Looking for a unique way to spend a day or night out in Manchester? Think you’ve seen everything the city centre has to offer?
From bowling, to axe throwing, and everything in-between, there’s so many fun and quirky activities to get involved right across the city, so whether it’s a first date, a work night out, or you’re just looking for something to do on a rainy day, Manchester never disappoints.
Here’s 10 of the best activities to do in Manchester.
Whether you have a birthday party, family day out, or social with colleagues or friends, Tenpin is the place to be, with an array of indoor activities, from bowling and an arcade room, to pool and table tennis – there’s something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a night out with friends, the beer pong tables are a must to kick start your night (or day), and the karaoke is a massive hit too with thousands of songs to choose from and specially-designed music pods so you can sing your heart out, embarrassment free.
Experience one of the oldest games in the world while tucking into gastro pub BBQ-style food and delicious cocktails in a truly English style.
Using cutting edge elite sports technology, at Sixes Social Cricket, you can hire a batting net and take part in the world’s first immersive social cricket experience where you will be able to test your batting skills and compete with friends on a global leader board.
Downstairs is a cosy champagne bar area where bottomless brunch is served on weekends, with beer, cocktails and of course champagne to choose from.
In its own words, this place is for the “fastballin’, batswingin’, ballsmashin’ junkies”.
Base Bar has three batting cages to swing in and each has their own ground baseball graffiti style, so you can practise your swing over a few beers, and it’s also the perfect place to go with family and friends if you want a fun and interactive day out.
It offers a wide range of hotdogs and snacks, and also serves a fantastic array of cocktails as well as other drinks too, as well as a separate bar area if you have or haven’t got a batting cage booking.
This over 18’s bar is a strong favourite for gaming lovers.
NQ64 has all the retro games you can think of, as well as classic consoles, so whether you’re wanting a nostalgic experience being transported back to the 80s, or if you’re a video game addict looking for something quirky to try, NQ64 is the perfect place to go.
Dubbed as a geek’s paradise with an amazing atmosphere, there’s also great-value drinks with a strong craft beer and cocktail menu, making it a must-go for anyone.
Think classic darts but reinvented 21st century-style, as with a range of exciting multi-player games, Flight Club will keep you hooked and entertained for hours. Whether you’re an expert at darts, or a complete beginner, everyone has a chance of winning when they play thanks to the multiple throw lines to choose from.
Flight Club has a distinct vintage feel about it, and this unique bar offers a range of bespoke cocktails, tasty pizzas, and delicious sharing boards too.
Junkyard Golf Club
This is a firm-favourite with many people.
This mini crazy golf club has three themed courses, and each course has a fun name and a different vibe to each of them.
As the name suggests, all the courses are made up from pre-loved and reclaimed junk.
Gary is a course full of tyres, written-off cars and scrapyard junk littered around the course. Pablo is a tropical madness filled with pirate speedboats and skulls. Finally, Bozo is full of creepy clowns and circus freaks with a ferris wheel and hall of mirrors.
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? Treetop Adventure Golf is Manchester’s answer to the tropical rainforest with the Tropical Trail course. Or maybe crumbling temples and ancient ruins take your fancy? Visit the Ancient Explorer course instead.
Each course has 18 holes, and is the perfect way to spend a day with friends and family.
After playing 18 holes, you can take a seat in The Market for well-deserved tropical cocktails, local beer and amazing jungle grub, and there’s also freshly handmade pizza available by Pizza Cabana too.
If you want a night filled with competitive games to soundtrack of rock and indie music, then Roxy Ball Room is the place to be.
Dubbed as an adult’s playground, choose from and array of classic ball games like bowling, pool table tennis, beer pong, or ping pong to name a few, it’s the perfect place for parties and groups and has an amazing cocktail menu and drinks packages to finish off a fun filled night of great games, food, drinks, and music.
With fantastic service and great value for money, what’s not to like?
Point Blank is the UK’s first shooting speakeasy, and has over 200 simulated shooting scenarios to kickstart your night with a bang. The range has five real replica guns and the systems are used worldwide to train professional shooters, so the experience is fully-immersive and has exceptional realism.
There’s also a great range of bespoke cocktails, beers, wines and snacks to enjoy while shooting or if you’re just at the bar.
This is the UK’s first urban axe throwing venue, and with the vibrant venue, expertly-trained instructors, and a suitably-pumped-up soundtrack, you’ll be slinging axes like a pro by the end of the night.
Perfect for going with a group of friends, or if you want a quirky date idea.
Don’t worry if you’ve never thrown an axe before though, as you’ll have a blast and learn something new, and you can also get involved with mini competitions against your own group, or other groups to become the axe throwing king or queen.
Featured Image – NQ64
Gigs & Nightlife
Freight Island announces huge free festival series for summer 2024
Freight Island has just announced a huge line-up for its Spring/Summer season, with a free-to-attend festival series.
The huge urban street food and entertainment destination, located at Depot Mayfield just beyond Manchester Piccadilly, will be back open in full swing from Easter weekend.
The huge venue is promising its most electrifying season yet, announcing names including David Rodigan, Greg Wilson, Crazy P (DJ set), Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) and more.
Spring/Summer will run all the way through from April until September, inviting world-renowned DJs and Greater Manchester’s finest home-grown talent to the stage.
Also on the line-up will be Norman Jay, Luke Una and his special É Soul Cultura, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, and more.
Support acts will include some of Manchester’s most celebrated DJs and collectives, including the likes of Sit N Bun, Supernature Disco, SK1 Records, Me Gusta Collective, Semi Skimmed Edits, Ghosts of Garage, to name a few.
