Things to Do in Manchester

Creative Tourist

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 too, from award-winning theatre and exhibitions to an exciting food and drink offer and thriving literature and music scenes.

Discover our top picks

Grayson's Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions 25 November 2020–18 April 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.

Story Seekers at IWM North
Families Until 1 November 2020, FREE

Story Seekers at IWM North

Intrepid adventurers wanted: Get hands-on with real artefacts, discover brave real-life stories and ignite big imaginations.

Psappha
Classical Music 12 November 2020 7:00 pm, from £5

Psappha: New Traditions (3×3) at Hallé St Peter’s

‘New Traditions’ will see Psappha showcase contemporary music for stripped-back ensembles, including works by Luciano Berio and Helmut Lachenmann.

Art Comes HOME at HOME, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021,

Art Comes HOME at HOME, Manchester

HOME reopens its main gallery with three simultaneous exhibitions of new work by Nick Burton, Joy Yamusangie and duo Mike S Redmond & Faye Coral Johnson.

Music 30 October–1 November 2020, FREE

Fat Out Fest 2020 (online)

On Halloween weekend, Fat Out Fest 2020 will celebrate alternative and queer culture with experimental performances, films and panel talks.

Literature 12 November 2020 7:00 pm, from £10

Believe in Magic: 30 Years of Heavenly Recordings at YES

Join Heavenly Recordings for their book launch, featuring Jeff Barrett, Robin Turner and Stuart Maconie, plus a live set from Katy J Pearson.

Silhouette of people standing in front of an exhibit at Manchester Science Festival 2018
Activity 12–21 February 2021, Tickets TBC

Manchester Science Festival

Expect another action-packed programme of inspiring, entertaining and playful experiences for all ages as Manchester Science Festival returns.

ACTUALQUEST with HOME
Theatre Until 31 December 2020,

ACTUALQUEST with HOME

The Homemakers series of virtual theatre continues with this interactive, fantasy musical set in and around your own home.

Cinema 15–30 November 2020, from £5

Manchester Animation Festival

Manchester Animation Festival moves online with an eclectic programme catering to animation professionals, enthusiasts and fans alike.

2020 Banner Display at People's History Museum, Manchester
Exhibitions Until 3 January 2021, FREE

2020 Banner Display at People’s History Museum

Visit People’s History Museum’s 2020 display of political banners from across the years – including several that will go on public show for the first time.

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…