The biggest bank holiday of the year is upon us – and there’s so much to do. From boozy brunches to an array 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 27th 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 dedicated spritz bar, 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 back with a bang for 2022. Mancs can expect huge parties and shows over the long weekend, including hilarious drag shows, bustling dancefloors, and of course, the big festival itself. Discover some of the most fabulous and fun pride events to attend here.
5. Head to The Oast House’s outdoor terrace for this free music festival
Following its successful Jubilee weekend launch, Spinningfields bar The Oast House is bringing its brand-new music festival Manifest back to the city this August bank holiday weekend for its final summer instalment with a jam-packed line-up. Taking place on the large outdoor terrace at The Oast House on August 28th, complete with a dedicated stage, Manifest will run from 1pm in the afternoon until late, with a packed roster of musicians lined up including bands, solo artists and duos taking to the stage throughout the day with interludes from resident DJs. Attendees can expect a party atmosphere all night and sounds of rock, pop, soul, R&B, funk, disco and blues.
6. Tuck into a range of halal delights at this food festival at Bowlers Exhibition Centre
With over 100+ exhibitors, street food vendors, four indoor arenas and an outdoor fun fair, festival-goers can expect a tasty this August bank holiday weekend. The Halal Food Festival will feature street food vendors representing countries from across the globe including Afrikana, OMayalsia, The Dutch Fishmen, Phat Jo’s, The Butchers Kitchen and Manchester’s very own, afro- Caribbean business Rita’s Reign. Taking place at Bowlers Exhibition Centre (BEC) on August 27th and 28th, 12pm-8pm, the main arena will play host to some top halal brands alongside an array of gourmet desserts, savouries and lifestyle vendors.
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 West Side Story, Grease and more. To accompany, guests will also be able to enjoy great food, drink and Little Moons Mochi Ice Cream, all while watching a movie under the stars. Get tickets here.
8. Enjoy unlimited booze and pizza at this Manchester axe throwing spot’s bottomless brunch
Throwing axes and throwing back cocktails- that’s one way to spend your weekend. With the launch of Whistle Punks very own bottomless axe-throwing brunch this August Bank Holiday, you can do both. Fuelled by delicious cocktails, contemporary craft beers and irresistible sourdough pizza, Whistle Punk’s ‘Sunday Sessions’ are set to launch quite the unique bottomless brunch offering. There’s no other experience quite like a 70-minute axe-throwing competition with your best mates and now it just got better with unlimited amounts of food and drinks.
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. Sip on a cold, smooth pint of the Black Stuff at this summery Guinness pop-up bar
Guinness is certainly not just for the colder months of the year or solely for St Paddy’s Day, as this August the popular stout returns to Manchester in style, serving up cold, smooth pints all summer long. Mancs can sip on a refreshing Guinness at a pop-up bar within Escape to Freight Island whilst soaking up the last of those summer rays. In collaboration with Skindog Surfboards, Guinness has also created a limited-edition run of bespoke surfboards and guests visiting Escape to Freight Island will also be in with a chance of winning one.
11. 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 The Pasta Factory, Cafe Cannoli, I Knead Pizza, Paradiso Authentic Italian desserts, Proove Pizza, Lucky Mama’s, Salvi’s, T’arricrii and many more, with beers from Poretti, ticketed banquets led by talented chefs, an Aperol Spritz bar and more in store. Find out more here.
12. Check out Kampus’s epic weekend of Pride celebrations
Manchester’s rental garden neighbourhood Kampus has announced they are supporting a packed weekend of Pride events as the city comes together to celebrate LGBTQIA+ equality over the August bank holiday weekend and raise money for LGBTQIA+ charities. Nell’s will kick-off celebrations with a Pride special Quizingo hosted by Manchester drag icon Miss Blair on Thursday evening and DJ Atalya takes over the decks on Friday night. They’ll also be serving £6 margs all day Thursday-Sunday. On Saturday, a family friendly, pride-themed dog show by Kampus residents The Barkside will start at 11am, hosted by drag queen Alexa Tuppence and raising money for Galop, the LGBTQIA+ anti-abuse charity. Saturday afternoon sees the return of Love Party from 2pm-10pm, whose annual Pride parties have become something of legend, alongside a pop-up from wine bar Le Social, then on Sunday, 11.30am-4pm, Kampus regulars Ancoats Pop-Up will be holding a special market showcasing LGBTQIA+ traders.
13. Go on an adventure at the I’m A Celebrity Jungle Challenge
ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Jungle Challenge is 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.
14. 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.
15. Gorge on some cracking scran from some of the North’s best independent traders at New Century
Manchester’s new events, music, and food and drink destination, New Century, is set to open on August 26, just in time to kick off the bank holiday weekend, bringing with it some epic traders. The 10,000 sqft kitchens seat up to 300 people hosting six of the North’s best independent food operators as well as a coffee and a grab ‘n’ go concept. Located between Victoria Station and Shudehill in the 20 acre NOMA neighbourhood, New Century will house the likes of food traders Zumuku Sushi, Tallow, PLY, BaoBros23, Bahn Vi and a brand new concept, The Butty Shop, from The French’s Adam Reid.
Kicking off on Friday August 26th-Sunday August 28th, Stockport’s Moovin Festival will see a number of fantastic acts taking to the stage over the weekend, including Jazzy Jeff, Shy FX, Orbital, Sister Nancy, Sugarhill Gang, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Louie Vega and so many more across the weekend. There’s still time to pick up tickets for the weekend here.
17. 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 26th 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.
18. Get involved in this big bank holiday pizza-filled party at Common
With no work on Monday, Northern Quarter pizza bar Common is hosting a big bank holiday afternoon party on Sunday 28th August. You can expect tasty slices of Nell’s Pizza alongside drinks mixed with Wray & Nephew rum and more. Plus, resident DJ for the long standing Manchester event “Reggae Thursdays”, Stefan Fedeczko will be on the decks from 2pm-4.30pm followed by Dom Blood & Fire from 4.30pm-7pm. Ending the night on a high, Common’s favourite DJ The Colonel will playing plenty of tunes from 7pm til midnight. No tickets required, simply turn up and have a brilliant bank holiday.