The winter sun may be rearing its head occasionally at the moment, but any Manc – born or adopted – knows the rain is never far away. So if you’ve lured your mates over with the promise of fun in the city in the sun, only to have your plans scuppered by the pesky weather, fear not! We’ve got you covered with a host of rainy day-friendly activities.
1. Tackle an Escape Room
Breakout offers a number of themed rooms including Harry Potter fan-favourite Enchanted, which begins in the Wizarding section of the local library, where you find a mysterious book. As you start to thumb through it you are transported to an enchanted forest, filled with a host of weird and wonderful creatures, where you stumble upon a house made of gingerbread and sweets that definitely isn’t a trap.
Should you enter the house or stay away? Will your sweet tooth get the better of you? Can you escape the trap laid out for you, before whatever set it returns to eat you? Find out for yourself. The Escape Room also offers a number of other themes, too, including an old-fashion detective murder mystery, a twisted mad laboratory and so much more. Breakout, 51 Church St, M4 1PD.
2. Polish up your darts skills at Flight Club
Cocktails, pizza and interactive darts. Flight Club has a whole lot of fun in store for your visit. From ‘Push for Drinks’ buttons at the tables, to a whole host of competitive games to challenge your mates to (as well as various photo-opps!), you’re sure to be in for a good night. Flight Club, Ship Canal House, 98 King St, M2 4WU.
3. Master the art of snow sports at the Chill Factore
Love a taste of adrenaline? Chill Factore boasts the UK’s longest indoor ski slope and has plenty of activities on offer for those who like to live life on the wild side (or have simply had their skiing holiday cancelled due to COVID!). Learn to ski or snowboard, or take on one of their mammoth team building activities, including climbing up to their very own summit, building sledges and more. Chill Factore, 7 Trafford Way, Trafford Park, Stretford, M41 7JA.
Perfect for a mates date or work outing, axe throwing is the immensely satisfying and surprisingly social activity that gives you the chance to embrace your inner Viking. Experienced throwing instructors will get you throwing like a pro in no time. Then once you’ve got the hang of it they’ll take you and your group through a tournament until the king or queen of axes is crowned. Get tickets here. Whistlepunks, Great Northern Warehouse, Unit 20, Atrium level, 235 Deansgate, M3 4EN.
5. Go to the cinema
Need to hide away from the rain for a little while? Nothing beats a classic day out at the cinema – and Manchester has some seriously cool spots to catch a movie. From the uber-cosy Everyman that’s decked out with plush sofas and offers bar-to-sofa service, to the Printworks super-smart Vue cinema – there’s a cinema for everyone. If that wasn’t good enough already, Vue is currently offering an epic £4.99 ticket deal, too, which you can claim right here.
6. Play some retro arcade games
NQ64, based on Short Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, is home to an underground drinking den where guests can play retro arcade games and classic consoles from their youth while enjoying the beverages of their adulthood. NQ64, 9 Short St, M4 1AA.
7. Perfect your aim at Point Blank Shooting
Offering up games, food and tasty drinks, Point Blank Shooting is a great place to catch up with mates, with a number of shooting simulation games to play for couples and groups. Chow down on tasty nibbles such buttermilk chicken and nachos, or take advantage of the diverse cocktail menu where you’ll find something for everyone’s tastes. Point Blank Shooting, Basement, 78, Deansgate, M3 2FW.
8. Wind down with games and drinks at Roxy Ball Room
Roxy Ball Room is a one-stop destination for fun out of the grim weather, providing a ton of games that’ll keep you entertained for hours. Try your hand at American Pool, start a Ping Pong tournament, beat your friends at Shuffleboard or get lost in a maze of Crazy Golf – all while washing your rain-induced blues away with cocktails and beer. Roxy Ball Room, 1ST, 76-78 Deansgate, M3 2FN.
9. Show off your skillz at Junkyard Golf
Drink and putt your way through Junkyard Golf’s outrageous and colourful course, with jungle, fairground and scrapyard themes throughout and hilarious little touches to keep you entertained. Choose from either theme for your game, and enjoy cocktails packed with sweets as you compete with your friends for the crazy golf crown (which doesn’t exist, but a little competition never hurt nobody!). Junkyard Golf, 2 First St, M15 4RP.
10. Have a ping pong party at Twenty Twenty Two
Twenty Twenty Two has long attracted in-the-know Mancs when the sun decides to hide away for a while, and is tucked underground so you can truly escape the dreadful weather. Walk in and be greeted with a welcoming bar surrounded by comfy, socially-laid out chesterfield sofas – where you can kick back and relax while chatting with friends, before heading into the next room where you can book out a ping pong table for a while and play til your heart’s content. Twenty Twenty Two, The Basement, Little Lever St, M1 1EZ.
11. Enjoy a bowling match at the hella fun Lane7
New kid on the block Lane7 is way more than just a bowling alley – adding party vibes, industrial decor and tons of other things to do under its roof. From peanut butter burgers at Fat Hippo, to karaoke, shuffleboard and cocktails, Lane7 is one of the city’s many go-to destinations for mate dates – with a little something to entertain everyone who walks through the door – whether it’s food, drink or games. Lane7, Unit 3, 235 Deansgate, M3 4EN.
Opening just this summer near Spinningfields, Alcotraz is Manchester’s newest quirky place-to-be, allowing guests to step into a theatrical cocktail experience that takes place in a prison. Pop on your very own orange jumpsuit and sneak your way into your cell, before being served contraband cocktails from a fellow ‘inmate’. Just watch out for those pesky wardens… Book it here. Alcotraz, 1A Watson St, M3 4EE.
13. Practise your batting skills at Sixes
Opening just a matter of weeks ago at the Corn Exchange, Sixes is the perfect place to retreat to, whatever your age – with fun, simulation cricket games for everyone to enjoy (regardless of skill!). Chow down on BBQ-inspired grub, enjoy cocktails and craft beers (grown-ups only, of course!), or take on your friends in the batting cages, where you’ll be opposing an interactive simulator that bowls out the balls. Sixes, Cathedral St, M4 3TR.
Also published on Medium.