Whether you’re planning to go out with a bang for the first bank holiday weekend of the year, or fancy something a little more low-key with family, you’re gonna be pretty spoiled for choice. From a unique rave in a swimming pool (because who can say they’ve done that!?) to wondrous trails happening across the city, here’s our guide to the best things to do in Manchester this Easter bank holiday weekend.
1. Kickstart the long weekend with a house music party in Grade II-listed swimming pool
Kicking off the Easter bank holiday weekend with a bang, Manchester 360° will take over Victoria Baths – and you don’t want to miss it. 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.
2. See Ian McKellen and John Bishop star in Mother Goose at The Lowry
Bolton’s very own treasure Sir Ian McKellen will return to our region with Liverpool star comic John Bishop this Easter in a fun and whimsical production of Mother Goose. The panto show will run at The Lowry Salford from Wednesday 5th – Sunday 9th April, as part of a tour of UK cities. The comedy was written by Coronation Street writer Jonathan Harvey, so the script is sure to be loved by us northerners, and promises to be a whole load of fun.
3. Scoff some of the best Easter treats in Manchester
Move over, Easter Eggs – we’re in the mood for something a little more fancy. From Biscoff Scotch eggs at Black Milk to Easter hot chocolates at Cocoa Cabana, fondant-filled chocolate bars at The Chocolate Cafe to hot cross bun doughnuts from Siop Shop, Manchester has got it all. Easter never tasted so good.
4. Take part in Chester Zoo’s free Easter egg hunt
Chester Zoo’s new ‘Really Wild Egg Trail’ will see six giant 3D eggs, each belonging to animals you might not expect to come from eggs, hidden around the zoo’s 128-acres. The educational adventure aimed at youngsters is free with zoo admission tickets or a membership and runs from April 1 to 16. Once explorers have found all six eggs, they can head to the zoo’s gift shop to pick up a free Nat Geo kids magazine worth £4.99.
5. Hear Hans Zimmer‘s greatest compositions at this Candlelight concert
Listen to some of the most well-known hits from the award-winning composer Hans Zimmer at this Candlelight concert at Hallé St Peters on April 6. From The Lion King to The Dark Knight to Sherlock Holmes, Zimmer’s compositions are musical portals to other worlds. Add in glowing candlelight and a stunning venue and it’ll feel like an elevated night at the movies.
6. Enjoy a family overnight stay at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel
Kimpton Clocktower Hotel has introduced a Manchester Family Weekender package where the whole family can enjoy 20% off a two-night stay in one of the hotel’s spacious ‘Double Double’ or interconnecting rooms, along with £50 credit to spend on food and drink in the Refuge restaurant and bar. Between April 7 and 10, kids can take part in a special Easter bank holiday Kimpton Clocktower Social Hour, which will see The Vault turned into a family fun area. Delicious sweet treats will be on offer including fresh popcorn and Grandpa Greene’s luxury ice cream, all to be enjoyed while kicking back and watching an Easter classic, Peter Rabbit.
7. Blow off some steam at Whistle Punks axe throwing experience
Need to truly blow off some steam this bank holiday weekend? Whistle Punks is the answer. There, guests are challenged with throwing axes at the targets, with a specialist team on hand to teach you how to axe throw like a pro. Book a slot here.
8. Climb up to Peel Tower and see sweeping views of Manchester and beyond
Looking for a fun and affordable day out this Easter? Get outdoors for some fresh air and explore Ramsbottom where you’ll find Peel Tower. Standing proud on Holcombe Hill, the tower named after Sir Robert Peel will be open to the public on April 7 for you to climb up. At the top you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the Manchester skyline and nearby countryside.
9. Listen to music from Peter Hook and The Light at this Easter homecoming concert
Having returned from their biggest ever North American tour, Australian, New Zealand and European dates at the end of 2022, Peter Hook and The Light’s first headline shows in 2023 see them back on stage at Manchester’s Albert Hall for three dates (April 6, 7 & 8) where they will be playing Joy Division’s two albums, New Order’s first two and both bands’ Substances in full. With the Easter Homecoming concerts marking the first time that the band have combined New Order and Joy Division’s individual albums in one show, pairing both the first and second albums of each band on separate nights, these performances offer a unique counterpoint for fans to compare both LP’s live.
10. Fill up on cheese on this epic Manchester Cheese Crawl
If you prefer a bit of cheese over chocolate, then indulge in some of the best local delights on the Manchester Cheese Crawl – where guests can discover some of the best local highlights within the city. Sample tons of brie-lliant cheeses along the way, alongside plenty of accompanying wine and crackers.
11. Enjoy all the fun of the fair at the Trafford Centre’s Spring Escape
Just in time for the Easter holidays, Spring Escape returns from April 1 and is open until June 4, outside the Trafford Centre’s Great Hall. Enjoy all the fun of the fair with vintage fairground rides and attractions for all ages, including Starflyer, Rock Rage, Waterballs, Waveswinger, Funhouse and even a giant inflatable clown. There will also be sweet treats like doughnuts, crêpes, and ice cream, as well as burgers, coffees and soft drinks available to satisfy your thirst and hunger after all that fun. If you want to add some extra excitement to your day out, Gandeys’ show GLITTERATI will also be running from March 31 to April 16.
12. See live music at ManiFest at the Oast House
The Oast House is bringing back their spring and summer festival, Mani-Fest, which officially kicks off this weekend. The free-to-attend music festival will run from April 9, with a packed roster of musicians lined up for the occasion. Guests can enjoy genres such as rock, pop, soul, R&B, funk, disco and blues, as well as delicious street food and flowing drinks.
13. Paint your own Easter egg at Ducie Street Warehouse
Forget the chocolate eggs this Easter Sunday – give the gift of artistic adventure! Head to Ducie Street Warehouse for a unique painting experience with Cork & Canvas, where their resident artist will guide you through painting your very own egg. It’s the perfect way to crack open your creativity and get your hands a little messy. Plus, you can show off your eggs-cellent masterpiece to all your friends and family. So hop on down for an eggs-traordinary time on April 9, between 11.30am and 2pm.
14. Scran delicious Easter specials at The Ivy Spinningfields
This Easter long weekend, hop to The Ivy to indulge in Easter treats for brunch through to dinner. Start your meal with our egg-sclusive cocktail menu. The Choco Nut Martini combines the bold flavours of vodka, Baileys, dark chocolate sauce, and cream. The Pineapple Rumble, is a tropical delight that blends pineapple rum, chocolate wine, and a hint of Campari, served on the rocks and garnished with fresh orange peel. Those who are egg-cited for dessert will enjoy The Ivy’s Peter Rabbit, featuring a delightful combination of carrot cake, chocolate soil, pistachio crumb, vanilla ice cream, candy floss, and a hint of fresh mint.
15. Catch a new movie 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!
16. Celebrate the start of spring with food, drink, music and good times at Kampus
With the lighter nights finally here, the spring and summer season at the Manchester canalside beer garden will officially get going on the long Easter Weekend. 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 – including Nell’s, Pollen, Great North Pie, The Beeswing wine bar and Yum Cha. 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. Both will kick-start on Friday 7 April, with an Easter Weekender of booze, beats and eats in store – with Nell’s Pizza also joined by guest DJs throughout the weekend.