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.
Host Ellah P Wakatama chats to novelists Caleb Azumah Nelson and Brandon Taylor about their debuts in this special edition of Novel Voices for the digital leg of this year’s Manchester Literature Festival.
The Football Writing Festival is back in action at the National Football Museum, kicking off on Monday 1 November and running throughout the week to Friday 5 November.
For this immersive and urgent performance, audience members will take the part of the jury on the first-ever trial to decide the fate of an individual who has broken a climate law.
Musical raconteur Baxter Dury brings his unique, character driven songs to Manchester in November, supported by Audiobooks.
Carol Isaacs (aka The Surreal McCoy) presents her animated graphic novel memoir of a Jewish family’s memories of their lost homeland.
Back for a seventh year, the National Creative Writing Industry Day is the largest conference of its kind taking place in the north of England, drawing over 150 delegates annually.
Explore the food of Carol Issacs’ graphic novel ‘The Wolf of Baghdad’, with an edible workshop at Manchester Jewish Museum.
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 is a packed weekend of all things coffee related and also, the biggest international coffee event outside London.
Independent Curator Bren O’Callaghan, guides you through the nuances and messages behind Cassils debut solo UK exhibition.
Witness five brand-new plays written by LGBTQ+ playwrights and supported by Dibby Theatre. Featured playwrights include: mandla rae, Alma Renée Lipari, Susan Kerr, Elizabeth Gibson and Rebekka Platt.
This November, HOME takes part in the BFI’s UK-wide celebration of the career of multi-award winning writer-director Mike Leigh.
Fresh from the release of their hellacious second album Cavalcade, Svengalis of the avant-rock scene Black Midi are performing at The Ritz.
Meet new people, explore contemporary cultural works and learn about Jewish culture with Jewish Culture Club at Manchester Jewish Museum.
A work-in-progress performance telling the story of one woman’s flight from the Polish pogroms and the impact of her experience on the generations that follow.
Expect a high-energy blend of clowning, movement, verbatim and techno tracks in this unique performance by theatre-makers Ugly Bucket.
Adventure around nine new magical, illuminated worlds after dark including an Ice Kingdom and meet Father Christmas.
Join Otley Town Poet Matthew Hedley Stoppard in the Courthouse for the belated in-person launch of his second poetry collection The Garland King.
Haçienda Classical 2021 returns to Manchester this summer to give a classical spin to anthems once played at the legendary Haçienda nightclub.
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”.
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival presents five days of groundbreaking contemporary music, performances, talks and workshops from an international community of creative thinkers.
For the past 11 years, Lumiere Festival has been lighting up Durham’s public spaces with mesmerising installations and interactive light-based artworks.
The award-winning and visually sensational lantern and light festival returns to illuminate Manchester this winter.
Opening Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival , Explore Ensemble present a monumental cycle of four pieces by Italian composers.
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.
Leading Scottish ensemble Red Note performs James Dillon’s immense new work, Emblemata: Carnaval, at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
Firm favourites in Manchester’s cultural calendar, the Manchester Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary weekend are not to be missed.
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’.
Cologne’s Ensemble Musikfabrik return to hcmf// to perform Composer in Residence Chaya Czernowin’s The Fabrication of Light.
A new improvised work by saxophonist Cath Roberts speaks to the half-broken, fragmented creative lives artists have led during the pandemic.
The Hepworth Wakefield will present an exhibition of new work by British artist Jadé Fadojutimi.
In Views on a Fortress, Bellotto’s fortress interior paintings are brought together with their exterior views for the first time in 250 years
Create a series of striking prints using the linocut method with West Yorkshire Print Workshop.
Exploring family love, identity and race, you’ve got another chance to see this punchy and poetic stage production by Box of Tricks. Stick around afterwards for a Q&A with playwright/performer David Judge.
For Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Arditti Quartet performs Composer in Residence Chaya Czernowin’s HIDDEN.
Blending spoken word, pulsating movement and hypnotic storytelling, this is an explosive performance piece about sexuality, identity and self-discovery by Mika Onyx Johnson.
The Yorkshire based theatre-company Wrongsemble bring this wonderful new take on the well-loved classic to audiences for Christmas 2021.
Adapted from Christie Watson’s best-selling nursing memoir, The Language of Kindness celebrates the unsung heroes of the health service.
Fusing Hebrew Jazz and global grooves, Noga Ritter and her trio bring their genre-blending music to Manchester for the first time.
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.
Get away from it all at Ignite at Gibside, a fantastical fire and lantern trail. We all love a stroll in the countryside, but this is a brand new way to experience the stunning eighteenth-century house and gardens.
Join theatre collective Figs in Wigs for the world’s first-ever cosmic game show for astrology lovers, bingo wingers and their sceptic pals.
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.
Experience a collective reiki healing meditation that will release your tensions and help you ease into winter, led by Amy from Bee Wellness.
