It’s nearly Easter. It’s a bit like Christmas, but with more chocolate and more chance of snow. It’s the time of year when kids stuff their faces with as many Easter eggs as they can, and so do we. Why not take them on an Easter Egg Hunt? Or, to save time, just head down to your nearest supermarket and fill your basket. But there’s more to Easter than chocolate eggs. There’s chocolate pizza, chocolate cocktails and chocolate cakes, too. So loosen your belt and get stuck in. The diet can start after the Easter weekend. And don’t forget, the clocks go forward on Easter Sunday at 2am. Or is it back? But who cares?
Things for families
Manchester Duck Race 2016
A firm favourite in the city’s calendar, Manchester’s Duck Race is back for the seventh year on at Leftbank, Spinningfields on Good Friday when thousands of families will flock to the banks of the River Irwell to cheer on their rubber ducks. Join in the fun and enter the duck race whilst enjoying a host of free family activities on offer across Spinningfields from midday including ducky craft workshops, fairground rides and street food from some of Manchester’s favourite street food traders at The Kitchens. It costs £1 to buy a duck and enter it into the race, with all proceeds going to local children’s charity Brainwave which helps children with brain injuries. The races start at 2pm. Free.
Chocomania at Lowry Outlet
Chocomania returns to MediaCityUK where shoppers can meet Willy Wonka and his Oompa Loompas, join in the golden ticket hunt on the Wonka Bar Trail and tempt their senses at the Outlet’s very own Chocolate Factory. An indoor artisan barrow market will feature the finest chocolates, cakes and crafts by regional producers. The Sweet Treats Stage, located on the Outlet’s first floor, will provide more entertainment with a wide range of free, live chocolate-themed demos, musical performances and more. Entry to the Chocolate Factory is free on completion of the Wonka Bar Trail.
Swing into Paradise Island Adventure Golf
Paradise Island Adventure Golf is inviting mini-golfers to take part in its Easter Eggstravaganza. Players can compete in the Easter Egg Hunt between to find a selection of colourful eggs hidden throughout the indoor adventure golf courses at the Trafford Centre for the chance to win a six month family pass and a giant chocolate Easter bunny. Two courses culminate at the finale nineteenth hole where players are challenged to complete it in one for the chance to win a free game pass. The Easter Egg Hunt will take place from Monday 21 until Monday 28 March and is free when playing a game of adventure golf
Legoland® Discovery Centre
The LEGO® Movie™ 4D, A New Adventure, an ALL NEW 4D attraction, re-unites the characters from the original movie at LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre at The Trafford Centre. Fans will get the chance to immerse themselves in The LEGO Movie™ world in a totally new way with 4D elements such as wind, water, smoke and special lighting effects bringing the story to life. Visitors can also lose themselves in 1.5 million LEGO® bricks and explore the wonders of MINILAND®, have an adventurous ride in LEGO® City Forest Pursuit, try dodging the lasers in LEGO® Ninjago Laser Training Camp, play in the soft play area at the LEGO® Construction Site and much more.
Meet Hank the Giant Pacific Octopus at Sea Life
Meet the star of Octopus Hideout, Hank, the Giant Pacific Octopus. He’s got eight arms, blue blood, three hearts and can grow up to a jaw-dropping five metres in length and weigh up to 50 kilograms! One of the biggest octopus species in the world, Giant Pacific Octopuses can solve mazes, blend into their environment and even open jars. SEA LIFE Manchester is also home to an incredible array of sea creatures from all over the planet, including family favourite Ernie, the Giant Green Sea Turtle, captivating seahorses, colourful clownfish, Black Tip Reef Sharks, rays and more.
Chocolate-free fun At PLAY it!
Back by popular demand from March 25 is the Museum of Science and Industry’s family friendly, hands-on video gaming event PLAY it! featuring more consoles, more Minecraft, more games and pretty much more everything. Girls and boys are in for a non-chocolate covered treat with over 180 systems and thousands of games to play on – from Pong and Pacman to Lego and Halo – there is a game to suit beginners and experts, competitive dads, multiplayers, retro fans and everybody else in between. Recommended for ages 5+.
