasures.
In this Space Crafts event children (and grown ups!) of all ages can get creative with arty activities centred around all things space!
Meet the Expert is an exciting opportunity to ask all those questions about the universe that leave your brain aching!
The Dark Figure* at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool confronts us with the pervasive though often overlooked presence of modern slavery in the UK.
For her first solo exhibition, Welsh artist Phoebe Davies presents a new body of work inspired by her time spent with a group of teenage female wrestlers training in a local club on the outskirts of Oslo.
The Little Prince is an enchanting, timeless story, which has been brought right up to date at Z-arts this February half term.
Turn your flux capacitor on and set your destination to the Manchester Opera House in the year 2020. Your future depends on it.
In this sharp satire, a thinly veiled portrait of Philip Green, Winterbottom looks at the model of exploitation that offers cheap clothes to buyers, vast wealth to owners, and punishing conditions to workers at the coalface of fast fashion.
The English language debut from Austrian director Jessica Hausner is clinically stylised and emotionally austere.
An Argentinian man from New York and a Spanish man from Berlin hook up by chance while in Barcelona.
In association with Manchester Poetry Library, Manchester Libraries and Manchester City of Literature, chat about a poem that has been a friend to you.
Manchester celebrates this year’s International Mother Language Day through a number of exciting events taking place in various venues around the city.
Mark Devereux Projects presents Always something moves – a solo exhibition by artist Sophie Lee at Bankley Gallery.
Funk guitarist Cory Wong returns to Manchester with a joyous new album and his signature blend of guitar wizardry, laugh-out-loud jokes and eccentric visuals.
An award-winning and perceptive thriller exploring the timely themes of consent, online safety and crime and punishment.
In this fun, interactive story session children will get to sing, dance and play with puppets. Along the way you’ll also discover the fascinating story of Manchester’s Coat of Arms.
One of Manchester’s up and coming breweries welcome you into their space to learn about the beer making process and, of course, sample the end products.
Still finding new ways to tweak the garage rock formula, The Growlers’ new album, Natural Affair, is their best yet. Watch them perform it live at Albert Hall.
If you’re a fan of world music, then Awesome Tapes From Africa’s show at Band on the Wall is an absolute must this February.
In celebration of Musica! Musica! Musica!, a solo exhibition by Raissa Pardini, The Foetals and Fruit Tones are playing a FREE party at YES.
After emerging with her 2001 feature debut, Lovely Rita, Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner has rapidly established herself as a tirelessly inventive director who reconfigures genre codes in clever and provocative ways.
Coinciding with Little Joe, HOME presents two rarely screened titles: Hausner’s Locarno Festival–winning short Flora and the mid-length Inter-View, Hausner’s graduation film at the Filmacademy Vienna. Both screen from 35mm.
Promising “divine decadence, darling”, this award-winning show – directed by Rufus Norris – is absolutely unmissable.
Blurring the lines of classical, jazz, rock, world and experimental music, the Bang on a Can All-Stars present a wonderfully adventurous programme at RNCM.
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.
Viggo Mortensen stars as Tom Stall, a man with a violent past which finally catches up with him. Based on a graphic novel and unflinching in its brutality, this taut thriller features a stellar supporting cast including Maria Bello, Ed Harris and William Hurt.
Open skateboarding session for adults, all abilities are welcome. Discover the creativity of this urban sport.
In support of their 10th studio album The Centre Won’t Hold, feminist punks Sleater Kinney are bringing their mighty-as-ever live show to Manchester.
Artist Alice Irwin’s Matisse-esque friendly giants at The Piece Hall in Halifax embody an enchanting spirit of play, early innocence and imagination. Yet, they also have a more serious side to them.
Drop into The Piece Hall Welcome Centre and collect a sculpture trail map that will take you on a sketching and symbol spotting journey.
Over two decades on from his seminal album Endtroducing, DJ Shadow returns to Albert Hall, a venue that the pioneering producer holds dear.
