Manchester’s parks, libraries, galleries and sports venues are all hosting a wealth of activities for the whole family throughout the summer months.
Nine great things to do in Manchester this summer
From high fashion to football to computer coding, the city’s packed events calendar promises something for everyone – with most activities on offer completely free.
Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “An incredibly diverse and exciting range of activities are happening right across Manchester this summer. Our leisure centres, libraries, parks and galleries are all great places to visit for the whole family, so don't miss out - make sure you take advantage of everything on offer.”
Information on all of the listed events and many more activities can be found at www.manchester.gov.uk/events.
1. Summer Reading Challenge (Now - 12 September)
This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is themed on Roald Dahl 100, the celebrations marking the centenary of Dahl's birth. To enter, children aged from 4 -11 need to become a member of their local library (it’s free!) Then all they have to do is read six or more books, which can include anything they enjoy - picture books, fact books, even audiobooks - as long as they are borrowed from the library. As children complete the Challenge, they get stickers, a certificate and those who read six books will be entered into a prize draw to win some fantastic prizes - including a £100 toy store voucher and goody bags.
2. Heaton Park and Hall (All summer)
One of the biggest parks in Europe, Heaton Park is also a one-stop shop for a fun-filled summer, with events throughout the season suitable for the whole family. From heritage tours of the iconic Heaton Hall and the long-standing photographer group, to fitness and funfairs, there is something to draw people of all ages back to Heaton Park again and again
3. ‘Olympic Summer’ (Saturday 23 July – Sunday 21 August)
Olympic Summer is a four-week, free programme of sporting activities for all ages and abilities, taking place at venues across Hulme and Moss Side. Zumba, football, netball and multi-sports sessions are all included. The programme launches with an opening event on Saturday 23 July, at Moss Side Leisure Centre (12 - 3pm) and runs until Sunday 21 August, with the final event being a community fun-run at Alexandra Park (11am -1pm). Timetables are available at Moss Side Leisure Centre and Moss Side Millennium Powerhouse.
4. Fashion and Freedom exhibition (Now - 27 November)
Part of the WW1 centenary art commissions, the free Fashion and Freedom exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery explores the fashions and film inspired by the women of the First World War. Including original designs by Vivienne Westwood, Roksanda and Holly Fulton.
5. North Manchester age-friendly summer festival (Now – 31 July)
A fortnight-long festival with a real focus on enjoying life and being happy. Everything from dementia-friendly swimming to film showings at the Moston Small Cinema and a swing dance class is on offer. Presented in association with the Sporting Memories Network, a national organisation working with community groups and training volunteers. Download your North Manchester age-friendly festival guide from www.manchester.gov.uk/events.
6. Wythenshawe Hall and Park (All summer long)
A green gem in the south of the city, Wythenshawe Park offers loads of activities and events and with something for all ages - the park is a must throughout the summer months.
Blighted by fire earlier this year, the park’s Tudor hall is currently undergoing repair, but the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall group continue to host their monthly open days and have reopened an undamaged section of the historic property. Pop along and show your support.
7. Open-air productions at Fletcher Moss Gardens (Various dates)
The beautiful Fletcher Moss Gardens will become the stage for open-air performances, bringing Shakespeare's The Tempest and David Walliams’ popular children’s book Ratburger to Didsbury. Standard adult tickets are £15, while children under five and carers go free, with a family concession ticket available. Find out more at www.heartbreakproductions.co.uk.
8. Classic film screenings at HOME
HOME takes classic film in the wider sense of the term and so far, their screenings have ranged from The Breakfast Club to the 1959 Palme d’Or winner Orpheo Negro. A series of matinee screenings are being held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays, with most screenings including an informal post-screening discussion, so you can meet and chat about the film with fellow film buffs.
9. Manchester Mega Mela (Sat 30 July – Sunday 31 July)
The Mega Mela is the largest celebration of South Asian Culture in the North of England. Music, dance, food and traditional arts and crafts bring the sights, sounds and spicy aromas of South Asia to Platt Fields Park each year. The Mela is a two day fun-filled event.