Manchester The city

Six of the best things to do as our city reopens

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Lockdown is slowly easing, more things are opening and we should soon be able to see friends and families outside our household again. Many of us will be venturing out to start exploring the city once again, and so with that in mind we’ve created a list of six things to do and look forward to as the city continues to reopen.

1. One thing a lot of us will be missing is roaming around one of the city’s many cultural institutions, but with many either open now or within the next month it’s time to plan your visit Manchester Art Gallery reopened Thursday 20 August for four days a week, Thursday to Sunday, and HOME arts centre have announced that they are aiming to reopen their cinemas, bars and restaurant on Friday 4 September. See below for a list of other Manchester museums and galleries and their open dates to plan your visits.

  • National Football Museum – 23rd July
  • Imperial War Museum North – 1st August 
  • Salford Museum & Art Gallery – 4th August 
  • Elizabeth Gaskell’s House – 12th August
  • Science & Industry Museum – 14th August 
  • Manchester Art Gallery – 20th August
  • Manchester Museum – September (date TBA) 
  • The Whitworth – September (date TBA)
  • People’s History Museum – 1st September 
  • International Anthony Burgess Foundation – 8th September
  • Castlefield Gallery – 16th September

2. One of Europe’s biggest annual celebrations of LGBTQ+ life, Manchester Pride also raises hundreds of thousands for related causes. As this year’s event is cancelled, organisers are instead hosting three days of streamed content spanning live music to arts, culture and the traditional candlelit vigil from 29th – 31st August as an Alternative Manchester Pride. They are currently calling for LGBTQ+ people to get involved in the parade, which this year will be filmed in advance. 

3. The Maker’s Market roams various locations across the North West offering a chance to support small businesses selling crafts, jewellery and food and drink. Check the site and make a note of their calendar where you can find them interchangeably outside the Great Northern Warehouse in the city centre, outside The Lowry at Salford Quays, in Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter, as well as in Sale, Cheadle, Chorlton and West Didsbury. 

4. With many of us pretty much completing Netflix with not much else to do, you’ll be glad to know that cinemas across the city are almost all now open for bookings. See below for our list of opening dates so you can grab your popcorn and enjoy a movie night with your household.

ODEON Trafford Centre – 4th July
Cineworld Didsbury – 31st July
Vue Manchester Lowry – 7th August 
ODEON Great Northern – 21st August 
Everyman Manchester – 21st August 
Vue Manchester Printworks – 26th August

5. Involving thousands of people and small businesses, Record Store Day sees vinyl shops host special events across the world and it’s become synonymous with the city’s music culture. While cancelled in its normal format, it will now take place via three RSD ‘drop’ dates: Saturday 29th August, Saturday 26th September and Saturday 24th October. So while the street parties will have to wait till another year, you can still grab yourself a rare find or vinyl bargain. 


6. And finally… walking tours are back up and running and they’re a perfect way to get reacquainted with the city.  Manchester Guided Tours  are running their Discover Manchester tour every Saturday and Sunday at 11am, offering an ideal way to learn about everything the city has to offer. For alternative views of the city,  Invisible Cities  offer tours by people who have experienced homelessness and have trained as guides with tours running every Saturday (starting 11am) and Sunday (starting 2pm). Skyliner also offer unique city tours and their ever popular Northern Quarter Street Art tour is back up and running in September too.

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