May is now in full swing here in Greater Manchester.
Not only is there a whole host of exciting activities lined up in the events calendar this month, but there’s plenty to be getting up to across the region this week, and we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide for the city and beyond.
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.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Palace Theatre Manchester
Monday 9 May – onwards
There’s still a few weeks left to catch Disney’s Beauty and the Beast before it departs from Manchester’s iconic Palace Theatre.
Based on the hit 1991 film, this new musical production features some iconic songs from the smash-hit animation, including Be Our Guest, Belle and Beauty and the Beast whilst also uniting some members of its original Broadway team. Spectacular new designs and state-of-the-art technology fuse with the classic story, as the timeless romantic tale is brought to life on stage like never before, with all the charm and elegance audiences expect from Belle and her Beast.
Manchester’s National Football Museum is celebrating the legends of the game in it’s first-ever dedicated Hall of Fame exhibition.
Situated in the Score Gallery, the museum’s latest exhibition focuses on those players and managers who have contributed significantly to the game of our lives – breaking records, winning trophies, and paving the way for future generations, on and off the field.
The National Football Museum Hall of Fame exhibition honours the memory of our game’s greatest figures, share untold stories and showcase some of the key objects from their respective careers.
A new free photography exhibition, titled ‘I Am’, featuring candid portraits of domestic abuse survivors is currently on show in Manchester as part of the SICK! Festival 2022.
As part of the public festival where health and creativity meet, the photos – which have been taken by local photographer Allie Crewe – can be seen on several electronic screens at St Peter’s Square in the heart of the city centre, as well as at 150 Metrolink tram stops across Greater Manchester throughout May.
With a mix of free outdoor, indoor and online events, SICK! Festival 2022 has a programme of activities suitable for families, young people, adults and everyone interested in using art and creativity to explore mental, physical, and social challenges.
Fancy trying something new in 2022? Time to conquer your fears?
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+, the session includes a full briefing, introduction to the incredible creatures you can expect to see, and 20 minutes snorkelling in the purpose-built shark cage.
You can find more information and book your tickets here.
Looking for some new restaurants and bars to try out that have just opened in Manchester city centre this month?
With a whole host of bank holidays stretching ahead of us this month, May gives us plenty of free time on the horizon and even more new restaurants and bars to visit in Manchester city centre and beyond.
Think Italian subs, the return of sit-down Lazy Tony’s lasagne, a new Spring Gardens cocktail bar from Gordon Ramsay’s former bars boss, sushi, sashimi and (maybe) even a new dumpling place.
You can read our round-up to find out where to put on your list this month here.
Big Jubilee Street Party
Thursday 12 May
The floor of the AO Arena will this week be transformed into a giant street party for a star-studded show in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Taking place on Thursday 12 May, The National Lottery’s Big Jubilee Street Party will be hosted by Jason Manford and Fleur East, and will bring together some massive names from the worlds of music and comedy for the one-off free party, with organisers say the show will combine performances, archive footage, and music.
The likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, Becky Hill, Steps, Tom Grennan, House Gospel Choir, Calum Scott, Nathan Dawe and Ella Henderson, are all lined-up to perform.
Manchester’s neighbourhood KAMPUS will play host a solid ten weeks of back-to-back block parties from its canalside garden, with each weekend seeing guest DJs take to the decks to spin tunes from different corners of the world – and this weekend’s event is celebrating Ireland and its much-loved culture.
Free-flowing beer will come courtesy of Manchester brewery Cloudwater, and food will be provided by Ramsbottom favourites Levanter serving up tapas, giant paella, and charcuterie boards aplenty.
This weekend, you can expect fresh imported beer from our neighbours, folk music, spoken word artists, and stalls.
Critically-acclaimed photography exhibition officially opens in Manchester as part of its international this week.
In what is the first UK exhibition of this scale outside of London for over 20 years from the world-renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, from 13 May, the Science and Industry Museum will welcome Amazônia – a major photography exhibition that celebrates the indigenous peoples and breathtaking landscapes of the Brazilian rainforest.
Salgado worked in the Amazon for seven years with 12 different indigenous communities, and the result is an incredible collection of powerful photographs that present his vision of a forest that is approaching a crucial tipping point in the fight against climate change, the Museum says.
In what is undeniably the stuff of dreams for cheese lovers, you can now take part in a cheese and wine crawl around Manchester city centre.
Manchester is city that’s packed with culture.
But if you don’t fancy seeing the sights through one of the more typical tours, The Manchester Cheese Crawl will take you around some of the cheesiest spots the city has to offer for two hours of non-stop cheese-related fun – including everything from blue cheese tasting, to cheese quizzes, competitions, and more.