An intriguing all-sung comedy-thriller that opens with two strangers tethered to one another in the basement of a house…
An autobiographical show that smashes through the stigma of HIV – conceived, written and performed by theatre-maker and HIV activist Nathaniel Hall.
Meet, Flecky Bennet, your guide through the dark and demonic side of the city as he takes you on one of Manchester’s award winning ghost walks.
Experience YBA artist Damien Hirst’s towering and provocative outdoor sculptures at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Trading Station at Manchester Art Gallery charts the history and changing social role of hot drinks in our lives.
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.
Join Joe Feeley a Mancunian through and through, who guides you into Manchester’s two pillars of cultural excellence with his Rock and Goal tour.
Alternative to walking tour guides, Curious about Leeds give you the materials to experience Leeds’ heritage in your own time with their self guided tours.
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.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the monumental work of celebrated Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos.
The Sounds of Our City Online Exhibition gives you a chance to visit the current exhibition at Abbey House Museum virtually. Find out how the different musical styles and venues of Leeds interact.
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.
Expect chilling street theatre and immersive thrills as the award winning Shiverpool return to Liverpool’s streets.
In the Thwaite at 30 online exhibition, uncover the fascinating story of Thwaite Watermill as it celebrates its 30th year as a museum.
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.
Bring your football-loving family for a visit to England’s one and only national museum for football, with activities for families available throughout the museum.
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.
Enjoy a journey through time on Discover Buxton Tour’s unique vintage tram.
These colourful character guides offer unique and entertaining insights into the history of some of Buxton’s most iconic buildings.
Have your history delivered by expert guides whose passion for the heritage of Buxton spills into the unexpected.
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’s audio tours of The Peak cover the area around Buxton and are designed to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle.
The world’s first ‘visual dictionary’ of movements found within Bhangra, compiled by World Bhangra Day founder, Hardeep Sahota.
Pick up a pen and encourage the whole family to explore the art of peaceful protest.
Science Learning at Home with Jodrell Bank is a perfect way to keep children (and their adults) busy while learning from home.
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.
Thrilling and challenging, HOME’s annual festival is a glimmering reminder that new performance continues to be developed, despite ‘you-know-what’.
Turner Prize winning artist Tai Shani takes us on an LSD-inspired hallucinatory journey across time and space. Prepare to have your consciousness expanded.
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 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.
Created in collaboration with service users and staff, this online interactive game explores the benefits system and the process of applying for Universal Credit.
A brand-new online work, by Amsterdam-based Theater DEGASTEN, exploring the connection between mental health and where we live.
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.
Learn embroidery in a fun and relaxed environment with the BBC’s Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle’s famous Witches Tower.
Part gallery, part studio, ‘Constellations: Care & Resistance’ showcases Jade Monserratt’s work exploring race, the body and language.
The Hepworth Wakefield celebrates its 10th birthday with the largest exhibition of Barbara Hepworth’s work since the artist’s death in 1975.
Discover the unique history of a textile mill and the community that surrounds it at the Sunny Bank Mills Archive Open Saturdays.
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.
Liverpool’s Zap Graffiti teaches all the basic skills and techniques you need to make a street-style creation you’ll be proud of.
This beginners workshop will teach participants the traditional skills associated with blacksmithing, in the ‘Steel City’ of Sheffield.
The West Riding Stonecarving Association is dedicated to keeping the art of hand-carving stone alive and bringing it to the general public.
Head to Skipton’s Craven Arts Studios to create a unique mounted animal head for your home with local textile artist Jaki Bogg.
Salford Museum & Art Gallery presents an exhibition that highlights the city’s green spaces and the stories that they tell.
Try your hand at candle making with the experts at Cheshire Workshops, this fun and creative skill is suitable for all ages.
Try your hand at pottery at Earth Pig Studio in Buxton’s Green Man Gallery; a longstanding community arts hub, shop and gallery.
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.
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.
Come and experience the magic of fused glass at Glass Monkey Studio in Burnley, where workshops cater for all levels and abilities.
One of many workshops hosted by local jeweller Helen Drye, here you’ll learn the technical skills required to make a chic stacker ring.
Return to the Forest captures a seminal moment in the development of one of Britain’s most important contemporary sculptors.
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.
Cleaning Conditions and Uncertain Futures at Manchester Art Gallery brings together two of artist Suzanne Lacy’s Manchester-based projects.
Sutapa Biswas’ major solo show explores the artist’s role in illuminating the imperialist structures that still exist within British society.
The Portico Library presents an installation of immersive sculptural and textile works by world-renowned Brazilian artist Maria Nepomuceno.
Knitting, crochet, yarnbombing and contemporary needlecraft. Not a workshop as such but a ‘learning’ social with Knittaz with Attitude.
