A brand-new intimate and immersive dining experience is coming to Manchester this year as Lightopia takes over Heaton Park once again.
The award-winning light and lantern festival will return to the city’s largest park for the third successive year on 18 November, but this time round, accompanying the enchanting light installations on the illuminated trail is a brand-new dining experience – Dine in the Light.
Nestled in the park’s woodland and surrounded by lanterns, Lightopia’s illuminated ‘Dining Domes’ make for a unique and atmospheric dining experience for families, friends and couples.
The 10 dining domes will serve up an imaginative three-course menu of classic seasonal dishes, all with a whimsical touch and curated by the three-rosette chef former head chef of Alderley Edge Hotel in Cheshire, Chris Holland – who is best known for his traditional British cuisine with a scientific edge.
Chris likes to get experimental with his recipes, so you should expect the unexpected – think smoke, sparklers, and so much more.
Some of the winter-warming starters on the menu include roasted pumpkin soup, Swiss cheese and Riesling fondue served with torn ciabatta for dipping, and vegan Buffalo cauliflower wings, while main courses feature everything from a wide range of hanging kebabs, to slow-cooked chicken dishes and sticky glazed short rib of beef.
For those with a sweet tooth, some of the dessert highlights have to be these two Manc inspired treats – the Manchester Trifle with layers of Vimto jelly, vanilla sponge, and mulled blackberries, or a Heaton Mess Meringue loaded with fresh cream, baked peaches, and raspberries.
The drinks menu include mulled wine, a selection of festival cocktails, wine, craft ales, and lager.
You can drink, dine, and be merry in your very own private dining dome – which sits up to six or 12 for up to 90 minutes – before or after heading off to discover the enchanting Lightopia light trail in all its glory.
A children’s menu is also on hand, and it’s served with a sprinkling of magic too.
The Dine in the Dark three-course menu and a drink comes to £38 per person, and all dome dining experiences must be pre-booked, with three dining time slots to choose from – 5pm, 6:30pm, or 8pm.
Also new for Lightopia Manchester 2021, The Stables Courtyard Bar and Dining will offer a more casual dining experience with different food and drink venders taking over converted vintage horseboxes to serve up everything from tasty, gourmet soft shell tacos, to delicious stone-baked pizzas, and festive beverages and theatrical cocktails, all served under a heated canopy in the courtyard.
Walk-in on the evening or to guarantee your spot reserve a seat, and it’s £5 per person – which is fully-redeemable against food and drink on the night.
Bookings for the Dine in the Light experience are now available here.
Lightopia will be open to the public from Thursday 18 November – Monday 3 January. The event is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except during school holidays, and it will also close on Christmas Day.
Opening times are between 5pm to 10pm, and last entry is 8:30pm daily.
Advance tickets are priced at £20 for adults (or £22 on the day), £13 for children (or £15 on the day), and £60 for families of two adults and two children (£68 on the day). Children under three can go free.
Essential carers of disabled visitors can attend for free, the disabled visitor pays the normal admission fee.
The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 15 – 21 August 2022
Summer is in full swing across Greater Manchester, and August is already jam-packed with lots of exciting activities.
With the sun shining and temperatures hotting up right across the region, and schools out for the six-week holidays, the events calendar is continuing to be filled with plenty different things to getting up to this week, so once again, we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide.
As always, some of the events we’re going to mention are completely free, while others will set you back a few pounds, and many will need to be booked in advance.
Here’s our top picks.
Remarkable Neighbourhood Cocktails & Events by Maker’s Mark
Manchester City Centre
Monday 15 August – onwards
A handful of Manchester’s most-popular hospitality names have joined forces to bring a series of entertainment events to neighbourhoods across the city this month.
To celebrate the launch of its ‘Remarkable Neighbourhood’ summer incentive, Kentucky handmade bourbon brand Maker’s Mark has rallied together some of Manchester’s best-loved bars and restaurants to head across the city and serve up their take on the brand’s signature Gold Rush Cocktail.
Cocktail masterclasses, live music nights, quiz nights, Kentucky food pairing events, and bar takeovers will also be on their way to the city’s residential hotspots over the next few weeks.
Adventure golf, escape rooms, and 2-for-1 tickets to catch the newest blockbusters are just some of the things families can be getting up to at Printworks this summer.
With schools across Greater Manchester now out for the summer holidays, the city centre’s landmark entertainment complex is promising “family fun and fantastic food” – with a wide range of activities and offers for parents, carers, and guardians looking for exciting ways to keep the kids occupied to make the most of.
From film buffs, to puzzle masters and tee-off champions, Printworks assures there’s “something for everyone” of all ages to get stuck into over the next six weeks.
Find out more here.