Cult cabaret duo Bourgeois and Maurice bring the world-premiere of their time-travelling musical comedy to Manchester.
Featuring impressive acrobatics and a mysterious box of tricks, BOX offers a humorous and uplifting tale about sibling connection and compassion.
Head to The Piece Hall in Halifax to celebrate the launch of People Play – a new sculpture commission and exhibition by artist Alice Irwin.
Working with non-professional actors, Haussner uses flashes of dark comedy to depict a stifling bourgeois respectability trying to keep the lid on the simmering mess hidden below.
Take your family on a trip through space and time in this fully immersive cinema experience.
Whether Liverpool Biennial 2018 passed you by or you diligently ticked-off every last one of its multiple offerings (if so; bravo), the Liverpool Biennial Northern England Tour seems unlikely to disappoint.
Award-winning playwright Linda Brogan and a group of local residents who used to attend the Reno nightclub in the 1970s and 80s prepare to occupy the Whitworth for one year. Located in Moss Side, the Reno was known as a space for young mixed-race Mancunians. This living exhibition will tell the story of the club through art and archive materials.
Discover how Victorian gentlemen protected their moustaches from tea, which monarch’s pair of stockings reside in Salford, get up close to incredible art and more.
Rugby League is born and bred in West Yorkshire. From its beginnings in Huddersfield in 1895 to the Super League superstars of today, celebrate over 120 years of blood, sweat and tears.
LAST CHANCE. Marking the 200-year-anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, ‘Disrupt? Peterloo and Protest’ at People’s History Museum takes visitors on a journey through the past, present and future of protest in this country.
Visit the homes of two influential Mancunian women in one day. Volunteer led tours of Elizabeth Gaskell and Emmeline Pankhurst’s former homes are an ideal way to learn the stories of these two influential figures.
What does it mean to be transported into another person’s memories? Step into a new digital art commission at Storyhouse in Chester to find out.
Manchester Art Gallery prepares to present a series of new paintings by artist Louise Giovanelli, alongside rarely-seen early Renaissance panel paintings.
As part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, The Tetley is hosting works by artists Holly Hendry and Taus Makhacheva.
Museum of Science and Industry’s blockbuster exhibition, The Sun, sets out to bring us as close to the star as many of us are likely to ever come.
‘a place lived’ by Maddi Nicholson is a new public artwork that delves into the near-forgotten history of Manchester’s thriving financial district.
Unreformed: Wallpaper and Design Diversity at the Whitworth examines the powerful the voices of the Design Reform movement.
This exhibition celebrates an extraordinary collection of drawings and prints by Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) that has been gifted and placed on long-term loan to the Whitworth
Learn how to meditate with the welcoming community at Manchester Buddhist Centre. Their beginners classes are the perfect way to find your feet and develop your own meditation practice.
From a brilliant range of symphonies, concertos, vocal works, operas and more, we select our five top picks from the Hallé’s 2019-20 season.
An outstanding orchestra live in a world-class concert hall – read about the BBC Philharmonic’s 2019-20 season at The Bridgewater Hall.
Get into the the heart of the machinery with technical tours of the mines at the National Coal Mining Museum.
A Healthy Profit at Quarry Bank offers an important look at one chapter in the continuing story of capitalism’s impact on the human body.
Joy Labinjo’s vibrant portraits offer a unique window into her personal experience of growing up as a Black, British and Nigerian woman in the UK.
‘Elizabeth Price at the Whitworth’ brings together new and acclaimed works – including drawings, sculpture, and video – by the Turner prize-winning artist.
LAST CHANCE. An artist who believed that we often know more than can be spoken, Edward Allington’s restaging at the Henry Moore Institute offers a poetic response to the complexity of the world.
Encompassing performance, film, sculpture and installation, Alexis Teplin’s expanded painting practice bursts with a seductive theatricality. See her work on show at Bluecoat.
After the leaves have fallen and the flowers have gone, discover beautifully crafted artwork by Yorkshire artist Gerard Hobson inspired by real-life creatures that call Beningbrough their home.
