Here’s our highlights of where to be and what to see in Manchester in the coming month.
Chinese New Year
Saturday 18 January – Sunday 2 February
Chinatown and the surrounding area come alive to welcome in the year of the horse. Over 100,000 people are expected to join in the festivities, which will include traditional events such as lantern lighting, gift giving, food tasting, fireworks and of course the magnificent dragon parade.
re:play Festival at The Lowry
Monday 20 January – Saturday 1 February
Ever missed a play you wish you’d had the chance to see? Well now you can – re:play Festival returns with a diverse sample of the best Manchester fringe theatre from the last 12 months.
Manchester Beer & Cider Festival at The National Cycling Centre
Wednesday 22 – Saturday 25 January
Over 300 cask ales along with traditional ciders, perries and beers will be available to try at this Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) event held in the unique setting of Manchester Velodrome, the home of British Cycling.
Trans Siberian Orchestra at O2 Apollo
Friday 10 January
Described as The Who meets Phantom of The Opera with Pink Floyd’s light show, Trans-Siberian Orchestra take rock opera into a whole new world, creating compelling and emotionally powerful narratives to match the epic scope of their music.
Dwele at Band on the Wall
Thursday 23 January
US soul artist Dwele returns to the UK to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his debut album ‘Subject’ with a very special performance. After working with luminaries such as Kanye West and J Dilla, Dwele has expanded his sound to include a mix of vintage Soul, Hip Hop and Rap.
Showaddywaddy at The Albert Halls, Bolton
Friday 24 January
Once labelled ‘the greatest rock and roll band in the world’ Showaddywaddy are back with a dynamic and uplifting live show featuring all of their biggest hits. The band formed in the 1970s and went on to sell more than 20 million records and tour the world.
Mogwai at Bridgewater Hall
Monday 27 January
Just one week after the release of their eighth studio album ‘Rave Tapes’, Mogwai perform at The Bridgewater Hall. You can expect dynamic guitar instrumentals, melodic bass lines and heavy use of distortion and special effects.
London Grammar at Manchester Academy
Wednesday 29 January
Described by the Guardian as ‘an old-school, homegrown band that’s putting real music back in the charts’ Trip-Hop trio London Grammar continue to prove just why they were one of the most exciting new bands to breakthrough in 2013.
New Year Ghost Walk at Haigh Hall and Country Park
Saturday 4 January
Join Haigh Hall’s ghost hunters on a night walk through the grounds of the country park estate to discover (and possibly meet) its long dead characters. Anyone brave enough and over the age of eight is invited to this chilling event which will finish with a fire-roasted spud deep in the woods. Don’t forget your torch!
Skate the Park at Heaton Park
Until Sunday 12 January
Enjoy a real ice rink, festive market stalls and warming food and drinks, all in the stunning surroundings of the one of the largest municipal parks in Europe. Skate the Park is ideal for a family trip or a romantic date with a difference.
Christian Dior: Designer in focus at The Gallery of Costume
Until Sunday 12 January
Christian Dior’s brief but supremely influential career began with his iconic ‘New Look’ in 1947 and he went on to reign supreme in Parisian fashion until his untimely death ten years later. This unique exhibition features stunning displays that represent many of Dior’s seminal couture collections.
The Gifts of the Departed at Manchester Craft and Design Centre
Until Saturday 1 March
Enchanted by the idea of textile as a metaphor for text and language, Alinah Azadeh’s exhibition is an on-going body of work, comprising objects which once belonged to her late mother wrapped and bound in cloth, articulating separation, loss and longing.
Coral: Something Rich and Strange at Manchester Museum
Until Sunday 16 March
This new exhibition provides a plethora of fascinating and beautiful objects, telling a story about biodiversity and the importance of marine environments today. Explore the material and symbol that has been an inspiration for artists, cultures and societies across the centuries.
Wanted! Robin Hood at The Lowry
Until Saturday 11 January
A thrilling contemporary combination of adventure, comedy, music and daredevil fighting, Wanted! Robin Hood promises to be a magical adventure for all. Written by Charles Way whose imaginative and award-winning family plays have been performed all over the world.
Swan Lake at Bridgewater Hall
Tuesday 14 January
The greatest romantic ballet of all time is brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s haunting and unforgettable score. From the impressive splendour of a palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect formation, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all.
That Day We Sang at Royal Exchange Theatre
Until Saturday 18 January
Reinvented and re-orchestrated for the Royal Exchange’s unique space, That Day We Sang is a big-hearted and nostalgic Manchester love story for all the family, written by Victoria Wood, one of the country’s most distinctive and well-loved comedic voices.
Walk of the Month
Victorian Slums & Squalor
Saturday 25 January
Take a guided tour through an old Manchester overflowing with cholera, crime, vice and vermin. A Blue Badge Guide will lead you into the uglier side of the industrial revolution and explore the impact it had on the local population.
New kid on the block
Almost Famous Burgers at Great Northern Warehouse
Almost Famous is back in Manchester and once again serving its tasty burgers, ribs, chilli dogs and cocktails. Formerly located in the Northern Quarter, this hidden gem was forced to close due to fire damage in June 2013. It has now re-opened in the dramatic surroundings of Great Northern Warehouse alongside fellow new residents Lucha Libre, All Star Lanes and James Martin Manchester.