The Manchester City Stadium Tour
Monday 15 August – onwards
Families can kick-off the summer by going behind the scenes at Manchester City’s Stadium to “experience the magic”.
Expertly-guided by City’s Tour Guides and filled with interesting stories, facts, and anecdotes from throughout the club’s history, Manchester City’s ever-popular immersive tours of the Etihad Stadium are running throughout the summer, and they have recently been rated in the top 1% of Tripadvisor experiences in 2022.
Tickets are now on sale, and will set adults back just £25 each, while it’s £15 for those under 18, and anyone under the age of five can go for free.
Manchester‘s New York-inspired ‘sky park’ at Castlefield Viaduct has finally opened to the public for the first time ever.
After the National Trust announced its ambitious vision to create an urban green space in the heart of the city centre by tackling the challenge of “greening” the Grade II-listed Castlefield Viaduct and celebrate the history of this well-known landmark over half a year ago, visitors are now able to enjoy the park in all its glory.
Thousands of plants, shrubs, trees, and more have been planted to transform the giant 330-metre steel viaduct into an elevated park.
100 people a day are able to visit the Castlefield Viaduct, and entry onto the structure will be free, but a booking system will be in place to help manage numbers.
Manchester Originals and The Hundred is back at Emirates Old Trafford this weekend.
Sports fans will get the chance to see some of the world’s best cricketers, watch a handful of the hottest music acts, and tuck into some amazing local street food, as the city’s 100-ball cricket franchise, Manchester Originals competes in another home game v Welsh Fire at Emirates Old Trafford in The Hundred tournament on Tuesday.
The Hundred’s is one of the best sporting and entertainment events this summer, and it gives people the chance to watch the city’s very-own Manchester Originals live in action throughout the season.
Find out more about the return of The Hundred and Manchester Originals here.
Neapolitan Pizza Workshop
Thursday 18 & Friday 19 August
GRUB MCR and amazing team from Igloo Pizza Kitchen will be leading two informative workshops, one for adults on Thursday and one for kids on Friday, to show you how to make a beautiful Neapolitan pizza in a relaxed and fun environment.
In the workshop, the Igloo team will guide groups through their ingredients and processes for making the perfect Neapolitan pizza, and guests will learn to stretch and top their own pizza and will be given a recipe card to take home.
Each ticket includes all the ingredients to make a pizza to stay and eat at GRUB.
Looking for some new restaurants and bars to try out that have just opened in Manchester city centre this month?
As ever, there are a host of exciting new restaurants and bars opening in Manchester this August.
From a brand new Withington venue from the team behind Cottonopolis and The Edinburgh Castle, to the first bricks-and-mortar site in six years for supper club favourite Stretford Canteen, we’ve got plenty of good things to shout about.
Think kitchen residents, new street food stalls, and all-you-can-eat steak and sushi restaurant and loads more.
You can read our round-up to find out where to put on your list this month here.
Summer at ZOUK
Zouk Tea Bar & Grill
Thursday 18 August
One of Manchester’s best-loved restaurants
Zouk is starting the weekend early this summer with lots of entertainment and special offers on drinks every Thursday evening, with the whole of the city invited to celebrate, soak up some sunshine on the huge outdoor terrace, tuck into award-winning Indian cuisine and enjoy traditional entertainment.
Fancy coming face to flipper with magnificent giant green sea turtles as you join them for a lunch date you’ll never forget?
This is your chance to go and feed Ernie and Cammie the green sea turtles, who are SEA LIFE Manchester’s friendliest and hungriest residents. Suitable for people eight and older, the SEA LIFE Manchester ‘Turtle Feeding Experience’ includes priority access into the centre on the day of your choosing, and the 15-minute feed will be with a knowledgeable trained Aquarist to help you enjoy your experience and tell you about Ernie and Cammie’s diet and habitat.
You will then also be able to explore all the other amazing creatures cared for in the centre before and after your feeding experience too.
You can find more information, and book your place here.
Chippy Nonstop | All Night Long
Friday 19 August
As part of its popular ongoing summer live series, city centre bar, restaurant, nightlife destination, and live music venue Joshua Brooks is welcoming acclaimed techno DJ Chippy Nonstop for an all-night-long set this Friday 19 August.
Tickets are now available to buy online, setting you back just £11.20, and you must be 18 or over to gain entry to the venue.
One of the standout experiences on the 2022 East Lancashire Railway (ELR) events lineup has to be the chance to go on a “roarsome adventure” through the Greater Manchester countryside this summer holidays, where you can “get your teeth into some Jurassic Lark” and go on a prehistoric expedition on “a time-travelling steam train” to meet with a herd of adorable baby dinosaurs.
The Dino Adventure returns on Friday 19 August, and it means you can get up close with the cute cretaceous critters, and maybe even give the T-Rex a tickle under the chin.
