The Manchester Science Festival will make a glorious return next month, with events for all ages taking place at both the Science and Industry Museum and venues across the city.
This year’s event, taking place between Friday 21 and Sunday 30 October, will celebrate science through immersive performances, interactive activities, and after-hours amusement.
The full programme for the biennial festival – the first live event in four years – has been announced this morning, with tickets available from today.
Highlights across the 10 days will include headline exhibition Turn It Up: The Power of Music, a nocturnal nature tour, and a chance to meet people who already work in STEM careers, including experts from festival sponsors Amazon.
There’ll also be a world premiere with choreographer Corey Baker, who is going to create the first dance in space with an out-of-this-world immersive experience, where visitors float through a cosmos and their every move affects digital stars and space dust.
While the majority of the action will take place at the Science and Industry Museum, other venues like Central Library, the Arndale, and the newly-reopened Castlefield Viaduct will also get stuck in.
Throughout the Manchester Science Festival, events will endeavour to answer the question of ‘what does the future hold for humanity?’.
Turn It Up will premiere at the Science and Industry Museum itself before heading out on an international tour – a multi-sensory exhibition exploring the mysterious hold music has over us.
The museum’s 1830 Warehouse will be a hive of futuristic activity throughout the festival, showcasing new technologies, hands-on experiments, and the chance to play Rock, Paper, Scissors against a prosthetic counterpart.
Sow the City will explore how our future homes could be constructed, including furniture grown from fungus and a Carbon Supermarket where you can try to take on planet-friendly shopping.
Families can plant and take home their own saplings as City of Trees show the role that trees play in helping to reduce the effects of the climate crisis, and can chat to the Lancashire Wildlife Trust to learn about how to keep nature in their neighbourhoods.
Amazon will host drop-ins and experiments showing off robotics, virtual assistants and more.
Siemens will fund a dedicated eco-friendly construction, where different events with people working in STEM (including Amazon, BBC, Manchester Metropolitan University, PPG, Waters, and AIG) will be held.
After-hours, adults-only events will include the Future of Sex, an evening of performance, workshops, art and conversation to discover the relationship between technology, education and sex.
The Vagina Museum will host crafting workshops where you can make gynaecological bunting, while VR dating app Flirtual will host Virtual Reality dates, and a panel of ‘sexperts’ will host a discussion.
Over on the new Castlefield Viaduct, the National Trust will host Sky Park After Dark, a nocturnal nature tour of the viaduct, which has been transformed from an abandoned industrial landmark into an urban sky park.
Ella Wild, head of festival and events at the Science and Industry Museum, said: “We’re so excited that Manchester Science Festival is returning for a full-scale, live event in October.
“As a highlight of Manchester’s cultural calendar, it marks a welcome milestone in the city’s cultural recovery but most important of all, it’s a wonderful opportunity for visitors to get hands on with some of science’s most cutting-edge developments while exploring their own ideas and visions for the future.
“We’re working with some incredible partners to give people of all ages, interests and abilities the opportunity to explore science that relates to them.
“From music to robotics and dance to wildlife, this year’s festival is chance for visitors to play, create and discover as they immerse themselves in some really forward-thinking science and technology. We hope they leave the festival feeling entertained, inspired and hopeful about what the future holds for humanity.”
Manchester Science Festival is supported by Amazon (Principal Sponsor) University of Salford (Lead Educational Partner) Waters Corporation (Major Sponsor), PPG (Major Partner) and AIG (Associate Sponsor).
Professor Helen Marshall, Vice-Chancellor, University of Salford (lead educational sponsor of this year’s festival), said: “The relationship between the University of Salford and Manchester Science Festival goes to the heart of our mission as a university – to collaborate with partners to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators.
“Manchester Science Festival is a perfect example of how we can engage with a wide range of audiences and remind people that science can make lives better. A place of innovation, surprise and meaning, where curiosity is ignited. Curiosity and learning should never stop and should never be out of reach, no matter your age, background, education, gender or ethnicity.
“Collaboration and experimentation are at the heart of this festival. It brings us closer together, creating long-lasting partnerships, which is why we love being part of it. This year’s programme is packed with activities to make people look, listen and learn and provides a wonderful opportunity for people to be inspired by science.”
Tickets for Manchester Science Festival, including Turn It Up: The power of music, are now available to book online.
