Things to do in November Mammal Hands at RNCM Mammal Hands at Royal Northern College of Music
Mammal Hands play Royal Northern College of Music this November

November

Creative Tourist

It might be getting pretty cold out, but resist the urge to stay inside within touching distance of the radiator. Get out there and enjoy these amazing cultural things to do in November.

Manchester International Festival have announced their first commissions for MIF19, but before then, get in the mood for Skepta and co with Special Edition, an impressively programmed collaboration with The Warehouse Project which looks the polar opposite of their most recent takeover of Mayfield Depot in October.

Meanwhile, Manchester Jewish Museum closes to make way for their £5 million extension and renovation, they sign off in style with The Festival of Leaving, a new, diverse and thought-provoking programme of live performance, music and installations. Another newcomer arrives in the shape of MACFEST, a 10-day celebration of art, literature, music, film, food and heritage relating to the Muslim diaspora, which will open in venues across the city.

The music scene in the North is looking as vibrant and varied as ever with even more brilliant classical concerts alongside a booming choice of gigs. We are especially excited about the 41st Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Kamaal Williams’ show at Gorilla. Really, there’s too many great gigs to round up here, head over to the music section for all our top picks.

Finally, the Christmas warm up has begun, with The Producers at Royal Exchange and Liverpool Everyman’s Rock N’ Roll Panto both landing at the end of the month. If the thoughts of the festive season is already inducing a little panic, we’ve rounded up the best Christmas theatre and concerts as well as some Christmas shopping ideas too.

The November Longlist

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Exhibitions 5–6 November 2021, FREE

Light Up Lancaster

Festival of light and art Light Up Lancaster returns to the city with installations, projections, performance and fireworks illuminating the city’s historic buildings, charming streets and hidden squares.

Manchester coffee festival
Activity 6–7 November 2021, from £12

Manchester Coffee Festival with Cup North

Manchester Coffee Festival is a packed weekend of all things coffee related and also, the biggest international coffee event outside London.

Music 13 November 2021 8:30 pm, from £35

Haçienda Classical 2021

Haçienda Classical 2021 returns to Manchester this summer to give a classical spin to anthems once played at the legendary Haçienda nightclub.

Kendal Mountain Festival
Cinema 18–21 November 2021, FREE

Kendal Mountain Festival

The four-day Kendal Mountain Festival is always packed with exciting activities for everyone from children to pensioners. Happening virtually in 2021, this year’s event is no less of an outdoors extravaganza.

Music 19 November 2021 7:00 pm,

Boards of Canada performed by Byron Wallen’s Gayan Gamelan Ensemble

This November at Band on the Wall Byron Wallen’s Gayan Gamelan Ensemble will interpret Boards of Canada’s ‘Music Has The Right To Children’.

Jadé Fadojutimi at The Hepworth Wakefield
Exhibitions 20 November 2021–1 May 2022, FREE

Jadé Fadojutimi at The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield will present an exhibition of new work by British artist Jadé Fadojutimi.

The Not So Ugly Sisters. Image from Wrongsemble's previous show The Princess and the Sprout.
Families 24 November 2021–1 January 2022, from £12.00

The Not So Ugly Sisters at Waterside

The Yorkshire based theatre-company Wrongsemble bring this wonderful new take on the well-loved classic to audiences for Christmas 2021.

Lumen Festival of Lights
Visual Arts 26 November–11 December 2021, FREE

Lumen Festival of Lights

Lumen is returning to Crewe on Friday 26 November to Saturday 11 December 2021. The colourful light-art trail will visit the town centre and give audiences the chance to be immersed in art, light and sound.

Sheila Hicks: Off Grid at The Hepworth Wakefield
Exhibitions 27 November 2021–29 May 2022,

Sheila Hicks: Off Grid at The Hepworth Wakefield

Drawing together over 70 pieces from international public and private collections, this major exhibition will explore the many facets of Hicks’ ground-breaking work – from her intimate Minimes, small woven drawings she creates on a hand-held frame, to large-scale installations that fill gallery spaces with vibrant colour.

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 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.

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.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.