10 Things to Do in Manchester This Spring

1. Say hello to the donkeys

I think donkeys are possibly the loveliest things ever and I’ve been a supporter of The Donkey Sanctuary for about a year now as they do such a great job with donkey welfare worldwide. I was so excited when I realised that they have a centre right here in Manchester – it’s a Donkey Assisted Therapy Centre and is open to the public 7 days a week. I went last Easter and enjoyed meeting and stroking the lovely donkeys there.

Donkey Sanctuary

2. Take part in the duck race

Manchester’s duck race down the river Irwell takes place on Good Friday in Spinningfields. It’s free to attend and enjoy the festivities and entertainment, and just £1 to enter a duck into the race, with proceeds going to local children’s charity, Brainwave.

3. Break out of a locked room in 60 minutes

I’ve now broken out of 2 of Breakout Manchester’s themed rooms, and have to say it’s a very fun, exciting and panicked hour! It’s based in Manchester city centre and has a choice of 7 themed rooms of varying difficulty and in teams of 2-5 people the aim is to use your wits and solve a series of clues which lead to your escape within the hour. Read about both my experiences here and here.

Breakout Manchester

4. Watch a film at the Drive-in

Because I’ve grown up watching Grease I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of Drive In movies, so it’s pretty exciting that there is a Drive-in Cinema in Manchester: Route 66. I’ve not tried it out yet but the idea is that you drive in, park up, tune in on your radio and enjoy newly released movies on a big outdoor screen from in the privacy of your car. You can even order hot food from Dominos pizza whilst you enjoy your film.

5. Visit the Gallery of Costume

The history of fashion and costume has always interested me, and yet I’ve still never been to Manchester Art Gallery’s Gallery of Costume in Platt Hall. It’s on my “to do” list though, with over 21,000 pieces from 1600 to the present day, and also an exhibition of wedding fashions from the last century which displays until the end of September.

6. Eat afternoon tea served in a picnic basket

I love an afternoon tea, and one of the quirkiest I’ve found has to be The Picnic Basket at Allotment Bar. The allotment garden theme of the bar is recreated in the afternoon tea, where the toasted sandwiches, scones and cakes all come served in a picnic basket for two, and really evokes feelings of British summertime.

Allotment Bar afternoon tea

7. Train up in Thai cooking

Thai restaurant Chaophraya is one of my favourite restaurants in Manchester – the food is delicious and the interior really is luxurious. And now they also offer culinary skills classes which run for 3 hours on Saturday afternoons, where you can learn all about Thai ingredients and cooking before preparing, cooking and enjoying a three course Thai meal. The experience can also be bought as vouchers which would make a great gift!

8. It’s Easter, so go chocolate crazy!

From the chocolate-themed family activities of the Ramsbottom Chocolate festival on 28th March to Hotel Chocolat’s “School of Chocolate” tasting events, you can really think outside the chocolate box with Easter chocolate activities. And if that’s still not enough chocolate you could always attempt The Chocolate Challenge at Slattery patissier and chocolatier. If you succeed in eating a giant slice of chocolate fudge cake, chocolate ice cream, cream and two pots of chocolate sauce, plus a hot chocolate drink you’ll walk away with some of their handmade chocolates. I’ve heard it’s impossible though!

Hotel Chocolat chocolate tasting

9. Visit Manchester’s first pay-per-minute café

Ziferblat is something a bit different for Manchester so I definitely want to investigate. Instead of your usual café experience where you buy food and drink, at Ziferblat everything is free and you pay for your time instead! You check in, help yourself to fresh coffee, tea, cakes, cereals, juice etc, enjoy the free Wi-Fi, read, chat or maybe play some board games while relaxing on the comfy couches, and then pay your bill (priced at 5p a minute) as you leave. Intriguing!

10. Take a free sewing class

I keep meaning to do one of the dressmaking classes at Junk Shop UK, who are big advocates of sustainable fashion. Now they have launched a new project to provide free sewing classes around Manchester to teach the basic skills needed to recycle and upcycle unwanted clothing. It’s a free 3 hour class and you leave with a fabric shopper bag that you will make out of recycled fabrics.

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16 thoughts on “10 Things to Do in Manchester This Spring

  1. Reblogged this on sunshine and celandines and commented:
    This English Rose has put together a fab top ten of things to do in Manchester.Half of these I didn’t know existed! From donkey sanctuarys to duck races, escapology to picnic hamper afternoon teas. Have fun reading. 🙂

  2. I’m almost slightly ashamed to say that I’ve successfully completed the Slattery’s chocolate challenge! Although afterwards when you receive your chocolate ‘prize’, more chocolate is the last thing you really want to see!

    Some great ideas here, I’ll definitely be checking out the free sewing classes. Thanks for sharing.

      1. It’s not the amount that’s the challenge really, it’s the richness – the ‘hot chocolate’ is essentially a glass of molten chocolate! It’s definitely worth a go though, because it’s so delicious 😉

  3. This has so inspired me to do more with my days in Manchester when I’m not at uni! The costume gallery and the breakout rooms were already on my list but I am still yet to get round to them!
    Beckie x

  4. Oh. My. God!! theres a drive in cinema!! I can’t wait to do this, after seeing the film Grease I think every girl dreamt of it. Im also super giddy about going to the Donkeys, I have two little ones here who were cooing over the picture you popped on. Great post for us Manchester lot xx

  5. Pingback: School of Junk – ‘Sew Recycled’ Free Sewing Class | Poppy alla Norma

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