Creative Tourist

It’s March, spring’s coming into view and our cultural calendar is filling up nicely.

Including a host of great events taking place around International Women’s Day, there are stunning exhibitions, acclaimed music performances and theatre shows galore running throughout the month. Take a look at our highlights below.

Fancy a spring day out? Check out our guides to Stately Homes in the North and Outdoor Art in the North. And if you’ve really got a spring in your step, try our guide to Wild Swimming.

Things to do in March

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Kiss Me Deadly at HOME
Cinema 1 March 2023 5:52 pm, from £7.95

Kiss Me Deadly at HOME

Detective Mike Hammer takes on thugs and atomic secrets in this masterful Mickey Spillane adaptation.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo at Liverpool Playhouse
Theatre 1–11 March 2023, from £11.00

The Beekeeper of Aleppo at Liverpool Playhouse

One of the most exciting directors around – Miranda Cromwell – tackles this new play based on Christy Lefteri’s bestselling novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo.

Ian Duhig at Nowt But Verse Leeds Lit Fest special
Literature 3 March 2023 1:00 pm, FREE

Ian Duhig at Nowt But Verse Leeds Lit Fest special

Poet, editor, and curator of literary events Hannah Stone talks to Ian Duhig in this special Leeds Lit Fest edition of Nowt But Verse.

Stephen Hough at the RNCM
Music 3 March 2023 7:30 pm, from £9.00

Stephen Hough at the RNCM

Sir Stephen Hough is returning to his alma mater for an evening of solo piano works featuring Debussy, Mompou and his own composition.

Too Much World at Once at HOME
Theatre 3–11 March 2023, from £10.50

Too Much World at Once at HOME

A debut play by Billie Collins – supported by the ever-brilliant Box of Tricks – exploring home, connection and what happens when it all begins to fall.

Lemn Sissay at Leeds Lit Fest
Literature 3 March 2023 8:00 pm, from £22.00

Lemn Sissay at Leeds Lit Fest

Poet, playwright, memoirist, performer and broadcaster (and until recently the Chancellor of the University of Manchester) Lemn Sissay OBE presents his life story My Name Is Why, at Carriageworks Theatre.

Dance 5 March 2023 11:00 am, from £9.00

toooB at Z-arts

Entertain your little ones with the shapeshifting toooB at Z-arts this March.

Activity 6–29 March 2023, from £45.00

Half Day Cyanotype Printing Workshop at MCDC

Create stunning monochrome prints using cyanotype printing and natural materials in this series of afternoon workshops in March 2023.

Music 6 March 2023 7:30 pm, from £9.00

Simon Keenlyside (baritone) & Malcolm Martineau (piano) at RNCM

Renowned baritone Simon Keenleyside and expert accompanist Malcolm Martineau visit RNCM with an exuberant programme of art song.

Activity 8 March 2023 11:00 am, from £0.00

International Women’s Day guided tours at PHM

Spend International Women’s Day at PHM with a journey through 200 years of women campaigning for a fairer world in an expert guided tour.

Cinema 10–30 March 2023, from £7.95

¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival 2023 at HOME

One of our early highlights for 2023, HOME’s ¡Viva! is returning for its 29th year.

Activity 11 March 2023 11:00 am, from £7.50

Festival of the Brain

The Festival of The Brain is a gathering of experts, who are sharing their viewpoints and research on the brain against the backdrop of a new exhibition.

Music 12 March 2023 4:00 pm, from £9.00

Leonard Bernstein’s Mass at the Bridgewater Hall

Prepare to experience the extraordinary in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass as RNCM musicians present this spectacle to Manchester audiences for the very first time.

Gwendoline Riley. Photo by Adrian Lourie
Literature 16 March 2023 6:00 pm, FREE

Gwendoline Riley at Leeds Central Library

Prize-winning author Gwendoline Riley is on our list of favourites, with the likes of early novels Cold Water and Sick Notes featuring Manchester as a backdrop, and here she’s talking about highly acclaimed and toe-curlingly tense tome My Phantoms.

FunnyBones at The Lowry
Families 17–18 March 2023, from £7.50

FunnyBones at The Lowry

Step into the dark dark world of FunnyBones and enjoy a heartwarming, hilarious adventure for children aged 4-7.

