An 8,000 sq ft beach, retro fairground rides, entertainment and independent food and drink brands have all arrived at the Trafford Centre.
As the region continues to bask in the glorious sunshine – with temperatures soaring over the past week or so – the Trafford Centre has announced the opening of its new ‘Summer Social’ event space.
This vast new outdoor area – which is situated outside The Orient, opposite The Great Hall entrance – brings together all the retro fun of the fair, alongside a beach, live music, exciting pop-ups, and selfie-ready backdrops.
There’s “exhilarating rides” for both little ones and adults – including The Star Flyer, Log Flume, Apple Coaster, and Cruise Ship.
As well as several covered events spaces where people can safely relax. A number of independent food and drink brands will also be popping up over the summer, kicking off with The Angelic, Kitakaze and Boujee Bar – the renowned, all-pink Instagrammer’s dream founded by Real Housewives of Cheshire star Lystra Adams.
Live musicians, street artists, and buskers will also be welcomed at Summer Social, and the covered stage area will host a number of ‘Trafford Discovers’ events over the coming weeks.
The food and events space is open to everyone who wishes to take a seat, relax and enjoy something to eat and drink.
Live musicians, street artists, and buskers will also be welcomed at Summer Social. / Credit: Trafford Centre
Summer Social is now open every day until 5 September 2021, from 11am-9pm daily, with the food and events space open 12pm-10pm Sunday – Thursday, and 12pm-11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
There is a £3.50 entry fee (£3 if booked in advance) to the beach area, with fairground rides priced individually. Wristband packages will also be available to pre-book for those who wish to enjoy an afternoon or evening of rides, food, drinks and beach time.
Speaking on the opening of Summer Social, Zoe Inman – Centre Director at the Trafford Centre – said: “Summer Social is going to be a unique and vast outdoor area, offering people a safe space to gather, eat, drink and have some fun.
“With over 200 stores, restaurants and leisure attractions to also explore within the centre itself, it’s time to plan a sensational day out at The Trafford Centre this summer.”
Set capacity limits will remain in place at Summer Social, and visitors are welcome to wear a face covering if they wish.
“Summer Social is offering people a safe space to gather, eat, drink and have some fun.” / Credit: Trafford Centre
Elsewhere at the shopping centre, a new Peter Rabbit-themed ‘Secret Garden’ has opened up, with the new immersive attraction giving kids the chance to explore a secret garden that brings to life the world of Peter Rabbit, as well as the chance to meet the beloved bunny, all of his friends, and so much more.
More information about this “captivating indoor family experience” can be found here.
Featured Image – Trafford Centre
Pretty Woman The Musical at Palace Theatre Manchester – a Hollywood dream come true
“Welcome to Hollywood. What’s your dream?” goes one of the most iconic lines in Pretty Woman, the musical version of which has just landed in Manchester.
And after the opening night of the theatre production of this beloved film, mine is to relive the experience over and over again.
There are tears, incredible voices, amazing outfits, and just generally the perfect remake of my favourite film.
After a record-breaking run on Broadway, Pretty Woman: The Musical opened at The Palace Theatre in Manchester last night, and my god it was brilliant.
If you don’t know the story line by now… then come on? Set in the 1980s, it begins with Edward (in the film, a suave Richard Gere) asking for directions in Hollywood Boulevard, and finding all the answers from Vivian (played by Julia Roberts in the film). And so the romance begins.
On stage, we kick off in the Blue Banana, and exactly like the film, we meet Vivian, Kit and the homeless man (or Paige Fenlon, Natalie Paris, and Ore Oduba, plus Ben Darcy as Edward). Their CVs include stints on SIX The Musical, Les Miserables, and Strictly Come Dancing.
Their voices will all blow you away, but my favourite on stage has to be Ore, transforming from the homeless man shouting ‘what’s your dream!’ to Mr Thompson in the hotel teaching Vivian to dance, to the conductor at the opera, a shop owner on Rodeo Drive and loads more roles.
He delivers brilliant transitions into every scene.
Ore Oduba in Pretty Woman The Musical, which is at the Manchester Palace Theatre until 16 March.
The theatre show has all the major moments from the film, like the iconic shopping scene, the day trip to a polo match, when he finally ‘sleeps’, and down to the most perfect costume of the red dress and the necklace for the opera. The voices of the opera singers are staggering, too.
With its own soundtrack compared to the film, there’s enough to lure in even those of us who have re-watched the film 100 times and can quote it line-for-line.
But Pretty Woman The Musical does wrap up with the titular song from the classic hit, and there’s something about the finale – the standing ovation, huge cheers and applause – that brings me to tears.
If you don’t have tickets yet, big mistake… HUGE!
Pretty Woman The Musical is on at the Palace Theatre in Manchester until Saturday 16 March, and it’s definitely not one to miss.
New ‘hobby house’ with loads of FREE crafty workshops opens in Manchester city centre
A new ‘hobby house’ with loads of FREE creative and crafty workshops to attend has just opened in Manchester.
Having opened down at Manchester’s growing neighbourhood, NOMA, the innovative new concept is called Altogether Otherwise, and is setting out to provide the Greater Manchester public with a welcome relief from all the demands and fast-paced culture of city centre life that we’ve, sadly, all become so used to.
Dubbed a ‘hobby house’, Altogether Otherwise is a “place to pursue creativity” and a chance to explore and get stuck into some new activities, all while bumping into like-minded people in an ever-changing gathering space.
An exciting lineup of workshops and events that are free to attend have also been announced.
A new ‘hobby house’ with loads of FREE crafty workshops has opened in Manchester city centre / Credit: NOMA (via Instagram)
Altogether Otherwise has seen a former disused printing house on Hanover Street in NOMA be transformed into 6,500 sq ft community space that’s open daily to the public.
Visitors can either step straight off the pavement into a welcoming front-of-house shop, or make their way through into a large workshop that’s apparently meant to offer “endless possibilities for making and meeting”.
On top of this, there’s also be a larger ‘village hall’-style space that’s dedicated to hosting participatory events and activities.
Pottery workshops, woodwork classes, mushroom growing sessions, an evening gardening club, sewing and knitting groups, running teams, and a book club are just some of the exciting interactive events already planned in the calendar for when the new space.
‘Altogether Otherwise’ is the latest venture for creative urbanist Ben Young / Credit: Supplied
‘Altogether Otherwise’ is the latest venture for creative urbanist Ben Young, and is a culmination of a decade of building a participatory neighbourhood down at NOMA.
Ben Young has described the new concept as a place where be people can “simply be”.
“Altogether Otherwise provides an escape from the results-orientated efficiency that has infiltrated every part of our lives,” he commented. “We’re providing a place to simply be, without having to justify or account for ourselves, as the hobbies we encourage are free-wheeling pursuits of aimless pleasure which act as a much-needed salve for a world dominated by achievement.