As we enter into May those long-awaited long weekends begin to stretch out ahead promising an oasis of calm and relaxation. If only we could decide what we’re going to do.
With so much entertainment focused around eating, drinking and partying, we thought we’d put together a list of some alternative fun activities for you to enjoy. After all, even the most gluttonous of us end up fancying a little mental or physical stimulation from time to time.
From crafty workshops where you can pick up skills on terranium building, calligraphy, screen printing and more, to beer yoga and axe-throwing, you’re sure to find something a bit different here.
Get your hands dirty at Plant Noma’s craft workshops
Located between the Northern Quarter and Green Quarter, open design studio and coffee spot Plant Noma offer up a range of crafty classes that allow you to explore your artistic side and make something with like-minded people. Book onto Play with Clay to learn how to craft yourself some plant pots, nibble dishes and more, or get stuck into print with classes on block and lino printing, both on offer from local printmaker Neil Smith.
Bottoms up in the name of zen at Beer Yoga
Combining two of life’s greatest pleasures, beer and yoga, maximise your chill over the weekend with this quirky vinyasa session, putting together two centuries-old therapies for the mind and soul. Enjoy an energising hour of vinyasa flow overseen by fully-certified and lively host Guzel, with lots of beer salutations to loosen you up. £12 for 1 hour, including a free bottle of beer and use of a mat for your session.
Get your putting fix at Junkyard Golf Club
For the original weird and wonderful crazy golf experience, head down to First Street’s Junkyard Golf Club for sweet, pun-heavy party drinks such as the Havana a Good Time, early 00’s R&B bangers and some quirky courses that’ll help you pass a pleasant evening or afternoon with a bit of a difference. With plenty of small bars conveniently situated throughout the nine-hole courses, you needn’t worry about being short of bevs, either.
Escape a locked room in just 60 minutes at Breakout
Manchester’s original escape room game Breakout has two sites in town – Brazennose Street and High Street. The perfect team bonding experience for teams of 2-5, family or friends, pick your escape experience (one popular choice is the Infiltrate game, where you’ll experience a real-life Prison Break scenario) and get to planning your escape in under 60 minutes using a range of riddles, puzzles and other clues.
Relive your favourite 90’s TV show at The Crystal Maze
Back in the 90’s The Crystal Maze was one of our favourite TV shows, with a regular audience of 4-6 million viewers a week. Manchester went mad last year when the live, interactive experience landed in town with teams eager to have a go at winning after spending so many years as a spectator. We recently visited The Crystal Maze to celebrate their first birthday and were mightily impressed with the whole experience, including the brilliant maze master Any Time Thursday for perfectly replicating the much-loved show from start to finish.
Book a private movie screening at King Street Townhouse
Last year, baby grand hotel King Street Townhouse converted their cellar space into a gorgeous screening room. Fitted out with plush seating and catered with a sumptuous range of champagne, cocktails, popcorn, ice cream and other sweet treats galore, the 20 seater luxury screening room is available for private hire. Why not book it out for a special screening of your favourite movie with the squad, then head upstairs afterwards to check out the rooftop infinity pool?
Get a free heart-rate monitored workout at V1BE
Amping up your fitness now the summer months are approaching? You’re not alone. Why not give your usual gym routine a break and check out a heart rate monitored fitness class at Northern Quarter fitness studio V1BE. For a limited time only the team are offering free trial classes when you sign up here – so what have you got to lose (except a few pounds, perhaps)?
SIGN UP HERE
Try your hand at calligraphy at Form Lifestyle Store
Firm lifestyle store is so tucked away behind Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter if it wasn’t for their A-boards you might be forgiven for thinking they don’t want to be found. The first three times (at least) we’ve stepped in there, staff have asked how we’d managed to find them, so we figured they deserved an honourable mention here. Not only is Form a fantastic little shop selling locally made homeware designed by Mancunian creatives, they also have an upstairs workshop space where they hold classes to inspire you to get a little creative yourself. From terranium building workshops to classes on screen printing, brush and calligraphy lettering and hand embroidery, there’s plenty to get stuck into – and plenty of inspiration downstairs to get you thinking about what you might want to make.
Make your own gin at Manchester’s only city centre distillery
Rated Manchester’s number one Trip Advisor experience for a reason, Manchester Three Rivers will show you a ruddy good time. Enjoy a guided and informative tour of the distillery accompanied by four delicious complimentary drinks, before getting stuck in and creating your own bottle to take home with you. Your Manchester Three Rivers gin host will guide you through the subtleties of flavour combination and help you create a full 700ml bottle to enjoy at home.
Hang out with the mummies at the Manchester Museum
Built back in 1887 to house collections that had belonged to the Manchester Natural History Society, the Manchester Museum on Oxford Road is full to the brim with interesting historical artefacts dating back centuries. Get to know the mummies better as you explore the extensive Egyptology collection and check out new archaeological exhibition Nature Through Roman Eyes, inspired by the 1st century AD Roman writer Pliny the Elder’s encyclopaedic work The Natural History.
Axe-throwing at the Great Northern Warehouse
Who doesn’t love a bit of axe-throwing therapy? Tap into your inner woodsman with a session at urban axe throwing pros Whistle Punks in the Great Northern Warehouse. A fantastic experience, you’ll be genuinely surprised how much fun you can have throwing a sharp instrument at a blunt object over the course of an afternoon.