Here’s our highlights of where to be and what to see in Manchester in the coming month.
Bus Stop Stories at John Rylands Library
Thursday 20 February – Sunday 22 June
At the start of 2013, John Shinnick, a Manchester photographer, set out to document the people using a local, city centre bus stop. The people that he met in those brief interactions revealed a set of eye-opening stories.
Darius Chang Jui-Yu at Chinese Contemporary Arts Centre
Saturday 11 January – Sunday 4 May
Having lived in over 10 cities in five different countries since childhood, Darius is greatly influenced by her experiences of different cultures. Her work explores her Chinese racial identity with modern styles, taking visual references from contemporary and street art.
Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival
Saturday 12 – Sunday 13 April
The annual taste extravaganza is back for the sixth year running, and this year visitors can expect some amazing additions to the ever popular two-day festival of chocolate heaven.
Little Fun Fest at Red House Farm
Saturday 5 – Sunday 6 April
With fairground rides, pirates and princess workshops, Little Fun Fest is a full day out for families with young children. Catch Cbeebies presenters Alex Winters, Cat Sandion and Dr Ranj along with Hagrid and Harry Potter in a big top circus tent throughout the day.
Food & Drink
The Cake & Bake Show at Manchester Central
Friday 4 – Sunday 6 April
This exciting experiential event provides baking enthusiasts with somewhere to learn and meet fellow bakers while offering an entertaining and inspiring day out for foodies and families alike.
Friday Food Fight at Upper Campfield Market
Friday 7 March – Saturday 31 May
Every Friday night for 12 weeks Upper Campfield Market on Liverpool Road will be taken over by an incredible mix of music, food venues, street food and drinks. Part street food market, part drinks emporium, and part club, Friday Food Fight is bringing food rave to the city.
From Street to Trench at IWM North
Saturday 5 April – Saturday 31 May
From poet Wilfred Owen and Clement Attlee, who went on to become Prime Minister, to Victoria Cross recipients and remarkable first-hand accounts by civilians on the home front – the wartime lives of remarkable individuals are revealed through previously unpublished and rare personal items.
From The War of Nature at Manchester Museum
Friday 11 April – Sunday 31 August
Drawing upon more recent scientific discoveries about the relationships between living things, this new exhibition explores the place of war in nature, and the idea of a ‘struggle for existence’.
Elbow at Phones 4u Arena
Wednesday 9 April
Four years ago Elbow won the Mercury Music Prize for The Seldom Seen Kid, followed by a Brit Award for Best British Group and NME Award for Outstanding Contribution To British Music. Now they return to Manchester for a special show at the Phones 4u Arena to celebrate the release of their sixth studio album.
DJ Yoda at 256
Friday 4 April
From his hip-hop beginnings, DJ Yoda has evolved in the past 10 years, using his turntable skills and influences as diverse as funk, b-more, kuduro, reggae, drum ‘n’ bass and even big band swing and country & western, to make unashamed party music.
Much Ado About Nothing at Royal Exchange Theatre
Thursday 27 March – Saturday 3 May
Maria Aberg makes her Royal Exchange directing debut following recent acclaimed productions of As You Like It and King John for the RSC. Catch one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies in the epic surroundings of Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.
Scooby Doo the Musical at The Lowry
Thursday 10 – Sunday 13 April
Zoinks! Scooby-Doo and the gang are back by popular demand and with even more spooky mystery and fun. With hilarious physical comedy, popular tunes and special effects, this is fun for the whole family.
See How They Run at Opera House
Tuesday 29 April – Saturday 3 May
This wonderfully funny and much loved farce is brought to life on stage once again – this time with a difference. See How They Run is the first theatre tour starring The Reduced Height Theatre Company and Warwick Davis, best known for his roles in Willow, Star Wars and the Harry Potter series.
Bloom at Chester Zoo
Saturday 8 February – Saturday 28 June
Nature comes alive in spring and the zoo can be a relaxing and inspiring place to be. Watch the fluttering of the butterflies, listen to the song of exotic birds in the awe-inspiring aviaries and notice the buds emerging in the award winning gardens.
Walk of the Month
Sunday 6 April
Journey along the Bridgewater Canal, Manchester Ship Canal and River Irwell listening to the expert commentary provided by the queen of canal tour guides, Salford-born Sue Grimditch.
New Kids on the Block
Opens early April
This new £1million French-style brasserie will launch at the start of April, serving up French classics like steak frites, tuna nicoise, moules marinieres and creme brulee.
Kitchenette has been cleverly divided to provide a lively, stylish bar which leads into a light, airy dining area with views onto the canal, and outdoor terrace.