Some much-needed inspo to make the most of the new year in lockdown.
So, we might have had a pretty bleak start to the new year already, but that ain’t stopping us from enjoying the (few) things our city still has on offer. Whether you choose to enjoy it from home, or spend your daily exercise allowance outdoors wisely – we’ve rounded up the best things to do in Manchester this January lockdown.
1. Get some fresh air on a lovely canalside walk
If there’s one thing we learned from the first lockdown, its that getting out for some fresh air is of the utmost importance for both boosting your mental health, and simply getting moving. And with a canal network like Manchester’s, there’s plenty of scenic routes right on our doorsteps to take advantage of, from the city centre right through to the suburbs. From lovely Castlefield to the quieter routes towards Worsley, opt to follow the canal somewhere new during your next walk.
2. Rent your own outdoor cinema
Pull up a seat and get comfy, Mancs, cos we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Making lockdown a little more bearable, you can now bring the cinema to you – with an at-home outdoor cinema which includes all the equipment you need for the ultimate movie night. Crack open a bottle of wine, grab the popcorn and snuggle up in front of your very own big screen – which can connect to Netflix and an HDMI output. Find out more here.
3. Treat yourself to a fancy at-home kit
Fed up of your signature spag bol? Treat yourself to a foolproof home kit from one of Manchester’s best restaurants. From Home By Nico’s culinary trip around the world (this month it’s Burgundy!) to Rosa’s Thai Cafe’s traditional take on Thai cuisine, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy.
4. Get stuck into a curious murder mystery
Consider yourself quite the sleuth? Put your investigative skills to good use and keep your brain ticking this lockdown with a virtual murder mystery – where you’ll be able to immerse yourself in a curious storyline with some highly suspecting characters, who you’ll need to interview and observe over the course of the sessions. From a murder at a sweetie empire, to a crazy zoo built on crime and chaos – there’s plenty to get stuck into this month. See more at home experiences here.
5. Have a go at Veganuary
If you’re yet to decide on what ‘New Year, New Me’ constitutes of this year, there’s still time to jump on the Veganuary hype. The month-long event, which aims to educate people on veganism, is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint – and an even better way to discover new food and restaurants while you’re at it. Need some inspo? Check out our guide to some of the best vegan spots in town that are perfect for even the meat-lovers among us.
6. Take on the Amazon bestseller list
Many of us turned to different forms of story-telling to get us through the first-ever lockdown, with reading becoming a new hobby for some, and a re-discovered hobby for others. If you’re not quite sure what to get stuck into next, you’re in luck – because Amazon recently revealed which books we all went mad for during 2020. From gripping fiction to autobiographies from the likes of Barack Obama, check out the list here.
7. Enjoy an online wine tasting session from the comfort of your own home
Still on a journey to becoming the wine connoisseur of your group? Learn about six sustainable wines with Borough Wines, which will all be sent to your address ahead of the session. Hosted by a friendly expert, the session will cover how each wine was made – and how the process affects the colour, taste, body and texture of the wine. Basically, it’ll provide all the fancy knowledge you’ll need to wow your friends once COVID does one. Book onto the session here.
8. Try your hand at doughnut-making
Another alternative way to avoid any baking fiascos, Bread Ahead will be hosting a delicious online session this month – where participants will be able to learn how to make the best-filled doughnuts and even a gingerbread house. Taking you step-by-step through the process, the session welcomes bakers of all abilities – and is sure to fulfil your sweet tooth afterwards when you get to chow down on the freshly baked treats. Book onto the session here.
9. Do all the things you wish you’d have done during Lockdown 1.0
Whether it was saving a ton of money you hoped to achieve, getting into shape or making moves towards a brand new career – the January lockdown has granted us a second chance to give things another go and start off the year on the right foot. Staying at home does have its perks, after all.
10. Make the most of your local green spots for a break away from the house
We might not be able to travel to any of the UK’s many beauty spots during this lockdown, but there’s nothing stopping us from appreciating what’s right here in front of us: Manchester’s many lovely little parks and gardens. Spanning across the entire region, us Mancs are not short of green spaces – which we’re lawfully allowed to explore under the current restrictions. Head out on a dog walk, pop for a jog – whatever floats your boat, just make sure you get some fresh air while we’re stuck at home.
11. Take the opportunity to have a spring clean
Fall back in love with your home with a much-needed spring clean – from an intense de-clutter of the crap you’ve collected during the past two lockdowns, and a good scrub of everything else. If you need a helping hand, we’ve got a guide for that (but of course!) which you can find here.
12. Re-decorate, again
Bored of your lockdown 1.0 shake-up already? May as well start over. Whether it’s a simple re-vamp such as re-arranging your furniture you’re in need of, or a brand new colour on the walls – there’s nothing better than new surroundings when we’re forced to stare at the same four walls day-in-day-out. For inspo, check out our guide to jazzing up a rented property here.
13. Unwind with a bit of Disco Yoga
If moving your body a little more was one of your New Year’s resolutions, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can ditch the boring jog for something a little more fun: Disco Yoga. Combining an invigorating yoga session with uplifting disco music (provided by a live DJ), the session will help you stretch, breathe and twist your way through the January lockdown. Get tickets here.
14. Get your brain ticking with an Aladdin-themed escape room
Want to keep your brain thinking while there’s nothing to do? Enter the Wonder Cave – a virtual escape room where you’ll need to think smart to find the magic lamp, completing a variety of puzzles and magical events to find your way out of the cave. The escape room can be completed at any time, and you can gain access here.