The second bank holiday in only a month is finally here, and you’d honestly think we’d been hibernating for years with how excited we are. Whether you plan to hit up the town or fancy something a little more wholesome, here’s our guide to the best things to do this May bank holiday right here in Manchester.
1. Chow down on delicious cheeses at the Manchester Cheese Crawl
Consider yourself quite the turophile (or cheese lover, in normal people speak)? Then this one’s for you. Mapping out the most brie-lliant cheese spots across the city this Saturday, the Manchester Cheese Crawl is set to combine some of the tastiest cheeses, wines and glorious sights of Manchester – with two hours of hopping from venue to venue discovering the finest Wensleydales, Camemberts and more. Tickets are selling fast, however, you can get yours here.
2. Potter around one of these lovely villages near Manchester
If you fancy a bit of a leg stretch this weekend, look no further than the North West itself. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy some more picturesque sights outside of the city, with a number of beautiful villages just a tram or train ride away. From canal walks in beautiful Worsley to the quiet and quaint Marple Bridge, here’s our guide to some of the prettiest villages near Manchester to explore.
3. Enjoy the final weekend of The Chocolate Factory
After a sweet, sweet couple of months here in Manchester, The Chocolate Factory is set to say goodbye after this weekend. Haven’t had chance to experience it for yourself yet? Take up this final opportunity to wander the sugar-filled wonderland, which is packed to the brim with incredible photo-opps for both kids and adults alike to enjoy. Dive into the glow-in-the-dark ball pool, sample the sweeties and get your best pose on while you discover each and every hidden corner. Get tickets here.
4. Escape to the prison-themed cocktail bar, Alcotraz
If you fancy trying something a little more unique this weekend, Alcotraz has just the thing. A cocktail bar with a prison-themed twist, guests are invited to smuggle in their own liquor at Alcotraz, where a sneaky inmate will help you create your very own contraband cocktails – in your own private cell, no less. Book your cell here.
5. Enjoy a free summer festival at Escape to Freight Island
Escape to Freight Island is hosting a free summer festival this Sunday, where guests will be able to enjoy live DJs all day and night, alongside delicious food from their brand new roster of food traders. Expect delicious Sunday roasts, al fresco BBQ, street food, pop-up shops and even a kids disco, as well as live artists, promenaders and more. Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, M1 2PZ.
6. Let it all out with a bit of axe-throwing at Whistle Punks
Had a stressful week? Let it all out with a bit of axe throwing at Whistlepunks. A unique bar in the centre of town, Whistlepunks shows guests how it’s done before each session, when guests will then be able to let loose by throwing real-life axes at the targets. Think you can beat your mates? Get tickets here.
7. Get stuck into a bottomless pizza brunch with live DJs at PizzaLuxe
PizzaLuxe has recently launched an epic new weekend offering, where guests can enjoy pizza, bottomless cocktails and live DJs – perfect for the bank holiday weekend. From 5pm on Saturday 30th April and Saturday 7th May, Manchester-based DJ collective, Bad Fun will be taking over the decks, setting the mood for a fun afternoon of Roman pizza and free-flowing cocktails for 90 whole minutes. PizzaLuxe, Manchester Arndale, R10 Halle Place, M4 3AQ.
8. Book in a date night with your SO and try out the new menu at The Edinburgh Castle
The Edinburgh Castle has launched a brand new menu just in time for the bank holiday weekend, with upmarket dishes such as stone bass, beer-battered fish and chips, 28-day matured rib-eye steak, pork belly, and even a 950g Tomahawk steak to share. It’s the perfect place for a date night, with a romantic candlelit mood throughout, alongside luxurious pub-style decor throughout. Edinburgh Castle, 19 Blossom St, Ancoats, M4 5EP.
9. Get down to great music at the R&B Brunch
If you’re up for a good old boogie this weekend, the R&B Brunch at Bierkeller provides just that. Offering five whole hours of great music, guests can party the day away alongside one hour of bottomless rum punch, with everything from TLC to Mary J. Blige on the playlist. Get tickets here.
10. Sit among the cherry blossoms and celebrate Hanami while enjoying spring cocktails at Cottonopolis
Cottonopolis is celebrating Hanami this month, with not only beautiful cherry blossom at every turn (making it a very pretty place to drink this bank holiday), but a specially curated cocktail menu especially for the occasion. The bar and restaurant is also giving away tons of prizes, too, which can be won by leaving your own message of gratitude in the spirit of Hanami. Just ask for an envelope from the bar team for the chance to win a whopping £500 tab, cocktails and so much more. Cottonopolis, 16 Newton St, M1 2AE.
11. Join in the fun at Albert Schloss’ Haus Party
Manchester’s party destination Albert’s Schloss is bringing the good vibes this weekend, amplified by live DJs, bands, table-top dancing and fantastic Alpine-inspired food all weekend long. This Sunday, expect the likes of DJ Paulette, Albert’s Haus Party Band, Bertie’s Band and more for a night of bank holiday debauchery. Albert’s Schloss, 27 Peter St, M2 5QR.
12. Chill out with a cheap night out at the cinema
If there’s a chilled one on the cards this weekend, you’ll be pleased to hear that Fever is offering seriously cheap cinema tickets – costing just £4.99 per person to catch a movie at Vue. Whether it’s the new The Batman that’s on your watchlist or the new Fantastic Beasts film – there’s plenty to keep you entertained this bank holiday. Get your £4.99 tickets here.
13. Enjoy live music at The Oast House’s ManiFest
The Oast House is hosting a free music festival this weekend – known as ManiFest – complete with tons of performances all night long. Expect sounds of rock, pop, soul, R&B, funk, disco and blues, alongside sets from resident DJs, as well as delicious street food, summery cocktails and so much more. The Oast House, The Avenue Courtyard, M3 3AY.