The Off-Beat, The Old School & The Sky-High: 6 Quirky Things to do Outdoors in Manchester

Last updated . By Anisah Audu.

Never a dull city, Manchester is brimming with quirky things to do. Looking to take the fun outside now that the weather is hotting up? We've got you covered. From alternative venues boasting pop-up shops and unique events to a massive arts festival and stunning spaces fit for soaking up cocktails and rays alike, here's the cream of the alfresco crop. Feast your eyes on our guide to 6 quirky things to do outdoors in Manchester.


Manchester International Festival 

Taking place over 3 weeks in July, Manchester International Festival is a diverse programme of theatre, dance, music and more. The world’s first festival of its kind, it only happens every other year so you won’t want to miss it this time around. Expect everything from supper clubs with top chefs to art from Yoko Ono and live performances from the likes of Janelle Monáe and Skepta.

Manchester International Festival

It's all going down at this biennial event.

The Ivy

Just when you thought The Ivy had conquered Spinningfields with its stunning brasserie and jaw-dropping Asian-inspired restaurant (have you seen that jade floor?), the roof garden finally opens. Adorned with greenery and colourful décor, this stunning space is home to the same seasonal dishes and much-loved cocktails, but in a new enchanting setting.

The Ivy Spinningfields Manchester

The rooftop is the latest addition to the dazzling Ivy Spinningfields.

The Luna Cinema

Catch your favourite flick under the stars as The Luna Cinema returns for a season of modern favourites in stunning settings. Located in Tatton Park, you’ll find an open-air experience complete with top-notch food, thirst-quenching drinks and a selection of movies including A Star Is Born, The Greatest Showman and Bohemian Rhapsody.

The Luna Cinema Manchester

See award-winning movies like never before.


Head to this award-winning pop-up space where foodie favourites and modern retailers are housed in shipping containers. With a range of creative independent businesses, Hatch is all about rotating traders and diverse events. Whether it’s a comedy club, night market or open mic gig, make sure to fill up on smothered burgers from Get Chucked and craft beer from nano brewery Öl.

Hatch Manchester

Ditch the same old spot and take things outside at Hatch.

Swing & Rat Pack Cruise

All aboard the Princess Katherine as the Swing & Rat Pack Cruise brings you an evening to remember. Not only will you be wined and dined with drinks and canapés, but singer Russell Shaun is on hand with live renditions of the biggest Rat Pack hits. Think Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin set to the backdrop of Manchester’s stunning city lights.

Manchester River Cruises

Old school tunes to float your boat.

20 Stories 

One of the most iconic venues in the city, 20 Stories is the restaurant and bar offering cracking libations and unrivalled views. Alongside modern cocktails and tasty eats, there's a lineup of quirky events. Think wellbeing classes with GB Olympians, blackout dinners by candlelight and ice cream sundae masterclasses on the terrace.

20 Stories Manchester

Panoramic views and beaut interiors are just the tip of the iceberg at 20 Stories.

If you think this lot sizzle, check out our guide to Cool and Quirky Events in Manchester for more unique inspo.