Spend the day rifling through pretty flower bouquets, sampling homemade street food and perusing artisan booze at the Northern Quarter Makers Market. If you’re too broke to even consider Valentine’s shopping, head to the People’s History Museum to catch a free exhibition or maybe treat yourself (and your significant other) to an early Valentine’s gift and spend the night at the ballet.

The Art of Paul Peter Piech: Dedicated to all defenders of Human Freedoms

For a day of art and political musings, grab a coffee and head to the People’s History Museum to catch the Paul Peter Piech exhibition before it finishes. The artwork here is both eye opening and visually stimulating, particularly in light of everything that’s been going down recently. You can peruse the printings which are heavily weighted against racism and for peace, set against Piech’s more melodic prints which incorporate his passion for jazz and the poet Walt Whitman. The best part? You can spend the whole day here without dropping a dime but a few quid in the donation box is always appreciated.

People’s History Museum, Manchester M3 3ER

Northern Quarter Makers Market

Head to Stevenson Square where artists, designers and musicians join forces in a day of arts, crafts and wholesome homemade food. Skip the shop queues and spend the afternoon rifling through locally sourced goods with a drink in one hand and a gourmet burger (or vegan pie) in the other. If you’re a huge fan of art and all things Etsy but not a huge fan of extra shipping costs, this event is the answer to all of your prayers. Plus, it might just help you bag a last minute Valentine’s gift.

Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DN

Swan Lake

Swan Lake speaks for itself really doesn’t it? It’s a ballet of opposites- light and dark, hard and soft, masculine and feminine, oppression and liberty all come together to create a night you won’t forget in a hurry. Tchaikovsky’s haunting and instantly recognisable score is brought to life with the gracefulness of the dancers and the vitality of a live orchestra. You’ll be sitting on the edge of your seats, holding hands, captivated in the layers of romance and woe. Complete the night with a bottle of bubbly and perhaps a red rose or two for guaranteed brownie points.

Palace Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester M1 6FT