Quirky Things To Do In Manchester

No stranger to weird and wacky happenings, there's a treasure trove of fun activities to be had across our city. From bizarre brunches and boozy painting pop-ups to cricket bars and late-night drinks at secret dens, there's always some strange goings-on. Read our recommendations for cool and quirky things to do in Manchester city centre and beyond here.

Last edited by Scarlett Welch

Last updated on 27th February 2024




Immersive Gamebox

If you're in need of activities in Manchester for large groups, explore the different options at Immersive Gamebox. Your one-stop shop for things to do, this Arndale Centre hangout is combining motion sensor headgear with fun games, which span everything from Squid Game to Angry Birds - ideal for birthdays or team building activities.

Alcotraz Manchester: Cell Block Three-Four

@ Alcotraz Penitentiary: Manchester on Various dates from Sunday 3rd March 2024

One of the hottest immersive experiences around, Alcotraz: Cell Block Three-Four will have you donning orange jumpsuits and attempting to smuggle liquor into a high-security prison. Once inside? You'll get to sip on bespoke prison hooch created by your fellow inmates and get involved in the unfolding story.

The Frockatoo Drag Brunch

@ The Cockatoo Club on Saturday 9th March 2024 and 10 other Saturdays

The Cockatoo Club in Manchester's Gay Village are known for hosting some wild parties, and often you can find their raucous event The Frockatoo Drag Brunch on Saturdays. Expect 90 minutes of bottomless cocktails, high-energy drag performances, quirky games and tasty dishes like southern fried chicken wraps or smoked paprika nachos.

FunnyBoyz Manchester

FunnyBoyz drag cabaret events are sure to fill up your calendar with something a little different. Whether it's weekly Benidorm Bingo, an appearance from a Drag Race star or a Spice Girls-themed event, the queens here bring guaranteed fabulousness. And the best part? Tickets start from just £5.

Flight Club Manchester

Afternoon Fizz

Whether you're looking for a unique date, group gathering or social occasion, this is the bar for you. Thanks to their competitive high-tech darts throwing and electronic boards that offer a huge selection of quirky games, it's one seriously fun Spinningfields venue. And if you swing by on the weekend, you can try out their brunch socials that come with unlimited pizza paddles and a whole bottle of prosecco each.

The Reggae Brunch Manchester

One of our top picks for things to do in Manchester city centre this weekend, The Reggae Brunch is bringing a whole array of quirky, carnival-style events to Floripa. Enjoy an hour of free-flowing punch and a mouthwatering two-course Caribbean meal that features jerk chicken, chickpea curry and plantain, alongside massive feel-good tunes across reggae, soca, dancehall and beyond.

Manchester Craft Beer Experience

@ Cloudwater Brewery Taproom on Saturday 30th March 2024 and 8 other Saturdays

Get to know some of the very best microbreweries in town at one of these quirky days out. You'll be shown around innovative microbreweries, get to know all the equipment and learn how they craft every pint of their beer, which you'll get to sample in each taproom - we're talking IPAs, grisettes and wild-fermented beers.

Secret Bars In Manchester

Out of all the fun things to do in Manchester at night, discovering a secret bar that dishes out incredible cocktails is one of our favourites. Tucked away behind launderettes, down discreet staircases and disguised as pawn shops, these hidden haunts are well worth the challenge - how many can you find?

CityDays Manchester

When you need quirky outdoor activities in Manchester, CityDays is coming in hot with its combo of escape room-style games and puzzles with a hidden gem-finding treasure hunt. Expect bar stop offs, fascinating stories and more as you journey around industrial waterways and Roman ruins while working as a team to unlock the mystery.

Doghouse Manchester

Vegan Monday and 4 other offers

When it comes to unusual activities or something fun to do, check out Doghouse for their beer school sessions. You'll get to try a load of the brand's favourites across 1/3 pint tasters, all while getting in-depth info about the brewing process. Not your thing? There's also live music sessions, and if you stay over night, beer fridges in the showers.

Paint a Pic Manchester

Get your creative juices flowing at Paint A Pic by Prime Pass. Their resident artist will guide you step-by-step to create your very own masterpiece, be it a night in Paris or rainbow mountains. No need to paw around for supplies; they provide all the materials, including a canvas, apron, paint, and easel, all for just £30 per person.

The Spirit of Manchester Distillery

Looking for something gin-credible to do in Manchester? Look no further than The Spirit of Manchester Distillery on Watson Street. From gin-making events to their Barley & Beyond: New-Make Tasting Experience, you'll get to sip on award-winning spirits and even try your hand at being a distiller (with a gin and tonic in hand, of course).

Bougie Drag & Boy Toy Events Manchester

Out of all the fun things to do in Manchester city centre, Bougie Drag & Boy Toy Events have to be the most raunchy. Whether you fancy buff butlers, Beyonce-themed drag shows or whole ABBA shindigs, these guys have you covered. And thanks to tickets starting from £16, these lively activities won't break the bank either.

Sixes Cricket Manchester

Bottomless Brunch

Indoor activities in Manchester for adults don't get much better than Sixes Cricket. A top choice of things to do, this fun time sees you step up to the crease in high-tech batting nets, as well as trying out their bowling simulator, fusball and pool tables. There's a trendy a bar waiting for you to refuel at afterwards, with plenty of cocktails and plates like crispy fried chicken burgers or truffled egg and cheese fries.

Bingo Rhapsody: The Ultimate Queen Bingo Experience

With regular events at Buzz Bingo in Ashton, Bingo Rhapsody is a high-energy event that celebrates all things Queen. There will be a tribute act getting everyone dancing, as well as a whopping 45 chances to win some cracking cash prizes across musical and classic bingo rounds, all for as little as £15 per person.

