Just in time for the October half term, the jaw-dropping multi-sensory experience has already captivated eight million people in a whopping 75 cities right across the world, and has proven to be just as exciting for children as it is for adults – perhaps even more so.
With 3,000 images from the seminal Dutch artist’s renowned body of work digitally emblazoned onto supersized backdrops, and paintings that are ready for little ones to literally climb right into, Van Gogh Alive is so much more than a visit to a gallery, or a ‘don’t touch’ museum trip.
Organisers assure that it’s “immersive, interactive, and inspiring” for people of all ages.
Thinking of checking it out? Here’s five reasons why babies, toddlers, kids, and teens should be first in line for half term week when the purpose-built venue lands at MediaCityUK on 22 October.
1. It’s the world’s most visited multi-sensory experience
We weren’t kidding – eight million people have already flocked to Van Gogh Alive when it’s visited other cities across the world.
It’s a feast of sight, sound, and scent set to an evocative score that will help younger visitors to understand the emotion and tone of each artwork as they explore the space, while also enjoying the authentic fragrance of Provence wafting through the air.
Even the most hard-to-please teenagers are bound to be entertained by the larger-than-life imagery and a mirrored room filled to the brim with sunflowers – which makes for a cracking photo opportunity.
2. It’s fun, educational, and interactive
No one will be shushed, no one will be told not to touch, and no one will be bored – this is the kind of awe-inspiring and unforgettable experience that parents desperately search for.
Van Gogh is one of the world’s most important artists of all time, and throughout this experience, young visitors will discover his work, his life, his descent into madness, and his legacy, meaning it’s pretty much the best art, history, and geography lesson they could ever hope for.
Whether the idea of learning excites your kids or not, they will learn – and they will love it.
Not only will you be able to step straight into Van Gogh’s world, both kids and adults alike can try their hands at using his techniques and learning his craft, with three graded tutorials on offer at the dedicated Art Activity Area, and even the opportunity to recreate some of the artist’s most famous works.
So you can leave the grey Manchester skies outside, and step into a world of kaleidoscopic colour and 360-degree delight.
3. Climb into an actual painting
This is your chance to, quite literally, climb inside of an actual painting.
There’ll be a life-sized recreation of ‘Van Gogh’s Bedroom’ – one of his most famous pieces – truly bringing art to life at the installation, and families can sit on Van Gogh’s bed, his chair, use his mirror, and pose for a photo in one of the most recognisable bedrooms in history.
Where else does a painting spring out into life sized, touchable, three-dimensional reality?
It’s another layer of magic that the whole family will love.
Van Gogh Alive opens its doors from 22 October 2021 – 23 January 2022 at MediaCityUK, and tickets are on sale now.
It’s £22 for adults and £15 for children, with concessions and school group discounts available.
Event organisers are hoping to raise vital funds for The Christie charity to help it continue its incredible work leading the way for cancer care, research, and education – and visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to make a donation either when purchasing tickets, or while at the exhibition.
Controlled visitor capacities and managed visitor flow mean visitors can easily respect any COVID-19 guidelines and enjoy the experience safely.
To support Anthology, he’ll be heading out on a mini-tour, with two UK headline shows in 2023.
He’ll perform at the O2 Ritz in Manchester on 9 April, and at the O2 Academy Islington in London on 15 April.
Tickets go on general sale Friday 3 February at 9am and will be available from See Tickets.
Featured image: ITV
Where to watch the Six Nations in Manchester
It’s that time again, the Six Nations is just around the corner and we can practically taste the pints already. That being said, we thought it only right to put together a list of where to enjoy those pints.
With the tournament kicking off on Saturday, 4 February, we don’t want you scrambling around to find places showing the Six Nations in Manchester; we just want you to sit back and enjoy the games.
So, without further ado, here is our list of the best places to watch the Six Nations in Manchester:
1. Guinness Fan Zone at Escape to Freight Island – Mayfield
Guinness and the Six Nations go hand in hand — I mean, their name’s literally on the trophy — so what better place to start than the official Guinness Fan Zone at Escape to Freight Island? It’s the biggest outside of London and it’s got plenty more on offer than just the games:
2. Shooters/Bierkeller – Printworks
Next up, a tried and tested favourite of any punter who frequents sports bars in Manchester. Shooters Bar inside the Bierkeller at Printworks. Showing the Six Nations every year, this place always draws in a big crowd so best get your booking sorted early HERE.
You’d be forgiven for thinking a place called Calcio only shows football, but au contraire mon frère (one for those few France fans among you): this new hotspot just on the edge of Northern Quarter and not far from Piccadilly has all kinds of sports, tonnes of retro games, plenty of pints and some seriously whopping burgers. Give it a try.
As far as Irish bars go, you can’t go wrong with Mulligans. A go-to for sports fans and punters in general, not to mention Guinness’ second home in Manchester, this traditional Irish pub sandwiched just across the road from Spinningfields will be showing the games and promises live music every night. It’s always good craic in here.
No list of Manchester sports bars would be complete without Tib Street Tavern, one of the most popular in NQ or the city centre in general, for that matter. With booths for you and all your mates to pile into, massive screens filling the walls and solid grub, this place is packed out noon till night, so give ’em a ring to sort your sort whilst you still can.
6. Waldorf – Piccadilly
Now, if you’re looking for something right next to the station so you don’t have to walk far for your first pint or, equally, can make a quick exit if the result doesn’t go your way, the Waldorf is the one for you, Spanning aross multiple floors with the upstairs usually dedicated to rugby fans, you’ll catch many a face watching the sport in here most weekends. Again, it fills up quick so bag yourself a table while you can.
7. Directors’ Box – Central
Another all-time classic Manchester sports bar, The Directors’ Box just off St Peter’s Square in the city centre has plenty of pints, an absolutely mint menu full of sharing platters perfect for watching the game with your mates, as well as a pool table to keep you occupied during the breaks. Book HERE.
8. Kiely’s – Great Northern
Whether you’ll be cheering on Ireland or not, Kiely’s is prime location to watch the Six Nations. Yet another place for Guinness lovers and showing live sport all week-round before the rowdy live music kicks off in the evenings, we’ve spent many night in here and can heartily recommend it for the rugby.
9. BOX – Deansgate
One of the newest bars on this list, BOX on Deansgate brings a real sense of the American sports bar culture with shuffleboard, giant steins of booze, banging food and TV on every wall — including a big 360-jumbotron screen so nobody misses a second. Even with two large floors, this place packs out quick, so we would get booking your place now.
10. Walkabout – Printworks
Last but not least, Mancunians have made memories in the one and only Walkabout. The massive pub, club and local nightlife institution has plenty food, pints and screens to cater to the hordes of punters. Better still, with its Australian roots, there’s a real love for rugby in here, whether you’re an England fan or otherwise. Book you place HERE.
So, if you’re still wondering where to watch the Six Nations in Manchester, that should be plenty of options for now. It’s one of the biggest competitions on the sporting calendar so we’re looking forward to similar festivities to the kind we saw for the World Cup.
It may be a fairly frosty February but we’ve never been the type to let the weather put us off going out and having a good time.
The first match between Wales and Ireland starts at 2:15pm on Saturday, 4 February, with England facing off against Scotland at 4:45pm that same day. Who do you fancy for it this year?