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.

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

Exhibitions 13–16 October 2022, from £6

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2022 at Victoria Baths in Manchester

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair is back, with gorgeous designs and wonderful workshops, set in the glamour of Manchester’s Victoria Baths.

Music 11 October 2022 7:30 pm, from £9.00

Elizabeth Llewellyn (soprano) & Simon Lepper (piano) at RNCM

Following their award-winning album of songs by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Elizabeth Llewellyn and Simon Lepper perform for RNCM’s 50th celebrations.

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.

Childrens 22–28 October 2022, from £4

The Pumpkin Patch at Tatton Park

Enjoy a pumpkintastic, spooktacular Halloween this year at the Pumpkin Patch at Tatton Park Farm.

Women in Comedy Festival 2022
Comedy Until 10 October 2022, from £3.00

Women in Comedy Festival 2022

Described as one of the “UK’s best comedy festivals”, the Women in Comedy Festival MCR returns with its 9th bumper edition of top-notch comedy. 

The Lion King at the Palace Theatre
Families 27 October 2022–19 February 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.

Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World at HOME
Theatre 22 October–5 November 2022,

Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World at HOME

Inspired by the mysterious and brutal death of Fereydoun Farrokhzad in 1992, this new performance by The Javaad Alipoor Company charts an investigation into the Iranian popstar’s murder and also, the method by which modern crimes are processed.

Theatre 6–9 October 2022, from £5.00

Paines Plough Roundabout at Prince’s Park

Bringing the magic of live performance to Salford, there are four brand-new works playing at the Paines Plough Roundabout this autumn.

Split Britches: Last Gasp
Theatre 30 November–1 December 2022,

Split Britches: Last Gasp at Contact

Combining spoken word and movement, the legendary experimental duo return to the physical theatre with a wry performative reflection on the turbulent last couple of years.

The Color Purple at The Lowry
Music 11–15 October 2022, from £15.00

The Color Purple at The Lowry

With a soulful musical score and a jaw-droppingly talented cast, this moving musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer-prize-winning novel should definitely be on your radar.

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…