Have a Swinging Easter at The Printworks
Get ready to add some shake, rattle and roll to your Easter with The Printworks’ 13th annual Vintage Swing Festival on Easter Sunday. The free event will be hosted by swing music and dance event company, Katz Korner, and visitors to The Printworks will be treated to live music, dance, vintage cars and market stalls offering vintage clothing and crafts from 12pm in The Pump Yard. Live music on the day comes courtesy of Mary Jean Lewis, niece of rock ‘n’ roll legend, Jerry Lee Lewis. Guests can also enjoy swing DJ sets throughout the day from Kat In The Hat, Sideburn Steve and Poor Boy Paul. Professional singers and dancers, The Hotsie Totsies will be there on the day ensure everyone really gets in to the swing of things. Visitors to the event will be treated to a number of exclusive food and drink offers at venues in The Printworks, including 20% off all food at Frankie & Benny’s. With an Easter egg hunt, craft tables, fancy dress and market stalls selling classic 50s fare in the form of bric-a-brac, vintage car parts and memorabilia, the event will offer something for all the family.
Things for foodies
Sunday lunch at King Street Townhouse
The Tavern at King Street Townhouse is a destination restaurant that serves simple, honest food, no fuss with all the flavours and some all-time classics! Boasting a special Sunday Lunch menu from 12 noon until 5pm every Sunday. For two courses at £19.50 or three courses £25.50, options include: Roast Sirloin Beef or Roast Lamb with Yorkshire Pudding and Goose Fat Roasted Potatoes, Cod Loin with Braised Leek and Sweet Potatoes or the classic North Italian dish Melanzane Parmigiana. For further details on the menu please visit their website. To book please call the Tavern on 0161 667 0707
Hangover food and drink all weekend at Walrus
If you’re out with friends for Easter weekend then head to Walrus for finger-licking food and a fun, party atmosphere. The 5 o’ Clock Club offer of 2 for £10 on selected cocktails, 2 Heineken for £5 and a bottle of house with for £9.95 will be running on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday between 5pm and 10pm. And on Easter Sunday and Monday, get to Hangover Club from 12 noon for food, drink and music to mend the mangled mind. That’s a brunch menu packed with eggs, avocados, breakfast calzones and loaded fries and mimosas, Bloody Marys and breakfast zombies to wash it down, and a DJ from 2pm to get ready for the next party! Chocoholics can try Walrus’s Chocolate Covered Easter Egg Pizza. That’s a pizza with a full Cadbury Easter egg, Oreo biscuits, mini-eggs and lashings of Nutella and chocolate sauce – and some strawberries for the health conscious. The pizza will be on special from Good Friday until Easter Sunday at Walrus, in the Northern Quarter.
Unlimited four course lunch at Malmaison
This is the Easter Sunday lunch you’ve been hunting for. The star of the show is definitely the unlimited Chef’s Table, overflowing with seasonal and savoury treats such as charcuterie, local cheeses, fresh breads and salads. And make sure you leave room for one of the sublime mains, including delicious roasts and classic dishes prepared to perfection by the Mal’s mean, lean chefs. And Easter isn’t Easter without something sweet. So finish in style with a divine individual dessert and a large Easter egg to share. £24.95 per person for four courses including unlimited visits to the Chef’s Table. Children under 12 yrs £9.95 – and they get a chocolate egg and Easter egg painting.
Hard Shell Shake at Yard and Coop
The Hard Shell Shake is Yard and Coop’s adult take on the nation’s favourite Easter treat. It’s a boozy, creamy cocktail of Khalua, Liquor 43 and ice cream served inside a giant Easter egg shell, so once you’re done indulging on the contents you can enjoy the outside too. Yard and Coop will be hiding 50 golden eggs around Manchester. Anyone lucky enough to find one will be showered with free Hard Shell shakes, free chicken plus the chance to win Yard & Coop buttermilk fried chicken for a whole year! And they’lll be serving up free Hard Shell Shakes between 5pm and 7pm on Good Friday.
Cocktails and pizza at Tusk
Take a walk on the wild side this Easter and kick back and relax at Tusk. This cosy and intimate bar is designed in the style of an African hunting lodge, complete with zebra heads and other safari artefacts. But there’s no zebra on the menu – just delicious handmade pizzas and delightful handcrafted cocktails. So if you love pizza, take advantage of the 10.10 pizza deal running throughout the Easter weekend – that’s two 10-inch pizzas and two beers for £10.10. If burgers are more your thing, you can enjoy a beef or falafel burger with fries and either a beer or glass of wine for £10 on Good Friday or Easter Monday. And a selection of Tusk’s awesome cocktails, made with homemade infusions and carefully crafted by expert bartenders are 2 for £10 between 5pm and 10pm on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
Chocolate Afternoon Tea at The Spa at The Midland
Enjoy a Chocolate Afternoon Tea at the award-winning Spa at The Midland, available exclusively to anyone enjoying a spa day a for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Embrace the sweet proceedings in the secluded spa café, as a delicious array of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and chocolate inspired delicate cakes will transport you to a cocoa-y abyss! For serious relaxation, you can enjoy your tea in your slippers and robe as only guests of the spa can access the café. Once you’ve finished, you can make full use of the spa’s state of the art facilities, as you curl up and discover the art of relaxation in the hanging pods, rest in the Big Sleep and take a breather in your own Business Class Airtime seat. As an addition to your spa day, Mr Cooper’s House and Garden are launching a Chocolate Cocktail exclusively for Easter Weekend – this chocolate inspired beverage is enough to satisfy even the biggest chocoholic! (£10).
