The summer weather may have been a little changeable this year to say the least, but it’s finally hotting up.

Here’s just a few ideas how to make the most of long summer evenings from a gin cruise and outdoor screenings to a Japanese garden and Nordic feast.

The Gincident Gin Cruise

All aboard the Gincident this summer, a three-hour gin cruise that sets sail from Castlefield Bowl on a round trip to Media City. Along the way you’ll be treated to seven cocktails (two long and refreshing gin and tonics and five cocktails), with some insightful commentary from the Liquorists team, and some sharing platters to tuck into. This has sold out for the last four years so don’t hang about too long before booking – and check out their summer strawberry jam gin afternoon tea gin cruise with I Love MCR® on 12th July while you’re at it, too.


Stage and screen at Dunham Massey

Photo: Charlotte Jopling

The Chapterhouse Theatre Company will be presenting three classics stories in the stunning grounds of Dunham Massey over the summer. Pack a hamper and immerse yourself in the world of The Secret Garden (6th July) or Pride and Prejudice (10th August). There are also outdoor screenings as part of the Summer Nights Film Festival (29th-31st August), including Grease and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.


Sounds of the City

Whether indie or pop’s more your thing, they’ll be something to suit your tastes when Sounds of the City returns to the Castlefield Bowl from 6th to 13th July. Headline acts including The Wombats, Elbow, and Kylie Minogue and Hacienda Classical are set to be joined by surprise guests when they take to the stage at the amphitheatre-like venue.


Paying tribute at Festwich

Enjoy some of the world’s best tribute acts at Festwich on 27th and 28th July at St Mary’s Park, Prestwich. Now in its eighth year, the line-up includes Link n Park, Wrong Jovi, Kings ov Leon and Planet Duran across two stages with beer tents, food stalls and kids’ activities. Tickets are free, but you’ll need to book ahead as you won’t be able get any on the day.


Open air theatre at Ordsall Hall

Stunning Ordsall Hall in Salford is the backdrop for open air theatre productions during the summer months. This includes Three Inch Fools, who’ll be using inventive props for their take on Macbeth on 21st June, and all-female and all-male troupes from cycling actors The Handlebards who’ll be performing The Tempest on 3rd August and Much Ado About Nothing on 11th August. Don’t worry about organising drinks and nibbles as you can pre-order picnic packages from £5.95.


The Lawn Club pop-up

The Lawn Club has returned to Hardman Square in Spinningfields in pop-up form, so make the most of it by grabbing one of the rattan chairs on the veranda or a deck chair out on the turf and enjoy a sundowner cocktail and street food. It’s open every day until the end of summer until 8pm Monday to Wednesday and 11pm Thursday to Sunday.


A Midsummer Nordic Feast

As part of the series of art-meets-food supper clubs at Manchester Art Gallery, chefs are creating immersive dining experiences served within the gallery space. On 28th June, it’s the turn of local chef Mary-Ellen McTague who will be creating a Midsummer Nordic Feast, a four-course Scandinavian banquet inspired by the Nordic Craft and Design exhibition. This will be served in the glass-roofed atrium with ambient music and design, a drinks reception and an introductory talk from the exhibit’s curator.


Japanese Garden at Club Brass

The roof top terrace at Club Brass in Hotel Gotham has been transformed into a Japanese Garden this summer by Manchester-based Frog Flowers. Although the space is typically only open to members and hotel residents, a special guest pass is available until the end of August. Priced £25, it includes a signature ROKU gin cocktail of your choice.


Summer Beer Thing

Photo: Summer Beer Thing instagram

May the sun be scorching when Summer Beer Thing takes place at Sadler’s Yard (until 11pm on 28th and 29th June and until 8pm on 30th June). Described as a celebration of the ‘very best beer styles from the north west’s and beyond brewing scene’, there will be over 60 beer options at any one time and as well as food from Margot Pizza and Vaso Kitchen among others. Evening sessions tickets are priced from £5.


Festival Square

Manchester International Festival photo by Tarnish Vision

The biennial Manchester International Festival returns to the city in July. The hub of the action will be in Albert Square, temporarily renamed Festival Square from 5th July. Here you’ll find food and drink stalls, family friendly activities and free live music from world-renowned artists including reggae legend Horace Andy, DJ The Black Madonna and hip-hop supremo DJ Yoda.


Spinningfields summer screenings

Head to the Spinningfields outdoor courtyard just in front of The Oast House every other Monday and Tuesday evening for the popular Summer Screenings event. Films including Mamma Mia!, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Crazy Stupid Love, as well as three live Royal Opera House screenings, will be played on the big screen. You can order food and drink from the bar, and even purchase some popcorn for £2. No tickets necessary. Just be there for a prompt 7pm start.


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