Free things christmas

Courtesy of MCDC

Free Things To Do At Christmas

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

Despite being ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, Christmas can also be the period when you’re most strapped for cash (thanks to all that generous gift buying) and stuck indoors for long stretches with the relatives. But there’s no excuse for any Grinch-like behaviour. Here we’ve put together a list of just some of the many free places to visit and things to see and do over Christmas, that aren’t all just about Christmas – and won’t leave an even bigger dint in your wallet or festive spirit.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Digital Matters: The Earth Behind the Screen at CFCCA

    Yang Yongliang. The Night of Perpetual Day. 2014

    Digital Matters: The Earth Behind the Screen at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester, 3 November 2017–4 February 2018, free entry - Visit now

    Perturbed by all the electronic gadgets and gizmos flying off store shelves and gathering under the tree? Head over to CFCCA for a more engaging look at our evolving relationship with digital technology, and what it reveals about ourselves.

  • 2. Kate Colin: The Art of the Fold at Manchester Craft & Design Centre

    Alan Braidwood & Alaisdair Smith Photography

    Kate Colin: The Art of the Fold at Manchester Craft & Design Centre, Manchester, 23 November 2017–3 February 2018, free entry - Visit now

    Designer-maker Kate Colin creates striking geometric artworks that transform with the addition of light. (Pick up some last minute Christmas presents from MCDC whilst you’re there.)

  • 3. Christmas with Us at Leeds Train Station

    Christmas With Us, David Shearing. Photo by Tom Joy

    Christmas with Us. David Shearing. at Leeds Railway Station, Leeds, 1–17 December 2017, free entry - Visit now

    Listen to the personal accounts of over 50 people from across Leeds, capturing both the beauty and hidden challenges of the Christmas period, in an immersive, multimedia instillation by artist David Shearing.

  • 4. The Return of Memory at HOME

    Courtesy of HOME

    The Return of Memory at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 21 October 2017–7 January 2018, free entry - Visit now

    Red isn’t just the colour of Christmas. Head to HOME to catch its major new exhibition re-examining the legacy of the Russian Revolution through the lens of the ‘New East’ today.

  • 5. Chester Christmas Market 2017

    Marketing Cheshire

    Chester Christmas Market 2017 at Chester Town Hall, 16 November–20 December 2017, free entry - Visit now

    Chester, with its cosy pubs and winding cobbled streets, is not only the perfect chocolate-box town, but also, perhaps one of the most festive places you could possibly head in the run up to Christmas (except maybe Lapland).

  • 6. Arctic Bazaar at Art Hostel, Leeds

    Courtesy of LeedsBID

    Arctic Bazaar at Art Hostel in Leeds, Leeds, 11–23 December 2017, free entry - Visit now

    Head to Leeds to experience an Icelandic landscape of interactive artworks and a curated market selling warming spices, salted liquorice and Glögi (Finnish mulled wine).

  • 7. The John Rylands Library

    The historic Reading Room in John Rylands Library
    Image courtesy of John Rylands Library.

    The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EH - Visit now

    One of Manchester’s most iconic buildings, drag the family along to this neo-Gothic gem of a library, which houses an incredible collection of rare printed texts (including preserved papyrus fragments, the letters of local author Elizabeth Gaskell and an original Gutenberg Bible) and offers a diverse programme of temporary exhibitions.

  • 8. humansbeingdigital at The Lowry

    Machine with Hair Caught in It (detail) by U_Joo+LimheeYoung, courtesy of The Lowry

    humansbeingdigital at The Lowry, Manchester, 18 November 2017–25 February 2018, free entry - Visit now

    Are you hipster enough to enter artist Max Dovey’s Hipster Bar? Can you imagine what Armageddon smells like? Want to learn how to grow your own hormones? Head to The Lowry’s latest exhibition.

  • 9. Alfredo Jaar: The Garden of Good and Evil at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

    Alfredo Jaar - The Garden of Good and Evil
    Alfredo Jaar, The Garden of Good and Evil, 2017. Courtesy the artist, New York, a/political and YSP. © Jonty Wilde

    Alfredo Jaar: The Garden of Good and Evil at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 14 October 2017–8 April 2018, free entry - Visit now

    What better place for a sunny winter’s day than Yorkshire Sculpture Park? Currently hosting a major solo exhibition by one of the world’s most politically engaging artists today: Alfredo Jaar.

  • 10. Alina Szapocznikow: Human Landscapes at The Hepworth Wakefield

    Alina Szapocznikow, Autoportrait I, 1966. Marble, polyester resin. Private collection. © ADAGP, Paris 2017. Courtesy The Estate of Alina Szapocznikow / Piotr Stanislawski / Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris. Photo Fabrice Gousset.

    Alina Szapocznikow: Human Landscapes at The Hepworth Wakefield, 21 October 2017–28 January 2018, free entry - Visit now

    From Yorkshire Sculpture Park, head over to The Hepworth (Museum of the Year 2017) to see the first major UK retrospective of Polish artist Alina Szapocznikow – now considered one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century.

  • 11. Christmas Carol Sing-along at Manchester Cathedral

    Christmas Carol Sing-along at Manchester Cathedral, Cathedral Quarter, 16 December 2017, free entry - Find Out More

    Drop into Manchester Cathedral for a burst of highly festive, endorphin-releasing carol singing. All welcome. Entirely free.

  • 12.

Things to do right now

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Music 11 December 2017, from £15

Chineke! Ensemble at the RNCM

Music 4 October–11 December 2017, FREE

RNCM Autumn Season

Cinema 9–13 December 2017, from £5.00

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Exhibitions 23 October–15 December 2017, FREE

Material Remains at Holden Gallery

Theatre 9 November–16 December 2017, from £20.00

Little Women: The Musical at Hope Mill Theatre

Festivals 8–17 December 2017, FREE

Lightwaves 2017 at The Quays

Cinema 8–18 December 2017, from £5.00

A Tim Burton Trio at HOME

Families 24 November–18 December 2017, FREE

Snö Garden at Camp & Furnace

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Cinema 8–18 December 2017, from £5.00

A Tim Burton Trio at HOME

Cinema 12 November–19 December 2017, from £5.00

The Enchanted Screen at FACT