Music 20 March 2023 7:30 pm, from £18.00

Biig Piig at Gorilla

Biig Piig makes whispery, confessional pop that conceals R&B, hip hop, dance and stripped-back soul elements beneath a darkly dreamy sheen.

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons at Manchester Opera House
Theatre 21–25 March 2023, from £13.00

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons at Manchester Opera House

Starring Jenna Coleman and Aiden Turner, this tender and funny romantic comedy heads to Manchester from the West End. Don’t miss out.

Mansfield Park at RNCM
Music 26 March 2023 3:00 pm, from £12.50

Mansfield Park at RNCM

Join the RNCM for the the first operatic adaptation of one of Jane Austen’s novels in Johnathan Dove’s Mansfield Park.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 13 March 2023, FREE

Brick by Brick: Architectures of potential at the Portico Library

Brick by Brick: Architectures of Potential is a show about the history of architecture as well as its future and imagining its possibilities.

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.

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 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.

Exhibitions Until 16 October 2023, FREE

Nothing About Us Without Us at PHM

‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ at PHM explores the history of disabled people’s activism and their ongoing fight for inclusion with a wonderful collection of exhibits brought together for the first time, 

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.

Exhibitions Until 9 April 2023, FREE

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley & Josèfa Ntjam at FACT

FACT presents the final instalment of the Radical Ancestry programme with a new show by Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley & Josèfa Ntjam.

Music Until 30 March 2023, from £2.50

RNCM Lunchtime Concerts

It’s not just Symphony Orchestras or big name artists that perform as the RNCM, their lunchtime concerts showcase the best student performers and international guests in more intimate settings.

Activity Until 31 July 2023, FREE

Whitworth Art Gallery Tours

Take a closer look at some of the Whitworth Art Gallery’s collection while gaining a better understanding of the context in which the pieces were created. The free tours run at 2pm on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Exhibitions Until 3 September 2023, FREE

Lindsey Mendick at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This spring, Yorkshire Sculpture Park welcomes Lindsey Mendick, a rising star of the contemporary art world, in an immersive solo exhibition.

Activity Until 6 March 2023, from £6.00

Shake it off: Music Video Dance Class with Girl Gang

Learn the choreo of some truly iconic pop legends in this inclusive one hour dance class from Girl Gang, Shake It Off.

Activity Until 24 March 2023, FREE

Code Clubs at Leeds Libraries

Give your child the confidence to create robots, animations and websites in these easy and accessible code clubs at Leeds libraries.

Exhibitions Until 31 January 2024, £10, with concessions

Magic in this Country: Hepworth, Moore and the Land at the Hepworth Wakefield

Discover the organic inspiration behind the work of Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and others in the new show at the Hepworth Wakefield. 

Exhibitions Until 2 April 2023, FREE

Climate Feedback Loops at Humber Street Gallery

Climate Feedback Loops by Oliver Ressler on display at Humber Street Gallery explores the Artic breakdown in Svalbard, Norway.

Exhibitions Until 18 March 2023, FREE

Michael Brennand-Wood: The Encirclement of Space at Williamson Gallery

‘The Encirclement of Space’ at Birkenhead’s Williamson Art Gallery presents the work of textile artist extraordinaire Michael Brennand-Wood.

Elizabeth Gaskell's House
Literature Until 13 December 2023, from £5.00

Mary Barton season at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House online

The team at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House on Plymouth Grove has already celebrated the author’s famous novels Cranford and North And South, and in 2023 it’s the turn of Mary Barton: A Tale Of Manchester Life.

Childrens Until 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.

Exhibitions Until 20 January 2024, from £0.00

The Art of the Potter: Ceramics and Sculpture from 1930 to Now

‘The Art of the Potter: Ceramics and Sculpture from 1930 to Now’ at the Hepworth Wakefield celebrates the gallery’s growing collection of ceramics and sculpture.

Activity Until 22 March 2023, FREE

Guided Tours at People’s History Museum

Join PHM for a series of guided tours with their expert staff, curators and conservationists, it’s an incredibly human look at the National Museum of Democracy’s exhibitions.

Activity Until 22 March 2023, from £0.00

Nothing About Us Without Us exhibition guided tours

Meet the team who curated Nothing About Us Without Us and experience their personal take on the exhibition in a guided tour.

Exhibitions Until 14 May 2023, FREE

Andrew Black: On Clogger Lane at The Tetley

Andrew Black: On Clogger Lane is an experimental documentary about a rural Yorkshire valley and its inhabitants, on display at The Tetley.

