We’ve officially reached the final month of summer at lightning speed, meaning we have no other choice but to truly make the most of it. Sorry, bank balance. From epic events to get you on the dance floor to food festivals and a good dose of summery feels, here’s our guide of the best things to do in Manchester this August.
1. Tuck into Dim Sum and roasted meats at this new stunning Chinese restaurant
The ever-growing Kampus neighbourhood is set to welcome yet another new resident this summer, Yum Cha – who will be joining the likes of Nell’s, The Beeswing, Pollen, and Madre as part of the bustling complex. Their first venture into Manchester following success in Liverpool, Yum Cha will serve authentic Chinese small plates, roasted meats and tea, adding a new, Instagrammable experience to Manchester’s Asian food scene.
There are few artists so iconic that you can identify their songs from just a few seconds of a melody, or a snippet of a lyric. However, Amy Winehouse is definitely one of those acclaimed artists. Her distinctive tones have left a lasting legacy in the jazz and pop worlds, and this August, Amy Winehouse will be paid tribute with a Candlelight concert in the city. Tickets are already on sale to this sublime evening of music – you can get yours here.
3. See the nocturnal animals at one of Chester Zoo’s extra special evening tours
Ever wondered what goes on after dark at some of the UK’s biggest zoos like Chester Zoo? Now’s your chance to witness first-hand. Launching a new sunset special – allowing guests night-time entry – Chester Zoo will host just four wildlife-filled evenings this summer, where guests will be treated to sights of the zoo’s many nocturnal animals who’d usually be hiding throughout the day. The new Into The Night sessions mark the first time Chester Zoo has opened its gates after hours, allowing visitors to adventure around the park from 5:30pm – 9pm as the sun sets, with two sessions taking place on August 12th and 13th.
4. Dine in one of these stunning lakeside domes at Heaton Park
Following the success of its laid-back waterside dining domes, Heaton Park has relaunched its beautiful al fresco dining space for the summer, bringing back the large clear domes for the occasion. Overlooking the picturesque lake, guests can enjoy a unique afternoon tea al fresco, with clever touches such as shaded glazing and air conditioning to keep guests cool all summer long. In addition to lakeside dining, guests can also hire out family-friendly Swan Pedal boats, traditional rowing boats and all-new Electric craft boats, which you can float in across the lake at your own leisure.
Alcotraz has to be Manchester’s most weird and wonderful bar yet. Putting guests behind bars in their very own cells (and very own orange jumpsuits!), visitors get to try out tasty cocktails made with ‘contraband’, all behind the backs of the pesky wardens that patrol the cell block. It’s seriously a fun and theatrical experience, and you can book your slot here.
6. Visit the Trafford Centre’s retro beach and fairground
The Trafford Centre is celebrating summer with a new, family-friendly instalment – which includes its very own sandy beach (complete with deck chairs), plenty of fairground rides, and even a cocktail bar for the grown-ups. Located outside the food court, guests are free to turn up whenever they ch00se, however, if you do fancy booking ahead, you can find out more here.
7. See Mayor Andy Burnham spinning the decks with a live DJ set at Ramona
Cancel whatever you have planned as the Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham will be playing a setlist of Manchester classic tunes at Ramona on Swan Street on Wednesday 3rd August. Expect lots of New Order, Manchester classics and 90s summer jams from the mayor. And if you’re a loyal fan of Ramona then you’ll know the bar serves up £5 margaritas on Wednesdays from 4pm til midnight. Talk about a good mid-week night out! Find out more here.
Moovin Festival is back for another year in Stockport with an incredible line-up of acts across the August Bank Holiday weekend. They are once again taking over Whitebottom Farm, just a 30 minute drive away from Manchester City Centre, for a glorious weekend of camping and music. With impressive previous headliners like Naughty By Nature and Basement Jaxx, there were big boots to fill, and Moovin Festival hasn’t disappointed for 2022. Tickets are available here.
9. Watch the Love Island final with friends with plenty of refreshments at The Shack
Immersed in this year’s series of Love Island? Gather your mates and head to The Shack watch the final episode of Love Island and see who are crowned the winners. You’re going to need to book fairly swiftly to get a space, but once you’re booked in, there’s 90 minutes of cocktails, sharing platters, and island drama to enjoy. Plus, did we say the pornstar martinis are bottomless? In fact, so is the prosecco, and the frozen strawberry daiquiris, and the bellinis. Find out more here.
