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Things to do in Manchester this January

Check out the latest events happening in this buzzing city.

Manchester la la la.

The pioneering city that gave the world the computer, the Suffragettes, bands such as Oasis, The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, The 1975 and countless others is not a place that sits still. There is always something going on here.

Whether it’s the world’s biggest pop stars playing at the 20,000 capacity Manchester Arena, a new play opening at one of the city’s many theatres or the next big thing honing their craft in a bustling Northern Quarter bar, there’s always something going on in the city of rain to get stuck into.

Each month we’ll bring you the best events happening in this historic northern powerhouse – here’s what’s going down in January.


Spotlight on: Beat the January blues 

Christmas is over and it feels like it’s been raining in Manchester for the last three months straight… not ideal.

It’s time to kick those January blues into touch and get some amazing events in the diary. Here are some of the best, mood-brightening things happening across the city throughout January.

If you’ve not got down to see Nathan Sawaya’s awe-inspiring LEGO® exhibition The Art Of The Brick yet, here’s your chance. Guaranteed to raise a smile, it continues to wow visitors at Great Northern Warehouse. Find out more HERE.

David Walliams’ best-selling children’s book Grandpa’s Great Escape is brought to life at Manchester Arena on New Year’s Day. A sure-fire guaranteed hit with the kids.

Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live screeches into Manchester Arena on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 January. Expect some seriously high-octane fun!

Need a laugh? We recommend heading to either Tribeca or The Comedy Store to see some of the best up-and-coming stand-up this month.

Ellen Kent brings her productions of the Giacomo Puccini’s classic operas Madama Butterfly and La Boheme to the Palace Theatre on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 January.

Celebrate the late, great David Bowie as key alumni musicians from his bands perform some of his greatest hits at O2 Ritz Manchester on Thursday 23 January.

Liven up your January with some world-class track cycling. The HSBC UK National Cycling Centre hosts the National Track Championships from Friday 24 – Sunday 26.

Get on those dancing shoes! The Strictly Come Dancing – Live Tour, featuring all your favourite celebs from the show, comes to Manchester Arena on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 January.


Other things to do 

The Warehouse Project hosts their all-day party on New Year’s Day, with sets from Seth Troxler, Joy Orbison and more.

The Russian State Ballet of Siberia performs Swan Lake at Bridgewater Hall on Sunday 5 and Monday 6 January.

Legendary DJ Judge Jules will be spinning tunes at The Bread Shed on Friday 17 January.

Saturday 25 January will see Glasgow’s The Springsteen Sessions perform some of The Boss’ greatest hits at Manchester Academy3.  

Dance the night away on Saturday 25 January as the Now That’s What I Call Music Club Night takes over at O2 Ritz Manchester.

California musician Cory Wells comes to Manchester on Sunday 26 January. Catch him perform live at Gullivers in the Northern Quarter.

Alexei Sayle’s first stand-up tour in seven years stops at Home on Friday 31 January and Saturday 1 February.


Live music venues

Looking for a fun night out with some world-class live music? Manchester is the place to be. Here’s what we recommend catching this January.

Stadium and arena shows:

  • Slipknot at Manchester Arena on Thursday 16 January 2020
  • Beat Horizon at O2 Victoria Warehouse on Saturday 15 January 2020
  • ScHoolboy Q at O2 Victoria Warehouse on Thursday 30 January 2020

Mid-sized venues with big atmosphere

New music to have on your radar:


Iconic attractions 

A city with a rich cultural history, there are loads of things to see and do in Manchester all year round.

Take the tram to Media City and visit the northern homes of the BBC and ITV, or brush up on your history at the famous Imperial War Museum.

Take a stroll around the historic canals in the Castlefield area of the city centre, before a visit to the Science and Industry Museum where you can learn about Manchester’s contributions to those fields.

If art is your thing, head to either the Manchester Art Gallery on Mosley Street or to the Whitworth on Oxford Road.

Manchester has a thriving craft beer scene. Independent beer maker extraordinaires Cloudwater host weekly tours and tastings at their Piccadilly based brewery.

Spend an afternoon in the trendy Northern Quarter for independent shopping and places to eat and drink. Stock up on vinyl at Piccadilly Records and after you’ve built up an appetite, head over to one of the area’s many independent bars and restaurants.

Whether you’re red or blue, Manchester is football mad. The city is the home of The National Football Museum, documenting the history of England’s most popular sport.

Speaking of football, go behind the scenes of one of the world’s most famous football clubs with the official Manchester United stadium tour.


You can do all this and more in Manchester this January. For more, head to our Manchester guide.

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