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16 Brilliant Things To Do This Bank Holiday Weekend In Manchester

By Laura Rogan

Enjoy a long weekend of freedom.

Feeling a bit of a buzz ahead of our first Bank Holiday of freedom? Us too. Now that most restrictions are lifted, we can get excited for three whole days of exploring the city – with plenty of shenanigans taking place across Manchester. From new restaurant openings to actual in real life shows, here’s the low down on the best things to do this Bank Holiday weekend in Manchester.

1. Experience the city in a whole new way with the Manchester Cheese Crawl

Consider yourself quite the cheese lover? Explore the city in a unique way with the Manchester Cheese Crawl. The dairy good experience takes participants on a trip around the city tasting some of the finest cheeses (and wines, of course!), while learning about the craft of cheese making and its flavours. The fun tour is taking place each weekend in May, and you can book your place here.

2. See the city in full bloom at the Manchester Flower Show

Credit: The Manchester Flower Show

Spanning across the entire city between May 29th and June 6th, visitors will able to experience a stunning trail of flowers and greenery around every corner – with areas such as Ancoats Cutting Room Square, New Islington Marina, Corn Exchange, Spinningfields, First Street, Manchester Cathedral, the Village and Stevenson Square taking part. Expect stunning installations at every turn – including a blue-themed NHS tribute at St. Anne’s Square, a huge installation of wonderful wisteria at Circle Square on Oxford Road and a pop-art inspired explosion of colour down New Cathedral Street. Find out more here.

3. Experience an al fresco wonderland at SecretCity

Consisting of an alfresco beer garden and dining area, a drive-in cinema (that you can enjoy outside of your car, too!) and a fantastic bar that serves up beers, burgers and more – SecretCity is the ultimate outdoor destination to visit this summer, with some incredible blockbusters lined up over the summer months. From classics such as Grease and Dirty Dancing to more modern hits such as Mamma Mia! and The Greatest Showman – there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy this bank holiday and beyond, with tickets on sale here.

4. Chow down on Cottonopolis’ Yatai Sundays

Credit: Cottonopolis

Revamping their beloved Sunday lunch offering now lockdown is over, guests can enjoy Cottonopolis’ brand new Yatai Sundays, where around 16 plates of street food will be served to each table – packed with bao buns, dumplings, sushi and so much more. Brought round on a trolley, guests will be able to enjoy a number of rotating dishes, as well as some sweet treats for dessert, too. Costing just £26pp, it’s the perfect alternative to Sunday lunch. Find out more here.

5. Enjoy a candlelit tribute to Aretha Franklin

40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks / Collection ChristopheL via AFP

The Queen, Aretha, will be honoured with a fantastic edition of Fever’s best-selling Candlelight Jazz, which will feature a talented group of musicians who’ll be playing some of her biggest hits. Taking place at the stunning Manchester Cathedral, the venue will be completely bathed in candlelight – creating a unique ambience never experienced before. Tickets are on sale now, however, you’ll want to act fast as they’re selling out quick for this weekend.

6. Check out the brand new Blues Kitchen

Credit: The Blues Kitchen

Opening just last week, The Blues Kitchen is finally here – and it’s a venue Manchester has been crying out for for years. Bringing live blues, jazz, burgers and bourbon to the city, the fantastic new hotspot consists of both a bar and a restaurant, as well as a brilliant concert hall – with weekly shows currently in the calendar. Inspired by New Orleans itself, guests can expect beautiful attention to detail in the decor, an incredible BBQ-infused menu and tons and tons of whiskeys on offer. Find out more.

7. Experience Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by candlelight

A stunning musical affair, and one that is very welcome after months in lockdown, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons will be brought to life by the seriously talented London Concertante. Bathing Manchester Cathedral completely in candlelight, guests will be able to experience the fantastic acoustics and architecture in a unique way, whilst enjoying the sounds of some of the most iconic compositions of all time. Get tickets here.

