Things to Do in Manchester

Creative Tourist

Not many cities have had as much influence on the world as Manchester. Culture and art is this city’s heart and now it’s time to welcome back Manchester. It’s time to restart. Starting in spring and growing throughout the year, the city’s arts scene has something to add joy to everyone’s life.

Culture is what makes life worth living, no matter what artform you love. From interactive exhibitions, beautiful watercolours to exhilarating live music, Manchester does the arts like no other city on earth. Below you’ll find some of the life-affirming events set to take over the city in the coming months. The people of Manchester have new stories to share and new people to meet. The interval’s over, it’s time to return to your seats.

For the past twelve months, most of us have been limited to four walls, living in a smaller world than we ever expected. But the world is back out there, your old hobbies await and new passions call. Now is the time to try out all those experiences you always planned but never had the time. The world is your oyster and we should never take it for granted again.

But more importantly, Manchester is your stage. The outside world will host countless fascinating performances and activities. The tables have turned so let’s dance on them again.

Spend a day in the city and it rapidly becomes apparent just how much it has reinvented its industrial past into a new, trendsetting present – and an ambitious future. There’s plenty of things to do in Manchester, from award-winning theatre and exhibitions to exciting food and drink offers, not to mention thriving literature and music scenes.

Discover our top picks

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.

Baxter Dury
Music 4 November 2021 7:00 pm, from £20.40

Baxter Dury at The Ritz

Musical raconteur Baxter Dury brings his unique, character driven songs to Manchester in November, supported by Audiobooks.

Festivals 29–31 October 2021, from £11

Fat Out Fest 2021

This October welcomes the live return of Fat Out Fest, bringing all the noise, queer energy and mayhem to Salford over Halloween weekend.

Black Gold Arts Festival 2021
Dance Until 29 October 2021, from £5.00

Black Gold Arts Festival 2021 with Contact

An outstanding festival line-up of Black-led art, performance and film which includes a live premiere of mandla rae’s as british as a watermelon.

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.

Cassils: Human Measure at HOME
Exhibitions Until 12 December 2021, FREE

Cassils: Human Measure at HOME

Curated by Bren O’Callaghan, renowned transgender visual artist Cassils brings their first UK solo exhibition and contemporary dance piece to HOME.

Childrens Until 31 October 2021, from £4

The Pumpkin Patch at Tatton Park

This October Half Term head to the Pumpkin Patch at Tatton Park Farm, where you can pick a perfect pumpkin, meet your favourite farmyard friends and head to the Medieval Old Hall for The Lost Crystal quest through Tatton’s medieval grounds.

Synagogue Nights at Manchester Jewish Museum
Music Until 2 December 2021, from £6.00

Synagogue Nights at Manchester Jewish Museum

An intimate series of evening events taking place in the atmospheric and beautiful surroundings of Manchester Jewish Museum. Step out and experience something new.

Writer Lara Williams.
Literature 15 November 2021 6:30 pm, from £3.00

Test Signal showcase at Blackwell’s Manchester

This event showcases Test Signal, described as “a ground-breaking anthology of the best contemporary northern writing from Dead Ink and Bloomsbury, showcasing the wealth of literary talent in the North of England”.

The Cat and the Canary at Manchester Opera House
Theatre Until 30 October 2021, from £13.00

The Cat and the Canary at Manchester Opera House

Set in a creaking mansion, this creepy whodunnit makes its way into Manchester just in time for Halloween.

Welcome Back Manchester. It's Time To Restart.

Manchester District Guides

Medieval Quarter, Manchester

The Medieval Quarter, or Cathedral Quarter as it is sometimes known, is one of the oldest parts of Manchester and home to some historic gems and cultural must-sees.  

Photo of a handwritten label in a cafe that says "Ring for service with a smile"

Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester

Burton Road is the heart of West Didsbury, a beautifully maintained leafy hubbub of shops,…

Beech Road Chorlton, Manchester

A laid-back mix of gift shops, independent outfitters, restaurants, pubs and parks, on a sunny weekend afternoon it’s heaving.

The front of Didsbury restaurant Volta.

Didsbury, Manchester

Follow Oxford Road South through the Curry Mile, along Wilmslow Road, past Platt Fields Park…

Chorlton, Manchester

Chorlton is a left-leaning suburb a few miles south of Manchester’s city centre (and only…

Cheetham Hill, Manchester

As an area, Cheetham Hill gets a pretty bad rep. The foreboding architecture of Strangeways…

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