A new exhibition at FACT explores the utopian potential of the virtual realm as a space where we can begin to heal the power inequalities of society.
Northern Chamber Orchestra’s 2019/20 Season features the likes of violinists Chloe Hanslip and Anthony Marwood; pianist Martin James Bartlett; percussionist Colin Currie; and their President, cellist, Raphael Wallfisch.
One of the most important feminist artists of the last half-century, Judy Chicago is about to receive her first major survey exhibition in the UK, staged at BALTIC in Gateshead.
‘Animalesque / Art Across Species and Beings’ at BALTIC in Gateshead invites visitors to rethink the human position in the world.
Helmut Lemke presents investigations into the relationship of art and sound in an incredible exhibition of motorised artworks, unusual sculptures with a body of drawings and sketchbooks from a range of international projects.
Drenched in the rich beauty of the Guatemalan rainforest, Tate Liverpool presents the first UK solo exhibition of work by the Swiss-Argentinian artist, Vivian Suter.
Marking his UK debut, Theaster Gates responds to the little-known history of Malaga – a small island off the north east state of Maine, USA.
Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.
This December, Salford Museum and Art Gallery presents a new exhibition by local artist Ian McKay based on the architecture of Collier Street Baths
Join Joe Feeley a Mancunian through and through, who guides you into Manchester’s two pillars of cultural excellence with his Rock and Goal tour.
Danny guides you through the streets with poetry from his anthology Off the Cobbles. You’ll be as educated as you are entertained by the end of this honest and heartwarming tour.
Embrace the effervescent energy of Sunday Night Waves, a 5Rhythms dance class where you can move with the flow of your own body and explore.
These lively mornings of crafts and singing are fun, creative sessions for toddlers.
In their first ever exhibition looking at the role of immigrants in the coal industry, Digging Deep explores black miners’ stories.
Talking Sense at The Portico Library aims to open up a space for helpful conversations around the future of care.
Fifty photos from Pascal Dosset’s international portrait of Europe, Visage(s) d’Europe, will be on display at Alliance Française. One photo per country.
How do we visualise power? What does it look like, and for whom is it visible? Visual Rights looks at how images can expose uneven distributions of power, and shape the way we understand a place’s geography.
Richard Bartle: Nomadic Tales at Millennium Gallery in Sheffield explores the modern-day city of Istanbul, viewed through a series of 14th-century miniature illustrations.
Fresh local produce is always on the menu of the Local Leeds food tour. Visit six pubs and restaurants serving up some of Yorkshire’s finest cuisine.
Featuring over 500 artists from across Greater Manchester, the inaugural edition of the Manchester Open Exhibition at HOME should be a highly eclectic and exciting affair.
Eat your way through some of the best street food Leeds has to offer, with insights into the people and stories behind each bite. Try something new with the Leeds Street Food tour.
Coolaborative artist duo, MSR FCJ, present a series of experimental drawings, larger textural paintings and a new publication at HOME in Manchester.
Castlefield Gallery’s upcoming exhibition explores how the conditions of the gallery space affect our encounter with art. It certainly gets a thumbs up from us!
CFCCA presents Singapore artist Ho Tzu Nyen’s alternative ‘A to Z’ account of Southeast Asia, focusing on the region’s neglected histories.
An exhibition by artist Rae-Yen Song at CFCCA which explores British-Chinese identity through the prism of her own family history.
Visit People’s History Museum’s 2020 display of political banners from across the years – including several that will go on public show for the first time.
Spanning a plethora of genres, from classical to folk to Americana, The Stoller Hall’s Spring season is an eclectic delight. Read about it here.
Justin Edgar showcases artefacts he has collected over 30 years which document the Reasonable Adjustment movement at The Art House in Wakefield.
Organised by the British Culture Archive, The Refuge in Manchester presents a remarkable selection of images that capture Britain from the 1960s onwards.
How have visions of utopia and the visual culture that helped form it impacted upon the Brexit debate? A new exhibition at the Whitworth explores.