July

Creative Tourist

With the big school holiday approaching, use the free time you now have to find interesting things to do in July in Manchester and the North. We have options of activities for both families and adults without kids.

Things to do in July

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Manchester International Festival: The Walk
Festivals 1–18 July 2021, from £12.00

Manchester International Festival

Manchester International Festival is the world’s first festival of original work and special events – a biennial celebration of performance and art.

Activity 1–18 July 2021, FREE

We Dwell In Possibility – Virtual Factory

We Dwell In Possibility, is the third Virtual Factory commission in which you can control AI people and watch them develop their identities through planting trees.

Refloresta! Maria Nepomuceno at The Portico Library
Exhibitions 1 July–11 October 2021, FREE

Refloresta! Maria Nepomuceno at The Portico Library

The Portico Library presents an installation of immersive sculptural and textile works by world-renowned Brazilian artist Maria Nepomuceno.

Music 1 July 2021 2:15 pm, From £18.50 (Subs, concs and £5 student tickets also available)

The Hallé – Schumann’s Spring Symphony at The Bridgewater Hall

Tomáš Hanus conducts the Hallé in a vibrant programme of Schumann, Mendelssohn and Louise Farrenc, featuring Norwegian violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing.

Cinema 1 July 2021 6:00 pm, from £10

Kendal Mountain Festival 2021 at Waterside Arts

Let Kendal Mountain Festival guide you through stories from across the globe, told by a unique collection of travellers, athletes, activists, and creatives.

Poet Mike Garry. Photo Paul Wolfgang Webster
Literature 1 July 2021 7:00 pm, FREE

Mike Garry live online at Didsbury Arts Festival

Manchester poet Mike Garry will be performing live online as part of Didsbury Arts Festival 2021, this year taking place virtually, with an audience Q&A part of the event. Having previously lived in Didsbury for 20 years, Mike Garry is a great choice for the biennial event, bringing arts to south Manchester this year from May through to September.

The Hound of the Baskervilles at the Octagon Theatre
Theatre 1 July–7 August 2021, from £15.00

The Hound of the Baskervilles at the Octagon Theatre

Bolton Octagon have announced a summer season of ‘Warm Up’ events, which includes a hilarious new adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novel.

MIF 2021: Cloud Studies at the Whitworth, Manchester
Exhibitions 2–18 July 2021, FREE

MIF 2021: Cloud Studies at the Whitworth, Manchester

Forensic Architecture investigates, explores and exposes how power reshapes the very air we breathe in this urgent and compelling exhibition presented at the Whitworth.

Exhibitions 2–10 July 2021, FREE

I Love You Too – part of Manchester International Festival 2021

Kemang Wa Lehulere collaborates with 11 Manchester writers and over 100 residents of the city to create a surprising collection of love letters – a new book for Central Library.

Cinema 2–4 July 2021, from £12.50

MIF21: All of this Unreal Time

Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival and premiering at Manchester Central this July, All of This Unreal Time is a brand new short film and immersive installation written by Max Porter, directed by Aoife McArdle, and starring Cillian Murphy.

The long waited, weighted gathering at the Manchester Jewish Museum
Exhibitions 2–18 July 2021, FREE

Laure Prouvost: The long waited, weighted gathering at the Manchester Jewish Museum

The Manchester Jewish Museum celebrates its reopening with a major new installation by Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost.

The Global Playground
Childrens 2–18 July 2021, from £10.00

The Global Playground – part of Manchester International Festival 2021

Fusing dance, music, theatre and puppetry, this bright, family-friendly show explores the concept of play and how we connect with one another.

Zog Live onstage at The Lowry theatre
Families 2–4 July 2021, from £16

Zog

Enjoy Zog live at The Lowry in an incredible new adaptation which is packed with lively songs from Joe Stilgie and lots of fire-breathing fun.

Cinema 2–4 July 2021, from £8.25

Cinema in the City at Cotton Exchange Rooftop Garden

New for 2021, FACT presents Cinema in the City, a curated selection of critically-acclaimed indies at Cotton Exchange Rooftop Garden.

Tarek Lakhrissi: My Immortal at MOSTYN in Llandudno, Wales
Exhibitions 3 July–26 September 2021, FREE

Tarek Lakhrissi: My Immortal at MOSTYN in Llandudno, Wales

Artist Tarek Lakhrissi presents a nuanced examination of community and how it can exist as a paradoxical space of solace and tension.

