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6 things to do in Manchester over the Easter break

The Easter break has finally arrived! It’s been a particularly long semester this year due to the lateness of the Easter Bank Holiday. With this in mind, it’s a great opportunity to take a step back and do all the things you’ve been meaning to do over the semester.

But also, if you’ve planned to stay in Manchester during Easter, make sure you take some time out before getting back into a working routine. Remember – you’ve been doing this routine since February! So, it’s really important to take a break from it and get outside the Oxford Road bubble.

And what a better time to do so! There are loads of fantastic events going on during this Easter – here are our top recommendations:

1. Explore the Peterloo: Manchester’s Fight for Freedom exhibition at the John Rylands Library

There’s a brand new exhibition at the John Ryland’s Library which showcases the story of the Peterloo Massacre, which happened 200 years ago. The Peterloo Massacre involved 60,000 protesters march to – what is now – St Peter’s Square to demand parliamentary reform, resulting in the death of 18 people. It is known as one of the most significant steps for Britain towards the democracy we see today.

You’ll be able to get a close-up look of some of the fascinating documents which told the story of the events, and there’s even some specific events to attend this Easter.

The John Rylands Library will be open 10am-5pm (Tuesday-Saturday) and 12pm-5pm (Sunday-Monday). However, it will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

2. Go to The Refuge’s Easter weekend celebrations

Not only is it an excuse to visit the incredibly extravagant bar inside The Principal Hotel, but there are also four days worth of activities to go to. If you’re in need of some chill time, there’s a day of wellbeing activities on Friday 19 April, including gong baths and reggae yoga. Or, you can sing your heart out with the Hallé Ancoats Community Choir for free on Saturday 20 April. And on the Sunday, there’ll be a vintage clothing and vinyl market in The Refuge Basement to rummage through.

Check out The Refuge’s website for a full list of events this Easter.

3. Take a look at how science merges with fashion at the Science and Industry Museum

Some of the latest designers have been able to create scrap fashion, using junk jewellery and used t-shirts, and you’ll even be able to make your own and walk the catwalk!

Or, you can design your very own design which represents your take on Manchester. Whether it’s Manchester United, the Northern Quarter, or even the rain, which makes Manchester for you, your design will be added to Revolution Manchester’s digital tapestry.

We’ll also be on hand at the Museum to exhibit the masterclass of fixing your damaged garments back to their former glory!

For more information on all the events, check out the Science and Industry Museum’s website.

4. Immerse yourself with art this Easter

Have you checked out the Manchester Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, ‘And Breathe…’? The exhibition looks at the relationship between art and mindfulness – our very own Content Ambassador Frances has already checked it out (and given rave reviews!) The Manchester Art Gallery is free to attend and will be open 10am-5pm (Tuesday-Sunday) and 11am-5pm (on Mondays).

If you want to venture further into the city, there’s a fantastic exhibition in Ancoats looking at abstract China. Taken by Anthony Fildes, the photographer took several trips to China to capture his own incredible representations of the nation. The exhibition is open every Wednesday from 11am to 6pm.

But if you’re lucky enough to have a car and fortunate enough to have sunny, dry weather (fingers crossed), why not take a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park? The beautiful open-air gallery in West Bretton (near Wakefield) features multiple exhibitions, including Guiseppe Penone’s ‘A Tree in the Woods’ which features a gold-leafed lightning-struck tree, and Kimsooja’s ‘To Breathe’, which transforms the park’s historic chapel with light and mirrors – it’s not one to be missed! The Yorkshire Sculpture Park Is open 10am-4pm every day, and there’s more information on their website.

5. Yes…the Manchester Duck Race is a real thing…

But it’s all for a good cause! It’s the 10th edition of the annual Manchester Duck Race, which sees hundreds of rubber ducks chucked into the River Irwell and race to victory.

The event, which is held on the River Irwell and by the New Bailey in Spinnngfields, raises money for the children’s charity, Brainwave and will take place on 19 April.

Check out the Brainwave website for more information and how you can support the charity.

6. Watch some of the world’s best BMX riders in the BMX Supercross World Cup

As we near the end of Easter, Manchester will be visited by BMX riders from across the world as they compete for qualifying points ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. It’s pretty simple to get to the venue too – hop on a Metro from Manchester city centre to get to the HSBC UK National Cycling Centre. The event takes place between 27-28 April, and you can find out more here.