The perfect ways to spend the August Bank Holiday weekend.
The biggest bank holiday of the year is upon us – and now that the restrictions have been lifted, there’s so much to do. From boozy brunches to the return of festivals, here’s our guide to the best things to do in Manchester this August Bank Holiday weekend. Read on for a bitta inspo…
Kicking off the bank holiday weekend in style on Saturday 28th August, Manchester Bierkeller is hosting a seriously fun five-hour brunch special, bring both current and old skool R&B tunes, plenty of dancing, bottomless rum punch, and optional street food, too. Rum punch will flow freely for 60 minutes, and guests are free to stick around afterwards for the bank holiday vibes. Get tickets here before they’re gone.
2. Visit the Trafford Centre’s retro beach and fairground
Popping up for the summer outside of the food court at the Trafford Centre, visitors can escape to the ‘beach’, which is accompanied by a fun, retro fairground and a pop-up bar by Boujee, too. Providing a little something for Mancs of all ages, guests can expect tons of live music and entertainment, a nostalgic array of rides on-site, including The Star Flyer, Log Flume, Apple Coaster and Cruise Ship, and summery cocktails at the bar. Find out more here.
New in town, Alcotraz is as unique as they come, with guests escorted to their very own prison cell in an orange jumpsuit during the experience. Drink cocktails made with ‘smuggled-in contraband’, hide from the cellblock’s parading warden, and enjoy the theatrics before checking out the prison-themed canteen. Book a cell block here.
4. Celebrate the city’s LGBTQ+ community at Manchester Pride
The city’s key event over the August Bank Holiday, Manchester Pride is officially returning after a one-year hiatus. Moving to a new location for 2021, guests can enjoy a scaled-down version of Manchester Pride Live, take part in one of the many smaller marches that are taking place in lieu of the popular parade, or pay respects at the stunning candlelit vigil that closes the festival. Find out more about the line-up and this year’s venue here.
Fancy doing something a little bit different this bank holiday? Take in the sweet sounds of some of the most iconic movie soundtracks under the wings of a Concorde – which just so happens to be one of the last remaining in the world. Led by a string quartet, the relaxing concert will cover tracks from Jurassic Park, Titanic, Harry Potter and so much more, with a candlelit atmosphere unlike any other. Get tickets here.
6. Bat for glory at the new Sixes Cricket Club
Opening for the first time on August 29th, Sixes Cricket Club is set to be the perfect way to unwind with mates. Taking up residence at the Corn Exchange, guests will be able to bat to their heart’s content against a BatFast Cricket Simulator and compete with their friends on a global leaderboard, all alongside a fantastic menu of BBQ grub and beers. If that wasn’t all, to celebrate the opening guests will also be able to take advantage of free late-night cricket between 9pm and 11pm for the first two weeks, making it the perfect place to go this upcoming bank holiday. Find out more.
If you’re feeling something a little more chilled over the bank holiday, the Luna Cinema is taking over Tatton Park with a wonderful open-air cinema, screening big hits such as The Greatest Showman, Dirty Dancing and more. To accompany, guests will also be able to enjoy great food, drink and Häagen-Dazs ice-cream, all while watching a movie under the stars. Get tickets here.
8. Enjoy an all-Day BBQ at a stunning sunflower field
Available to enjoy at Little Heath Farm this August only, visitors can check out the glorious sunflower field while it’s in bloom, as well as enjoy homemade BBQ grub made with meats from the farm, with breakfast, lunch and early dinner served from Friday-Sunday. The farm shop will also be open, with tons of produce from the farm to take home and try out. Find out more.
Hosting two sessions over the bank holiday weekend (27th and 28th August), The Manchester Cheese Crawl will be touring around the city to show off the best cheeses Manchester had on offer – with plenty of cheese to sample along the way. Exploring the city for around two hours, guests will be able to enjoy an array of cheeses and wines while learning all about it, making for the perfect way to brush up on your knowledge to impress your mates with. Get tickets here before they’re gone.
10. Drink natural wine by the waterside at this pop-up bar
Kampus’ newest resident Le Social Wine is here, bringing natty wines by the water for us to enjoy all August long. Providing the perfect setting for a slow weekend, guests can enjoy a fantastic selection of natural and organic wines of all varieties, in addition to a selection of beers, cocktails and aperitifs. The pop-up will also play host to a number of events during its residency, too, including boozy brunches, foodie collabs and more. Find out more over on their Instagram here.
