Creative Tourist

New year, new arts and cultural adventures.

Blow away the January blues and get out and about with these great exhibitions, gigs, live literature events, theatrical journeys and much more.

And if you’re on the Veganuary hype, 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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Exhibitions 1 January 2023 10:00 am, from £0.00

When Dreams Confront Reality: The Sherwin Collection at The Hepworth Wakefield

One of the most most important privately-owned collection of British Surrealism has found a permanent home at The Hepworth Wakefield.

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.

Literature 12 January 2023 7:30 pm, FREE

Reading The Other at The Old Monkey

Writers of poetry, prose fiction, flash fiction, drama, non-fiction, essays, journalism, biography – anything that is their own writing – are paired up and swap sets to read each other’s work.

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.

Activity 20 January 2023 7:00 pm, from £24.95

Craft Beer Experience

Yorkshire Craft Beers are sharing some of the best newly created and all time classic beverages with their Craft Beer Experience.

Rambert Dance in Peaky Blinders at the Alhambra Theatre
Dance 25–28 January 2023, from £24.00

Rambert: Peaky Blinders at the Alhambra Theatre

A new dance theatre event, delving into the backstory of Tommy Shelby and the Peaky Blinders, written by the creator of the global hit television series.

Poet Joe Williams
Literature 27 January 2023 7:15 pm, FREE

Chemistry at Chemic Tavern

Leeds’ newest live literature night Chemistry promises an exciting mixture of headline guests and open mic acts, all introduced by Leeds-based poet Joe Williams.

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.

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.

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.

Exhibitions Until 8 January 2023, FREE

2022 Banner Exhibition at People’s History Museum

The 2022 Banner Exhibition 2022 at the People’s History Museum will take you on a journey through the history of rights and equality via its dazzling collection.

Exhibitions Until 8 January 2023, from £0.00

Robert Indiana: Sculpture 1958-2018 at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A major exhibition of Robert Indiana’s sculptures and two-dimensional work will adorn the rolling hills and Underground Gallery of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

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.

Exhibitions Until 8 January 2023, FREE

Refractive Pool: Contemporary Painting in Liverpool at Walker Art Gallery

‘Refractive Pool: Contemporary Painting in Liverpool’ at Walker Art Gallery celebrates local talent with an exhibition of paintings by 21 Merseyside artists alongside a publication.

Exhibitions Until 15 January 2023, FREE

British Pop Archive at the John Rylands Research Institute and Library

Come along to experience the energy and nostalgia of The British Pop Archive – an exhibition that gathers records, artefacts and memorabilia of UK popular culture from the post-war period to the present day.

Cream shoes which belonged to Lady Lever, on display in the new exhibition 'Inspired by Lady Lever'
Exhibitions Until 29 January 2023, FREE

Inspired by Lady Lever at Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight

Port Sunlight’s exhibition ‘Inspired by Lady Lever’ aims to reveal a little more about the lady herself, with the help of valuable artefacts, while celebrating 100 years of history at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, and the life of the woman it is named after.

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.

Shakespeare North Playhouse Opening Season
Theatre Until 7 January 2023,

Shakespeare North Playhouse Opening Season

Launching with a glorious weekend of free festivities (15-17 July), check out Shakespeare North Playhouse’s spectacular opening season.

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 22 January 2023, FREE

ROOT-ed Zine: Retrospect, Reality, Reform at The Tetley

ROOT-ed Zine are taking over The Tetley with their show ‘Retrospect, Reality, Reform’, amplifying the voices of Northern creatives of colour.

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 ‘….)(‘.

Exhibitions Until 29 January 2023, FREE

breathe, spirit and life 呼吸、靈魂與生命 at The Bluecoat

The autumn season in the Bluecoat is all about cleansing and purifying, in the new exhibition breathe, spirit and life 呼吸、靈魂與生命.

Exhibitions Until 1 January 2023, FREE

Ukraine: Photographs from the Frontline at IWM North

See IWM North’s powerful new exhibition ‘Ukraine: Photographs from the Frontline’, from photojournalist Anastasia Taylor-Lind.

Exhibitions Until 14 January 2023, FREE

Brains in a Dish at Cooper Gallery and Glass Works Digital Space, Barnsley

Visit ‘Brains in a Dish’, an immersive installation of sculptures and digital media visualising the processes involved in studying the causes of dementia, raising awareness of the condition and the powerful technologies used in dementia research.

Exhibitions Until 21 January 2023, FREE

THE LIGHTS at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre

Come and absorb THE LIGHTS in Bury Art Museum’s new exhibition where lightboxes and neon take centre stage. The touring show is originally from Blackpool’s Grundy Art Gallery.

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.

Exhibitions Until 29 January 2023, FREE

Brigitte Jurack: Fieldnotes at HOME

Visit Brigitte Jurack: Fieldnotes at HOME – a gorgeous new exhibition that works like a balm for our overstimulated minds.

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 29 January 2023, FREE

Nina Chua and Daniel Silver at Castlefield Gallery

Experience the raw creative energy of manipulating materials, at Castlefield Gallery’s new double-artist exhibition from Nina Chua and Daniel Silver.

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.

Robin Hood at Oldham Coliseum
Families Until 7 January 2023, from £13.50

Robin Hood at Oldham Coliseum

Hitting the target this Christmas, Robin Hood promises to be a traditional pantomime of the highest order – great for the whole family.

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.

A Christmas Carol at Bolton Octagon
Families Until 14 January 2023, from £15.00

A Christmas Carol at Bolton Octagon

Bringing music, laughter and a welcome dose of festive cheer, a brand-new adaptation of the Dickensian classic is the perfect festive treat for families this Christmas.

Childrens Until 2 January 2023, from £11

Lightopia at Heaton Park

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

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.

Red Riding Hood at Liverpool Everyman
Comedy Until 14 January 2023, from £15.00

Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto: Red Riding Hood at Liverpool Everyman

Well, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to see Liverpool’s jukebox-sensational Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto, would it?

saltaire living advent calendar
Families Until 1 January 2023, 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.

ignite at gibside
Families Until 1 January 2023, FREE

Christmas at Gibside

Get away from it all at Christmas 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.

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.

Betty! A Sort Of Musical at the Royal Exchange
Theatre Until 14 January 2023, from £10.00

Betty! A Sort Of Musical at the Royal Exchange

Looking to escape the traditional pantomime fare this Christmas? the Royal Exchange’s festive production should definitely hit the spot.

Families Until 8 January 2023, from £21.00

Room on the Broom at The Lowry

Join the adventures of the Witch and her cat in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Theatre 12 December 2022–8 January 2023, from £25.00

The Ocean at the End of the Lane at The Lowry

Prepare to be transfixed in this dark, magical tale of a forgotten childhood live on stage at The Lowry this winter.

Families 14 December 2022–8 January 2023, from £15.00

Claus – The Musical at The Lowry

With childhood wonder and festive magic, this world premiere musical brings L. Frank Baum’s classic tale to life.

Cinema 16 December 2022–5 January 2023, from £12.99

Avatar: The Way of Water at VUE Printworks

See the latest from blockbusting auteur James Cameron on the biggest screen in the city.

Winter funland at trafford park
Families 18 December 2022–2 January 2023, from £19.50

Winter Funland at Trafford Park

Get the kids in the Christmas spirit at this amazing indoor funfair for families with children under 9!

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