January

Creative Tourist

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.

If you are getting carried away with the Veganuary phenomenon, check out our guides to Vegan food in Manchester, Vegan Food in Liverpool and Vegan Food in Leeds.

Happy New Year!

Things to do in January

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Yelena Overchenko at Waterside Arts in Sale
Exhibitions 14 January–26 February 2022, FREE

Yelena Overchenko at Waterside Arts in Sale

Yelena Overchenko’s work explores the depths of human consciousness, thoughts, feelings and self-awareness.

Manchester Open Exhibition 2020 at HOME
Exhibitions 14 January–27 March 2022,

Manchester Open Exhibition 2022 at HOME

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.

Activity 30 January 2022 6:00 pm, from £20.00

Sabbat Ceremony, Imbolc Workshop

Welcome the returning light with a creative healing workshop from wellness practitioners Amy and Eva, combining reiki with ritual in a Sabbat ceremony.

Still showing this month

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 13 May 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

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.

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.

These Lancashire Women are Witches in Politics with The Turnpike
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2022, FREE

These Lancashire Women are Witches in Politics with The Turnpike

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.

Rock and Goal
Activity Until 27 February 2022, from £4.50

Rock and Goal Tour

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.

Activity Until 26 March 2022,

Curious About Leeds, Self guided walking tour of Leeds

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.

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.

Joana Vasconcelos exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions Until 9 January 2022, FREE

Joana Vasconcelos at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the monumental work of celebrated Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos.

What is Manchester Art Gallery?
Exhibitions Until 31 January 2023, FREE

What is Manchester Art Gallery? at Manchester Art Gallery

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.

Activity Until 27 February 2022, from £13.50

Shiverpool: Ghost and History Tours

Expect chilling street theatre and immersive thrills as the award winning Shiverpool return to Liverpool’s streets.

families at the national history museum
Families Until 1 January 2022,

Families at the National Football Museum

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.

Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon – Online
Dance Until 1 April 2022, FREE

Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon – Online

The world’s first ‘visual dictionary’ of movements found within Bhangra, compiled by World Bhangra Day founder, Hardeep Sahota.

Cinema Until 21 February 2022, FREE

Queer Treatment

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.

Tai Shani: The Neon Hieroglyph – Online with Manchester International Festival Virtual Factory
Exhibitions Until 31 March 2022, FREE

Tai Shani: The Neon Hieroglyph – Online with Manchester International Festival Virtual Factory

Turner Prize winning artist Tai Shani takes us on an LSD-inspired hallucinatory journey across time and space. Prepare to have your consciousness expanded.

Ad Minoliti at BALTIC in Gateshead
Exhibitions Until 13 March 2022, FREE

Ad Minoliti at BALTIC in Gateshead

Argentinian artist Ad Minoliti’s immersive exhibition draws upon queer and feminist theory to offer new understandings of the world around us.

Mindscapes While Waiting, Wait Here
Visual Arts Until 16 May 2022, FREE

MINDSCAPES: While Waiting, Wait Here – Merel Smitt

Created in collaboration with service users and staff, this online interactive game explores the benefits system and the process of applying for Universal Credit.

Mindscapes //OUTSIDEIN//
Visual Arts Until 16 May 2022, FREE

MINDSCAPES: //OUTSIDEIN// – Theater DEGASTEN

A brand-new online work, by Amsterdam-based Theater DEGASTEN, exploring the connection between mental health and where we live.

More in Common: In memory of Jo Cox at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 24 April 2022, FREE

More in Common: In memory of Jo Cox at People’s History Museum, Manchester

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.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Learn embroidery in a fun and relaxed environment with the BBC’s Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle’s famous Witches Tower.

Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life
Exhibitions Until 27 February 2022,

Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life at The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield celebrates its 10th birthday with the largest exhibition of Barbara Hepworth’s work since the artist’s death in 1975.

English Football Hall of Fame
Exhibitions Until 31 March 2022, from £5.5

English Football Hall of Fame

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.

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Liverpool’s Zap Graffiti teaches all the basic skills and techniques you need to make a street-style creation you’ll be proud of.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

This beginners workshop will teach participants the traditional skills associated with blacksmithing, in the ‘Steel City’ of Sheffield.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, FREE

Stone carving at West Riding Stonecarving Association

The West Riding Stonecarving Association is dedicated to keeping the art of hand-carving stone alive and bringing it to the general public.

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios

Head to Skipton’s Craven Arts Studios to create a unique mounted animal head for your home with local textile artist Jaki Bogg.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Try your hand at candle making with the experts at Cheshire Workshops, this fun and creative skill is suitable for all ages.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Try your hand at pottery at Earth Pig Studio in Buxton’s Green Man Gallery; a longstanding community arts hub, shop and gallery.

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.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Come and experience the magic of fused glass at Glass Monkey Studio in Burnley, where workshops cater for all levels and abilities.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

One of many workshops hosted by local jeweller Helen Drye, here you’ll learn the technical skills required to make a chic stacker ring.

Exhibitions Until 3 January 2022, from £6

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum

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: Lumen at BALTIC, Gateshead
Exhibitions Until 20 March 2022, FREE

Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at BALTIC, Gateshead

Sutapa Biswas’ major solo show explores the artist’s role in illuminating the imperialist structures that still exist within British society.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £3.50

Knittaz with Attitude: Yarnbombing at Upside Down Coffee

Knitting, crochet, yarnbombing and contemporary needlecraft. Not a workshop as such but a ‘learning’ social with Knittaz with Attitude.

