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11 Diverse Things To Do In Manchester This August


There’s plenty going on over the coming weeks so put the boxset binge on hold, glance up from Pokémon Go and gather the gang to experience all that Manchester has to offer this month.

Wander Around Spinningfields Makers Market

Not even the sleek, oh-so-contemporary square of Spinningfields can resist tradition. Despite the area’s boundless enthusiasm for modernity, it reverts back to humble beginnings on August 20 and 21 turning into a market town that showcases the finest talent in Manchester – be it art, culinary, music or craft. Amble up The Avenue and Hardman Boulevard between 11am and 5pm to take in a selection of performances and demonstrations before snooping around a superb selection of stalls. The Makers Market offers activities for children too, making it a great place to take the kids during the summer holidays.

Dig Into A Bottomless Boozy Brunch

Is there anything better than washing down a plate full of pancakes or bacon and eggs with a juicy cocktail? Ordinarily, it isn’t acceptable to sip on an alcoholic drink mere minutes after rolling out of bed, but with a boozy brunch social etiquette is tossed aside for a few hours. Blackdog Ballroom serve up a swashbuckling boozy brunch every weekend between 12pm and 4pm, charging £25 for a single breakfast dish and an unlimited supply of Bloody Marys, Mimosas, selected lagers or wine. Elsewhere in the Northern Quarter, the Pen & Pencil offers all you can eat and drink between 10am and 2pm for £35 on the final Saturday of every month. The most unconventional venue among the brunch bunch however is Gaucho. A lavish restaurant by night, this venue sheds its prestigious attire every Saturday morning from 11am and straps on its dancing shoes, offering up a wild concoction of breakfast and booze floating on the waves of electronic music. Electro Brunch costs £45 for two hours of unlimited food, drink and dancing, anytime between the hours of 11am and 3pm.

Watch An MMA Fight

Loading the fridge with pizza and beer and settling in for a night in front of the television for the Ultimate Fighting Championship isn’t the only way to experience MMA in all its glory. In August, you can watch top class cage contenders scrapping in the flesh right here in Manchester with the inaugural Tanko Fighting Championships. Taking place at Victoria Warehouse on 13 August, this MMA event promises to showcase some of the finest fighting talent in the country. Anyone familiar with the UFC will recognise the co-headline fighters Saul Rodgers and Andre Winner, with an exciting undercard sure to set the tone for an enthralling night of MMA action. Brendan Loughnane v Eden Newton tops the bill in a highly-anticipated Manchester grudge match for added spice.

Treat Your Taste Buds

Sample some superb cuisine in the sunshine by visiting some of Manchester’s best restaurants in August. This is probably the last bit of sun we’re going to get for a while, and the best way to soak up the withering rays is in one of Manchester’s outdoor eating venues. The Oast House, The Wharf, Dukes 92 and El Gato Negro all boast some super gardens with some delicious food to boot. The lovely little Lawn Club is set to shut its doors on August 31st, so you may want to make the most of the Spinningfields restaurant and bar while it’s still there. If you’re looking for something new, the irrepressibly English eatery Grafene just opened up on King Street and is already attracting some positive feedback.

Hit The Bowling Lanes

The All Star Lanes venue at Great Northern is a great place to drink, dine and bowl all year round, but there’s no better time to slip on a pair of bowling shoes than August 2016. The “boutique bowling” arena is offering kids unlimited games during summer, allowing the little ones to hit the lanes as many times as they like for £30. It’s a great way to keep the kids entertained before they head back to school. All Star Lanes are also advertising some summer-style food for August too, as well as a Fast Lane Lunch (drink and dine for £10) and two games of bowling on a Monday for just £10 per person.

Take In An Art Exhibition

If you don’t consider yourself a culture vulture, it’s never too late to change your ways when you’re in Manchester. In August, there’s a vast selection of exhibitions on at various venues across the city. Our top picks for the month are:

Fashion and Freedom Exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery

Behind the Sun: Prêmio Marcantônio Vilaça CNI Sesi Senai at HOME Manchester

Magic, Witches & Devils in the Early Modern World at John Ryland Library

Mixing It: The Changing Faces of Wartime Britain at Imperial War Museum

Vogue 100: A Century of Style at Manchester Art Gallery

Caribbean Carnival

Caribbean festivities are infectiously good fun, and the annual carnival in Manchester’s own backyard is an event well worth attending. A loud, proud, gigantic party filled with flavourful continental food, hip-shaking live music and vibrant dance routines, the Caribbean Carnival is a joyous occasion. Taking place at Alexandra Park once again – a place the festival considers to be its spiritual home – the carnival will last two days, bursting into life on  Saturday 13 August and winding down the following evening. Oh, and it’s completely free to attend.

Pride Big Weekend

The long stretch of Canal Street is one of Manchester’s most colourful and vibrant assets. This area is famous for being alive and kicking round the clock, but during Pride Big Weekend, things crank up a notch. For one weekend in August, the Gay Village erupts into raucous celebration with live musical performances, shows and parades all taking place. The likes of Will Young, Katy B and Judge Jules will all be in attendance on pop-up stages, with expos and markets scattered on the periphery. Head up to the Gay Village between the 26 and 29 August and you’ll see some special celebrations. Whilst you won’t have to pay to get in amongst the action at Pride Big Weekend, you’ll need to be on your toes to grab a ticket to some of the performances on stage. Tickets are available from the Pride Big Weekend website.

Manchester Loves Cocktails

Love cocktails? So does Manchester. From  August 8–14, a cocktail festival is set to take place across the city, with a £4.50 wristband granting you access to discount drinks at the likes of Corridor, Tusk, Whiskey Jar, Crazy Pedro’s, The Alchemist, Tariff & Dale, The Liquor Store and many more. There are tasting sessions, live musical performances, and cocktail experiments (yikes!) from noon ‘til night throughout the week. Check out the timetable here.

Moovin Festival

Etherow Country Park in south Manchester hosts the beloved Moovin Festival from August 26-28. It’s a celebration of underground, alternative music for those who aren’t quite as partial to the intensity of Parklife as the classic festival crowd. This year Lee Scratch Perry, Goldie, Congo Natty and Beardyman all headline, with a wide array of additional acts sprinkled across the stages for the three day festival. Check out the rest of the line-up here.

Kosmonaut Summer Street Party

On Saturday 20 August Kosmonaut is celebrating the summer with a day to night street party incorporating live art, DJ’s and a taste of what’s to come from the bar and kitchen. The party starts at midday and resident music programmer, Matt Ward, has brought together an all-star line up of Kosmonaut favourites to take to the decks. Practically part of the furniture, Pasta Paul and Matt Ward will be spinning an array of records to ease guests into the party mood from lunchtime, followed by Cosmic Baggy with his own brand of Emotional Pop. Jamie Groovement from Manchester’s notorious hip hop night In The Loop will take the fun times into the evening. Free. Oh, and there’s free drinks on the hour every hour

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