Manchester International Festival: The Walk
Families 4 July 2021, FREE

MIF21: The Walk

An epic and extraordinary travelling artwork will set off from the Turkish – Syrian border for Manchester this April. Adventurous and inventive, this is the first event to be announced for MIF21.

Danny Jacobs: How To Put On An Exhibition For £99
Exhibitions 5–6 July 2021, FREE

Danny Jacobs: How To Put On An Exhibition For £99, at 18-22 Lloyd Street in Manchester

Danny Jacobs’ last exhibition was expensive, so he decided to do his next on a £99 budget.

Literature 7–18 July 2021, FREE

Notes On Grief – part of Manchester International Festival 2021

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s powerful reflection on family, love and loss journeys from page to stage in Rae McKen’s new production.

Music 8–9 July 2021, from £30

Un-Convention at 02 Ritz

The 106th Un-Convention brings together artists, professionals and organisations from the independent music sector.

Music 9 July 2021, from £10

MIF21: Arlo Parks at Manchester Central

One of the country’s hottest new acts, Arlo Parks will play her largest headline show to date at MIF21.

Music 9 July 2021 5:00 pm, from £42.50

The Streets at Castlefield Bowl

Mike Skinner and the Streets will be igniting old flames and fanning new ones at Castlefield Bowl this July, as part of Sounds of the City.

Pride and Prejudice at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Theatre 9 July–30 August 2021, from £28

Pride and Prejudice at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

A tale of comedy, passion and endless dancing, and one of the most cherished love stories in English literature plays in the open air this summer.

Exhibitions 10–11 July 2021, FREE

Arcadia – part of Manchester International Festival 2021

Be the first to experience new work at MIF’s future year-round home with a special installation bringing the natural world into the heart of the city – created especially for the site by director Deborah Warner.

Music 10 July 2021, from £10

MIF21: Rooted In Rhyme at Manchester Central

Join MIF on a journey deep into Manchester’s hip hop underground, guided by some of the most trusted voices in the city’s hip hop roots.

Yorkshire Sculpture International 2021
Exhibitions 10 July–19 September 2021, FREE

Yorkshire Sculpture International 2021

The second edition of Yorkshire Sculpture International – the UK’s largest dedicated sculpture festival – opens this summer.

Music 11 July 2021 7:00 pm, from £5

MIF21: Laurent Garnier – Off the Record at Manchester Central

Haçienda legend Laurent Garnier joins MIF for the UK premiere of Off the Record, a film about club culture and the part he played in its relentless rise.

Theatre 12–18 July 2021, from £10

Little LTF – Liverpool Theatre Festival of New Works at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church

The perfect teaser event for Liverpool Theatre Festival in September – Little LTF offers audiences the chance to experience an eclectic programme of brand-new performance.

Music 13 July 2021 7:00 pm, from £10

MIF21: Damon Albarn at Manchester Central

Damon Albarn returns to MIF to perform a rare solo set spanning his extensive songbook, including his latest project The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows.

Artwork by musician Ed Dowie
Exhibitions 15–18 July 2021, from £5.5

Super Cool Drawing Machine

Artwork by jazz saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, Mercury-nominated singer Cate Le Bon, and folk musician Richard Dawson, will feature in the touring exhibition at Birkenhead’s Future Yard.

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
Theatre 15 July–7 August 2021, from £5.00

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland at Homeground

We’re thrilled that a new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s fantastical story will play in the open air in Manchester this summer. Perfect.

Music 17 July 2021, from £10

MIF21: Homecoming Live at Manchester Central

MIF and Lagos-based festival Homecoming present a one-night showcase of the most exciting music from Africa, the diaspora and beyond.

Orrell Hill Wood
Festivals 17–18 July 2021, from £71.75

The One In The Woods

New for 2021, The One in the Woods music festival will bring giants of the techno and drum & bass scene to Orrell Hill Wood, near Liverpool.

Music 17 July 2021 2:15 pm, From £18.50 (Subs, concs and £5 student tickets also available)

The Hallé – Porgy and Bess, Celebrating a Classic Album at The Bridgewater Hall

Join Stephen Bell and the Hallé for Russell Garcia’s Porgy and Bess, re-orchestrated by award-winning trumpeter, Ryan Quigley.

