Out of ideas of how to celebrate your or a loved one’s birthday in Manchester? Look no further than our guide below, including a whole range of activities from maximum effort to a literal walk in the park.
For a chilled birthday in Manchester
1. Grab a slice and a marg at Crazy Pedro’s
We love Crazy Ped’s here at Secret Manchester, and it’s actually perfect for a chilled birthday vibe with mates. Whether you’re into beer, frozen margs, or straight up tequila, Ped has everything! With pizzas available by the slice or as a whole, it’s so easy to lounge around for hours, especially outside when the weather complies, sipping, nibbling and chatting. Plus, the music is always great!
Crazy Pedro’s, 55-57 Bridge Street, Manchester City Centre, M3 3BQ | 1 Short Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester City Centre, M4 1AA.
2. Get your mates together for some yoga
Nothing says growing up like a bit of self care, and a yoga session could be perfect for you and some friends. There’s so many options around Manchester, but our favourite is the sessions put on by BLOK at Ducie Street Warehouse, as the surroundings are airy and gorgeous, and there’s always the option for coffee or brunch after! Ducie Street also offers yoga and brunch events every now and then, so if that sounds like the celebration for you, make sure to keep an eye on their website.
Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester, M1 2TP.
3. Picnic in one of our glorious green spaces
If you’re looking to have a wholesome birthday, why not take a picnic to one of Manchester’s lovesliest green spaces? Whether you’re in town and passing by Mayfield Park or Whitworth Park, or planning to travel further out to the likes of Tatton Park or Dunham Massey, there’s plenty of options of where to lay down a blanket and pop a scotch egg. Of course, this is pretty much reserved for spring and summer birthdays, it pains us autumn/winter babies, but it’s a lovely way to celebrate whilst keeping a low profile and the budget down.
4. Explore one of our prettiest nearby towns
Birthdays can be a great time to explore nearby places you’ve never been, and we have a wealth of beautiful and quaint towns around Manchester that provide a slower pace where you can saunter in and out of shops and sit down for a coffee. From Rivington and Worsley to the north west, to Marple Bridge and Marsden to the south and east, we’re pretty much surrounded by quaint beauty, and a day out, especially with family, could be the perfect way to mark a birthday.
5. Chill all day and night in the Northern Quarter
A Northern Quarter bar crawl, especially Thomas Street and Stevenson Square, is welcome any day, but particularly for a birthday treat. If the sun’s shining, lazing outside on the chairs and tables spilling onto the pavement is nothing short of heavenly, ordering drinks and food to the table, having a laugh and enjoying what life’s all about. Some of our faves include Cane and Grain, The Smithfield Social and Soup, but there’s so many to choose from! On a duller day, though, you can still soak up what the NQ has to offer, as all of these places have seating indoors too, and plenty of it. The funky interiors of Lost Cat or The Freemount are enough to draw you indoors, and the record selection and community feel of Eastern Bloc will have you falling in love with the city all over again.
6. Explore our wonderful museums and galleries
Sometimes, all you want for your birthday is a stroll round in the peace and quiet, taking in the culture of a gallery or museum, and we have plenty here in Manchester. Whether you’re a history buff, a music lover or love to catch a glimpse of the latest art, there’s something for you to explore. Manchester Art Gallery is always a winner, with its permanent and limited exhibitions, as well as a cafe and gift shop, or get lost for hours in Portico Library with thought-provoking displays.
7. Get crafty with a tipple
With a whole variety of places offering rug tufting, pottery, painting and more alongside a drink to inject some fun, Manchester is a wonderful place to have a one-of-a-kind birthday experience. If you love working with your hands, or just want a creative outlet, one of the Cork and Clay events or those at local independents can serve as the perfect birthday treat. Rock up with your mates, get the cocktails or pints in and have a laugh, then come away with something to remember the day by – and not just a hangover!
For a special birthday in Manchester
8. Have a slap-up meal at one of Manchester’s finest dining spots
Going out for a birthday tea is a classic, and you’re well catered for in Manchester as we have a huge range of restaurants ready and raring to serve up the goods. Whether you’re tempted by a posh selection of Chinese cuisine at Tattu, Michelin-approved excellence at The Sparrows, or elevated pub grub at The Edinburgh Castle, you’re really spoilt for choice. Plus, you’re more or less guaranteed to find somewhere that everyone in the group likes, but really, it’s your birthday, go where you want!
