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The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021

There’s loads more going on across the region this week.

July is in full swing, and so is the summer season.

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Britain’s rescheduled ‘Freedom Day’ will arrive on Monday, but until then, there’s still plenty to be getting up to in our region.

We’ve put together another edition of our ‘what’s on’ guide for the city of Manchester and beyond this week.

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Some of the events we’re going to mention here are completely free, others will set you back a few pounds, and most will need to be booked in advance – but all are COVID-secure in order to keep you as safe as possible.

Here’s a few of our top picks.

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Manchester International Festival (MIF)

Manchester City Centre

Monday 12 – Sunday 18 July

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc
Manchester International Festival (MIF)

The highly-anticipated return of Manchester International Festival is finally here, with a jam-packed lineup showcasing original new work from across the spectrum of visual and performing arts and music by artists from over 20 countries.

A 42-metre sculpture of Big Ben made out of political books in Piccadilly Gardens, a new film featuring Cillian Murphy, and a theatrical performance of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay about grief are among the standout works featuring at the festival.

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Performances are taking place safely at both indoor and outdoor locations across Greater Manchester, including the first ever work on the construction site of The Factory – the landmark cultural space that will be MIF’s future home.

A “rich online offer” is also providing a window into the festival wherever audiences are, including livestreams and work created especially for the digital realm.

You can find more information about the exciting lineup of events for MIF21 here.

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Looney Tunes Street Art Trail

Manchester City Centre

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Monday 12 July – 31 July

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc
CityCo & Manchester BID

Have you seen that playful world of Looney Tunes has taken to the streets of Manchester?

Well, your eyes aren’t deceiving you.

11 of the most-beloved characters from the Looney Tunes series – including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Speedy Gonzales, Tasmanian Devil and more – have all been spray-painted at various locations across the city centre as part of an exploratory street art trail that’s aiming to welcome people back to the city post lockdown.

There’s also a family-friendly walking tour taking place, too, so you can see all the colourful characters popping up around the city. 

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You can find more information about the trail and artwork locations here.

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Runway Visitor Park

Manchester Airport

Monday 12 July – onwards

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc
Runway Visitor Park

Manchester Airport’s tourist attraction Runway Visitor Park has officially reopened, with an exciting programme of activities on the cards this summer.

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The airstrip-adjacent park is inviting visitors to take weekend tours of vintage aircraft – such as Concorde – board flight simulators, and gawp at classic vehicles as part of an upcoming events schedule, which is underway until September.

The programme features a wide range of highlights for history buffs and families alike, including historic vehicle club open days, an airport memorabilia fair, a military showcase, and so much more.

Live music performances have also been confirmed for the park’s memorabilia fair in July.

You can find more information here.

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Tatton Park Pop Up Festival

Knutsford

Monday 12 July – 29 August

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc
Tatton Park Pop Up Festival

There are 52 events for families and festival-goers to get stuck into at the Tatton Park Pop Up Festival this summer.

The outdoor boutique festival in Knutsford will feature 10 weeks of music and entertainment performances between right through until the end of August, with acts during the day suitable for children, while the party continues at night for adults.

Just some of the events include ABBA Mania – the world’s number one touring ABBA tribute – and live performances of science show Brainiac.

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For the kids, there’s also Jurassic Earth – a unique, immersive dinosaur experience for all ages, combining animatronics, performances, and the opportunity to walk with a Triceratops, roar with a T-Rex, scream with a Spinosaurus and run with a Raptor.

You can find more information about the festival here.

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OT Art Trail

Old Trafford

Monday 12 – Saturday 31 July

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The OT Art Trail – which has been organised by OT Creative Space and is funded by Arts Council England – sees a number of local artists work together with members of the Manchester community to create six individual large scale murals which have been painted onto walls and building gable ends around the area, including in Seymour Park and Ayres Road.

The new murals have been added to the murals and artwork already seen around Old Trafford.

The several new street art sites are linked together via a downloadable audio tour, which is suitable for people of all ages.

Each mural centres around the theme ‘community togetherness and diversity’.

You can find more information on The OT Art Trail via the OT creative SPACE website here.

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Box on the Docks

MediaCityUK

Monday 12 July – onwards

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc
Box on the Docks

MediaCityUK’s popular outdoor dining concept Box on the Docks (BOTD) is welcoming customers back to its waterside ‘pods’ this week, with the collection of 30 sheds and greenhouses having undergone renovation from local artists.

An exciting range of residents have moved into the neighbourhood for the summer, along with beloved local eateries from across the region such as The Spinn, Grandad’s Sausages, I Knead Pizza, Bada Bing Deli, and Batard Bakery.

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You can find more information about Box on the Docks 2021 here.

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Platt Fields Park Story Trail

Fallowfield

Monday 12 July – onwards

A brand new interactive story trail has arrived at Platt Fields Park for the summer.

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The trail – which is based on a story about elves in the Fallowfield park written by children’s author Rebecca Lewis-Oakes and illustrated by Aaron Cushley – is delivered by the National Literacy Trust as one of 12 story trails across the country that are part of the Hungry Little Minds campaign.

The campaign provides children with lots of simple and fun activities to easily slot into their daily routines, all whilst building speech and language skills at home. 

As well as the story trail, there will also be an elf garden and elf-making activities to get involved with, and everyone will walk away with a free book thanks to Read Manchester’s Look for a Book partnership.

You can find more information about the Platt Fields Park Story Trail here.