Mothers Who Make: July 2021
Activity 19 July 2021 10:30 am,

Mothers Who Make: July 2021

Mothers Who Make (MWM) is a peer support group and creative exchange session for mothers who are artists – professional and/or passionate – writers, painters, actors, dancers, filmmakers, photographers…every kind of maker welcome, and every kind of mother.

The sessions, which have gathered momentum over the past few years, aim to give creative mothers the chance to explore their practice in a room with their child. Professional connections have been formed and led to the beginning of joint projects between participants – so it’s a great way to meet and collaborate with other mothers from different creative backgrounds.
You are invited to join this inspiring and growing initiative. Please feel free to bring along your children, of any age, whether they are inside you, beside you or running around the room!
During and post Covid 19 the hub has, and will, be needed more than ever as we navigate our roles in this evolving world of change and uncertainty, but also possibility.

Next Sessio…

Cocoa Butter Club play at Refract: 21 Festival.
Festivals 22–31 July 2021,

REFRACT:21 at Waterside

Trafford’s flagship arts festival returns to Waterside for ten days of experiential performance and cultural delight.

Bluedot
Music 22–25 July 2021, from £59.75

Bluedot 2021 at Jodrell Bank

Entering its fifth year in 2020, Bluedot is a festival of discovery located in the shadow of the world-renowned Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank.

Music 22 July 2021 2:15 pm, From £18.50 (Subs, concs and £5 student tickets also available)

The Hallé – The Tsar, The Rock and The Firebird at The Bridgewater Hall

Sir Mark Elder leads the Hallé in a spectacular Russian programme, featuring three masters: Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky.

Sir Antony Gormley: Field for the British Isles at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland
Exhibitions 24 July–25 September 2021, FREE

Sir Antony Gormley: Field for the British Isles at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland

A 40,000 strong army descends on Sunderland; catch Sir Antony Gormley’s iconic Field for the British Isles at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.

Lucian Freud: Real Lives at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions 24 July 2021–16 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.

Festivals 25 July 2021 1:00 pm, FREE

Potfest in the Park

Elaborate vases, intricate centrepieces, and ceramics – Potfest in the Park celebrates the creative possibilities of clay.

Activity 26–30 July 2021, FREE

A Week with PINS from Brighter Sound

Brighter Sound are offering the chance for early career musicians aged 16-21 to spend a week creating, learning and collaborating with PINS.

Grimm Tales: Witches, Wolves, Fairies and Frogs at Williamson Park
Theatre 27 July–22 August 2021, from £20.00

Grimm Tales: Witches, Wolves, Fairies and Frogs at Williamson Park

The shades and glades of Williamson Park will provide an atmospheric setting for this magical outdoor show.

Festivals 29 July–1 August 2021, from £22.00

Kendal Calling Festival 2021

Featuring over 200 artists and performers, immersive arts experiences and kids activities, Kendal Calling is a great, family-friendly festival set in the stunning Lake District.

A Home for Grief at Contact
Activity 29–31 July 2021, from £5.00

A Home for Grief at Contact

Part of Contact’s new season, this unique experience – for one person at a time – explores personal stories of grief, loss and renewal.

Still showing this month

Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Exhibitions Until 1 April 2022, FREE

Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Experience YBA artist Damien Hirst’s towering and provocative outdoor sculptures at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives – exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 14 December 2021, FREE

Trading Station: how hot drinks shape our lives at Manchester Art Gallery

Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.

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.

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.

What it is to be here: Colonisation and Resistance – Online at The Portico Library
Exhibitions Until 27 July 2021, FREE

What it is to be here: Colonisation and Resistance – Online at The Portico Library

The Portico Library marks 250 years since British explorer James Cook first landed on the shores of what we now call Australia with an online exhibition that explores the history of violence and resistance that followed.

online events I am falling in love with you and its making me do stupid things
Festivals Until 31 July 2021,

Homemakers

NOW EXTENDED: HOME have invited theatre and live art makers to create new works at home, for an audience who are also at home. 

Everything That Rises Must Dance with HOME
Theatre Until 31 July 2021,

Everything that rises must dance with HOME

Produced by Complicité for Homemakers: Join a virtual gathering of women for an online dance project celebrating female movement throughout history.

Hamilton - Streaming on Disney Plus
Theatre Until 15 October 2021, from £5.99

Hamilton – Streaming on Disney Plus

Politically charged with a hip-hop soundtrack, there is no doubt that this filmed performance is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2020.

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.

