For a moment there, it seemed like we’d never leave winter. But finally, here we are – enjoying some milder temperatures and a newfound excitement for the months to come. Whether it’s a breath of fresh air you fancy after months of hibernation, or a night out at one of the city’s most unique experiences – we’ve rounded up the very best things to do in Manchester this April.
1. Enjoy the best of classical ballet at a beautifully-candlelit Manchester Cathedral
On April 29, Candlelight Ballet will pay tribute to one of the most important Russian composers that has left a great impact on music and ballet. The program for Candlelight Ballet featured selections of Swan Lake. Tchaikovsky’s booming music is masterfully played by a talented string quartet, as the ballet dancers arabesque their way around the stage, under flickering candlelight.
2. Head to the beach
From the beautiful yet super busy Formby, to underrated wonders such as Crosby Beach – there are plenty of lovely beaches just a short drive from Manchester to explore this spring. Check out our full guide here.
3. Dance the night away at this house music party in a Grade II-listed swimming pool
Kicking off the Easter bank holiday weekend with a bang, Manchester 360° will take over Victoria Baths – and it’s one event to add to your list of things to do in Manchester this April. The Friday and Saturday of the long weekend (April 7–8) will see mega DJs Len Faki and Sam Divine each lead an extended set at the Grade II-listed swimming pool, spinning the best electronic music tunes all evening long. Both nights will transform Victoria Baths’ stained glass windows and stunning architecture with hypnotic project mapping and incredible light shows, plus the state-of-the-art, 360° sound system will have the floor pumping.
4. Visit Kampus’ waterside beer garden
With the lighter nights finally here, the spring and summer season at the Manchester canalside beer garden will officially get going this month. For the first time, tables and chairs will be nestled throughout the giant tree ferns and palms, with visitors able to sample the delights of the impressive foodie community. The neighbourhood is also welcoming two new brands – SEVEN BRO7HERS Brewing Co and Three Little Words – who are both set to open at Kampus for summer-long runs.
5. Tuck into a Simpsons-inspired doughnut burger at Fat Hippo
There’s a new brand collaboration between burger joint Fat Hippo and doughnut connoisseurs Project D, famous for their mega giant doughnuts and viral videos. The collab sees Fat Hippo’s signature brined, double-fried, boneless, buttermilk chicken seasoned with chilli and lime, smoked bacon, blueberry jello and herby cream cheese sandwiched between the classic ‘Homer’ pink iced doughnut – promising a party in your mouth! The limited edition Simpson’s-inspired doughnut burger is available until April 22 at Fat Hippo located within Lane7 at Great Northern Warehouse and can be enjoyed with tangy chilli and lime fries.
6. Travel on one of Britain’s fanciest trains with a Champagne afternoon tea
Previously part of the Orient Express group, the Northern Belle train, will make its first ever stop at Rochdale station in Greater Manchester this April. The 1930s pullman-style locomotive provides a nostalgia trip for train enthusiasts and foodies alike, with absolutely everything perfected to a tee. You can enjoy a champagne afternoon tea, a boozy 7-course lunch and live entertainment, dependent on the package chosen. Once the Northern Belle has graced Greater Manchester’s Rochdale station, it will glide through Yorkshire spots such as Hebden Bridge and Brighouse, before taking a picturesque 5-hour tour around the Yorkshire Dales, all whilst passengers delight in their chosen treats.
7. Bounce on over to this massive open air inflatable park
Family venture Open Air Bounce is the brand new inflatable park in Over Hulton, Bolton, perfect for keeping the kids entertained during their free time. Packed full of bouncy castles, slides, obstacle and assault courses, the park has 14 different inflatables, aiming to provide kids of all ages with lots of opportunities to play, bounce and burn off some energy. Open Air Bounce has also added a beach and some fairground rides to enjoy alongside the inflatable fun.
8. Enjoy a Sunday roast or bottomless brunch at this new gastro-style pub in Didsbury
Adding to Manchester’s impressive list of beautiful pubs is The Wishing Well, a new gastro-style pub opening in Didsbury Village this April. Diners can expect traditional, well-loved British dishes using local, high quality produce with firm favourites and pub classics on the menu. Revamping the former site of The Botanist in Didsbury, the venue has a brand new look and feel with lovely interior features like chandeliers and cosy fireplaces.
9. Check out Stockport’s floating pizzeria
Next time you fancy a glorious spring walk, follow The Waltzing Matilda up the Macclesfield Canal, where you’ll find an idyllic canal boat serving some of the best Neapolitan pizza around. If that wasn’t all, there are plenty of tasty sweet treats, too – making for the perfect stop-off after a casual walk.
