With schools out for summer, there are lots of events for all the family flying around Manchester at the moment – look out for all of those as we head into August. For now, here’s a selection of the best free things to do in Manchester this week, featuring events by Manchester Museum, XS Malarkey and much more…

The Big Dig | Rochdale Town Hall | Mon 26 Jul | All next week 9am – 4pm

The Big Dig heads to Rochdale all next week. With specialist archaeologists from the University of Salford, you’ll be helping to uncover the story of Rochdale from the medieval ages right through to the 1860s. You’ll also learn how to dig safely and properly, and how to work just like a professional archaeologist. This is a perfect one for the whole family.

Town Hall Square, 37 Packer Street, Rochdale OL16 1NJ
Force of Nature | Manchester Museum | Mon 26 Jul | Until 29th August

People’s perceptions of the natural world changed during the pandemic – many people have woken up to just how vitally important this is to overall wellbeing. Manchester Museum’s Force of Nature  (running 26 July – 29 August) celebrates that awakening, encompassing key components of their collection of over 4.5 million objects, including live frogs, plants, lizards and Stan the T-rex.

Highlights include nature-inspired upcycling workshops for families and adults, guided online craft sessions from paper flower making to origami, and a comic creation workshop.

Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL
Football with the Manchester United Foundation with WGOTM | Tue 27 Jul | 2pm – 3pm

WGOTM (Wythenshawe Games on the Move) are providing a fantastic programme of free sporting events this summer, so it’s worth checking out everything they’ve got on. This one looks great – a session with Manchester United’s Foundation, aimed at children from 5 to 13+. It’s potentially the perfect place to find the next Marcus Rashford…

Sparkford Fields, Sparkford Avenue, Wythenshawe M23
XS Malarkey Online | Sun 1 Aug | 7pm

If you’ve missed out on your regular comedy fix, check out the folks at XS Malarkey’s latest online offerings, hosted on streaming site Twitch. Hosted by actor, writer and stand up comedian Toby Hadoke – a stalwart of the Manchester comedy circuit – this is sure to be a fun evening. The lineup is top secret for now though, shh…

Egyptology Live | Manchester Musuem | Thu 29 Jul

There’s a bonus Manchester Museum pick here – ever wanted to learn about Egyptology? Join the museum’s curator of Egypt and the Sudan Dr Campbell Price to explore the Museum’s fascinating Egypt collection via YouTube. The collection illustrates both everyday life and preparations for the afterlife.

Jarda جاردا | People's History Museum | Until 10th October

Lockdown has made us realise the importance of public space more than ever: never before have parks, fields and forests been so important to us all. Jarda جاردا by Jessica El Mar, is mixed media exhibition featuring photography, collage, self-portraiture and more, which invites you to re-question the spaces we will never take for granted again.  This has been  created as part of an Arab British Centre’s Britain programme which explores the history, achievements and experiences of Arabs in Britain, past and present.

Left Bank, Manchester M3 3ER
Mon 26 Jul - Sun 1 Aug
Hugh Morris
Published on:
Mon 26 Jul 2021