The clocks have gone forward and it’s officially British Summer Time. Cue gale force winds and torrential rain. Contrary to popular belief, Manchester has below average rainfall for the UK. On average it rains on just 16 days a month but always on Bank Holidays. This weekend it’s the Easter Bank Holiday weekend so here are seven ideas for things to do. But if you’re going to be spending any length of time outdoors, take an umbrella and wrap up warm. Unless you’re a bloke. In which case just wear a T shirt and shorts.
1. Manchester Museum
There’s a very special guest from Easter Island at the Manchester Museum. Moai Hava weighs 3.3 tonnes and stands 1.56 metres tall but doesn’t need to go on a diet. That’s because it’s one of the monumental stone statues of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), some of the most widely recognised and fascinating archaeological objects in the world. It’s on loan from the British Museum and was brought to the Manchester Museum in an operation which lasted five and a half hours. Open 10am-5pm
2. Duck Race
There’s not just one but two Duck Races to choose from on Good Friday. The Manchester Duck Race takes place at Spinningfields and is in aid of local children’s charity, Brainwave. The race will be started by Rowetta at 2pm but there’s lots of activities going on from 11am. Ducks cost £1 and can be purchased online at ticketsource.co.uk The Duck Race at Salford Quays is in aid of MedEquip4Kids and will be started by CBBC presenter Katie Thistleton. The programme of events starts at 12.30pm.
3. Chocomania at The Lowry Outlet
Easter is all about chocolate, right? Well, not really, but if you love chocolate, and let’s face it, who doesn’t, this may well be up your street. Artisan markets with 50 stalls and street producers selling chocolates, cakes and sweet treats, plus delicious regional food and drink, crafts, jewellery and more at The Lowry Outlet, all weekend, 11am-6pm (5pm on Sunday)
4. National Football Museum
If that’s not enough chocolate for you, the NFM is challenging visitors to earn their chocolate treats by taking on 7 Football Plus+ experiences across the museum. Plus visitors who buy a £10 Football Plus+ Day Pass will get exclusive Easter chocolate made for the museum by award-winning patissier Slattery of Whitefield. 10am – 5pm (Sunday 11am-5pm)
Meanwhile, back at Spinningfields, cocktails, craft beer and live music are guaranteed when Spinfest takes over the courtyard at the Oast House on Sunday at midday until late. The sun has been invited. Fingers crossed it will make an appearance.
6. Manchester Art Gallery
Eastern Exchanges: East Asian Craft and Design is a brand new exhibition combining historic pieces from the gallery’s collection with some of today’s most exciting international contemporary design to give fresh perspectives on historic East Asian craft and illustrate how traditional craft skills still inspire innovation. Displaying everything from Imperial treasures to modern minimalist furniture, Eastern Exchanges investigates the rich heritage of ceramics, metalwork, furniture, lacquer and textiles from Japan, China and Korea. Open 10am-5pm every day
7. Chill Factore
No need to worry about the weather at Manchester’s indoor real snow centre. Enjoy the thrills and spills of the popular Snow Park where adults and children alike can spin, slide, ride and race. Get a taste for skiing or snowboarding with Taster Sessions or learn how to take on the slopes in style with some lessons. There’s a range of lesson packages to suit your all ages and levels from being new to the snow to more experienced users. Check website for opening times.
8. All Star Lanes
All Star Lanes will help you make the most of the Easter Bank Holiday come rain or shine with early opening hours and great offers available all weekend. For just £17 per person try the Burger & Bowl deal- your choice of burger from a limited Burger & Bowl menu, fries and one game of bowling. And there’s 2 for 1 on all drinks between 4 and 8pm (excluding bottles of wine & champagne). Keep those little bunnies entertained too and take advantage of a special kids deal of main course, dessert, soft drink & a game of bowling for just £10 per child. Available every day from 6th – 19th April. Over the Easter weekend there’s also an Easter treasure hunt with clues about where there are pins hidden around the venue. If kids complete the treasure hunt they can hand it in at reception and exchange it for an ‘Easter treat’ on the house.
9. The Liquor Store
The Bank Holiday starts at 5pm on Thursday at The Liquor Store, the Chairman’s Choice Best Bar at the 2015 Eat, Drink, Sleep awards, with a great 5-5-5 offer. That’s 5 drinks for £5 from 5pm. It’s Free Food Friday with a free barbeque and new cocktail menu and Saturday is Chocolate Night with 2 for 1 chocolate cocktails, a chocolate fountain, and free eggs. On Sunday, Noasis will be performing. More than a tribute band, this is Oasis from a parallel universe. Tickets £5
There are some great food and drink offers at Rosylee throughout the whole Bank Holiday weekend. Kick off the weekend in style on Friday with cocktails from the ‘Classic Concoctions’ menu at 2 for £10 from 12 noon until close. On Sunday and Monday, Rosylee will be serving up its delicious roast dinners with all the trimmings from 12 noon until they’re gone. £12.95 per person. On Easter Monday, there’s 50% off the a la carte food menu and roast dinners will be available at 50% off from 12pm until they are gone. Between 12pm and 7pm all weekend the lunch and early evening a la carte food menu is available from just £12.95 per person. And with a choice of four starters and mains, plus three dessert options, you’ll be spoilt for choice – 2 courses £12.95 and 3 courses £14.95.