10. Visit Freight Island to try food from brand new traders
Escape To Freight Island is set to reopen at Depot Mayfield in Manchester on April 1 with 12 new kitchens joining the 55,000-square-feet food hall. Continuing to champion the independent, the 12 new kitchens at Freight Island 2.3 will see some new food concepts, as well as some of the much-loved and celebrated traders from the North West and beyond coming to Depot Mayfield including Oh My Cheesecake, Choo Choo, Lazy Tony’s Lasagnaria and Mia’s Arepas. The redesigned outdoor terrace will also house a new free to use Pétanque pitch, plus visitors can expect a viewing balcony overlooking the 6.5 acres Mayfield Park, monthly pop-up markets, as well as a gaming and sports bar.
11. Climb aboard Manchester’s fun cocktail cruise
The perfect drinking experience for spring, Cocktails Ahoy regularly sails the Castlefield canals, bringing tasty cocktails and epic DJ sets to the exclusive boat. Each month expect a new theme, from the prohibition glam of Peaky Blinders, to all-out 90s – accompanied by an ever-changing menu of delicious drinks.
12. Get your cheese fix on the Manchester Cheese Crawl
Cheese fans rejoice, because there’s an entire tour dedicated to the good stuff – right here in Manchester. Eat your way around the city, stopping at some of the best cheese sellers in the city, from continental classics, to the very best the North West has to offer. Get tickets here.
13. Try luxurious hot chocolates and milkshakes from Knoops
Serving 20 different flavours of hot chocolate, Knoops has proved to be a wild success in London’s Covent Garden, Cambridge, and Brighton, and it’s bringing the choccy fun up North to Manchester this month. Knoops specialises in hot chocolate, dubbing themselves as the masters of “expertly crafted chocolate drinks”. Their menus list percentages of the chocolate from 28 percent white to 44 percent milk all the way up to 70 percent dark and 100 percent extra dark.
14. Watch the latest blockbuster at the cinema
If it’s a chilled one on the cards for you this weekend, then there are plenty of fantastic flicks to enjoy at Vue and ODEON cinemas in Manchester. From the brand new John Wick film to the freshly released Scream VI movie, there are plenty of huge Hollywood hits to get stuck into right now. Plus you can enjoy discounted cinema tickets via Fever, too!
15. Visit Manchester’s brand new local nature reserve filled with wildlife
Adding to our go-to green spaces is Broadhurst Clough, located in the north of Manchester, which has become the city’s newest designated Local Nature Reserve (LNR). Broadhurst Clough, part of the Irk Valley Corridor, has become the tenth LNR in Manchester, forming part of the North Manchester nature network linking to Moston Fairway and Boggart Hole Clough. The 14-hectare area contains Dean Brook which trickles through the lower level of the Clough in a steep-sided woodland ravine. The area consists of a mosaic of amenity grassland, species-rich rough grassland and marshland. Mature poplars here sit alongside young copses of birch and alder woodland which have been planted in partnership with the City of Trees.
16. Celebrate Sakura season with a cherry blossom-themed dessert and cocktails
The Ivy Asia Spinningfields will be welcoming in the spring season by launching an unmissable Blossom Nights event series and limited edition specials. Guests will be able to immerse themselves in the spirit of Japan at The Ivy Asia with bespoke dishes including a Sakura Cherry Blossom dessert, and cocktails created in collaboration with The House of Suntory. The Ivy Asia has put a Spring twist on their famous platter which features Passion Fruit Doughnuts, White Chocolate & Yuzu Cheesecake and their Mini Samurai, to name a few.
17. Fill up on Easter chocolate
The time has finally come for the annual flood of Easter-themed treats – and we’re so ready. We’re talking crème egg stuffed cookies at Disco Biscuit, chocolate-stuffed ‘scotch eggs’ at Black Milk and fluffy Easter cupcakes at Hey Little Cupcake. Or, just head to your local shop and devour all the Easter Eggs.
18. Explore all the cherry blossom spots in the city
There are a number of things we love about the spring. Warmer weather, the smell of dew in the morning… But our favourite part of all? The sight of gorgeous, pink cherry blossom. Adding a huge dose of beauty to any landscape, the trees pop with blossom for a very limited time, with stunning pastel pink flowers that flow in the wind. So get outdoors and catch the cherry blossom before it’s gone for another year.
Also published on Medium.