From musicians and steam trains to virtual tours of research labs and exploding cow trumps – May at the Museum of Science and Industry is kicking off the summer in style.

Manchester After Hours – Hey! Manchester steam train tour
Thursday 12 May
Performances: 6.30pm, 7.45pm, 9.00pm
£3.50 (includes drink on arrival)
Recommended for ages 14 and older
All aboard for a musical tour of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway.
Local music promoters Hey! Manchester bring their favourite acts for three special one-off acoustic performances on the station platforms at the Museum of Science and Industry. Soak up the sounds of the foot-tapping Dr Butler’s Hatstand Medicine Band, ethereal Liz Green, and the wildly experimental Paddy Steer.
Visitors can also ride back in time to experience the Manchester to Liverpool line’s opening day on the 1830 Express, revealing the story of the world’s first passenger railway.
Part of the bi-annual and UK wide celebration of nocturnal culture – Museums at Night, Manchester After Hours takes northern culture buffs on a night-time adventure around the city for one night only on Thursday 12 May to enjoy a strange mixology of cultural combos, odd couplings and unexpected partnerships. For more information visit

Pi: Platform for Investigation – Beating Cancer Sooner
Saturday 21 May, 10.30am – 3.30pm
Recommended for ages 8 and older
Become a virtual cancer detective – Step inside the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute labs and get an up close look at cancer cells through Virtual Reality headsets. Try hands on experiments to identify cancerous cells and discover what it’s like to be a medical researcher. Talk with the experts themselves about how Manchester is helping in the fight against cancer through new techniques, tests and drugs.
Manchester is the UK’s leading centre for phase 1 (first in man) clinical trials and has a proud history of pioneering some of the earliest cancer trials which developed into standard treatments for a range of diseases. Marking International Clinical Research Day on 20 May, there’ll be hands-on activities looking at this ground-breaking work. Manchester is also a world famous centre for radiotherapy innovations. Professor Marcel van Herck (Christie chair in radiotherapy physics) and his team will have radiotherapy activities in which visitors can image, plan and treat “patients” with the correct radiotherapy dose. The day will highlight Manchester Hospitals’ world leading research while opening up the fight against cancer to visitors as inspiration to future doctors and researchers.

Heart to Heart Performance Tours
Friday 20 May: 10am, 11am, 12.30pm, 3.15pm, 4pm
Saturday 21 May: 10.45am, 12.45pm, 3pm, 4.15pm
Monday 23 May: 10am, 11am, 12:30pm, 3.15pm, 4pm
Tuesday 24 May: 10am, 11am, 1.45pm, 3.15pm
Tickets are free, but places are limited – go here to book:
Recommended for ages 8 and older
Station Building
What would machines say if they could talk? Join Taiwanese artist Yu-Chen Wang, the museum’s artist-in-residence, to explore the human qualities in machines. Meet them ‘in person’ and take a tour like no other around the collection.
Heart To Heart is part of Manchester Art Gallery’s The Imitation Game, an exhibition by eight international contemporary artists that examines the theme of machines and the imitation of life.
Heart To Heart will be displayed across both Manchester Art Gallery and the museum’s historic first class booking hall in the Station Building.
The presentation is supported by the Taipei Representative Office in the UK.

Closing soon: Evaporation
Until 15 May
All Ages
See seas, oceans and tides celebrated in sculptural form by artist Tania Kovats, Cape Farewell’s James Lovelock Art Commission for 2015. A world premiere, Evaporation comprises a range of works including three large-scale metal bowls which reflect the shapes of the world’s oceans with their own salt water hydro-cycle. Also on display is one other of Kovat’s acclaimed work, All The Seas, presenting water from the world’s seas, collected by a global volunteer network.

Half Term Fun at MSI – Stories of the museum
Saturday 28 May – Sunday 5 June
Plenty to keep kids and their adults happy over the summer half term through the stories of the historical site:

1830 Express
May: Sunday 29, Tuesday 31
June: Friday 3, Saturday 4, Sunday 5
Tickets cost £4 per adult, £2 per child, under 2s go free and a family ticket is £12 for two adults and two children)
See full details and prices here:
Take a ride back to a time to when cotton was king and railways were about to change the world. Buy a ticket to ride the world’s first passenger railway and let the Explainer team take you on an action-packed, whistle stop tour of railway history.

Explosions: A Blast from the Past
Recommended for ages 7+ (Due to the loud bangs during this show it is not suitable for babies.)
Free, Limited Spaces (Tickets available from the information desk)
We need your detective skills to find out who and what blew up a railway warehouse in the 1800s.  On our journey to discover the difference between fire and explosions, we’ll make a dust flame-thrower, launch a rocket and blow up cow trumps.

Crane Construction: Under Pressure
Recommended for ages 7+
£2.00 per crane
Can you work under pressure? Build a simple lifting machine to take home that works on air pressure and raise the bar – how much can your machine lift?

Engineer Eric’s Difficult Day
Recommended for ages 5 to 11
Learn how a steam engine works in this interactive show right in the heart of the pulsating Power Hall. It’s lots of fun and a little bit loud.

Engine Demonstration
Recommended for ages 8 and older
Behold the power of steam! Find out how a mill engine works, and discover its role in the Industrial Revolution.

Manchester Mills
Recommended for ages 5 and older
Go back in time to the working mills of 150 years ago, experience the deafening sounds of the mill machines and find out what life was like for thousands of mill workers.

Recommended for ages 5 and older
Are you seeing stars?  Discover the science behind mirrors and reflection by building your very own kaleidoscope in this interactive family workshop.