Tours and Activities in Manchester and the North

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

January is often a time to contemplate and indulge in activities that don’t involve too much going outdoors into the wintery cold. For this reason we’ve filled our Tours and Activities guide with talks, discussions and artistic projects to invigorate your mind.

Starting out with some heavy topics, the Science and Industry Museum have announced their series of Climate Talks, the first of which, is on the effects climate change is currently having on our ecology, economy and society. The online Panel discussion will be hosted by science journalist Hannah Fry and feature panelists Jane Goodall and Kira Peter-Hasen among other leading voices in the field.

For more niche interests Manchester Museum and Manchester China Institute are hosting a talk on the role that Scottish and Swedish architects and botanists played in bringing Chinese horticultural knowledge and design to Europe. This will be led by Alison Hardie, a leading academic on the subject.

The end of January marks the start of MACFEST2021, their jam packed schedule of talks, tours and workshops are well worth checking out. We’ve highlighted one of their more lighthearted sessions with comedian Jeff Mirza, because who doesn’t enjoy a laugh.

On the crafty side of things Life Drawing Manchester have introduced another weekly workshop to their regular schedule. You can now join them every Sunday for a specialist portrait session. Finally, bringing the worlds of craft and conversation together is the Fabric of Protest. This monthly workshop from the People’s History Museum combines topics from the collection with creating textile responses to the issues discussed.

Scroll down to find out more, alongside some other tops picks of tours and activities, and stay well folks.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Climate Change: Why Should We Care?

    Science and Industry Museum

    Climate Change: Why Should We Care?, online, 28 January 2021, free entry - Find Out More

    As part of the Science and Industry Museum’s Climate Talks, science broadcaster Dr Hannah Fry is joined by a panel of experts including famed conservationist Dr Jane Goodall to explore the big questions around Climate Change.

  • 2. China and Northern Europe: Horticultural and Botanical Connections

    Manchester China Institute

    China and Northern Europe: Horticultural and Botanical Connections, online, 16 February 2021, free entry - Find Out More

    Join academic Alison Hardie as she explores the relationship between China and Northern Europe from the perspective of plants, gardens, and garden architecture, focusing particularly on Scotland, Sweden, and Russia.

  • 3. MACFEST2021: Stand Up Comedy Performance with Jeff Mirza

    macfest2021

    MACFEST2021: Stand Up Comedy Performances with Jeff Mirza, online, 31 January 2021, from £5.98 - Book now

    MACFEST2021 kicks off at the end of January with a weekend festival not to be missed. As the finale to this initial events series Jeff Mirza, reminds us all that laughter heals.

  • 4. The Fabric of Protest online

    Helen Mather

    The Fabric of Protest online at People’s History Museum in Manchester, City Centre and online, 30 January–27 February 2021, free entry - Find Out More

    The Fabric of Protest brings textile enthusiasts and artists together to discuss topics from the museum and create personal responses. 

  • 5. Life Drawing Manchester Online Classes

    Life drawing Manchester

    Life Drawing Manchester, online, Until 25 April 2021, from £6 - Book now

    The popular Northern Quarter community, Life Drawing Manchester, have migrated to Zoom, opening up their classes to models and artists from all over the world.

  • 6. Half an Hour of Calm with Mindful Manchester

    Bridget Fitzpatrick

    Half and Hour of Calm with Mindful Manchester, online, Until 31 March 2021, from £5 - Book now

    Join Breathworks teacher Bridget Fitzpatrick on a Wednesday morning or evening for half an hour of calm, where you can focus on just being rather than doing. 

  • 7. Handmade at the Whitworth

    Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

    Handmade at the Whitworth, online, Until 5 February 2021, free entry - Visit now

    Join the Whitworth for a series of artist led sessions for over 50’s, where you’ll make your own handmade crafts and arts. 

  • 8. Shiverpool: Ghost and History Tours

    Shiverpool

    Shiverpool: Ghost and History Tours, Until 27 February 2021, from £13.50 - Book now

    Expect chilling street theatre and immersive thrills as the award winning Shiverpool return to Liverpool’s streets. 

