Are we all sick of these storms yet? Spring seems a long way off right now, and although I love staying in, even I get a bit of cabin fever after a while. Thankfully there are plenty of ways to spend your time in Manchester if the weather is bad – which let’s face it, is quite often up here in the North West! Here are 10 ideas to consider so you don’t have to stay cooped up at home every weekend.
1. Go Bottomless
The last thing anyone wants to do on a rainy day is bar hop. You just need one place to settle for a couple of hours, ideally with tasty food and endless booze, so a bottomless brunch is the perfect way to stay warm indoors. Some great places to enjoy bottomless brunch in Manchester are Foundry, Fress, Cottonopolis, The Refinery and Dirty Martini.
2. Enjoy a Luxury Cinema Experience
A visit to the cinema is an obvious choice for a rainy day activity, but why not take your movie-going experience to the next level with a visit to the new Everyman Cinema on St John’s Street. Why sit in boring regular seats munching on generic popcorn when you could be lounging on velvet sofas while waiters bring incredible burgers, fresh pizza and cocktails to your seat?!
3. Escape the Weather in a Pay-By-The-Minute Café
Ziferblat is the perfect place to get away from the Manchester weather as it really is a home from home. The only thing you pay for is the time you spend there (8 pence per minute) – once inside you can make yourself unlimited hot drinks, toast, crumpets and enjoy cakes and sweet treats for free! It looks and feels like a living room, and you can use your time there to chat with friends, read a book, or even pull out one of their board games to play. You simply settle up for your time as you leave.
4. Catch up on Your Culture
HOME is Manchester’s cultural and arts centre, and with their extensive programme of cutting-edge theatre productions, contemporary art exhibitions, independent film events, and creative learning discussions, courses and events, this is definitely the place for like-minded creatives to spend their time.
5. Shop, Dine and Be Entertained Under One Roof
It’s true – intu Trafford Centre is home to over 200 stores, so you can shop ‘til you drop without being exposed to the elements. But it is far from being just a shopping destination. You can dine in one of over 60 restaurants (with a range to suit every budget), climb The Rock, visit an ODEON IMAX cinema, escape into the Legoland discovery centre, spend your pennies in Namco’s amusements and even explore underwater worlds at Sea Life – and all without going outside.
6. See What Manchester’s Libraries Have to Offer
Manchester Central Library looks seriously stylish inside, and boasts a Media Lounge full of the latest digital technology worthy of spending several hours getting to grips with. The library also hosts various events, from workshops on how to start your own business, to film groups and computer coding sessions.
As a complete contrast, the stunning neo-Gothic architecture of the John Rylands library and its amazing collection of rare books and manuscripts would not look out of place in a Harry Potter film. Delve deeper into its mysteries with one of the workshops or tours on offer.
7. Discover the History of Modern War
You won’t realise just how interesting this subject can be for all the family until you’ve explored the exhibitions at the Imperial War Museum. Learn about the political background to some of recent history’s major wars, whilst really getting a feel for what life was like through those conflicts through more hands-on exhibits. The immersive sound and picture projection show alone is worth the visit!
8. Enjoy the Snow Instead of the Rain
Whether you’re experienced and looking to improve your skills or a complete beginner you can have a go on the indoor slopes at Chill Factore. Take part in their skiing and snowboarding taster sessions or lessons with professional instructors, or just simply do your own thing. If you’re not quite that adventurous you can still have a fun wintry day in the snow park, watching the professionals do their thing from the comfort of the viewing balconies with a hot drink. There’s even a small play area for young children to enjoy the snow.
9. Try Your Hand at Darts
Flight Club is a great bar and venue in Manchester City Centre where you can also enjoy a spot of Social Darts with friends. Their weekend Brunch Socials are particularly great, with bottomless pizza, a bottle of Prosecco each, and a 1 hour darts sampler in the gaming area. What better way to forget about the weather outside?
10. Do Something Crafty
Many enjoyable hours can be spent learning how to sew, make candles, create beautiful calligraphy lettering, and all sorts of other creative techniques. Not only can it pass a few creative and sociable hours indoors, but you’ll also go home with the beginnings of a new skill, and probably a lovely piece that you’ve created. I quite like checking out Craft Courses, Ministry of Craft and Manchester Craft & Design Centre for upcoming workshops in my area.
I hope you’re feeling a little more inspired, despite this winter weather!
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