Manchester Science Festival kicked off on Thursday, with plenty of exciting, free events and exhibitions running over the next week. Away from the test tubes and tesla coils, however, you’ll find that there’s plenty of free fun to be had in Manchester over this weekend. Take a look at our fresh picks.

Open Studios at Rogue Artists Studios
On the 20th Anniversary of its founding, trailblazing art space Rogue Studios is opening its doors to the public once more. Usually it’s a closed creative womb, but now ordinary punters have the chance to take a look in at what its resident artists have been working on. Opening night’s on the Friday, but you can drop by during the day all weekend. Catch it before the doors close again! We’ve got a full preview here.
Opening night, Fri 23 Oct, 6 – 9pm, Opening Weekend, Sat 24 – Sun 25 Oct, 12 – 5pm, Rogue Artists Studios, 72 Chapeltown Street, Manchester, M1 2WH. Tel: 0161 273 7492,

Lisa Wilkens at PAPER Gallery
It’s the last chance to catch this show at Manchester’s most secret gallery. On display are a selection of the German artists ink drawings in what makes up her first solo exhibition. PAPER is only open Saturday afternoons, so there’s no leeway on this one, you’ve just gotta get down there. We ran a full preview of this back in September, for completists.
Sat 24 Oct, PAPER Gallery, Unit 12, 14-20 Mirabel Street, Manchester, M3 1PJ. 11 – 5pm,

Motocross Demonstration at Cathedral Gardens (pictured)
Touring motorbike show Arenacross presents this free live spectacle in the centre of town. A full scale ramp will be erected in the middle of the gardens, where a team of daredevils led by Britain’s own Dan Whitby will be popping wheelies and sliding into a hyperspin, and if motors don’t float your boat; there’ll also be mountain bike trials. If you’ve got motocross kit of your own, it’s worth turning up in your gear: They’ll be handing out free tickets to next year’s arena show to a limited group of hardcore enthusiasts . This event’s sponsored by Monster energy drink, so it’s a fair bet you’ll be able to swing a free can of that as well.
Sun 25 Oct, Cathedral Gardens, Corporation St, Manchester, M4 3BG. 10.30am – 5.30pm,

Portico Prize at Portico Library
The Portico Prize is an literary award for poetry and fiction, the winner of which will be announced at the end of November. This earlier event is a showcase of the 5 shortlisted authors up for this year’s prize, who’ll be reading extracts from their work. Past winners include Sarah Hall and Simon Armitage, so this is definitely a great place to catch the work of rising talents. Currently, this one is all booked out – such is demand – but it’s worth keeping an eye on over the weekend, should more slots become available.
Sun 25 Oct, Portico Library, 57 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HY. Tel: 0843 208 0500, 5pm – 7pm,

Fri 23 Oct - Sun 25 Oct
Jon Whiteley
Published on:
Thu 22 Oct 2015