Rachel Kneebone: 399 Days at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions Until 24 April 2022, FREE

Rachel Kneebone: 399 Days at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Encounter artist Rachel Kneebone’s most ambitious sculpture to date, presented in the unique setting of YSP’s 18th century chapel.

Lucian Freud: Real Lives at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 16 January 2022, from £5

Lucian Freud: Real Lives at Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool presents the first major display of portraits by Lucian Freud in the North West in over 30 years.

Activity Until 31 July 2022, from £12

Heaton Hall & Park Tour: Glorious interiors and glorious landscape

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 – Online with Holden Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 5 August 2022, FREE

Interruptions: Sounds – Online with The Holden Gallery, Manchester

‘Interruptions: Sounds’ is an online collection of new audio works by seven artists, spanning spoken word, ambient sound and musical tracks.

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.

Lauren Gault: Cithra at The Tetley, Leeds
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2022,

Lauren Gault: Cithra at The Tetley, Leeds

Artist Lauren Gault’s sensory exhibition, Cithra, invites us to consider our relationship with the natural world in an entirely new way.

Annie Morris: When A Happy Thing Falls at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions Until 6 February 2022, FREE

Annie Morris: When A Happy Thing Falls at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Step into When A Happy Thing Falls – a dense forest of luminous, towering sculptures by Annie Morris that reflect the fragility of life.

Sickert: A Life in Art at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 27 February 2022, from £5

Sickert: A Life in Art at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool

Walker Art Gallery presents a major retrospective exhibition exploring the life of Walter Richard Sickert and his contribution to British art.

Emily Speed: Flatland at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 2 January 2022, FREE

Emily Speed: Flatland at Tate Liverpool

Emily Speed’s new film uses set design, choreography and costume to depict flattened hierarchies and close-knit community structures.

Albert Potrony: EQUAL PLAY at BALTIC, Gateshead
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2022, FREE

Albert Potrony: EQUAL PLAY at BALTIC, Gateshead

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.

CYC: Everything All of the Time at Contact
Theatre Until 17 May 2022,

Contact Reopening Season

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.

Exhibitions Until 5 February 2022, FREE

Pushing Paper: Contemporary drawing from 1970 to now

Pushing paper is an exhibition that explores the past 50 years of drawing, catch it at the Cooper Gallery this winter.

Deborah Roberts: A Look Inside at the Bluecoat, Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 23 January 2022, FREE

Deborah Roberts: A Look Inside at the Bluecoat, Liverpool

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: Practice Makes Perfect at the Bluecoat in Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 23 January 2022, FREE

Rosa-Johan Uddoh: Practice Makes Perfect at the Bluecoat in Liverpool

Rosa-Johan Uddoh’s exhibition ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ at the Bluecoat responds to the lack of Black British history taught in schools.

Jock McFadyen at the Lowry
Activity Until 27 February 2022,

Jock McFadyen Goes to the Lowry

Scottish artist, Jock McFadyen, displays key work from throughout his life at The Lowry Galleries, home to one of his artistic influences, LS Lowry.

Lucy McKenzie at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 27 February 2022, from £9

Lucy McKenzie at Tate Liverpool

Spanning post-war muralism, fashion, music subcultures, gender politics and more, Lucy McKenzie’s first UK retrospective is not to be missed.

Toria Garbutt
Literature Until 17 February 2022, from £10

Spoken Word at the Mansion House

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.

Electric Gamebox at the arndale
Childrens Until 22 October 2022, from £5.00

Electric Gamebox at The Arndale

Get ready for an immersive, digital, gaming adventure at the Arndale Centre in Manchester.

Future Ages Will Wonder at FACT in Liverpool
Exhibitions 28 October 2021–20 February 2022, FREE

Future Ages Will Wonder at FACT in Liverpool

FACT presents an ‘alternative museum’ of artworks that question our past and offer new ways of understanding who we are.

Lightopia at Heaton Park
Childrens 18 November 2021–3 January 2022, from £13.00

Lightopia at Heaton Park

The award-winning and visually sensational lantern and light festival returns to illuminate Manchester this winter.

Jadé Fadojutimi at The Hepworth Wakefield
Exhibitions 20 November 2021–1 May 2022, FREE

Jadé Fadojutimi at The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield will present an exhibition of new work by British artist Jadé Fadojutimi.

Bellotto: Views on a Fortress at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 20 November 2021–27 February 2022, FREE

Bellotto: Views on a Fortress at Manchester Art Gallery

In Views on a Fortress, Bellotto’s fortress interior paintings are brought together with their exterior views for the first time in 250 years

Not So Ugly Sisters
Families 24 November 2021–1 January 2022, from £12.00

The Not So Ugly Sisters at Waterside

The Yorkshire based theatre-company Wrongsemble bring this wonderful new take on the well-loved classic to audiences for Christmas 2021.

ignite at gibside
Families 26 November 2021–2 January 2022, FREE

Ignite at Gibside

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.

Sheila Hicks: Off Grid at The Hepworth Wakefield
Exhibitions 27 November 2021–29 May 2022,

Sheila Hicks: Off Grid at The Hepworth Wakefield

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.

saltaire living advent calendar
Families 1 December 2021–1 January 2022, FREE

Saltaire Living Advent Calendar

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.

Derek Jarman PROTEST! exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 1 December 2021–10 April 2022, FREE

Derek Jarman: PROTEST! at Manchester Art Gallery

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.