On top of all the Spring/Summer programme, Freight Island will have regular events like the pop club night Cherrybomb, mass karaoke, and creative workshops.
There’s a new food trader in the mix, too – Liverpool institution Pattersons, a chicken shop that brines its meat for more than 24 hours in a special herb and spice mix, is joining Freight Island.
Pattersons is joining existing traders like Voodoo Ray’s pizza, Lazy Tony’s Lasagnaria slab shack, Mega Gyros, Payal (Indian and Nepalese street food), Fuku (pan-Asian street food), open-fire cooking at Smoking Coal and cheesecakes on a stick from Oh My Cheesecake.
And on Sundays, there’s the return of the Seconds carvery, with unlimited access to all the trimmings.
Freight Island will fully reopen from Friday 29 March. Its opening hours will be from 4pm until 11pm on Thursdays, 4pm until 12am on Fridays, 12pm until 12am on Saturdays, and 12pm until 10pm on Sundays.
You can book free tickets for Freight Island’s Spring/Summer programme here.
Freight Island’s Spring/Summer 2024 programme in full (A-Z)
Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) | Crazy P (DJ Set) | David Rodigan | É Soul Cultura | Greg Wilson | Huey Morgan | Luke Una | Maurice Fulton | Norman Jay | Optimo (Espacio) | Raw Silk DJs | Scarlett O’Malley | Sophie Lloyd | Todd Edwards | Abigail Ward | Andi Hanley (Body & Soul) | Andrea Trout | Atiké | Aveidt | Body Heat DJs | Ché Wilson | Contrast DJs | DJ Khanfu | DJ Rasp | Elen Beth Abdi | Freakout Collective | Ghosts Of Garage | Girls On Film | Groovement | Hannah O’Gorman | Hattie Pearson | Jack Farrington | Jamaste DJ | James Greenwood | Jamie Groovement | Jesterman | Jim Bane (Eastern Bloc Records) | Jimmy The Gent | Joey T | Joy Social | Keltoi | Lil’ Minx | Marco Giannini | Marley Reid | Massey | Matty F White | Me Gusta Collective | Metrodome | Mikey D.O.N | Mr Cryptic | Mr Wilson’s Second Liners | Muddy Feet | Neil Clarke (Clapdown Records) | No Boundaries |Nossa! | Obeka | Pablo Blanquito (Idle Moments) | Paul Hughes (Eclectic Circus) |Ralph Ninety | Rev. Austin | Rich Reason | Rick Donohue | Room 90 | Ruby Swallow |Semi Skimmed Edits | Sit N Bun | Sk1 Records | Stells Selections | Sticky Heat |Supernature Disco | Swindells | The Colonel | Tommy P-nuts | Yohan
MTV EMAs to be held in Manchester for first time ever at Co-op Live arena
The MTV EMAs are to be held in Manchester for the first time ever this year, and are set to take over the new Co-op Live arena.
MTV has just officially confirmed the exciting news this morning (29 February).
Now in its 30th year, MTV’s annual European Music Awards is one of music’s biggest global celebrations, by far, and now it’s been confirmed that the 2024 show will be staged right here in our city to mark its long-awaited return to the UK.
Broadcasting from Manchester’s brand-new, purpose-built live entertainment arena, Co-op Live, on MTV in over 150 countries on Sunday 10 November 2024, the show is set to honour and unite music’s brightest stars.
The show will additionally be available in multiple territories on Pluto TV, and on-demand on Paramount+.
Announcing this morning that the iconic awards show is set to take to Manchester’s biggest stage later this year, Bruce Gillmer, who is the President and Chief Content Officer of Music at Paramount+, said: “The MTV EMAs is one of the biggest global music celebrations, bringing together local and international artists to create iconic performances for fans around the world, and with music at the very heart of Manchester’s rich creative heritage, this vibrant city will guarantee a supercharged 2024 show.
Gary Roden, who is the Executive Director and General Manager at Co-op Live, has added that the new venue is “honoured” to host this year’s EMAs and “become part of the MTV story” as a way of cementing Manchester’s standing within the global live entertainment industry.
Cllr Bev Crag, the Leader of Manchester City Council, says MTV “could not have picked a better place” for this year’s EMAs.
MTV EMAs to be held in Manchester for first time ever at Co-op Live arena / Credit: Supplied
“As a city that is known the world over for our legendary music scene, MTV could not have picked a better place for this year’s EMAs.
“With the expertise, experience, and reputation we also have for delivering successful, world-class events, we’re confident Manchester will provide a superb platform for the best MTV EMAs yet, and we look forward to welcoming MTV and the global music community to our city for what is set to be an epic celebration of music and artists.
“Manchester meets MTV – we can’t wait.”
We're thrilled to announce that the 2024 @mtvema will take place in Manchester here at Co-op Live on 10 November 2024 🎤
As Manchester‘s newest – and soon-to-be the UK’s largest – live entertainment arena nears closer to officially opening its doors and welcoming visitors, Co-op Live has been slowly revealing the music acts set to grace the stage as part of its huge launch season jam-packed full of events.
Bolton comedian Peter Kay will open the arena with a special show this April, and countless other major world-renowned artists have all been announced as performing throughout the rest of the year – including Eagles, Olivia Rodrigo, Jonas Brothers, Kings of Leon, Eric Clapton, Take That, Simply Red, Niall Horan, and so many more.
But the MTV VMAs is the first event of its kind to be announced on the venue’s eclectic and ever-growing lineup.