Encounter artist Rachel Kneebone’s most ambitious sculpture to date, presented in the unique setting of YSP’s 18th century chapel.
Tate Liverpool presents the first major display of portraits by Lucian Freud in the North West in over 30 years.
Thirteen independent publishing houses set out their stalls at the Christmas Northern Publishers’ Fair at Manchester Central Library.
Take a culinary tour of Ancoats, the world’s first industrial suburb where an award-winning chip shop (which pays homage to hip-hop) sits alongside a Michelin starred fine dining restaurant.
Heaton Hall and the surrounding park are a reminder of Manchester’s complicated past, join this walking tour to see the beauty and hear the stories behind these cultural monoliths.
‘Interruptions: Sounds’ is an online collection of new audio works by seven artists, spanning spoken word, ambient sound and musical tracks.
Join Craft Beer Tour Manchester for a journey through some of the cities best local breweries and artisanal beer serving bars. Discover the personality of Manchester’s beer through a diverse range of pints.
Every second Saturday of the month, Leeds Record & Book Fair is indoors at Kirkgate Market, one of Europe’s largest indoor markets. Next dates are 14 August, 11 September, 9 October, 13 November and 11 December.
Manchester Taxi tours are the most personalised guided glimpse of the city you can find and now you can get to know Manchester better whilst enjoying a delicious afternoon tea.
Join RobinGo for Urban Buddies, a 2 hour walking tour of Manchester, exploring the cities past and future in Mandarin.
Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch.
The Pankhurst Centre’s new permanent exhibition offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of the people behind the iconic Pankhurst name.
Nancy Collantine presents a new body of work produced between 2020-21 in the artist’s studio on the fifth floor looking out over Manchester.
Live theatre returns to The Edge this September and the opening season promises to be one to remember when its doors open for the first time in 18 months, and to a completely refurbished building.
Regular weekday interactive parent-child sessions at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester designed for parents and their children aged 2-5.
HOME and Waterside Arts present an exhibition steeped in energy, tension, subversion and feminist resistance.
Artist Lauren Gault’s sensory exhibition, Cithra, invites us to consider our relationship with the natural world in an entirely new way.
Holly Staniforth digitally combines disparate visual elements to build a florescent dreamscape – a space where the imagination takes over.
Step into When A Happy Thing Falls – a dense forest of luminous, towering sculptures by Annie Morris that reflect the fragility of life.
Walker Art Gallery presents a major retrospective exhibition exploring the life of Walter Richard Sickert and his contribution to British art.
Site Gallery presents the most extensive installation of Rafaël Rozendaal’s websites series in a new immersive environment
Emily Speed’s new film uses set design, choreography and costume to depict flattened hierarchies and close-knit community structures.
Artist and educator Albert Potrony sets out to explore non-gendered and non-prescriptive modes of childhood play in a major new exhibition at BALTIC.
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.
Curated by Bren O’Callaghan, renowned transgender visual artist Cassils brings their first UK solo exhibition and contemporary dance piece to HOME.
Pushing paper is an exhibition that explores the past 50 years of drawing, catch it at the Cooper Gallery this winter.
Create your own bespoke scented candle with Lizzy from Cedar Manchester and their excellent candle making workshop.
The spectacular season of dance includes DeNada Dance Theatre, Northern Ballet, Ballet Cymru and Humanoove, alongside free performances happening as part of Light Night Leeds 2021.
An intimate series of evening events taking place in the atmospheric and beautiful surroundings of Manchester Jewish Museum. Step out and experience something new.
The first major UK solo exhibition of work by award-winning artist Deborah Roberts challenges notions of the body, beauty, race and identity.
Rosa-Johan Uddoh’s exhibition ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ at the Bluecoat responds to the lack of Black British history taught in schools.
Scottish artist, Jock McFadyen, displays key work from throughout his life at The Lowry Galleries, home to one of his artistic influences, LS Lowry.
John Powell-Jones’ first major exhibition transports visitors to the inhospitable planet of Durt, 1,000 years after the Quantum Crash.
Spanning post-war muralism, fashion, music subcultures, gender politics and more, Lucy McKenzie’s first UK retrospective is not to be missed.
Venture Arts presents a full studio exhibition at Manchester Central Library, where you can experience brand new work from over 70 artists.
The Reader’s Spoken Word evenings at the Mansion House in south Liverpool’s Calderstones Park are back inside, with a packed line-up running into the New Year.
Bringing together 11 stunning audio and visual installations, the River of Light trail will mark the first anniversary of the start of lockdown, symbolising light and renewal for the city.
Get ready for an immersive, digital, gaming adventure at the Arndale Centre in Manchester.
Northern Monk, one of Leeds’ best breweries, is kicking off the weekend with a brewery tour to kick start your Saturday afternoon.
FACT presents an ‘alternative museum’ of artworks that question our past and offer new ways of understanding who we are.