New menu and up to 25% off at Infamous Diner
Infamous Diner has just launched an epic new menu, bursting at the seams with all your diner favourites, plus lots of exciting new dishes from diner classics to wings, burgers and dogs to see you through the Easter weekend. On Good Friday and Easter Saturday enjoy Late Night Liquor, Beats & Eats with 2 for £10 cocktails from 9pm, late night food options and a cult movie and soundtrack. The cocktail offer is extended Easter Sunday and Monday from 5pm to close and also includes Huber beers for £3.25 a bottle, or a bucket for £12. Competitive eaters can take the new Pancake Challenge, with 30 minutes to eat all 21 Infamous pancakes – that’s seven 3 stack pancakes with all of the toppings. Anyone who manages it will be spared the £25 price tag and will get a T-shirt, pin badge and their name on the wall of fame. Fill up at breakfast time on Good Friday and Easter Monday for a fiver – that’s any breakfast muffin or three stack of pancakes, coffee and orange juice. And on Easter Sunday, if you book a table after 7pm you can enjoy 25% off your food bill.
Homely food, cocktails and a bloody good Sunday roast at Rosylee
If you want delicious, home cooked food, quality cocktails and a great selection of wine, spirits and beers to enjoy in stylish surroundings, head to Rosylee this Easter weekend. Whether you’re out with your mates, your other half or your family, there’s loads on offer from two for £10 cocktails to afternoon tea and Sunday roasts. If it’s sunny, the huge outdoor terrace is one of the best sun traps in the city – the perfect spot for some al fresco dining or sipping cocktails in the sunshine. Kick off the Easter weekend in style, and join the #CocktailClub at Rosylee. Enjoy all cocktails from the Classic Concoctions list at 2 for £10 all day, between 12 noon until close. Every Sunday is a Bloody Good Sunday at Rosylee – with delicious Sunday roasts and all the trimmings flying our of the kitchen all day, knocked back with £5 Bloody Marys and Negronis. If you’re heading out earlier, you can take advantage of Eggs Benedict or Florentine with a Bucks Fizz for £10. A 3 course roast £18.95 per person on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Every Monday you can enjoy 50% off Rosylee’s home-cooked, best of British dishes and Easter Monday is no different.
Easter treats in the clouds
Sweet treats and fine fancies are the perfect indulgence at Easter, and what better way to enjoy them than with Easter Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23, the Hilton Deansgate’s chic sky bar. Guests can delight in the flavours of Easter whilst gazing over views of the city’s most stunning vista. The menu includes rocky road cake, chocolate brownie cup cakes topped with a mini egg, luxurious chocolate and mint mousse, and a classic English Easter treat of scones, jam, and clotted cream. To compliment the sweetness, the savoury selection includes pulled pork wraps, egg and cress on white bread, smoked salmon and dill cream cheese on dark rye bread, chicken and mayonnaise on brown bread, and a caramelised onion tart. Make it an extra special occasion by ordering the Eggstravaganza Cocktail. Available from 25 March through to the 28 March.
Chocolate Takeover at Bierkeller Entertainment Complex
For one week only, Bierkeller is treating guests to an unusual spin on its classic menu offering. A starter of smoked salmon with miso white chocolate dressing, followed by chilli con carne featuring Willie’s 100% Cacao will have chocoholics feeling “Tschoglad” – that’s Bavarian for chocolate! The two courses for just £12 come with a recommendation for the ideal chocolate flavoured beer. Meantime Chocolate Porter is stocked in Around The World In 80 Beers Bar, and the natural flavours of its four different roasted malts used to brew this rich, dark beer are complemented by the addition of real chocolate during maturation. As a special Easter promotion, Meantime Chocolate Porter is 25% off, so at just £3 per bottle, it’s the perfect accompaniment to the special chocolate menu.
