Curious Mancs can explore brand-new science displays, immersive exhibitions, decades of gaming, and more this May half term and beyond.
With only a week to go now until schools right across Greater Manchester and the North West are out, the Science and Industry Museum in the heart of Manchester city centre is gearing up to host a half term “packed full of digital discovery”, as well as unveil a hotly-anticipated new display dedicated to the remarkable life of one of the most important theoretical physicists of all time.
Not only that, but one of its most successful world-first exhibitions has also been extended until the end of the month so more visitors can catch it before it closes, and there’ll also be the chance to explore the world of gaming and discover groundbreaking ideas that “change the world”.
No matter whether you’re after an engaging day out with the family, an afternoon spent immersed in science, a look forward to the future of tech, or a journey back though Manchester’s industrial past, the Science and Industry Museum has got you covered.
Here’s everything you can get involved in over the next few weeks.
Stephen Hawking at Work
Thursday 25 May – onwards
Visitors will able to get up close to rare personal items of Stephen Hawking’s in the Science and Industry’s newest display opening next week.
Stephen Hawking at Work explores the remarkable life of a world-renowned scientist, who passed away in 2018 – with significant objects from his office giving an insight into his life as a scientist, science communicator, and as a person who lived with motor neurone disease.
Highlights include a rare copy of his PhD thesis, and a wager he made with his peers about whether things that fall into a black hole are lost forever, while there’s also a ‘time traveller’ party invitation that he sent to his peers after the party had taken place, to prove that time travel to the past is impossible.
This month is your last chance to join the over 30,000 visitors who have already been able to discover more about “the science of music’s mysterious hold over us”, and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share.
Officially closing on Monday 29 May, you can experiment with beats, melodies, and harmonies in the exhibition’s Musical Playground, uncover how music influences our mood, shopping habits, and even the taste of food, or explore first-hand accounts from people pushing the boundaries of musical innovation.
Turn It Up: The power of music is packed full of opportunities for visitors of all ages and interests to explore their inner music maker and determine what music means to them.
Open every weekend & school holiday
If you haven’t had the chance to catch the “ultimate gaming experience” that is Power UP yet, then this May half term is the ideal time.
Open every weekend, and seven days a week throughout the school holidays, Power UP caters for gamers of all ages and skill level, and welcomes players to revel in the very-best video games from the past five decades, while getting hands-on with over 160 consoles.
You’ll get to experience cutting edge technology and the latest developments in virtual reality, as well as rediscover childhood favourites played on classic consoles.
Other special activities for May half term
Saturday 27 May – Sunday 4 June
Especially for May half term, the Science and Industry Museum is hosting a programme of family fun themed around robotics, digital discovery, and tech, so visitors can meet and interact with real-life robots, practise programming to influence their movements and actions, and imagine what having a robot best friend might look like.
The team of expert Explainers will be on hand to help visitors “conquer digital coding”, while also helping you explore some of the museum’s historic objects and stories like the working replica of the Manchester Baby, and the 19th century invention that is the Jacquard Loom.
There’ll even be a series of flying drone displays taking place inside the museum too.
Featured Image – Science Museum Group
Art & Culture
Manchester’s ‘knock-out comedy festival’ returns this year – with Ed Gamble, Sara Pascoe, and more on lineup
Manchester’s newest comedy festival is making a return to the city later this year, and there’s some massive names on the lineup set to bring the laughs.
Just like last year, festivalgoers are in for an “explosive series of shows” from some of the hottest names on the comedy circuit.
Multi award-winning comedians Adam Buxton, Ed Gamble, Sara Pascoe, and Alan Davies are just some of the famous names on this year’s jam-paced lineup.
They’ll be joined by the phrenetic Russell Kane, the legendary Dylan Moran, and Taskmaster stars Phil Wang and Fern Brady when they all take to the Castlefield Bowl stage over the five-day festival from Wednesday 6 – Sunday 10 September.
That’s not all either, as this year’s lineup is also stacked with flawless entertainers like cult comic/poet Tim Key, viral sensation Troy Hawke, ventriloquism queen Nina Conti, Father Ted hero Adrial O’Hanlon, and Mash Report host Rachel Parris, as well as a bunch of fast-rising breakthrough upcoming comedy names and homegrown talents.
Josh Jones, Dan Tiernan, Sharon Wanjohi, Ania Magliano, Celya Ab are just some of the newcomers you can catch over the five days.
And aside from the comedy, just like last year, the very-best eats from Manchester’s street food scene will also be on site to tuck into, as well as an exciting selection of bars serving signature beers, cocktails, and more.
Festival organisers are promising an “outrageously good time” for anyone heading down this year.
Laughterama is the latest venture by sibling duo Will Briggs and Cass Randolph of 57 Festivals, who have been bringing their unique blend of comedy programming in boutique-festival settings to sell-out crowds across the UK for the past 15 years.
And after their hugely-successful first year in Manchester, the pair are looking forward to returning later this year.
“Last year’s festival was epic,” Will and Cass admitted.
“The shows and crowds were electric, and we couldn’t have asked for a stronger first year, [so] for this year’s return, we’ve been focused on making sure we maintain that feeling by presenting lineups that will amaze and delight.
“We’ve added more even shows and are looking forward to welcoming back everyone that came last year, plus their friends and families too.”
Laughterama 2023 is landing at Castlefield Bowl from Wednesday 6 – Sunday 10 September, with tickets now on sale at £25 per person and already selling fast.
You can grab yours on the Laughterama website before they sell out here.
Featured Image – Supplied
Art & Culture
Manchester Day is back with a ‘summer holiday’ theme and lots of family fun next month
Mancs are being encouraged to “break out a deckchair and ditch the morning rush for a sun lounger” as Manchester Day returns his summer.
And this year, the theme is all about being ‘On Holiday’.
Already being described as “the day summer officially starts” in the city centre, the massively-popular Manchester Day is back once again next month, and after what have been successful collaborations in the past, Manchester City Council is joining forces with award-winning local arts organisation Walk the Plank to offer a jam-packed schedule of family fun.
The Council is promising that the city centre will be transformed to “bring the holiday vibes without having to go near the M60”.
Unlike in previous years, you can expect to see the celebrations city-wide this year.
Taking over on Saturday 29 July, Manchester Day 2023 will have attractions dotted all throughout the city centre in main social hubs such as Deansgate, Exchange Square, St Ann’s Square, and more from midday right through until 9pm.
Once the sun starts to set, the focus will shift over to the Northern Quarter, with festivalgoers able to continue soaking up the evening sunshine as the party continues.
The Council is encouraging the Greater Manchester public to keep their eyes peeled in the coming weeks as more information will be revealed about the event – including new events, stalls, street food traders, and family-friendly entertainment.
“If there is one thing this city knows how to do, it’s throw a party,” Cllr Pat Karney, Chair of Manchester Day at Manchester City Council said ahead of this year’s event.
“I’m incredibly excited for the public to see what we have in store this summer.
“We know that this year sees a change to the usual celebrations.
“But we are sure residents of all ages will come in their thousands to soak up the holiday atmosphere and have a fantastic day out.