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North
Exhibitions Until 26 September 2021, FREE

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North

Aid Workers: Ethics Under Fire at Imperial War Museum North takes a close look at the moral dilemmas surrounding overseas aid.

Cinema Until 30 September 2021, FREE

Make Up – Streaming on BBC iPlayer

Cornwall has seldom seemed eerier than in Make-Up, the vivid first feature from director Claire Oakley.

#WELCOME? at the People's History Museum
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2021, FREE

#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum

#WELCOME? at the People’s History Museum explores the wider impact of media coverage and changing immigration controls.

Blackburn Open Walls
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Blackburn Open Walls

Over 3 years, forgotten walls of Blackburn were brought to life with the creation of a vibrant outdoor gallery, by international, national and local artists, who together over 2 weeks, created a collection of large scale murals and art walk trails for the residents and visitors of Blackburn to enjoy.

Pendle Witch Experience Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £18

Pendle Hill Witch Experience Tours

Group tours of Lancashire in the area surrounding Pendle Hill. Through visiting the countryside and villages of Pendle, visitors learn all about the dark deeds and wicked plots surrounding the Pendle Witches in the 1600s.

Discover Buxton Tram Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £80

Discover Buxton Tram Tours

Enjoy a journey through time on Discover Buxton Tour’s unique vintage tram.

Discover Buxton Character Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Character Tours

These colourful character guides offer unique and entertaining insights into the history of some of Buxton’s most iconic buildings.

Discover Buxton Walking Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Walking Tours

Have your history delivered by expert guides whose passion for the heritage of Buxton spills into the unexpected.

Discover Buxton Roman Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Roman Tours

Join local historian Brian Shepherd for a walk around the town and learn what Buxton may have looked like during Britain’s Roman occupation.

Discover Buxton Audio Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Audio Tours

Discover Buxton’s audio tours of The Peak cover the area around Buxton and are designed to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle.

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.

doodle den at people's history museum, young girl using thick marker pen to drawer on a glass panel
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Doodle Den: Playful Protests Online

Pick up a pen and encourage the whole family to explore the art of peaceful protest.

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank
Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank

Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank is a perfect way to keep children (and their adults) busy while learning from home.

Don’t Touch My Hair
Theatre Until 1 August 2021,

Don’t Touch My Hair with HOME

Fearless social activism meets unapologetic hip hop. A concentrated dose of Hot Brown Honey is just what we all need right now.

Hidden Winter
Families Until 31 August 2021, FREE

Hidden Winter

Round the family up and head outside for this wonderful story walk adventure from Stand and Be Counted Theatre. Perfect for livening up a lockdown walk.

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.

PUSH Festival - HOME
Festivals Until 31 December 2021,

PUSH Festival 2021 at HOME

Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.

Closed Hands with HOME
Theatre Until 31 August 2021,

Closed Hands with HOME

An interactive, experimental and political video game exploring the complex effects of extremism and radicalisation.

Unease by Grace Sharp – Online and at Manchester Craft & Design Centre
Exhibitions Until 31 August 2021, FREE

Unease by Grace Sharp – Online and at Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Unease is an exhibition of work by glass artist Grace Sharp.

Electric Dreams – Online with Venture Arts
Exhibitions Until 31 August 2021, FREE

Electric Dreams – Online with Venture Arts

Venture Arts presents the first of three online exhibitions featuring new work made by learning disabled artists over lockdown.

Activity Until 24 August 2021, FREE

Zoom Tours: Jonathan Schofield’s New Series

Join expert tour guide Johnathan Schofield as he travels chronologically and geographically through the culture, architecture and geography of Manchester.

Sound Stage
Theatre Until 1 October 2021, TBC

Sound Stage

An exciting, new audio-digital venture, Sound Stage has been designed by theatre-makers and leading technologists, to give audiences a unique online theatre experience.

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.

The Earth Asleep at HOME, Manchester
Cinema Until 11 September 2021,

The Earth Asleep at HOME, Manchester

The Earth Asleep, a new film and original live score from creative duo Clara Casian and Robin Richards, premieres this spring at HOME.

Activity Until 31 August 2021, from £4

Elders Mondays with the Royal Exchange

Feel connected and stay creative with a group of like minded older people with Elders Mondays from the Royal Exchange.

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.

