Much Ado About Something: What To Do In and Around the City
6 May 2022
In a city with so much to see and do, where do you start? There's sure to be something to float everyone's boat, no matter what you enjoy doing for fun, but deciding between all the possible choices can be a sticky one. Coworking spaces like Colony are great for people who are new to the city to explore from. So, we've tried our best to narrow down your options, enough that there's a good variety but not too much that it's going to give you a nasty headache and a choice overload complex. Cast your eyes over our list below and take your pick.
Colony's Guide to What To Do In and Around the City
Take your eyes away from your screen, go out and get involved. We've tried to include a variety of interesting and fun things to do, without being too niche or selective, but also including things that are exclusive to Manchester.
Costing an eyewatering £42m and three years, the concerts here are nothing short of spectacular. Home of over 300 performances a year, from Manchester’s famous Hallé choir & orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic and the Manchester Camerata to mention but a few, the Bridgewater Hall was built with the intention of delivering the best possible space for music. It also plays host to many of the local universities’ graduation ceremonies. Fun fact: The Bridgewater Hall was in fact opened by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip in 1996.
Manchester Central Library
As you’re probably aware by now, Manchester is overwhelmed with iconic landmarks and Manchester Central Library is most certainly one of those. With its grand all-encompassing structure, it imposes itself, making its voice heard even against the majestic Town Hall looming in the backdrop. Much like the aforementioned Bridgewater Hall, Central Library was opened by royalty, specifically George V on 17th July 1934 accompanied by a rather large fanfare of joyous spectators. Today, the library holds a variety of different cultural events such as art exhibitions, reading and writing workshops, as well as fairs and other networking events – most of which are free, although there are a few events which may have admission costs.
Formerly known as The Grand Old Lady of Oxford Street, the Palace Theatre is one of Manchester’s biggest theatres. Since opening back in 1891, it’s stage has been graced by the likes of Judy Garland, Laurel & Hardy, Dame Gracie Fields, Charles Laughton and Noel Coward, so just a few internationally renowned, generational performers. The Palace itself is also well renowned with a stellar reputation, known for being the flagship venue of the North. If that doesn’t convince you to watch a show, we don’t know what will.
Manchester Opera House
Another notable theatre in the city, which is in fact the sister theatre to the Palace and was once converted into a bingo hall sometime during the 1990s. Much like it’s sister site up the road, the Manchester Opera House has had some famous plays, musicals, operas and believe-it-or-not Christmas pantomimes! The premieres of Phantom of the Opera, Ghost, 9 to 5, Bat out of Hell, and Back to the Future were all shown at the Opera! So, for exclusives and first viewings Manchester Opera House is your go to!
Home Cinema is perfect for something a little bit more niche, independent films from across the globe, experimental theatre and dance shows, as well as thought-provoking art exhibitions. They also have a bar, restaurant and roof terrace, not to forget a café and a bookshop, too! Get your fix of arts and culture all under one roof at Home Cinema.
Fuel all your retro arcade dreams at NQ64! Perfect for when you want to re-live the good old days coming home from school, kicking your shoes off and button mashing some Crash Bandicoot. With two sites in the city, one in Northern Quarter and another on Peter Street, there’s enough games to make your eyes go square, as Mum used to say!
Museum of Science and Industry
A place for all the family, young to old, there’s something for everyone from the seemingly ordinary and mundane to the simply breath-taking! The Museum of Science and Industry aims to inspire each and every person that steps through the door, and after their multi-million-pound restoration programme is finished (due to complete 2024), the museum will have everything it needs to bring all the stories it holds to life. From gaming to transport, history to science, the MOSI is certain to teach you a thing or two!
The Crystal Maze Experience
Cast your mind back to all those times you were sat on the sofa thinking you could do better than the people on the telly - well, now’s your chance to prove it... or eat your words. The Crystal Maze Experience is the ultimate team challenge, but you knew that already! Follow the same premise as the original show that was aired back in the 90’s and hosted by Richard O’Brien, test your skills, wits and know-how to see if your team has what it takes to reach the leader board!
The Cube Live Experience
Another excellent one for those armchair commentators that always think they could do a better job! They talk the talk, but can they walk the walk when inside the iconic Perspex box? There’s no excuses once you’re inside, it’s just you vs. The Cube. Overcome your nerves and beat The Cube’s deceptively simple challenges, should you impress (or fail miserably) treat yourself in the accompanying restaurant and bar!
Frog and Bucket Comedy Club
Is a bucket of laughs bigger than a barrel - who knows? What we do know is that you’re guaranteed to at least fill your boots with plenty of chuckles, giggles, creases and all wonder of things that make you laugh out loud. Once the only dedicated comedy club in Manchester, the Frog and Bucket has had true legends of comedy perform a gig or two during their rite of passage including Johnny Vegas, Sarah Millican, Sean Locke, Peter Kay, John Bishop, Lee Mack and Dave Gorman. There is, of course, plenty of amateurs finding their way on stage too, and they’ll make you laugh just as hard, potentially a bit more.
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