  • 9. Online Meditation with the Manchester Buddhist Centre

    Vidyapala Whitehead

    Meditation at the Manchester Buddhist Centre, Until 30 April 2021, from £5 - Book now

    As we learn to live with uncertainty, now is a better time than ever to explore meditation. Let the friendly community at Manchester Buddhist Centre help you on this journey. 

  • 10. Goodtime Games

    goodtime games
    Goodtime Games

    Goodtime Games, 212 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2LW - Visit now

    Goodtime Games is the latest arrival to Burton Road. Serving up delicious vegan and vegetarian food alongside a plethora of table top fun. 

  • 11. Alliance Française de Manchester

    Alliance Française de Manchester, 125 Portland St,, Manchester, M1 4QD - Visit now

    Le français, c’est chic! The Alliance Française de Manchester has a large range of online and onsite French courses starting 14 September.

More Tours & Activities

shared reading live stream
Activity Until 23 February 2021, FREE

Shared reading live with The Reader

Join The Reader for their free sessions of lockdown-inspired literature every Tuesday from 1pm, and every first Thursday of the month at 7pm – it’s free and anyone can join in.

mother who make
Activity Until 28 February 2021,

Mothers Who Make at HOME

Mothers Who Make is a support group for any kind of maker and any kind of mother. The groups meets to talk, share and emphasise with the challenges faced by creatives in mother (or grandmother) – hood.

Activity Until 31 March 2021, FREE

Fabric of the North: Gift Directory

Fabric of the North is a blog with an excellent gift directory. They champion independents maker from across the North who are creating beautiful and ethical work.

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.

world of music choir
Activity Until 30 March 2021,

World of Music Choir (Spring 2021)

Join the World of Music Choir to learn a mixture of traditional and modern tunes. With no previous experience necessary and an ethos of no judgement, it’s the most friendly introduction to group singing you could wish for.

Culture Guides

Cinema in Manchester and the North

Our guide to cinema features brand new streaming films, classic favourites and a look back at the year’s cinematic highlights.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

Exhibitions

Lockdown 3.0 may be wearing thin but there is light at the end of the tunnel, with many galleries and museums hoping to reopen in March.

Family Things to do in Manchester

Families

Need some inspiration for online activities and creative family fun? Look no further than our top picks online for families across Manchester and the North.

Hafsah Aneela Bashir

Literature

Lockdown may be looming large, but Live Literature Land has you covered: from book launches and literary salons to online open mics and full-on festivals, activities and events continue virtually.

Music

With physical gigs still *sigh* off the cards, livestreamed events continue to help us connect with our favourite artists and venues, while supporting the industry around them.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Our guide to theatre in Manchester and the North features stand-out online performance and all the best streamed theatre events to enjoy at home.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Pizza Punks

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

For the December guide, we’re looking at the best delivery options in Manchester, whether it’s for alcohol or food.

Isolation Broadcast

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Activity Until 5 February 2021, FREE

Handmade at the Whitworth

shared reading live stream
Activity Until 23 February 2021, FREE

Shared reading live with The Reader

Activity Until 12 February 2021, FREE

Writer’s Bloc: Patrice Lawrence

Discover Buxton Audio Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Audio Tours

Discover Buxton Roman Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Roman Tours

Discover Buxton Walking Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Walking Tours

Discover Buxton Character Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Character Tours

Discover Buxton Tram Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £80

Discover Buxton Tram Tours

Activity Until 27 February 2021, from £13.50

Shiverpool: Ghost and History Tours

Activity Until 31 March 2021, from £5

Half an Hour of Calm with Mindful Manchester

Activity Until 31 March 2021, FREE

Fabric of the North: Gift Directory

Activity Until 30 April 2021, from £5

Online Meditation with the Manchester Buddhist Centre

mother who make
Activity Until 28 February 2021,

Mothers Who Make at HOME