Featured image: The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Art & Culture
The incredible new lantern trail around a northern theme park with Yorkshire pudding wraps, boozy hot chocolates, and more
Yorkshire pudding wraps and boozy hot chocolates are just some of the festive treats on offer at an incredible new lantern trail.
In case you haven’t heard, Land of Lights has now opened at Gulliver’s World in Warrington, and it’s transformed the much-loved North West theme park into an immersive winter wonderland for the Christmas season – with 12 “vivid dreamworlds” full of dozens of gigantic lanterns inspired by animals, mega monuments, and wonders of the natural world to marvel at.
As the sun goes down and the nights draw in, visitors are now able to explore an amazing array of light installations as they walk all around the park.
More than 7,000 individual lanterns and hundreds of thousands of LED lights create the spectacle.
Having been already enchanting families since it opened at few weeks back now, Land of Lights is a first-of-its-kind attraction for the area, and it’s arrived in Warrington after it was held for the first time ever at Gulliver’s Land down in Milton Keynes last year, and proved to be a smash-hit success that was visited by thousands.
The award-winning work of the Zigong Lantern Group – with more than 100 people involved in the production process, and it taking six months to design, manufacture, and artistically finish – Land of Lights seems to already be garnering rave reviews.
But those aren’t just down to all the show-stopping lanterns and light installations.
That’s because visitors also have the chance to tuck into a feast of festive-themed street food and drinks all throughout the festival too.
As you make your way around the illuminated park, you can grab everything from freshly-made and generously-filled Yorkshire pudding wraps, and an impressive selection of handmade churros, to authentic German sausages and bratwursts, and a winter-warming lineup of tipples and soft drinks like mulled wine, beer, and boozy hot chocolates.
Not only that, but there’s also Lagado’s Restaurant & Grill located on site too, which offers up a wide range of sit-down meal options inside its warm restaurant on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays of the festival.
As we mentioned, the event looks to have been proving pretty popular in the short time since it’s opened, with positive reviews coming in thick and fast.
One glowing review reads: “We visited Land of Lights at Gulliver’s world, I have to say it’s breathtaking, much more than what I imagined, well worth the money, definitely recommended.
“Like stepping into a fairy tale, it’s an amazing experience. You have hot food and drink, different gadget shops during the trail, it’s an instant stress relief after a bad day. Parking is free.”
Whether you can believe it or not, it’s actually been two whole decades since the 2003 Christmas cult classic that is Elf was released to the world, and with December literally just a few days away now, there’s no better way to celebrate this special anniversary than seeing the film return to the big screen for a limited time only.
From this week, you can head on down to Vue cinemas in both Manchester Printworks and inside Quayside MediaCity, as well as others throughout the region, to watch the beloved festive flick.
Going on to become a much-loved festive favourite that’s watched by families all over the world every time December rolls around, Elf is a Christmas comedy film that tells the story of a human raised by Santa’s elves.
As Buddy grows older, he eventually learns about his origins, and heads to New York City on a mission to meet his biological father.
Directed by on Favreau and written by David Berenbaum Elf has been hailed by many as a modern classic, and it’s often listed as one of the best Christmas films of all time.
It stars legendary comic actor Will Ferrell as the title character Buddy the Elf, alongside a talented ensemble cast of famous faces such as Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Bob Newhart, Jon Favreau, Peter Dinklage, and more in supporting roles.
Ferrell’s performance as Buddy was also praised by critics and audiences alike at the time of the film’s release, and many have even called it one of the best performances of his career.
Speaking ahead of Elf’s return to cinemas this Christmas, Mike Anton, who is the General Manager of Vue Manchester Printworks, said: “Christmas is all about spending quality time with friends and family, and creating treasured moments to last a lifetime.
“So we’re glad to be marking the merry occasion with a lineup of some of the most iconic and beloved Christmas classics.”
Tickets to see Elf at Vue Manchester Printworks and Vue Manchester Quayside are now available to get your hands on from just £4.99 when booked online here.
If you also find yourself at a loose end in Manchester city centre over the next couple of weeks, there’s another a little hidden cinema tucked away inside popular hotel King Street Townhouse that’s screening a jam-packed lineup of classic Christmas films throughout December too – including Love Actually, Home Alone, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
You can also sip on festive cocktails, and snack on popcorn and pick n mix while you watch all the festive flicks too.