The phrase 'New Year, new me' is often met with a raised eyebrow - but, let's face it, there's no better time to learn a skill or find a new passion. Luckily enough, there are courses in Manchester offering everything from computer programming and tai chi to life drawing and improv comedy, many of which are free. We've picked out a few highlights to get you started - so read on and discover a new side to yourself in 2018.
Sew | Elizabeth Gaskell’s House | weekly | FREE w. £5 annual pass
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House hosts a weekly sewing group to help build a collection of replica Victorian clothing. Whether you’re an embroiderer extraordinaire or a needle novice, you can literally make history at this workshop every Thursday for nothing more than the price of a ticket (£5 yearly). No need to book.
Thu 11 Jan – Thu 13 Dec, Elizabeth Gaskell House, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, M13 9LW. Tel: 0161 273 2215, 1.30-4pm, £5 for yearly ticket to the House (£4 conc). www.elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk
Computer coding | CodeUp Manchester | monthly | FREE
CodeUp is a free mentoring programme for adults of any ability who want to learn to code. If more structure is what you’re after, MadLab serve up a host of workshops in coding and more throughout the year. This one, however, is a drop in.
Second Monday of the month, Code Computerlove Ltd, Sevendale House, Dale Street, Manchester, M1 1JB. 7pm, FREE, www.madlab.org.uk
Singing for the over 50s | Golden Voices choir | Band on the Wall | weekly | £3.50
Golden Voices describes itself as Manchester’s most welcoming choir. They meet at Band on The Wall’s Picturehouse bar every Thursday for a fun, sociable rehearsal for novices and experienced singers alike. No need to book.
Thu 11 Jan – Thu 22 Mar, Band on the Wall, 25 Swan Street, Manchester, M4 5JZ. Tel: 0161 834 1786, 10.30am – 12.30pm, £3.50 per session (drop-in), www.bandonthewall.org
Beginners’ improv comedy | Friends' Meeting House | 8 weeks | £90
Learn the art of improv comedy with ImproQuo. Their eight-week course covers all the basics of creating character and stage presence. They also hold more informal weekly workshops if you can’t commit to the full programme but fancy giving it a shot. See their website for booking info.
Wed 3 Jan - Wed 28 Feb, Friends’ Meeting House Manchester,
Manchester, M2 5NS. Tel: 07834 001 980, 6-9pm, £90 for 8 weeks, www.improquo.co
Foraging, vegan south Indian cooking, bread making & more | Cracking Good Food | times & prices vary
Community group Cracking Good Food continue their packed programme of diverse, 1/2 day cooking courses in 2018. Herbalist and forager Jesper Launder leads all-ages groups in Didsbury, Chorlton, Sale and Hebden Bridge, teaching you to find and cook edible plants in the most unexpected corners of the city and there are a huge range of other inspiring courses too, from a South Indian vegan session, where you can learn how to make popular dishes such as masala dosa from scratch. Booking required.
From Sun 14 Jan, dates, times and venues vary. Tel: 07900 544 826, times and prices vary, www.crackinggoodfood.org
Yoga and Tai-Chi (pictured) | The Whitworth | weekly | £5
The Whitworth Gallery hosts a range of wellness-oriented classes to keep you relaxed and energised through the new year. The location in Whitworth Park is a tranquil setting for Tai-Chi and yoga classes, which take place outdoors – weather permitting. No need to book.
Wed (Tai-Chi), Thu (yoga), The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER. Tel: 0161 275 7450, 8.30 - 9.45am, £5, www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk
Life drawing for creative development | Independent Art School | weekly | £15
Join the Independent Art School for their workshops aimed at professionals, aspiring artists and amateurs alike. The School host a variety of art classes all over town – check their website for more details and to book.
Every Wed, Central Buildings, Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JQ. Tel: 0161 401 2055, 6.30 - 8.30pm, £59 per month. www.theindependentartschool.com
Introduction to film studies | HOME | 8 weeks | £80
Love film? Get a deeper understanding of the art form with this eight-week course at HOME, which includes screenings and discussion groups. Book online.
Wed 17 Jan – Wed 14 Mar, times vary, HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN. Tel: 0161 228 7621, £80 (£60 conc). www.homemcr.org
Afro-Ancestral Ritual Movement | HOME | workshop | £10
As part of HOME’s PUSH Festival 2018, this one-off workshop from artist and performer Nwando Ebizie (one of our top picks from the festival) explores Haitian folklore and ritual movement in this fun, active and informal event. Book online.
Tue 16 Jan, HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN. Tel: 0161 228 7621, 10am-2.30pm, £10 (£8 conc). homemcr.org
Running technique course | Manchester Holistic Clinic at the Y Club | 6 weeks | times & prices vary
Been meaning to pick up running in the new year? Get off on the right foot with this six-week running technique course, a holistic programme designed to kick start your jogging career, avoid injury, or simply up your game on the track.
Manchester Holistic Clinic, Y Club, Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4JR. Tel: 07884187991 (text only), times and prices vary. mcr-holistic.co.uk