Music Until 1 July 2021, from £5

The Hallé – Shostakovich’s Dazzling First

The Hallé performs a varied programme of Grazyna Bacewicz, Aaron Copland and Dmitri Shostakovich under the baton of new Assistant Conductor, Delyana Lazarova.

women and girls night
Activity Until 26 August 2021, from £8

Women and Girls Skate sessions at Projekts

Join Projekts skate park for exclusively women and girls skating, every Thursday from 7 – 9 pm. Be warned the sessions are very popular so book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 12 December 2021, FREE

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and award-winning garden is a must-see, with the famous book sale back on 18 April and scheduled thereafter for 9 May, 13 June, 11 July, 8 August, 12 September, 10 October, 14 November and 12 December 2021, 11am-4pm.

Music Until 15 July 2021, from £5

The Hallé – Trail-blazing Hallé

The Hallé is joined by Stephen Hough for Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, before the world premiere of Huw Watkins’ Second Symphony.

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.

Music Until 29 July 2021, from £5

The Hallé – Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale

Sir Mark Elder conducts a staged performance of Stravinsky’s 1918 masterpiece The Soldier’s Tale, directed by Olivier Award winner Annabel Arden.

skyliner
Activity Until 31 July 2021, from £1

Skyliner: Virtual Tours of Manchester

Whilst walking tours are still limited, join Skyliner for unique and thought provoking video tours, taking you through the modern history of Manchester’s street art.

Manchester Cheese Crawl
Activity Until 28 August 2021, from £25

The Manchester Cheese Crawl

Eat your way through the dairy based delights of Manchester, with the Manchester Cheese Crawl walking tour.

Activity Until 22 July 2021, from £75

Short Story Course with Désirée Reynolds Online – SOLD OUT

Embark on a short story exploration of your own writing with Désirée Reynolds to help guide you on your way. Learn technique, structure and other writing ‘tools’ that will allow your stories to come to life.

Activity Until 23 July 2021, FREE

VIRTUALLYREALITY SS21: The Long Triumph

VIRTUALLYREALITY is an artist led events series that brings the work of multimedia artists from around the world to Manchester. Their latest series of online performance, workshops and installation is definitely not to be missed.

Open Air Theatre in Manchester and the North
Theatre Until 12 August 2021,

Open Air Theatre in Manchester and the North

Open air theatre shows are happening across the north over the next few months – we’ve collated our top picks into a neat guide for you.

POSTPONED – AI: More than Human at World Museum Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2021, from £5

AI: More than Human at World Museum Liverpool

Barbican’s major exhibition, AI: More than Human, comes to Liverpool, offering a tantlising look into the future.

Portable Sculpture at Henry Moore Institute in Leeds
Exhibitions Until 29 August 2021, FREE

Portable Sculpture at Henry Moore Institute in Leeds

Portable Sculpture will explore sculptures from 1934 to the present day that are designed to fold up, pack down or dismantle.

Zadie Xa: Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers at Leeds Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 4 September 2021, FREE

Zadie Xa: Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers at Leeds Art Gallery

Visitors are taken on a journey through multiple dimensions by five animal guides which speak of the damages caused by industry and resource extraction.

The Last Bohemian: Augustus John at Lady Lever Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 30 August 2021, FREE

The Last Bohemian: Augustus John at Lady Lever Art Gallery

The Last Bohemian at Lady Lever Art Gallery explores the life and work of one of the UK’s most iconic and controversial artists – Augustus John.

Grayson's Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 31 October 2021, FREE

Grayson’s Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester

Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry presents a major exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery featuring work made by the nation during the initial weeks of lockdown.

Exhibitions Until 31 August 2021,

Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security at the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester

TOP SECRET: the Science and Industry Museum digs into the history of British national security over the last 100 years.

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.

Kiara Mohamed: Soft Boys at FACT in Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 29 August 2021, FREE

Kiara Mohamed: Soft Boys at FACT in Liverpool

Kiara Mohamed’s film Soft Boys explores highlights how conservative perceptions of masculinity still remain, even within the Trans community.

Liverpool Biennial 2021 at FACT
Exhibitions Until 29 August 2021, FREE

Liverpool Biennial 2021 at FACT

Part of Liverpool Biennial 2021, FACT presents new work by Zheng Bo and artist collective Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S).

Cecil Beaton, The Bright Young Things at Wilsford, 1927. The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive
Exhibitions Until 4 July 2021, FREE

Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

Cecil Beaton’s glittering portraits from a golden age are brought together at Millennium Gallery in Sheffield in a major new exhibition direct from the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North
Exhibitions Until 11 July 2021, Tickets not yet on sale

Abandon Normal Devices Festival 2021

Abandon Normal Devices Festival, the UK’s only roaming digital festival, resurfaces in 2021 with a new hybrid format, exploring the post-industrial landscapes of the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey.

