Festivals, picnics and parties: Manchester’s One Big Summer Weekend is free for all the family

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Kickstart the summer holidays in style with an entertainment-packed weekend in the city centre co-ordinated by Manchester’s Business Improvement District, managed by CityCo.

Expect summer-themed food, jazz, science experiments and so much more as a range of interactive events and festivals come together for a unique weekend in Manchester from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 July. This is a Big Summer Weekend you don’t want to miss out on.

Manchester Jazz Festival

Manchester Jazz Festival

The Festival celebrates its 21st anniversary this weekend! Ten days of music, live acts and exhibitions across the city kick off on Friday July 22 with a Tony Wilson-inspired jazz extravaganza. From 5.30pm the public will be welcomed into Hobgoblin Festival Square, a specially designed area beneath the Town Hall to listen to the big jazz band celebrate the diehard days of the Hacienda playing some of your favourite Manchester tunes with a twist! The  weekend will also include a Beer ‘n’ Blues special promoted by Band on The Wall. It’s all about opening up jazz to a wider audience with diverse live acts.

Science in The City

tinyscience4

With activities and events marking Manchester’s status as European City of Science 2016, you’ll  be seeing the city’s streets and squares in a whole new light this weekend. There’s a 3,000 sq ft  Allotment of The Future in St Ann’s Square featuring with lots going on including live cooking demonstrations from award-winning local chefs like Robert Owen Brown and quirky workshops like how to use coffee beans to grow vegetables! Another this-weekend-only experience is watching the Platform for Investigation leave the Museum of Science and Industry for the first time ever and coming to the Arndale Centre. Passers by can explore how Manchester scientists developed graphene, the world’s first 2D material! A bit of science whilst you shop? Why not?

The Manchester Picnic

The Manchester Picnic

This will be like stepping into a summer garden as Exchange Square will be filled with decoration and live musicians from African drums to Chinese violins to Northern Soul DJs and a range of food from around the world. Throughout the weekend, summer food will be served from the Co-op Airstream whilst street food traders will be serving international specialities including Himalayan-inspired cuisine from the Tibetan Kitchen, fresh pizza from Fire and Slice and some great summer specials from Al’s BBQ Shack.  Fuel yourself for some art too, as The Whitworth will be coming along, encouraging everyone to get crafty with art hampers.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Manchester Cathedral kids family

Summer is the ideal time for bringing out our inner child so what better than a teddy bear’s picnic?  Tepees, blankets and your favourite snacks will all be brought together with Michael Rosen’s much loved story, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. It will be brought to life by Z-arts in a way you will have never seen before with drama, arts and crafts. All families need to do is to bring a favourite teddy bear and the adventure can begin. Outside Manchester Cathedral, Sunday July 24, 12pm

Summer Crafts Market

Manchester Summer Crafts Market

Amazing markets in Manchester are not just for Christmas. Market Street once again will be hosting a Summer Crafts Market with traders selling quirky goods from all over Europe. The markets start on Friday 22 July and give you the opportunity to find some truly special crafting materials and be inspired.

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