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Snorkel with Sharks

SEA LIFE Manchester

Tuesday 13 & Thursday 15 July

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc
SEA LIFE Manchester

SEA LIFE Manchester has launched a new snorkel cage experience that’s letting people get closer than ever have before to more than 1,000 creatures of the deep at the Trafford Centre-based marine life aquarium.

Snorkel with Sharks is a one-hour surface snorkelling adventure, suitable for swimmers age 10+ and includes a full briefing, introduction to the incredible creatures you can expect to see, and 20 minutes snorkelling in the purpose-built shark cage. 

Tickets cost £40 per person, and the session can be booked for two to four people from the same household or bubble.

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You can find more information and book your tickets here.

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Chase The Sun 5k, 10k & 10 Mile Run

Heaton Park

Wednesday 14 July

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc

The first ever Chase The Sun 5k, 10k & 10 Mile runs are set to take place in Heaton Park this Wednesday 14 July, giving runners the chance to battle to the finish line before the sun goes down with each kilometre accurately marked out.

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You can play it safe and fly round the 5k, or go for the extra challenge of the 10k or 10 Mile.

There’ll be music, refreshments, a fantastic Heaton Park-themed medal, and a great opportunity for a chip-timed personal best.

Prices range from £22 – £24, and you can register here.

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Secret City

EventCity

Wednesday 14 – Sunday 18 July

Park N Party – the team that delivered both the sell-out successes of ScareCity, ChristmasCity and a number of other outdoor live events throughout 2020 – has launched a new venture titled SecretCity, and there’s a whole host of immersive drive-in entertainment events happening this week.

There’s screenings of cinema favourites including Mamma Mia, Pretty Woman, A Star is Born, The Lion King, and more all on show throughout the week.

Tickets must be booked in advance, and you can grab yours from £35 per car here.

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Use Hearing Protection

Science and Industry Museum

Wednesday 14 July – onwards

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc
Science and Industry Museum

A special exhibition documenting the formation and early years of the iconic Factory Records has officially opened at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum.

Use Hearing Protection: The early years of Factory Records shines a light on the formative period for the Manchester label, disclosing lesser-told stories from family members, alternative voices and international collaborators.

The exhibition also examines the period 1978 to 1982, revealing how the label grew and thrived to give the city an authentic voice and distinctive identity, and visitors will be guided through the pre-Haçienda years to uncover the history of the label and how it earned its status as a catalyst for innovation through rarely or never-before-seen objects.

The first 50 artefacts from the official Factory Records catalogue are on display, including creations from Joy Division, New Order, The Durutti Column, and so much more.

You can find more information here.

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(A Kind Of) Summer Beer Thing

KAMPUS

Thursday 15 July – 1 August

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc
KAMPUS

Common & Co has brought ‘(A Kind Of) Summer Beer Thing’ pop-up event to Manchester city centre’s newest canalside neighbourhood KAMPUS this month – hosting a wide selection of beers, wines and soft drinks on the waterfront.

Eight rotating taps of the “finest and most sessionable beers” will all be good to go – alongside natural wines, cocktails, softs, and snacks, with support from Salt Beer Factory and Sipsmith Gin. 

Numerous pop-up tastings and weekend DJ sets will take place on the canalside throughout July – with Nell’s Ice Cream Sandwiches also up for grabs.

Tables will be for walk-ins only.

You can find more information about ‘(A Kind Of) Summer Beer Thing’ here.

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HOPE FEST at Hope Mill Theatre

Ancoats

Friday 16 July – 8 August

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc
HOPE FEST

A three-week outdoor theatre festival bringing a jam-packed programme of arts and cultural events to Ancoats is kicking off this Friday.

Created by Manchester’s iconic Hope Mill Theatre in association with Electric Park, HOPE FEST will see musicals, comedy, live music, family shows, film screenings, one-off special community events and even a dog festival all arrive in the city’s sought-after suburb right through until 8 August.

The festival’s unique programme of community-centric events are taking place inside a large sheltered tent that’s set to accommodate 250 people based beside New Islington Tram Station, just a stone’s throw away from the theatre itself.

To offer a wide range of local beers, spirits and good grub, the new pop-up summer venue will also include an onsite bar and an eating area with a BBQ.

You can find more information about HOPE FEST here.

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Manchester Cheese Crawl

Central Manchester

Saturday 17 July

The Manchester Cheese Crawl is two hours of non-stop cheese-related fun, including everything from blue cheese tasting, to cheese quizzes, competitions and more.

Starting off in St Ann’s Square, the tour wanders across the city and gives you the chance to try the finest cheeses Manchester has to offer along the way.

With tours taking place every Saturday until 25 September, tickets cost just £25 each and include cheese samples, optional bread and crackers, and some red wine to complement.

You can grab your tickets here.

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Ancoats Pop-Up Market

Ancoats

Saturday 17 July

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 July 2021, The Manc
Ancoats Pop Up

Nestled among the backstreets of Manchester and tucked into the courtyard of an old, red-brick historic mill, Ancoats Pop Up Market is a weekly-run market event which has teamed up with MUD (Manchester Urban Diggers) to supply the neighbourhood with a wealthy selection of fresh, organic and locally-grown fruit and veg, as well as dry goods.

The market also features Manchester-based stallholders serving speciality coffee, locally-brewed rum liquors, locally-sourced bakes and crafts, and more.

Street food and freshly-brewed coffee is also available while you browse.

You can find more information here.

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Featured Image – Manchester International Festival (MIF)

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