Exhibitions Until 11 May 2023, from £8.95

Private Parts at the Thackray Museum of Medicine

Thackray Museum of Medicine brings talk of private parts to the fore in a new exhibition that challenges taboos and social expectations.

Childrens Until 18 March 2023, FREE

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth

Head to the Outdoor Art Club at the Whitworth Art Gallery this spring for fun, creative activities designed to encourage your little ones to play freely in the fresh air, while exploring nature and the outdoors with family and friends.

Exhibitions Until 3 December 2023, FREE

(Un)Defining Queer at The Whitworth

Through a fantastic collection of classical and contemporary artists’ work, ‘(Un)Defining Queer’ examines the use of language, histories and narratives to explore what ‘queer’ really means today.

Music Until 25 February 2024, FREE

Interactive Music Tours at Old Chapel Music CIC

Old Chapel Music studio in Holdback, Leeds is offering an interactive historical music tour that opens its doors and ears to the public.

Music Until 2 April 2023,

RNCM Spring Season 2023

RNCM’s Spring Season is packed with typically exciting concerts from both established artists and the next generation of musicians.

Activity Until 1 August 2023, from £45.00

Manchester Food Tour From Canals to Canapés

Experience a food tour that will show you the remnants of Manchester’s industrial past in Canals and Canapés with Manchester Bites.

Exhibitions Until 6 March 2023, FREE

Screen Time at KERB

Morys Davies presents ‘Screen Time’ at KERB, an exhibition that zooms in on our everyday uses of tech and its impact on the human condition through the medium of printmaking.

Samra Mayanja: The Living and the Stale at The Tetley
Exhibitions 10 February–4 June 2023, FREE

Samra Mayanja: The Living and the Stale at The Tetley

The Tetley presents artist and poet Samra Mayanja’s first institutional exhibition ‘The Living and the Stale’.

Exhibitions 11 February–30 April 2023, FREE

Kathryn Maple: Under a Hot Sun at the Walker Art Gallery

Come along to ‘Under a Hot Sun’, presenting the 2020 John Moores Painting Prize winner Kathryn Maple’s first solo exhibition.

Exhibitions 12 February–12 March 2023, FREE

Tale of the Frozen Bits at Castlefield Gallery

The first major solo exhibition of work by El Morgan focusing on the issue of fertility and the medical structures that surround it.

Beginning at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 16 February–11 March 2023, from £7.00

Beginning at the Royal Exchange

Charged with emotional truthfulness, beauty, charm and embarrassing conversation, don’t miss David Eldridge’s intimate two-hander exploring love and loneliness.

Exhibitions 18 February–11 June 2023, FREE

Hew Locke: The Procession at Baltic

Baltic presents a brand new exhibition ‘Hew Locke: The Procession’, taking inspiration from real-life figures and events, and into an imagined future.

Wild Science at Chester Zoo
Families 18 February–5 March 2023, from £23.00

Wild Science at Chester Zoo

Explore the really wild side of science with the kids this half term at the zoo with your favourite animal friends.

Anjum Malik. Photo by Randulph Redlin
Literature 21 February–31 March 2023, FREE

International Mother Language Day 2023

Manchester City of Literature marks this year’s International Mother Language Day with a number of exciting events on and around 21 February.

Sarah Autumn
Literature 22 February–1 November 2023, FREE

Radical Reading Book Group at Left Bank Leeds

Join the Radical Reading Book Group every six weeks to discuss a book from The Reading Room Library – which you can find at Left Bank Leeds in collaboration with London-based independent radical publishers Pluto Press.

Song From Far Away at HOME
Theatre 22 February–11 March 2023, from £10.00

Song From Far Away at HOME

Will Young makes his return to the stage in this powerful one-man show written by Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens and Mark Eitzel.

Activity 28 February–25 April 2023, FREE

Making Conversation at Manchester Art Gallery

Naomi Kendrick, together with artist assistant Helen Newman, are encouraging people to discuss, create and share in Making Conversations.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 8 February 2023, from £170.00

Drawing course with Nina Hunter

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

Queer Contact 2023
Comedy Until 18 February 2023,

Queer Contact Festival 2023

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 23 February 2023, from £59.99

Write Like A Grrrl: Ignite

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-arts