Best things to do this summer in Liverpool

Whether you’re looking for music, kids events or thrifty-minded activities, there are plenty of things to do and see this summer in Liverpool

The best summer events in Liverpool

Although summer no longer means three months of endless time off stretching ahead like so much joy, you can still find time in your day to have fun. Where you’re looking for performance, comedy, kids events or literally anything as long as it doesn’t cost money, we’ve got it covered.

Best for music
Star of Lip Service, London’s Burning and Waterloo Road, Heather Peace performs Motown sounds and heart-wrench ballads (Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, Wed 1 Jul), or you could go for Rufus Wainwright’s baroque pop on a greatest hits tour (Philharmonic Hall, Mon 13 Jul). If you’re clinging to your goth punk phase, take in Alkaline Trio (O2 Academy, Thu 9 Jul) or if folk pop’s your bag, check out Hudson Taylor (East Village Arts Club, Sat 11 Jul). As the summer months draw to a close, indulge your nostalgia with Art Garfunkel (Philharmonic Hall, Wed Sep 16) and Brian Wilson (Echo Arena, Fri 18 Sep).

Best for kids
Just because it’s the hols, doesn’t mean they have to stop learning. Foster a love for coding with Prototype Raspberry Pi Summer School (FACT, Wed 29-Fri 31 Jul; ages 9-12 & Wed 5-Fri 7 Aug; ages 13-16). The Merseyside Maritime Museum is ideal for keeping young minds active and this year kids can learn about elephants (Ele-Friends, Sat 18 & Sun 19 Jul), Morse code (Morse Code Challenge, Fri 24 Jul) and smuggling (Rummage, Sat 27 Jun, Sun 5 Jul, Mon 6 Jul & Mon 20 Jul). To counteract all that, there’s telly fave Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom (Empire Theatre, Tue 4 & Wed 5 Aug) and scary fun with Room on the Broom (Floral Pavilion Theatre, Sun 2 & Mon 3 Aug).

Best for theatre
You can’t get away from the Fab Four so why try – take in In My Life, Mark McGann’s tale of John Lennon’s life and career (Royal Court, Sun 30 Aug), or if Frankie Valli is more your thing, there’s Jersey Boys (Empire Theatre, Tue 23 Jun–Sat 4 Jul (not Sun)). The National Theatre’s acclaimed version of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time rolls into town (Empire Theatre, Tue 21–Sat 25 Jul), or you could go for The Sound of Music, featuring BBC’s Over the Rainbow winner Danielle Hope (Empire Theatre, Mon 14–Sat 19 Sep).

Best for free
You don’t have to spend a packet to make the most of your summer – thrifty is nifty and here’s what you can do. Liverpool Contemporary Arts Fair features work from more than 40 global galleries (Royal Liver Building, Sat 27 & Sun 28 Jun). Liverpool Loves is a celebration of the area’s culture, business and food (Pierhead, Thu 6–Sat 8 Aug) and Liverpool Pride is a fabulous celebration of LGBT culture, with a Love is No Crime theme (Pierhead, Sat 1 Aug). On top of this, there are plenty of tourist attractions to explore: FACT and Bluecoat (which offer many free activities) and the Tate to name a few.

Best for comedy
The eyes of the comedy world may be focused on Edinburgh, but Auld Reekie isn’t the be-all when it comes to laughs. Luckily, a few funny types are showing off their Festival shows before heading up north: Glenn Wool (Unity Theatre, Tue 21 Jul), Hal Cruttenden (Unity Theatre, Tue 28 Jul) and John Robins (Unity Theatre, Thu 30 Jul). Comedian Rap Battle pits the country’s best comedians against the best rappers (Holiday Inn, Thu 9 Jul) or there’s a tour of the city as well as laughs, with Comedy Coach Tour (The Spice Lounge, Saturdays). For well-known names, don’t forget Kevin Bridges (Philharmonic Hall, Mon 22 & Tue 23 Jun) and Alan Carr (Philharmonic Hall, Fri 18 & Sat 19 Sep).

See our complete list of events happening in Liverpool.

The Bluecoat

School Lane, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 3BX

A Grade I listed, 300-year-old building in the heart of Liverpool’s city centre, the Bluecoat offers a year-round programme of visual art, literature, music, dance and live art. The Bluecoat is also home to a wide range of artists and creative…

FACT

88 Wood Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 4DQ

Tate Liverpool

Albert Dock, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3 4BB

Housed in a converted warehouse in the historic Albert Dock, the gallery is the home of the national collection of modern art in the north of England and is the largest showcase of modern and contemporary art outside London.