The summer holidays of 2021 have proven a little more challenging for families than usual.
First, we had to wait for the lockdown lifting dates to roll around before we could start booking activities. And then – right on cue – the storm clouds gathered and Manchester has been soaked ever since.
According to the Met Office, this torrential rainfall has set the tone for the final stretch of summer – with the rest of the month grimly forecasted to be something of a washout.
It’s at times like these we should consider ourselves fortunate we’ve got the National Football Museum right on our doorstep.
Situated inside in the uniquely-shaped Urbis Building at Cathedral Gardens, English football’s flagship cultural venue is playing host to a range of interactive exhibitions this month – offering four floors of indoor family-friendly activities all under cover.
Not only is there loads to see and do here (away from the unseasonably wet and windy weather) for parents and kids alike – it’s also the perfect way to whet your appetite for the new football season.
Here’s what’s happening at the museum right now…
The National Football Museum is home to a fantastic Play Gallery right now which lets you put your skills to the test with a series of interactive challenges.
You can also host your own mini competition with a penalty shootout or game of table football; have a go at being a goalkeeper on Shot Stopper; or try stepping into the shoes of a Match of the Day Commentator.
Hall of Fame exhibition
The National Football Museum’s English Hall of Fame highlights the achievements of those who’ve made an outstanding contribution to football – celebrating players and managers whose work, talent and dedication have “made football the game of our lives”.
Guided 30-minute tours take place daily at 2pm.
Euros craft activities
Not all of us are ready to forget about the Euros just yet.
The National Football Museum is hosting a range of craft activities themed around the magic of the tournament that gripped the nation in June and July – and everyone is free to join in.
Make your own football timeline / Rewrite the Rules
Ever wondered where all the football rules actually came from?
At the National Football Museum you can read up on the original Laws of the Game and even create your own with the ‘Rewrite The Rules’ activity.
If you were in charge, what would you change?
Tours take place across the whole museum every opening day – allowing you to enjoy the best possible insight from one of the venue’s expert curators.
(Every Day 11am)
Right across the museum, there’s also plenty of photo opportunities.
You can pose alongside the Premier League trophy – won by Manchester City in 2020/21 season, the first ever England football team strip, the infamous Diego Maradona ‘Hand of God’ shirt, and the match ball from the 1966 World Cup Final – the year football came home.
Other exclusive summer exhibitions include Still Gleaming: Euro 96 in Pictures – remembering key moments during the year in which the continental tournament was hosted on home turf – and a new museum gallery dedicated to football’s first female superstar – Lily Parr.
You can find out more about everything that’s happening at the National Football Museum during the remainder of the summer on the official website.
Every year, the British Street Food Awards highlights the very best chefs from the scene – and this summer, the northern heat will be held right here in Manchester.
Hosted by Manchester’s biggest and friendliest street food operator GRUB in partnership with newcomer Circle Square, the city will welcome the Northern Heat of the British Street Food Awards (BSFA) on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August.
This year, the line up includes local favourites Unagi street food and suhi, 2020 Best Burger winners Porco and Kara’s Kitchen, who is known for serving up paellas with a twist.
That’s not all. You’ll also find authentic Sri Lankan food from Archchi’s, Posh Street Food from former Master Chef Professional Matei Baran, Shoot The Bull, plus more from Ted’s tacos, Skullduggery, Pellizco and DOSA.
Taking place at Circle Square from 12 noon until 8pm, across two days some of the best street food traders in the region will come together for the event with a fully-stocked beer bar from North Brewing Co.
Food fans will have a chance to sample some of the best street food traders from across the region and cast their votes for the People’s Choice over the weekend alongside a stellar line-up of judges, including former BSFA champion Claire Kelsey of Ginger’s Comfort Emporium inside Afflecks.
The event in Manchester will mark the last of four regional heats, at the end of which the winners will be chosen by the general public and expert judges.
The winners will then go on to the grand finals in London next month.
On the Friday 26 August, GRUB will also host a smaller collection of street food vendors to help build up the excitement for the awards the following day.
The weekend of street food at Circle Square is free to attend and will take place from 26 to 28 August just off Oxford Road.
Feature image – Food Unagi / Supplied
Things To Do
Manchester’s Stranger Things-themed bottomless brunch adds more dates
There’s a new bottomless brunch in Manchester, and it takes inspiration from the hit Netflix tv series Stranger Things.
The popular show, now in its fourth season, has become something of a cult classic amongst its followers, so when Rendition announced last month it would be hosting a one-off ‘upside down’ bottomless brunch event fans clamoured to get tickets.
The event was so in demand it sold out completely last time, so now, Rendition has revealed that it will be bringing back its Stranger Things-themed brunch for another weekend in August .
Bringing the hit TV show to life with themed drinks, 80’s fashion and a solid all-vinyl soundtrack, the specially-exnteded event will take place on Saturday 13 August from 12-4pm.
Fans of the Netflix favourite can step into the world of Stranger Things with Joyce’s fairy lights on the walls, Jonathan’s vinyl collection for the classic tracks and even the Hawkins high 80’s fashion on all members of staff – with customers invited to get involved too.
With a select number of ‘golden tickets’ on offer, those who act fast can 90 minutes of non-stop Stranger Things-themed cocktails and a brunch dish of their choice for just £15 per head.
For those who don’t manage to get their hands on one of these, the brunch will be priced at £30 per person.
Drinks on offer as part of this specially-extended Stranger Things-themed brunch will include a special Stranger Things-inspired upside-down cocktail.
This limited edition cocktail, comprised of Beefeater gin, dry vermouth, grenadine, lemon juice, cranberry and elderflower, will be served literally upside down in a substantial feat of drinks engineering.
Further drinks on offer from Rendition’s theatrical-style cocktail menu, meanwhile, will include Red Hot Fun, made up of Ciroc red berry, cranberry and chilli, and The Dance, which consists of vanilla vodka, strawberry and bubblegum.
As for food, guests will be able to choose a dish each from the new brunch menu, which features a host of tried and tested favourites including homemade guacamole on toast with red onion and coriander, 8oz rump steak and eggs, eggs benedict and eggs florentine, all paired with bottomless booze.
Diners can currently head to Rendition’s website and sign up to be sent a golden ticket for £15 each, ahead of this Saturday’s brunch. Please note that tables will need to be booked in advance to use the discount.