Tickets cost just £25 each, and include cheese samples, optional bread and crackers, and some red wine to complement.
A one-off club night is happening in Manchester this weekend, and it’s looking to help those in need by amassing food bank donations in a somewhat unusual way.
Instead of asking punters to pay in with cash, at Food 4 Thought presented by the legendary Hit & Run, promoters are asking revellers to bring tins of beans and other non-perishable items down with them on the night to gain entry to the party.
Once you’re in, you’ll be treated to a festival-worthy line-up, full of acclaimed artists who’ve all waived their fees for the cause – The Trussell Trust.
Coronation Street: The Tour has returned after a two-year hiatus to give you the chance to see the hidden world of the nation’s most-famous cobbles that lies behind the camera at the external sets at MediaCityUK in Salford.
Following in the footsteps of all your favourite characters, during each 90-minute tour, fans of the show will get to walk around all the famous sets of the Rovers Return, Roys Rolls, Underworld, and The Kabin, and so much more, and tour guides will share all the secrets of the show while they take you around locations of iconic moments from the soap.
There’ll also be plenty of chances to get that all-important Corrie selfie too.
It’s the grand finale of Eurovision 2022 this Saturday, and Manchester’s largest street food fair GRUB – which is currently based at the Red Bank Project just outside of the city centre in Cheetham Hill – is hosting a themed viewing party in its Basement Bar on a 100-inch screen, and there’s a range of tickets available.
With “party vibes and good times” said to be guaranteed, and fancy dress encouraged, GRUB says it’ll be a night to remember, even if the UK does end up getting “nil points”.
There’ll also be amazing street food options, and a locally-sourced and fully vegan bar.
Didsbury’s very-own cookery school, Food Sorcery, is hosting a special class where you can learn some fun facts and even a little bit of science about coffee.
During this three-hour session that’s suitable for all abilities, you’ll learn the differences in techniques used to make the perfect coffee, find out what’ll work best for you at home and how to use all the kit that you bought and have tucked away in the back of the cupboard.
There’ll be plenty of opportunities to practise your skills and even try a little latte art to impress your friends, too.
You can find more information, and book your place here.
Featured Image – Science and Industry Museum | The Manc Group
Icelandic airline offering incredible Northern Lights holiday experience including hotel, breakfast and tours
Icelandair, the nation’s principal airline and proud flag carrier is offering an incredible package to holiday-goers this winter by giving them a chance to book their flights, hotel, breakfast, multiple unique tours and the opportunity to see the Northern Lights all in one affordable deal.
With the Northern Lights being one of the most magical tourist attractions in the world, its popularity only increases by the year and, as a result, so does the cost of going to see it.
That’s where Icelandair come in: the flight operator is offering Brits an amazing new package centred around the legendary natural light display at a discount. Trust us, you seriously want to consider snapping up this one whilst you can.
From this week, Icelandair is offering UK travellers a special package deal which includes a three-night holiday with return flights, a hotel room with breakfast and three unique and unforgettable Icelandic tours for just £459 per person.
This deal will see holidaymakers board an Icelandair economy flight from either London, Glasgow or Manchester Airport to the nation’s beautiful capital of Reykjavik, with a complimentary 23kg checked bag allowance, plus a 10kg in hand luggage allowance, your choice when it comes to where you want to seat, seat, on-board refreshments and a personal in-flight entertainment system.
For your accommodation, you’ll be staying at the four-star Hotel Island Spa and Wellness Resort, located right near the centre of Reykjavik and treated to breakfast every morning for two adults sharing a room. And then you get to make the most of what the country’s incredible landscape.
Onto the main event of your holiday: Icelandair’s Northern Lights experience is a breathtaking three-to-four-hour tour that allows you to see the glory of the incredible natural phenomenon with your own eyes.
As for the FlyOver Iceland tour, this unique experience is the ultimate flying ride which utilizes state-of-the-art technology to give you the exhilarating feeling of flight. During this virtual journey, you’ll experience the more remote but no less spectacular areas of Iceland through motion, wind, sound and even scents.
Last but not certainly least, you have the lava show, which is one of the top-rated attractions anywhere in Scandinavia, receiving numerous awards for innovation and educational value. You literally get to watch as they recreate a volcanic eruption and allow you to safely experience hot lava in close proximity.
Once again, all this is yours to enjoy from just £459 per person. We believe the phrase you’re looking for is ‘value for money’.
Available right now until 4 October 2023, you can book to travel to see Iceland and the Northern Lights from November 2023 right up until March 2024.
You book your flights HERE and find out more information about this incredible package via the Icelandair website.
The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 25 September – 1 October
Autumn is here now that it’s time to wave goodbye to September and welcome October with open arms this week.