YO!

A top choice of unusual things to do in Manchester city centre would be to head over to YO! for one of their sushi masterclasses, which will set you back just £29.95. Expect to chow down on gyoza and sip prosecco before you learn history, knife skills and how to create everything from maki rolls to sashimi across the session.

Oompah Shows Every Saturday @ The Bierkeller Manchester

@ Manchester Bierkeller on Every Saturday

Every Saturday, Manchester Bierkeller throw open their doors for an Oompah show. Get the most out of this Bavarian pastime by stamping your feet along, nabbing plenty of steins and maybe even stuffing a wurst in your gob too. There are different packages to suit every budget, all of which guarantee you a bench for watching the entertainment and a drink each.

The Hip Hop Orchestra Brunch

@ The Blues Kitchen Manchester on Every Saturday

Offering some of the most fun things to do in Manchester for adults when drinking are Blues Kitchen, who are making even more waves with their Hip Hop Orchestra Brunch. Venture over on Saturdays for Southern-inspired food, three live shows from Untold, 90 minutes of bottomless booze and a DJ host to boot.

Drag Comedy Cabaret: Manchester

Laugh till your tummy aches at the Drag Comedy Cabaret in Manchester. Playing a naughty gal from Bradford, Lady Bushra, a breakout sensation famous for her viral content and snappy one-liners, will keep you entertained for two whole hours with her humorous take on life from a British South Asian perspective.

Cirque Manchester

If you're after the quirkiest clubs? Powered by the world-famous Cirque Le Soir and located just off Deansgate, Cirque Manchester should be top of your list. Whether you nab entry or an exclusive table booking, this place has a funfair of entertainment - think ball pit antics and a whole load of live performers with a funfair theme.

INDIEFLICKS MONTHLY FILM FESTIVAL

@ MiniCine on Sunday 3rd March 2024 and 9 other Sundays

On the first Sunday of every month, expect to find the IndieFlicks Film Festival at Ducie Street Warehouse for just £10 per person. View a selection of short movies and a slightly longer director's choice, before picking your favourites across the night - all while enjoying a wide selection of food and drink from the bar.

What's on at GRUB

When you're wondering about things to do in Manchester today, don't forget to check out the lineup of events at GRUB, a welcoming street food venue and event space in the Green Quarter. From boozy pub quizzes to sip and paint sessions, disco bingo and tequila masterclasses, there's always something cool just around the corner here.

Our Japanese Whisky Masterclass

@ Peter Street Kitchen on Saturday 9th March 2024 and 10 other Saturdays

If only the most luxury things to do in Manchester will do, then a trip to Peter Street Kitchen's atmospheric The Rikyū Bar is in order. Their Japanese whisky masterclass promises tasting flights of four Japanese whiskies, a spot of history, an insight into the distilling process and the restaurant's signature small plates to accompany.

Gin Masterclasses Second Wednesdays 7pm

@ The Liquor Store on Wednesday 13th March 2024 and 6 other Wednesdays

For something a little different on a Wednesday or Saturday evening, learn how to make your favourite drinks with The Liquor Store's Gin Masterclass. From £25 each, you'll be guided by an expert through the wonderful world of botanicals, with four expertly crafted gins to taste, as well as a complimentary G&T on arrival. Fabulous. 

Escape Hunt Manchester

If you fancy a quirky day out with a little excitement thrown in, look no further than Escape Hunt - one of the best things to do in Manchester for families and friends. Choose between Blackbeard's Treasure, The Last Vikings, Escape The Wild West and The Fourth Samurai and crack the 60-minute challenge to earn your freedom. Whether you're competing in a traditional escape room or on one of their outdoor city hunts, our teamwork skills will be put to the test.

Cherry Jam

Bringing something a little different to bottomless sessions, Cherry Jam have got everything from bottomless afternoon teas, complete with mini quiches, scones and prosecco, to boozy grazing board meals featuring creamy brie and salami kebabs. You can also expect themed supper clubs here with all the same treats, with 90s or RnB music playing as you indulge.

Paintvine

Paintvine, London's favourite Paint and Sip, is now in Manchester. But hold on, they're not just painting now; they're sculpting, too. Get your drinks, switch your creative side on, create a masterpiece and the best part? Leave the cleaning to them. You'll be taught how to hand-build with air dry clay, paint using acrylics on canvas, make pinch pots and more.

1UP

When you need unique things to do, 1UP is up there as a bar you should head to, complete with quirky decor like an 8ft Donkey Kong. The Didsbury destination not only had D&D tournaments, Pokemon cards, board games, Warhammer figure painting and more, but also the classic consoles and arcade machines to match. After all that fun, enjoy crispy chicken tenders, vegan burgers, Cajun fries and more.

Burlesque Bottomless Brunch

@ The Fitzgerald on Every 1st Saturday of the month

Swing back to the roaring 20s with Burlesque Bottomless Brunch at The Fitzgerald. You'll be treated to a dazzling performance by the Siren Entertainment girls, a delicious barbecue brunch of halloumi burgers and crispy chicken from Quarter House, alongside two hours of unlimited prosecco, Aperol spritzes or beer. Put your drinking hats on and get ready to partay.

DNA VR Manchester

For those of you who fancy trying something a little different, make sure to give DNA VR in Manchester city centre a visit. Nestled in the city centre, this quirky VR arcade is home to all kinds of wicked games where you can battle it out against zombies, race each other on boats and more, for groups of up to 15 people.