Quite the S Club 7 fan as a kid? Then you’ll be pretty chuffed to hear that the band’s very own Tina and Bradley are headlining this year’s Worsley Live festival, which is set to take place on Sunday 29th August at the Ellesmere Sports Club. Packed full of family-friendly entertainment, guests will be able to dance to some of the UK’s best tribute bands – with tributes to the likes of Little Mix, Spice Girls, Robbie Williams and so much more in store. Adults will also be able to enjoy the Gin and Prosecco bars, with a fun fairground on-site, too, for everyone to take advantage of. Get tickets here.
12. Stuff yourself silly with Italian grub at Festa Italiana
Manchester’s favourite Italian food festival is back for another year, taking over Cathedral Gardens with an impressive array of local traders. Free to attend, guests can enjoy authentic food from Salvi’s, Proove Pizza, NQ Sicilian, I Knead Pizza, Cafe Cannoli and many more, with beers from Peroni, ticketed banquets led by talented chefs, an Aperol Spritz bar and more in store. Find out more here.
Fever’s best-selling Candlelight Jazz series continues over the bank holiday weekend, with a stunning tribute to Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone taking place at the Manchester Cathedral. Hosting two special sessions on the 28th August, guests can enjoy the sounds of the iconic artists recreated by a talented group of musicians, all while taking in the candlelit surroundings of the architecturally stunning cathedral. Get tickets here.
14. Have a wander around the Deansgate Mews Festival
Originally postponed due to the bad weather conditions summer has seen so far in Manchester, the Deansgate Mews festival has been rescheduled for the bank holiday weekend, bringing live music, plenty of market stalls and good food to the city for three whole days. Free to attend, guests can expect tasty BBQ bites from The Butcher’s Quarter, delicious cocktails from The Mews Bar, and live music from the outdoor stage at Lion’s Den. Find out more here.
15. Check out Escape to Freight Island’s epic weekend of Pride celebrations
One of the city’s go-to destinations for fantastic Pride events taking place next weekend, Escape to Freight Island has a host of events lined up over the weekend, including fun DJ sets, parties with the likes of Queer Latifa and House of Ghetto, and of course, tons of delicious food and drinks to enjoy from the venue’s incredible food vendors. Find out more here.
16. Check out the brand new I’m A Celebrity Jungle Challenge
ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Jungle Challenge is officially open, and it’s the perfect way to treat both kids and the big kids this upcoming bank holiday. Challenging participants with a number of trials throughout the course, participants will need to face their fears and “test your nerve and agility”, collecting stars on the way. If that wasn’t all, participants will also be able to walk across the winner’s bridge – just like they do in the show. Find out more.
17. Go for cocktails at one of these gorgeous bars
Whether you have a date night in-store or a night out with the squad, Manchester is packed full of incredible cocktail bars offering a vibe for every occasion. Whether it’s pretty-in-pink decor and Instagrammable cocktail you’re after, or laid-back opulence, here’s our guide to the best spots in town for cocktails over the bank holiday weekend.
18. Get your party on at Stockport’s Moovin Festival
Kicking off on Friday August 27th-Sunday August 29th, Stockport’s Moovin Festival will see a number of fantastic acts taking to the stage over the weekend, including Basement Jaxx, Craig Charles, Sugarhill Gang, Graeme Park and so many more across the weekend. Camping has fully sold out, however, there’s still time to pick up tickets for the weekend here.
19. Chow down on tasty grub at the Bolton Food & Drink Festival
The Bolton Food & Drink Festival will take place over the entire bank holiday weekend, starting on Friday 27th August and ending on the following Monday. Visitors can expect a weekend packed full of food, drink, entertainment and more, with tons of local food traders on the roster, a fantastic market and a live music stage. Find out more here.
20. Stretch it out at Yoga in the Meadow in Angel Meadows Park
If you’re feeling a chill one for a change, Yoga in the Meadow is back at Angel Meadows Park, taking place early on Friday 27th August to kick off the weekend the right way. Starting at 8am, locals can roll up their Yoga mats and take part for free, unwinding ahead of the weekend ahead. Book your space here.