Tickets are priced at £13.50 for children and £18 for adults – and you can grab yours here.
The Village Screen Pop-Up Cinema
Friday 19 & Saturday 20 August
You can watch two cult-classic films inside an empty Edwardian swimming pool – and one of Manchester’s most unique events spaces – this week, as The Village Screen takes over Victoria Baths for another one of its popular pop-up cinema events.
Owners of the innovative events company behind The Village Screen say they fell in love with Victoria Baths when they did their first pop-up cinema there back in 2016, and since then, have held over 40 events inside the prestigious space – with themed screenings on Valentine’s Day and throughout the summer, to nostalgic festive favourites at Christmas.
The 1987 romantic classic Dirty Dancing, and Wes Anderson’s 2014 cult film The Grand Budapest Hotel, are the two films on show this week.
Manchester-based street fashion and footwear retailer size? is bringing some huge headliners to the city as part of a new music festival this weekend.
What first began as a series of intimate in-store sessions has now grown into size?’s very-own day festival, and it’s building on the retailer’s reputation for representing a range of up-and-coming talent from multiple genres.
Taking place right here in the retailer’s hometown of Manchester, the size?sessions all-day festival will take over the O2 Victoria Warehouse on Saturday, and chart-topping rappers AJ Tracey, Nines, and Knucks will play headline sets.
Heaton Park Food & Drink Festival is returning for 2022.
Gearing up to be a proper celebration of local food and drink, festival-goers are invited to pull up a deckchair, grab a drink, and soak up the warm atmosphere – with everything from live chef demos, artisan markets, 25+ street food traders, plenty of independent bars, live music, performing arts, art displays, and more to make the most of.
There’s also a fun fair, inflatable land, and a wide range of free activities for kids too.
To mark the end of summer, Box on the Docks – which has pitched up at MediaCityUK once again this year – is throwing its very-own ‘Family Weekender’ on 20 & 21 August.
Promising to bring a whole host of fun for all, there’ll be everything from the chance to challenge your family to giant lawn games of Jenga, Connect 4 and dominoes, to sitting back and enjoying the music with free entertainment from kids entertainers, musicians, craft activities, and even storytelling with the Salford Literacy Trail.
The two-day event is free for all to attend, and you can find out more here.
South Terrace Yoga with FORM MCR
King Street Townhouse
Sunday 21 August
One of Manchester’s most popular hotels is hosting another one of its yoga brunches on the terrace overlooking the city’s skyline this weekend.
As part of a ‘Summer Wellness’ events series geared towards those who are keen to start the day with the best intentions, King Street Townhouse is inviting you to “stretch with the city skyline as your backdrop” at an exclusive yoga and brunch event on its impressive sixth-floor terrace.
The one-hour class is run by FORM – a personal and group training community in Manchester that focuses on finding a sustainable way of achieving fitness goals – and it’s suitable for all abilities.
The class will be followed by brunch with a smoothie to sip on once you’re done, and you’ll even get an ESPA and Perricone MD skincare goodie bag to take away with you too.
Featured Image – Heaton Park Food & Drink Festival
Mani from The Stone Roses is throwing a fundraising party with his wife following cancer diagnosis
Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield and his wife Imelda are throwing a massive fundraising night to raise money for The Christie and The Stockport Charitable Trust.
The wife of the Stone Roses legend was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in November 2020, and has been undergoing gruelling treatment and surgeries ever since.
The pair, who have nine-year-old twins together, will curate an evening of first-class entertainment at The Kimpton Clocktower Hotel’s ballroom in Manchester city centre.
This is The One: Let’s Kick Cancer’s Arse will be taking place during Mani’s birthday week, with raffle and auction prizes donated by bands, footballers, actors, venues and promoters.
Imelda is an events agent who says: “Both charities have supported me through my journey. Cancer affects not just the person who has it, but everyone around them, and I hope that by investing in some more research, we can help alleviate some of the devastation caused to families.”
Mani added: “When life deals you a pair of twos, you must get your game face on! The past two years since my wife’s diagnosis have been brutal in so many ways, but it’s also opened our eyes to so many things.
“This disease needs to be eradicated – we feel duty bound to do our bit to achieve this. So everybody, get on board, dig deep, help out, we will win!”
By the time Imelda was diagnosed with bowel cancer, it had already spread to her liver and a small nodule in her lung, she wrote on her own JustGiving page.
She said: “I underwent emergency life-saving bowel surgery at it perforated. I had Covid and appendicitis for my first 3 chemo sessions, which were missed.
“I thought I was going down to the theatre to confirm appendicitis. Nobody heard anything for 9 hrs. Hence I woke with no small colon and an ileostomy stoma instead.
“Fast forward 6 months of treatments and breaks while they considered surgery, I had the right side of my liver removed.