Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

This month we are celebrating the diverse range of languages spoken by Mancunians, and the people who come to visit Manchester, with the best multilingual tours and activities the city has to offer.

It is a very northern trait to be welcoming towards strangers and engaging with the people and communities around you. It’s from this attribute of wanting to share and learn about other cultures that Manchester has become home to institutes such as the Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art. The small gallery, based in the Northern Quarter, exhibits some of the best socially focused artists who have links with China and Chinese culture. As well as CFCCA, Alliance Française is a French cultural institute based in the heart of the city with a substantial library and lots of free events.

Manchester’s integral establishments are also broadening their use of multiple languages. From Manchester Museum’s tours in Mandarin, Spanish and Italian to Central Library’s Spanish Story Time. Different languages and cultures are being embraced throughout the city.

Here are our picks

More Tours & Activities

Activity 3 September 2018–2 September 2019, FREE

Whitworth Art Gallery Daily Tour

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 daily from 2 pm.

Activity 20 October 2018–31 December 2019, FREE

Documentary Challenge at IWM North

Make and feature in your own mini-documentary at IWM North.

Activity 24 November–15 December 2018, from £4

World of Music at Band on the Wall

Taking place at Band on the Wall over four Saturdays, the Guide to the World of Music taster sessions will help young people learn how to sing, play and discover new music.

Activity 13 December 2018, FREE

Festive cinema: It’s A Wonderful Life at the People’s History Museum

Join the People’s History Museum for a festive screening of It’s A Wonderful Life, an iconic story of Christmas cheer and solidarity. Cinema snacks and treats available to buy from The Left Bank cafe bar on the night, including popcorn.

Words and Deeds: Nursing and Poetry
Activity 13 December 2018, FREE

Words and Deeds: Nursing and Poetry at the People’s History Museum

Join Audrey Arden-Jones in the People’s History Museum’s Radical Lates series where she’ll be performing poetry by female authors involved in the campaign for women’s suffrage.

Activity 20 December 2018, from £20

Life Drawing at The Slamwich Club Christmas Special

Katrina Wilde curates an evening of life drawing, cosy nibbles and artistic expression for those who want to get into the Christmas spirit with a chalk in hand.

Represent! Voices 100 Years On guided tour
Activity 10 January 2019, FREE

Represent! Voices 100 Years On guided tour at the People’s History Museum

Discover incredible stories from 1918 to 2018, from the militant suffragettes and law-abiding suffragists, to activists groups such as Repeal the 8th, Safety4Sisters and The Proud Trust. See the Manchester suffragette banner, find out what happened when Sisters Uncut stormed Holloway Prison, and discover which activist got arrested aged 89!

Protest bunting craft table
Activity 10 January 2019, FREE

Girl Gang Protest bunting craft table at the People’s History Museum

Join Girl Gang Manchester for a craft filled evening while you help them build their…

Speed Mate-ing with Girl Gang Manchester
Activity 10 January 2019, from £5

Speed Mate-ing with Girl Gang Manchester at the People’s History Museum

Feeling a bit lonely or just fancy meeting some new people? Join Girl Gang Manchester’s friendship revolution. Speed mate-ing is so silly and inclusive that you’ll step outside of your usual comfort zone without even realising.

Culture Guides

Cinema

It’s almost that most wonderful time of the year and there’s all kinds of festive programming and counter-programming in the cinemas of Manchester and the North.

Ren Hang: Wake Up Together at Open Eye Gallery

Exhibitions

Tubism, pottery, same-sex intimacy and art education; this month’s Exhibitions Guide has it all. (Even a tentative mention of Christmas.)

Families

Luminous adventures, festive fixes, Drag Queen Storytime and New Year’s Eve parties with nippers to book now for … look no further for the best things to do with kids.

Poet Nia Davies at No Matter #4.

Literature

December sees some great events lined up for those readers who have been good this year – read on to find out about the live literature gifts we have wrapped up for you, and find out where to buy some Christmas presents of your own…

Music

This month’s music guide features some of the most exciting underground artists from around the world, as well as homegrown Manchester talent.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Contemporary circus, slapstick comedy, burlesque and immersive dining. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

Things to do right now

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Activity 20 October 2018–31 December 2019, FREE

Documentary Challenge at IWM North

Activity 24 November–15 December 2018, from £4

World of Music at Band on the Wall

Cooking Together Italian Hake with Salsa verde ingredients
Activity 31 October 2018–1 June 2019, from £120

Cooking Together at Food Sorcery

Activity 6 October 2018–6 March 2019, from £40

Northern Quarter Taster Walk with Manchester Food Walks

Radical Lates at People's History Museum
Activity 11 October 2018–14 February 2019, FREE

Radical Lates at the People’s History Museum

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity 13 October 2018–13 May 2019, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks

Activity 22 September 2018–31 December 2019, FREE

Sí Manchester Free Daily Tour

Activity 3 September 2018–2 September 2019, FREE

Whitworth Art Gallery Daily Tour