The time has finally come to wave goodbye to August – and summer along with it – and welcome September with open arms.
The busiest and most jam-packed month may have been and gone in the blink of an eye, but we still have one more bank holiday to make the most of it and there’s a wide range of events happening in Greater Manchester to get stuck into – from festivals and family-friendly activities, to foodie feasts, immersive experiences, exhibitions, and so much more.
If you’re stuck for choice, we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide this week.
Here’s our top picks.
Manchester Pride Festival 2023
Manchester City Centre
Monday 28 August
The 2023 Manchester Pride Festival celebrations continue this bank holiday Monday.
Manchester Pride Festival is undoubtedly one of the most colourful, energetic, accepting, and highly-anticipated events in the Manchester social calendar, and 2023 has been absolutely no different so far – with this year’s event having been championing “representation, inclusivity, and community celebration” over the four-day extravaganza.
Find out more about some about the Manchester Pride Festival lineup here, or take a look at some of the family-friendly Pride-themed fringe events happening here.
Keen to learn about this year’s Pride theme and what it means? Find out more here.
Bolton Food & Drink Festival 2023
Monday 28 August
There’s still one more day 2023’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival to make the most of.
The award-winning festival is the biggest of its kind in the North West, and has been celebrating 18 years in the town this year by bringing together celebrity and regional chefs, cooking demos, live music, street entertainment, special events, and over 200 market traders all weekend.
On the last day of this internationally-acclaimed event, foodies can roam freely as they explore stalls, bars, two dedicated music stages, and plenty more.
Find out everything you need to know about Bolton Food & Drink Festival 2023 here.
The Capri Beach Club
Monday 28 August
This is your last day to make the most of the pop-up beach club that’s appeared right in the heart of Manchester city centre.
Transporting you straight to the Mediterranean, the Capri Beach Club – which has appeared at Exchange Square outside Selfridges – has been kitted out with cabanas, boardwalks, swing chairs, and even real sand, and it promises to recreate the ambience of a real Capri beach club.
There’s a DJ playing chilled-out beats from the 80s up to the latest chart-toppers, plus resident saxophonist Elliot Slater, who has graced the stages at some of the biggest clubs in Ibiza.
As you lounge back on luxury seating, you can work your way through the summer cocktail list that includes Aperol spritzes, margaritas, bellinis, and espresso martinis, and then grab a bite to eat from the range of street food vendors.
A brand-new exhibition is currently having its world premiere at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, and it’s giving families the chance to “dive headfirst into the digestive system” and “travel like a poo”.
The new blockbuster exhibition, Operation Ouch!, is based on and will see the award-winning CBBC children’s TV series brought to life.
Visitors can expect interactive experiences, amazing objects from the Science Museum Group’s collection, and appearances from world-renowned doctors who will be on hand to guide audiences through this “lively, interactive, and playful adventure to better understand our brilliant bodies”.
This is your last week to head on down to Summer Daze at the Trafford Centre.
Having been running all summer long, but set to be packed away this Sunday, Summer Daze is home to a massive 600sqm beach for sunbathing and sandcastles, and not one but two “thrilling splash parks” with loads of water jets outside the shopping centre.
Not only that, but there’s also a retro funfair with over 20 fairground rides, and you can also take part in crafting workshops and face painting, and catch costume characters, live music, and entertainment.
Stockport’s beloved giant colourful frog sculptures have returned.
Following the undeniable success of previous art trails in both 2019 and 2021, the Stockport Frogs are back for a brand-new adventure this summer, with 19 multi-coloured amphibians having hopped onto podiums across the town centre.
This year’s trail is themed all around ‘Frogtastic Inventions’, and will see frog-spotters of all ages get to make their way around the town centre on what’s set to be an “educational, engaging and vibrant” outdoor adventure.
Backyard Cinema and its Miami Beach rooftop experience that’s been transporting people back to the 1980s all summer long is ready to say goodbye to Manchester this week.
The immersive cinema experience had taken over the roof of Depot Mayfield and transformed the industrial space into Miami Beach – using 30 tonnes of sand and signature palm tree cocktails to create the UK’s largest pop-up beach.
Greater Manchester’s iconic heritage railway is hosting one of the most unique fine dining experiences in the region.
Running every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday right through the summer until September, ELR’s Red Rose Diners are described as being “the ultimate first class foodie experience”, as they start with a glass of fizz and stretch over an almost three-hour steam train journey through the Irwell Valley.
The experience includes a four-course dinner with complimentary sparkling wine, followed by tea or coffee and after-dinner chocolates.
The Tour of Britain is back for 2023, and this year, the international sporting event will be starting in Altrincham.