9. Spend your birthday evening with tipple in hand at a Manchester rooftop bar
We do a rooftop bar very well in Manchester, and there’s really nothing that feels more boujee on a summer’s evening than lounging with a tipple, overlooking the city. Options such as The Ivy and Terrace include covered areas for when the weather inevitably turns, and most others follow suit with outdoor-indoor spaces. It’s a pretty classy option and probably not one you do often, so why not make your birthday that bit more special with a rooftop experience?
10. Have afternoon tea in a posh spot
A more mature way to celebrate, an afternoon tea can be just what the doctor ordered for your birthday. Afternoon tea can feel really special and especially with what Manchester has to offer, it can be a brand new experience. From a Mad Hatter’s tea party at Richmond Tea Rooms, to a more traditional spread at one of our many hotels such as The Alan, or bars like The Refuge, cake and sandwiches can be washed down with your preference of booze or hot drinks, making it very much a personalised activity, so you get what you want on your birthday!
11. Have a birthday staycation at one of the best hotels in Manchester
Speaking of chic hotels in Manchester, perhaps you’re up for a city centre stay as a birthday treat, either with friends or your other half. Treat yourself at one of the many spas, restaurants and bars within some of our favourite hotels in the city, or just sit back and relax with the comfort of a cosy bed and gorgeous view. Of course, a hotel stay could be paired with any of these other activities to make a real occasion of it, but sometimes all you want is a night away from the mundanity of life.
For a fun-filled birthday in Manchester
12. Squeeze in all the drinks you can at bottomless brunch
Favoured by many a Manc, bottomless brunch tends to be a birthday winner. Depending on where you go, you can fill up on hours of limitless drinks and food, with the intention of leaving a little more disheveled than you came in. These brunches have had a renaissance in the city, with the majority of eateries and bars now offering them in some form or another, and usually come in at between £25 – £50 per person. Find the right vibe for you and you’ll probably not want to leave when your time is up, but thankfully there’s usually somewhere else to carry on to. Whether you’d prefer it classic, drag, or themed, there’s a bottomless brunch for everyone. One of our favourites is Turtle Bay, with quick service, delicious drinks and amazing food for a very reasonable £35 per person – lovely.
13. Get lost at an activity or games bar
Activity and gaming bars have become all the rage in Manchester recently, with new ones popping up almost weekly. One of these is perfect for groups of friends or family who really bond, or get very competitive, over a game, whether it’s darts at Flight Club, ping pong at Twenty Twenty Two, or shuffleboard at Se7en Brothers. Manchester has also seen a rise in escape rooms, where groups can work together to solve puzzles and escape, using their armchair detective skills to find the key. There are so many different themes, difficulties and locations, making an escape room perfect for any group of people who are up for it.
14. Cruise Manchester’s waterways on a birthday party barge
This is one we’re desperate to try ourselves, and with Manchester having so many canals the number of party barges is only growing. One in particular we want to point out is Drybarge, setting off from Dukes 92 in Castlefield, cruising up the canal to Old Trafford and back, and on Manchester United home match days the barge offers transport with a difference, beating the traffic on the roads. This barge in particular is available for private hire between 35 – 60 guests, and the cocktail barge is open to book more casually for smaller groups. It’s definitely one you won’t forget in a hurry and is definitely a unique and thoughtful birthday treat for someone who loves exploring Manchester, its wildlife and sights.
15. Get tickets for a lively birthday gig in Manchester
We’re proud of our music events, gigs and festivals in Manchester, and there’s always at least one that’ll tickle your fancy at any one time. A birthday gig can be perfect, allowing you to lose yourself and dance to your favourite music for a few hours, giving the gift of pure serotonin. You’ll no doubt remember seeing your favourite musician, or even a new one, on your birthday and is definitely a fitting way for a music-lover to celebrate.
16. Immerse yourself in a Candlelight concert
On a similar wavelength to gigs, specifically going to a Candlelight event will guarantee an experience you’ve never had before. Experience unforgettable tributes to music’s biggest stars including ABBA, Oasis and Hans Zimmer accompanied by the magical glow of hundreds of candles. Self-proclaimed film fanatic? Then the magical Candlelight concerts paying homage to iconic anime soundtracks heard in many Studio Ghibli films were practically made for you.
Manchester Cathedral and Hallé St Peter’s are the incredible venues setting the scene for these spellbinding concerts that allow you to hear your favourite music in a different and beautiful way. Some concerts are performed by entire orchestras, some by string quartets, and others include solo singers, but if you love music it’s definitely a winner. All illuminated under the light of countless candles in beautiful surroundings, Candlelight is a really special yet fun-filled way to spend your birthday.