While summer may have passed us by in the blink of an eye, nothing can dampen the region’s spirit now that autumn’s here, and a new season doesn’t mean the fun’s stopped either, as there’s still loads of events happening in Greater Manchester to make the most of.
If you’re finding it a bit tricky to choose, 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.
Monday 25 September – Tuesday 3 October
It’s that time of year again… Oktoberfest is back in Manchester for 2023.
This celebration of German heritage translates across the globe, and Albert’s Schloss in the heart of the city centre is at the helm in Manchester for the seventh year running, with the fun having well and truly kicked off in style with the tapping of the first keg, and the festival now well underway.
Expert biers, bratwurts, the sound of Albert’s Oompah band, and plenty of the usual Albert’s Schloss debauchery.
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”.
Did you know you can get a pass to visit loads of National Trust sites across the UK for FREE this autumn?
Autumn in Greater Manchester is a wonderful thing, and and our region is filled with places to appreciate the beauty of this much-loved season – but if you were looking for a reason to travel a little further afield to experience everything nature has to offer and see the leaves change colour, then it doesn’t get much better than this.
This is why the National Trust wants to give people the chance to “experience the awe of the season” at no extra cost.
The pass allows free entry for two adults and up to three children, one adult and up to four children, or just two adults on their own.
Find out more about how to claim the limited-time offer here.
Richard Kelly: A Time and Place
Kimpton Clocktower Hotel
Monday 25 September – late October
Some rarely-seen photos of Amy Winehouse have just gone on display in Manchester to mark the late singer’s 40th birthday this month.
The exclusive images of the legendary vocalist are forming part of an exhibition showcasing work by critically-acclaimed music photographer Richard Kelly that’s currently happening down at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in the city centre.
Following its unprecedented popularity, the exhibition‘s stay in our city has been extended, and will now be running until the end of October.
If you’ve somehow not had the chance to watch Barbie yet, then how does seeing the movie of the summer in IMAX sound?
Manchester’s largest city centre cinema inside Printworks is screening Greta Gerwig’s masterpiece in limited-edition IMAX for just one week only.
That’s not all either, as on top of enjoying Barbie in all its ultra-high-definition glory, and seeing Margot Robbie steal the show as she stars in the titular role, alongside Ryan Gosling as Ken, and a massive ensemble cast of some of Hollywood’s biggest names, fans will also be treated to some bonus post-credit footage during their screening too.
Glitzy Japanese and Brazilian fusion restaurant Sakku Samba in Spinningfields is hosting a dining experience with a difference this weekend.
Back by popular demand, the ‘dine in the dark’ experience sees guests blindfolded for the duration of their meal, and gives them the chance to suspend one of their senses for an evening as they tuck into a wide range of delicacies from a three-course secret menu.
With offerings available for meat eaters, pescetarians, and vegans, there’s something for everyone.
MCR Student Social is back once again this week with unmissable offers to celebrate.
Taking place on Thursday 28 September, there’ll be discounts of up to 30% off in more than 120 stores for students within the Manchester Arndale, including Levi’s, Harvey Nichols, River Island, Monki, JD, Mango, Superdry, Kick Game, Jack & Jones, Office and Schuh.
Fancy trying out some new bars, and restaurants that have opened in Greater Manchester this month?
Now autumn is technically here, we’re ready for lots of cheese, red wine, gravy, roasts and all the good things that come out of the kitchen once the weather gets a little bit cooler.
September has also brought a host of new bar and restaurant openings.
Some of the year’s most hotly-anticipated new venues are throwing open their doors this month – with MediaCity’s giant new food hall Kargo MKT, Manchester’s only 2D Japanese cartoon cafe, Waku Waku, and new station-side craft beer bar Victoria Taps being just a few of the highlights.
As we do every month, we’ve rounded up the best new bars and restaurants opening in Greater Manchester this month, and there’s some really good ones to look forward to.
Trafford Centre is turning 25 years old this month.
The UK’s third-largest shopping centre has been a one-stop-shop for Greater Manchester residents, and people visiting the region alike for well over two decades now, so what better way to mark this major milestone birthday than with a proper fashion and musical celebration?
How does an hour-long gig full of feel-good throwback tunes sound? Even better if we said it’ll headlined by iconic 90s pop girlband B*Witched?
What about if we said it’s completely FREE too? Well now it’s unmissable, if you ask us.
The Dachshund Pup Up Cafe is back in Manchester this weekend.
After what can only be described as a smash-hit success when it first visited our city back in 2018, the dachshund pop up cafe – or we should say ‘pup up cafe’ – is returning this Saturday, and is set to fill popular venue Lola Lo with hundreds of sausage dogs.
The whole venue has been secured so the dogs are able to roam free and enjoy some wholesome fun in a safe space.