Things for night owls
Jazz up your Easter Sunday at Quill
Easter Sunday takes a bluesy twist this year at swanky cocktail bar Quill when it aims to bring a touch of downtown New Orleans to the streets of Manchester with a special Bank Holiday edition of Sunday Jazz. The event will provide those looking to kick back and savour the Easter break with live jazz acts paired with the inspired cocktail creations that the King Street bar has fast become famous for. From 6pm ‘til late, guests can enjoy 2-4-1 cocktails, choosing from delights such as The Graduate, a zesty infusion of lemongrass gin, lemon barley water and thyme; Letters from Seville, a heady cocktail of Aperol, yuzu liqueur, blood orange, lemon and orange bitters topped with prosecco and mint; and The Hour Glass with smooth rose, creamy caramel, gold and prosecco.
Live music at The Fitzgerald
If you like your live music as much as you like a DJ, then The Fitzgerald is the place to be this Easter weekend, with everything from acid jazz to disco, funk and soul. One of the best live music venues in the Northern Quarter, The Fitzgerald plays host to some of Manchester’s best new music with a weekly open mic night for upcoming artists and Live at the Fitz on Thursdays – with more established musicians playing an eclectic mix of everything from jazz, to blues, folk, funk and soul. Thursday 24 March will see Ellis Davies, guitarist from Honeyfeet, presenting an evening of blues, folk, wonky instrumentals and skewed pop covers, with a special guest appearance. Following this, a guest DJ will be spinning tunes until the early hours. On Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday, resident DJ Tobin Lochrie will be bringing the party with a weekend marathon of electro swing, jazz, funk and disco until the early hours. With an extended license to until 2am because, well, a little party never killed nobody. The Fitzgerald will be offering 2 for £10 selected cocktails all night on Thursday 24and Easter Sunday and between 5pm and 8pm on Good Friday and Saturday 26 March.
DJs and Dim Sum at Tattu
Check out Tattu on Easter Sunday for DJs and Dim Sum featuring sets from resident DJs and musicians supplying the finest house music throughout the day. Try the Dim Sum brunch between 12pm and 5pm when Paul M will be playing an eclectic mix of cosmopolitan house music to complement the wonderful range of cocktails. From 6pm the tempo picks up with live sax performances and modern electronic house. Dance and drink into the early hours in the beautiful rose garden. Open until 2am Friday – Sunday
Party nights at Hula
The original and still the best tiki experience in Manchester, Hula Manchester has a weekend of crazy, hedonistic fun lined up for the Easter weekend, kicking off with Heavy Jams from Greg Turner on Thursday 24 March – a mixture of hip hop, RnB, funk and soul to get zombied to. On Good Friday and Easter Saturday, resident DJ and man about town, Gareth Brooks will host his legendary party nights, which promise to be two of the most fun filled and craziest parties of the weekend but get in quick as the queue is usually around the block. On Easter Sunday, a Hula legend returns for one night only. DJ Darka is back from the big smoke to host a special old skool party night, with 90’s hip hop and RnB grooves to finish the weekend off Hula-style. If you’re still going by Easter Monday, Bad Osiris will be on the decks spinning feel good vibes from 10pm and with 2 for £10 cocktails, everyday is a holiday at Hula Manchester. Hula West Didsbury is smaller but just as crazy as its city centre sister and offers the full tiki experience but in the suburbs. There’ll be Zombies flowing all weekend long with 2 for £10 on all cocktails until 10pm, and a mix of dance floor fillers to hip-hop, reggae and everything in between.
Oink! The Blue Pig
Start your weekend off with the brilliant Oink! Punk Bingo on Thursday; no work the next day means this is going to go off! On Friday, Saturday and Sunday their resident DJs Bump and PB&J will bring you only the best in RnB, Hiphop, Funk and party tunes to keep you dancing till Monday. Pssst… Don’t forget Piggy Happy Hour continues on Thursday 5-7pm and Friday 5-9pm with £5/6 cocktails, £10 bottles of fine wine and £3 Becks Vier pints – get involved!
Rave on at Dance 88/89
Bring back the spirit of the second Summer of Love at Victoria Warehouse on Easter Sunday from 5pm till 5am with a mammoth line-up capturing the spirit of the earliest, most influential acid house parties with such pioneering artists as Adamski, Alfredo, Colin Dale, Evil Eddie Richards, Fabio and Grooverider, Frankie Valentine, Graeme Park, MC Kinky, Marshall Jefferson, Mr C, Nicky Holloway, Terry Farley, Trevor Fung and 808 State. Dance 88/89 is promoter David Vincent’s personal artistic project celebrating the original music culture of classic underground acid house in an authentic environment.