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.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat at Z-arts
Families Until 4 September 2021, from £8

The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat

Discover the magical world of Judith Kerr’s books and learn more about the life of their legendary author in this eagerly awaited exhibition.

Activity Until 24 September 2021, FREE

Play Reading with Hope Mill Theatre

Every last Friday of the month, Hope Mill host a (currently online) pay as you feel play reading group facilitated by actor Janelle Thompson.

Crossings: community and refuge at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 5 September 2021, FREE

Crossings: community and refuge at People’s History Museum, Manchester

People’s History Museum in Manchester presents a powerful display highlighting the perilous journeys made by refugees, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

You Belong Here: Artists Rediscovering Salford’s Green Spaces at Salford Museum & Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 28 November 2021, FREE

You Belong Here: Artists Rediscovering Salford’s Green Spaces at Salford Museum & Art Gallery

Salford Museum & Art Gallery presents an exhibition that highlights the city’s green spaces and the stories that they tell.

The Jungle Book at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Families Until 30 August 2021, from £28

The Jungle Book at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

A vivid new version of this charming story will swing into Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre this summer.

Activity Until 31 December 2021, FREE

Earth Pig Pottery Studio in Buxton

Get your hands messy with Earth Pig pottery studio in Buxton and their pottery classes and workshops for all abilities.

tours and activities
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £50

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.

Music Until 1 August 2021, from £16

A Summer of The Untold Orchestra

This Summer, The Untold Orchestra are packing six of their renowned ‘icon’ shows into eight dates at Escape to Freight Island.

Classical Music Until 22 July 2021, from £18.50

The Hallé Summer Season 2021 at The Bridgewater Hall

The Hallé returns to The Bridgewater Hall in glorious style this summer, with six thrilling concerts for audiences to experience in person.

The Merry Wives of Windsor at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Families Until 30 August 2021, from £30

The Merry Wives of Windsor at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Enjoy this hilarious Shakespearean comedy in the wonderful open-air surroundings of Grosvenor Park.

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.

Babies listening to a man play the guitar as part of My First Protest Song
Activity Until 7 August 2021, FREE

My First Protest Song with the People’s History Museum

My First Protest Song goes online. Round up the family and join Matt Hill for this live-streamed event full of toe-tapping tunes.

Music Until 4 October 2021,

NQ Jazz Live

NQ Jazz have teamed up with The Stoller Hall and The Yard to bring us dozens of COVID-safe jazz events featuring established and emerging artists.

Nicola Ellis and Ritherdon & Co Ltd: No gaps in the line at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 1 August 2021, FREE

Nicola Ellis and Ritherdon & Co Ltd: No gaps in the line at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

After a year of mostly silent and empty galleries, we look forward to this clamorous return to exhibiting ‘in the flesh’.  

David Nash: Return to the Forest at Grizedale Forest
Exhibitions Until 12 December 2021, FREE

David Nash: Return to the Forest at Grizedale Sculpture in Cumbria

Return to the Forest captures a seminal moment in the development of one of Britain’s most important contemporary sculptors.

Use Hearing Protection: The Early Years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum
Exhibitions 19 June 2021–3 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.

Activity 20 June–1 August 2021, from £12

Invisible cities: Powerful Women of Manchester with Laura

Join exuberant and charismatic tour guide Laura as she takes you through the history of Manchester’s Powerful women with Invisible Cities.

Activity 21 June–30 September 2021, FREE

Daily Manchester Walking Tours

Free Manchester Walking Tours offer a friendly introduction to the city. Setting off every day at 11am, they’ll help you get into the architecture, art and culture of this diverse microcosm.

Bloody Elle at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 23 June–17 July 2021, from £7.00

Bloody Elle – A Gig Musical at the Royal Exchange

A one-woman show written and performed by the brilliant Lauryn Redding telling the story of a young woman who falls in love for the first time.

Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at BALTIC, Gateshead
Exhibitions 26 June 2021–20 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.

Talent at Sheffield Crucible
Theatre 30 June–24 July 2021, from £15

Talent at Sheffield Crucible

Over four decades after it was first commissioned by Sheffield Theatre’s, Wood’s comedy masterpiece will return to the Crucible stage with an all-star cast.