10 Fun Things To Do In Manchester That Don’t Involve Alcohol

Laura Rogan Laura Rogan - Editor of Secret Manchester

10 Fun Things To Do In Manchester That Don’t Involve Alcohol

Taking part in Sober October? We got you.

Manchester truly is a fantastic city for the boozers among us. From bars, clubs and proper traditional pubs – we’ve got it all. But what if you actually don’t fancy a pint for a change? From immersive experiences to fun, family-friendly activities, we’ve rounded up the best alcohol-free things to do in Manchester.

1. Explore the new Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience

An event suitable for the whole family, Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience is coming to Arley Hall, Cheshire (just a short drive from Manchester), bringing some of the most fantastic beasts from both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises. Taking place throughout the Autumn and Winter, guests will be able to make their way through the magical trail, uncovering a number of creatures and memorable moments from the movies. If that wasn’t all, there’ll also be a fantastic village at the end of the trail, where you can fill up on food and drink, too. Get tickets here. 

2. Try your hand at batting for glory at Sixes Cricket Club

Credit: Sixes Cricket Club

A brand new experience in the city that’s perfect for drinkers and non-drinkers alike, Sixes Cricket Club is a fantastic place to meet with mates – and is home to a fun, interactive game where players must bat against the system in order to take home the glory. The fun doesn’t stop at the game, either, with a tasty BBQ-inspired menu up for grabs to enjoy afterwards. Find out more here. Sixes Cricket Club, Cathedral St, M4 3TR.

3. Indulge in fresh beans at Manchester Coffee Festival

Manchester Coffee Festival is back for another round, giving coffee lovers the opportunity to discover a huge variety of fresh new roasts. Consisting of over 50 exhibitors, guests will be able to taste a variety of coffees, watch talks – with artisan chocolate, snacks and food traders on-site, too. Get tickets here. 

4. Get the fright of your life at the Scarecity Horror Drive-In


Returning for Halloween 2021, Scarecity is back, so buckle up! Screening some of the best horror movies of all time (and family-friendly Halloween films!), the drive-in experience has a brand new theme, taking guests on a freaky, witchy ride for this year’s pop-up. Expect creepy live actors roaming around the site, an al fresco cinema, bar and food traders, as well as plenty of photo-opps along the way. Get tickets here. 

5. Catch a film and cosy up at the Everyman cinema

Credit: Everyman Cinemas

Fancy a night out with a difference? Everyman is the perfect spot to catch a movie, with a more special approach to going to the cinema. Expect cosy sofas in each screening room that you can snuggle up on, as well as food and drink service to your seat throughout the film and a menu of burgers, hot dogs and more to enjoy. It’s the cinema as you know as love it, but far more upmarket. Everyman Cinema, ABC Buildings, 23 Quay St, M3 4AS.

6. Throw a few axes at Whistlepunks

Credit: Whistle Punks

Got a bit of steam to blow off, without the booze? Whistle Punks is a pretty unique venue in Manchester, offering guests the chance to throw actual axes at the wall. Sounds fun, huh? Practise your technique and aim for the target, while keeping score if you’re the competitive type! Located within the Great Northern Warehouse, it’s ideally located for grabbing a bite to eat afterwards, with Almost Famous, Albert’s Schloss, Rudy’s and more right on its doorstep. Book your place here. Whistle Punks, Great Northern Warehouse, Unit 20, Atrium level, 235 Deansgate, M3 4EN.

7. Taste the best of the city on the Manchester Food Tour

Touring the city in the best way possible (aka, with food), Scranchester Tours take guests on a gastronomic journey, exploring some of the finest food and drink that Manchester has to offer. Starting at Mackie Mayor, the tour offers insights into Manchester’s past, present and future, exploring how food has changed over the years, and how the city became to be such a booming metropolis for the everyday foodie. It’s super interesting, and, of course, there’s plenty of food to sample, too! Get tickets here. 

8. Hang out by the water at the Marina

Credit: Alan Stanton/CC BY-SA 2.0

Fancy a bit of peace and quiet? Ancoats has become a destination in its own right, and the marina has quickly become one of our favourite inner-city escapes. Kick back in Cotton Field Park while taking in the calming waterside views, grab a loaf or a spot of brunch at Pollen, or try out a brand new natural wine at the marina’s newest bar, Flawd Wine.

9. Test your agility at the I’m A Celebrity Jungle Experience

Credit: ITV

Feel like doing something a little more active? The family-friendly I’m A Celebrity Jungle Challenge is now open, and it’s a great way to get involved with the hit show if you’re a fan. Emulating a number of beloved elements of the show, guests can take on a number of (bug-free) bushtucker trails while collecting gold stars, before claiming their crown on the winner’s bridge at the end. I’m A Celebrity Jungle Challenge, MediaCityUK, Quayside, Salford, M50 3AH.

10. Potter around the brand new the new RHS Bridgewater garden

Credit: RHS Garden Bridgewater

The brand new RHS Garden Bridgewater is brilliant for a day out stretching your legs, with tons of stunning areas within the garden to explore. Potter through the Chinese streamside garden, before stumbling upon beautiful areas such as the Paradise garden, the Moon Bridge water, and the lovely Weston Walled Garden, too. Find out more here. 

Read more: 9 Of The Cosiest Cinemas That Greater Manchester Has To Offer

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