8. Go to the cinema at long last

Credit: Everyman Cinemas

It’s been an absolute age, but cinemas have finally reopened. And while the film industry is still scrambling back on its feet after worldwide lockdowns, there’s a number of new films you can watch this weekend – including Peter Rabbit 2, Judas and the Black Messiah, Cruella, Nomadland and a new instalment to The Conjuring franchise, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Not sure which cinema to go to? Check out our guide to the best here.

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9. Book yourself and your friends a summery beach hut

Credit: Great Northern Beach Club

New at the Great Northern Beach Club, guests can now social distance in style – thanks to the venue’s brand new summery beach huts that seat groups of six. The venue will be showing football games over the summer and serving frozen cocktails, beers and more, alongside live DJ sets, proper Ibiza vibes and drinks packages. Find out more here.

10. Check out the Viennese Waltz by candlelight

Taking place this bank holiday weekend only, Fever’s best selling Candlelight series will host a stunning rendition of Viennese waltzes, with Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Schubert and Brahms all gracing the programme for the anticipated event. Lighting up Manchester Cathedral with ample candlelight which will flicker among the sounds of the Nutcracker, the experience is perfect for those looking for a more peaceful bank holiday this weekend. Get tickets here.

11. Enjoy endless Rudy’s pizza with La Discothèque

Credit: Rudy’s

Fancy celebrating our first proper bank holiday in style? Go disco at the Albert Hall – with a fantastic bottomless event serving up endless Rudy’s pizza, cocktails and more – with performances from DJ Paulette and the Feel Good Choir. Not only that, but La Discothèque will have some of their very best Queens and flamingos in tow, too, who are sure to get the party started. Find out more here.

12. Check out the NQ’s cool new darts bar

Credit: Dead Eye Dart Club

New in town within the popular Twenty Twenty Two ping pong venue, guests are led through a secret door into the brand new bar, where you’ll find dark, dive bar vibes with a hint of attitude. Enjoy beers, hooch, and more while escaping the hustle and bustle of the city down in this basement style venue, all the while challenging your mates to a game of darts. Dead Eye Dart Club, Twenty Twenty Two, The Basement, Little Lever St, M1 1EZ.

13. Eat well at the Kantina Weekender

Credit: Escape to Freight Island

Kantina Weekender, which is set to take over Escape to Freight Island this weekend, will see a number of acclaimed Manchester restaurants and chefs team up for the special occasion, including Sam Buckley (Where The Light Gets In), Simon Martin (Mana), Mary-Ellen McTague (The Creameries), Gary Usher (Elite Bistros) and more, who’ll be teaming up with some of Manchester’s best restaurants – including Madre, Higher Ground, Tast, Dishoom (and many more). Allowing guests to share the joy of food and drink, the weekender will be a celebration of all things food – with a fun roster of live entertainment and tasting sessions also in store. Find out more.

14. Try out street food at the Refuge’s new outdoor terrace

Credit: The Refuge

Hosting a series of epic street food takeovers with EATMCR this summer, guests can expect mouthwatering tacos from Birria Brothers Tacos this weekend, as well as baked delights from Levenshulme’s Long Boi’s Bakery. The gorgeous terrace, which was revamped especially for post-lockdown shenanigans, is fully covered, with heaters, twinkly fairy lights and bloody good music also in store. Find out more here.

15. Book a table at one of Manchester’s newest bars and restaurants

Credit: American Pies

Missed the simple wonder that is dining out? Manchester’s restaurants are back – but not only that, we’ve also welcomed a whole host of brand new bars and restaurants onto the scene, too. From drool-worthy Chicago-inspired pizzerias to decadent Mediterranian venues – there’s so much to try this month in Manchester. Check out our guide to the best new openings here.

16. See guest DJs at Ducie Street’s Weekend In

Celebrating the return of indoor hospitality, Ducie Street Warehouse is set to bring us all together once again, with a fantastic roster of guest DJs taking over their lounge this weekend. Across the four days and nights, the warehouse will see takeovers from Manchester’s most exciting DJs, renowned record shop Eastern Bloc, and a community radio station. Guests will also be able to enjoy the brand new South facing terrace, with a fantastic all-day menu boasting brunch dishes, dinner, cocktails and more.

Read more: 10 Of The Liveliest Bars For Live Entertainment And Music Right Here In Manchester