With the Altrincham hosting the start line for the second time the 73-year history of the competition – which is the biggest cycling race in the UK ,and one of the biggest in Europe – the Tour of Britain and its massive crowds will be treated to some proper Manc hospitality this Sunday.
The peloton will roll out from Market Street, which is close to the famous Altrincham Market right in the heart of the town centre.
Featured Image – Tour of Britain | Manchester Pride | BFDF
Viral sportswear brand Gymshark is holding a massive bodybuilding competition in Manchester
Gymshark will be back in Manchester this month, this time for a huge bodybuilding competition.
The viral fitness brand will be taking over the enormous space at Manchester Central, drawing in huge crowds of fitness experts and enthusiasts.
The Ryan Terry British Championship will bring together male and female bodybuilders on one stage.
There’ll be everyone from rookies taking part in their very first bodybuilding competition to seasoned bodybuilders competing for a PRO card.
It’s Gymshark’s first ever bodybuilding competition and if it’s anything like their last event in Manchester, it’ll be a popular one.
Last time the brand was in town for its LIFT MCR event in the spring, they had queues stretching down the street as thousands flocked to see figures from the worlds of lifting, fitness and bodybuilding.
Gymshark’s event this October will also feature Athlete Meet & Greets with some high-profile Gymshark athletes.
Drunk Histories: Project Halcyon Distillery launch ‘Still Room Sessions’ where you drink whilst learning about drinking
Project Halcyon Distillery is well and truly up there with our favourite new openings in Manchester city centre and after having enjoyed many unique visits already, the speakeasy-style bar is now offering up yet another interesting drinking experience: their ‘Still Room Sessions’.
There’s a lot to it and we’ll get to all that in due course but, put in simplest terms, it’s kind of a bit like if the TV show Drunk History and a tasting event had a baby. Sold.
Still Room Sessions are Project Halycon‘s brand new monthly interactive workshop experience which will be held on the second Sunday of every month.
Each month, a member of their award-winning bartending team — and trust us, they really are worthy of the recognition — will cover a completely new topic as they take guests through a guided talk on various aspects of the history and ongoing drinking culture behind drinking.
Now, before any of jump the gun and say ‘I don’t want a history lesson, I want a drink’, let us stop you right there; each session revolves around tasting various different cocktails and spirits for the bar’s incredible drinks selection, as well as specials that they create for events like this.
Tickets to one of Project Halcyon’s Still Room Sessions include a drink upon arrival, at least two cocktails during the sessions and a spirit tasting. Oh yes, you might have some trouble concentrating by the end but god knows you won’t be even more interested with a few drinks down you.
Also, it is worth reiterating that the subject matter the guys will be covering is genuinely interesting stuff, not just if you’re a history buff but a fan of drinking in general. In fact, we can personally vouch for that.
After going along to their first session in September, simply entitled, ‘A Century Later’ — an exploration of the effects of the infamous American prohibition 100 years on, its lasting impact on today’s drinking culture, bartending style, as well as how the whole idea of a speakeasy bar came about — we were hooked inside the first five minutes.
After being presented with a refreshing G and T on arrival, we were welcomed into the still room for our first couple of drinks, which came in the form of their irresistible Bees Knees cocktail (created exclusively for this first event) as well as a taste of their house gin. Strong start — literally.
Then, as we prepared for the second 30-minute segment of knowledge and knocking back a few, everyone received an Apple Blossom cocktail along with a taste of Calvados as a nod to both gin and the distilled type of cider being two of the most bootlegged spirits ever.
Finally, to tie things off, the last 10 minutes saw them open up the floor for a more casual discussion and Q&A of sorts, with people asking everything from ‘why do people shake instead of stir for certain cocktails?’ (that one’s for you, Mr Bond) to tips on how to make a proper drink at home.
Oh, and did we mention that everyone got 33% off their bill for the rest of the night? Oh yes, all 12 of us stayed behind to enjoy a few more drinks afterwards. We could hardly turn an offer like that down.
Their second session kicks off this weekend next week on Monday, 9 October, with ‘The Journey of Juniper‘, which will see the staff talk about the world of gins and its illustrious history.
Starting all the way back with Dutch genever and the bathtub gin craze of 18th century London, to newer, more modern style expressions, including their very own, made on sight in the back of house, guests won’t just be sat listening, they’ll also be taught how to make the perfect martini at home.
We’ve always believed in the importance of education…
We think this is a really exciting opportunity for guests to learn and interact with Halcyon’s already rich, culturally-infused drinking space. Each event is limited to just a dozen tickets, so these talks and tasting sessions really are exclusive. You can secure your place on the next one HERE.