Here are our top picks of things to do in January, including; great exhibitions, live music, literature, theatrical adventures and much more. We’ve got everything from cultural experiences to relaxed family activities.
Blow away the January blues and get out and about in Manchester and the North.
Happy New Year!
Yelena Overchenko’s work explores the depths of human consciousness, thoughts, feelings and self-awareness.
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.
Meet, Flecky Bennet, your guide through the dark and demonic side of the city as he takes you on one of Manchester’s award winning ghost walks.
Experience YBA artist Damien Hirst’s towering and provocative outdoor sculptures at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
A collaborative project that takes inspiration from the history of the Leigh Female Reformers of 1819 and the monstrous representations of them in the media of the time.
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.
Alternative to walking tour guides, Curious about Leeds give you the materials to experience Leeds’ heritage in your own time with their self guided tours.
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.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the monumental work of celebrated Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos.
Manchester Art Gallery reopens with a thought-provoking new exhibition that delves into the history of the public institution and its role within the city.
Expect chilling street theatre and immersive thrills as the award winning Shiverpool return to Liverpool’s streets.
Bring your football-loving family for a visit to England’s one and only national museum for football, with activities for families available throughout the museum.
The world’s first ‘visual dictionary’ of movements found within Bhangra, compiled by World Bhangra Day founder, Hardeep Sahota.
To coincide with LGBT History Month, Heart of Glass launches Queer Treatment, a new animated short film by the amazing Amy Pennington. Queer Treatment is inspired by conversations with members of the LGBTQIA+ community and explores connection, identity, representation and celebrating queer icons past and present.
Turner Prize winning artist Tai Shani takes us on an LSD-inspired hallucinatory journey across time and space. Prepare to have your consciousness expanded.
Argentinian artist Ad Minoliti’s immersive exhibition draws upon queer and feminist theory to offer new understandings of the world around us.
Created in collaboration with service users and staff, this online interactive game explores the benefits system and the process of applying for Universal Credit.
A brand-new online work, by Amsterdam-based Theater DEGASTEN, exploring the connection between mental health and where we live.
An exhibition inspired by the legacy of Jo Cox MP and which represents the culmination of a community-led project involving over 30 people who made the city their home.
Learn embroidery in a fun and relaxed environment with the BBC’s Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle’s famous Witches Tower.
The Hepworth Wakefield celebrates its 10th birthday with the largest exhibition of Barbara Hepworth’s work since the artist’s death in 1975.
National Football Museum’s English Football Hall of Fame celebrates the great game. A full-scale exhibition showcasing some of those who’ve made an outstanding contribution to football.
Liverpool’s Zap Graffiti teaches all the basic skills and techniques you need to make a street-style creation you’ll be proud of.
This beginners workshop will teach participants the traditional skills associated with blacksmithing, in the ‘Steel City’ of Sheffield.
The West Riding Stonecarving Association is dedicated to keeping the art of hand-carving stone alive and bringing it to the general public.
Head to Skipton’s Craven Arts Studios to create a unique mounted animal head for your home with local textile artist Jaki Bogg.
Try your hand at candle making with the experts at Cheshire Workshops, this fun and creative skill is suitable for all ages.
Try your hand at pottery at Earth Pig Studio in Buxton’s Green Man Gallery; a longstanding community arts hub, shop and gallery.
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.
Come and experience the magic of fused glass at Glass Monkey Studio in Burnley, where workshops cater for all levels and abilities.
One of many workshops hosted by local jeweller Helen Drye, here you’ll learn the technical skills required to make a chic stacker ring.
Use Hearing Protection tells the story of Factory Records’ formative years from 1978-1982, when the label made waves with its innovative work in music, technology and design.
Sutapa Biswas’ major solo show explores the artist’s role in illuminating the imperialist structures that still exist within British society.
Knitting, crochet, yarnbombing and contemporary needlecraft. Not a workshop as such but a ‘learning’ social with Knittaz with Attitude.
Encounter artist Rachel Kneebone’s most ambitious sculpture to date, presented in the unique setting of YSP’s 18th century chapel.
Tate Liverpool presents the first major display of portraits by Lucian Freud in the North West in over 30 years.
Heaton Hall and the surrounding park are a reminder of Manchester’s complicated past, join this walking tour to see the beauty and hear the stories behind these cultural monoliths.
‘Interruptions: Sounds’ is an online collection of new audio works by seven artists, spanning spoken word, ambient sound and musical tracks.
The Pankhurst Centre’s new permanent exhibition offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of the people behind the iconic Pankhurst name.
Artist Lauren Gault’s sensory exhibition, Cithra, invites us to consider our relationship with the natural world in an entirely new way.
Step into When A Happy Thing Falls – a dense forest of luminous, towering sculptures by Annie Morris that reflect the fragility of life.
Walker Art Gallery presents a major retrospective exhibition exploring the life of Walter Richard Sickert and his contribution to British art.
Emily Speed’s new film uses set design, choreography and costume to depict flattened hierarchies and close-knit community structures.
Artist and educator Albert Potrony sets out to explore non-gendered and non-prescriptive modes of childhood play in a major new exhibition at BALTIC.
Following the extensive transformation of their iconic Oxford Road venue, Contact has announced a vibrant and progressive reopening programme. Read our preview of the upcoming season.
Pushing paper is an exhibition that explores the past 50 years of drawing, catch it at the Cooper Gallery this winter.
The first major UK solo exhibition of work by award-winning artist Deborah Roberts challenges notions of the body, beauty, race and identity.
Rosa-Johan Uddoh’s exhibition ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ at the Bluecoat responds to the lack of Black British history taught in schools.
Scottish artist, Jock McFadyen, displays key work from throughout his life at The Lowry Galleries, home to one of his artistic influences, LS Lowry.
Spanning post-war muralism, fashion, music subcultures, gender politics and more, Lucy McKenzie’s first UK retrospective is not to be missed.
The Reader’s Spoken Word evenings at the Mansion House in south Liverpool’s Calderstones Park are back inside, with a packed line-up running into the New Year.
Get ready for an immersive, digital, gaming adventure at the Arndale Centre in Manchester.
FACT presents an ‘alternative museum’ of artworks that question our past and offer new ways of understanding who we are.
The award-winning and visually sensational lantern and light festival returns to illuminate Manchester this winter.
The Hepworth Wakefield will present an exhibition of new work by British artist Jadé Fadojutimi.
In Views on a Fortress, Bellotto’s fortress interior paintings are brought together with their exterior views for the first time in 250 years
The Yorkshire based theatre-company Wrongsemble bring this wonderful new take on the well-loved classic to audiences for Christmas 2021.
Get away from it all at Ignite at Gibside, a fantastical fire and lantern trail. We all love a stroll in the countryside, but this is a brand new way to experience the stunning eighteenth-century house and gardens.
Drawing together over 70 pieces from international public and private collections, this major exhibition will explore the many facets of Hicks’ ground-breaking work – from her intimate Minimes, small woven drawings she creates on a hand-held frame, to large-scale installations that fill gallery spaces with vibrant colour.
The Saltaire Living Advent Calendar has been a staple of the village since 2006, with community buildings and houses lighting up their windows with intricate illuminations.
Manchester Art Gallery is open again and they present the UK edition of PROTEST! – a major retrospective dedicated to the life and work of the iconic British artist Derek Jarman.