10. Immerse yourself in yummy Italian grub at Festa Italiana
Big fan of Italian grub? Celebrate the beloved cuisine at this August Bank Holiday’s free Festa Italiana festival, which will see a number of local Italian traders take to Cathedral Gardens, serving up delicious grub, tasty aperitifs and insightful masterclasses. Stay tuned with the latest on the event updates here.
The Luna Cinema will once again be taking over iconic venues up and down the country including Tatton Park for another summer of cinema under the stars. Screenings at Tatton Park start on Friday, August 26 with a showing of the 2021 adaptation of West Side Story. This is followed by the classic John Travolta and Olivia Newton led Grease on Saturday August 27. Then last but not least for the August Bank Holiday offerings is the renowned Moulin Rouge on Sunday 28. More info and tickets available here.
12. Celebrate our city’s LGBTQ+ scene at Manchester Pride
Manchester Pride returns again this year, with an impressive line-up in store for the return of Manchester Pride Live. Expect the usual party antics in the village, a stunning Candlelight Vigil, live music from Mel C, Ginny Lemon’s dog show and more, and a number of marches across the weekend.
13. Drink natural wine by the waterside at this pop-up bar
Le Social Wine is popping up at Nell’s at Kampus this month for its second birthday, providing the very best natural and organic wine selection. On August 6th, 4pm til late, guests will be able to sit by the water while enjoying tasty pizza slices and listening to some great summer tunes. Le Social Wine will also be joined by house and disco collective Supernature, the queer pop and dance from Love Party, the sunny vibes of Friends in Common and closing with a genre bending set from resident DJs. And it’s free to attend!
Zip up your green parka and slip on your shades. All the roads that you have to walk to see Candlelight: A Tribute To Oasis may be winding, and all the lights that lead you there could be a little blinding, but it’ll be worth the trip. Ok, enough with the shameless lyrics, this enchanting event will be sure to light up your evening, listening to a unique twist on the chart-topping music of Oasis in the stunning surrounds of either Manchester Cathedral. Fans of the epic British rock band who fancy hearing their hits like they’ve never heard them before grab your tickets here.
15. Celebrate the bank holiday weekend at this free music festival at The Oast House
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.
16. Hit up Heaton Park for a huge food and drink festival
Following mega success back in Leeds, the North Leeds Food Festival is set to spread its wings this summer, bringing Manchester the first-ever Heaton Park Food & Drink Festival. Kicking off this August 20th-21st, Mancs will be able to enjoy a gastronomic gathering like no other, with tons of incredible activities and, of course, plenty of grub to get stuck into across the two-day event. The dog-friendly event will combine great food, drink and live music this summer, bringing with it an ocean of deck chairs where friends and family can gather for the occasion – while soaking up the summery atmosphere that will be accompanied by the scent of locally-made street food.
Ok, so it might be bingo – but it definitely isn’t like your Gran’s game. Complete with buff butlers and seriously talented Drag Queens, guests can expect free-flowing prosecco, hilarious performances, and plenty of prizes to be won throughout.Get tickets here.
18. Gorge on these brand new Indo-Chinese specials at Bundobust
Bundobust has created specials inspired by the fiery fusion of Indian and Chinese flavours that began in Kolkata and swept across the globe, as well as offering a modern Bundobust take. The four new dishes, which are available until the end of August at Bundobust Brewery and Manchester Piccadilly restaurants, celebrate the historic culinary craze of crossing Chinese cooking styles with classic Indian spices and vegetables. Plus, the restaurant and brewery has also introduced their first ever tofu dish, that sounds delicious.
19. Indulge in £1 oysters and discounted drinks to celebrate 10 Tib Lane’s first birthday
Celebrating their first year on August 4th, the team behind one of Manchester’s coolest bars is throwing a birthday party and everyone’s invited. The three-storey restaurant and bar located just off Cross Street 10 Tib Lane will kick off their birthday party with free fizz and oyster giveaways at 5, 7 & 9pm, as well as serving Tequila Verdita shots to accompany £1 oysters all night. Plus, the bar and restaurant will be launching happy hour from 4pm to enjoy alongside free bar snacks and DJ’s all night to create a summer party to remember.
Keep an eye out for flickering lights, distorted walls and strange creeping tendrils this summer. A portal into 1985 Hawkins will be opening at a currently secret location in London and you can now get tickets for the immersive adventure. Stranger Things: The Experience invites fans of the show to pull up their retro sports socks, steel their nerves and step through the screen to become part of the supernatural story. You’ll encounter fan-favourite characters, explore iconic sets, uncover hidden secrets and even tuck into some totally tubular themed food and drink. One thing is for sure, this will be worth the trip to the capital. Get tickets here.
Also published on Medium.