Things to do this January

Get your new year off to a flyer by exploring the fantastic cultural offer in Manchester’s knowledge quarter.

If you’re looking to add a splash of colour to the bleak mid-winter, there are several excellent exhibitions from 2022 that continue into January. Colour is Mine at the Whitworth is the first major retrospective of Althea McNish and one of our favourite exhibitions in recent years. Bridget Jurack’s exhibition at HOME urges us to consider our relationship to the natural environment, that show ends this month, as does the lively and exuberant exhibition of the work of Nina Chua and Daniel Silver at Castlefield Gallery.

The Hallé’s aways-excellent Bridgewater Hall season continues with Nicola Benedetti, arguably one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation, joining forces with Sir Mark to explore the lesser-known Second Violin Concerto of Szymanowski. Then, on the 21st, something a little different as the orchestra dedicates an evening to the music of video games. Later in the month, RNCM Brass Band Festival makes a return featuring eight of the UK’s leading brass bands and top soloists.

While January can often be quiet on the gig front, there are still a few gems to discover. Described as a “merchant of pure gay chaos”, Lynks brings their electro pop party to YES as part of Now Waves ones to see in 2023. Nineties British dance-rock quintet EMF return to the stage at Gorilla, unbelievable! Big Joanie at Deaf Insitute, The Subways at Gorilla and WSTRN at The Ritz are stand-out gigs.

The Lion King continues its reign over the theatre landscape. While many theatre spaces are quiet in January, PUSH Festival at HOME is a four-week celebration of North West talent. Be sure to find out the full lineup, as their stages, screens, and spaces will be dedicated to showcasing fantastic works from around the region.

Finally, opening in the first week of January, North Taproom at Circle Square is the latest offering for beer enthusiasts from North Brew, the independent Leeds-based brewery. It’s the newest addition to Circle Square’s impressive food and drink lineup.

Food & Drink

CAFF at First Street

The team behind the award-winning street food venue GRUB have brought CAFF to First Street, promising ‘no messing brekkies and butties’.

Tahi Eggs Benedict

Tahi is the first restaurant of its kind in Manchester, bringing a myriad of flavours direct from New Zealand to the city. A must-visit culinary destination on Oxford Road.

A glass of beer at Bundobust Brewery
Bundobust Brewery

Bundobust Brewery in the St James Building on Oxford Street is the latest, and arguably the best addition to the ever-growing Bundobust chain.


Found within the SEESAW arts hub and creative workspace, the SEESAW Café is one of the best coffee shops in Manchester.

photo of roof terrace at big hands
Big Hands

Big Hands at the South end of Oxford Road may be small, but it comes with added rock n’ roll swagger, a great atmosphere and a lovely roof garden.

Society Manchester

Society Manchester is a glorious indoor and outdoor space in the very heart of the city, with several street food vendors to choose from and a range of high-quality drinks.

More Things to Do

exhibition At Home with the Pankhurst Family
The Pankhurst Centre | 29 August 2021 – 31 August 2025

The transformation of the Pankhurst Centre exhibition space is incredible thanks to its new permanent exhibition, At Home with the Pankhurst Family.

See what’s on

Places to go

Modal Gallery at School of Digitial Arts
Modal Gallery

Modal Gallery at SODA is the place to experience cutting-edge, immersive digital artwork from local and international artists.

The Whitworth Gallery - Parkside
The Whitworth

A visually stunning art gallery located at the heart of Whitworth Park, with a collection containing around 55,000 items.

External shot of Elizabeth Gaskell's House
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

This beautifully restored Grade II listed villa was once home to Elizabeth Gaskell, one of the UK’s most important Victorian writers.

The Pankhurst Centre
The Pankhurst Centre

Discover the story of the suffragettes and learn about women’s activism, past and present, at the former home of Emmeline Pankhurst and her family.

Exterior HOME Theatre Arts Centre Manchester Oxford Road Corridor

Manchester’s multi-purpose hub of creativity and discovery, bringing together film, theatre, art, and some of the city’s best social spaces.

Exterior Manchester Poetry Library
Manchester Poetry Library

Explore over 10,000 books and recordings at the North West’s first public poetry library, a brand-new addition to Manchester’s literary scene.

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External shot of The Lass O' Gowrie one of the many pubs and bars on Oxford Road
Bars and Pubs on Oxford Road

Oxford Road is packed with a great range of bars and pubs where you can get your fill of cocktails, spirits and any other liquor you can think of. 

Food and Drink on Oxford Road

The food and drink in Manchester is some of the best in the UK with many of the finest offerings found here on the Oxford Road Corridor.

Image of sign outside of YES, one of the many student pubs and bars on oxford road
Student Pubs and Bars

With thousands of students arriving in Manchester each year, there’s no shortage of student pubs and bars around Oxford Road.