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 8th July 2024




Rooftop Yoga & Brunch

@ Doghouse Manchester on Sunday 14th July 2024 and 2 other Sundays

Looking for something a little different to kickstart your mornings? Then check out the brilliant Rooftop Yoga and Brunch experience at DogHouse. Enjoy a 45-minute session led by talented instructors, teaching you poses that are suitable for beginners and experts alike. Afterwards, enjoy city views and delicious breakfast dishes, all for just £30 per person.

Alcotraz Manchester: Cell Block Three-Four

@ Alcotraz Penitentiary: Manchester on Various dates from Friday 12th July 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.

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.

Gin Masterclasses Second Wednesdays 7pm

@ The Liquor Store on Wednesday 14th August and Wednesday 11th September 2024

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. 

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).

11 Central Gin Making Experience

@ 11 Central on Various dates from Sunday 14th July 2024

Fancy learning a little more about your favourite tipples? The Four Sisters Gin Making Experience at 11 Central in Salford is the perfect way to do it. You'll kick off with a refreshing G&T before learning all about the history and process of creating gin, finishing by creating your verry own unique recipe from a choice of over 60 botanicals, leaving with a personalised 700ml bottle to take home. Don't fancy the hard work? Check out their tasting experience instead.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

MANCHESTER WING FEST 2024

@ Victoria Baths on Friday 20th September 2024 and 2 other dates

Manchester Wing Fest returns to the city this September, and with 10th birthday celebrations too. Here for three days only, this event has tickets starting at £19.50 for their sessions, which includes a free hat and free access to the axe-throwing, arcade games, live music, DJs and more at hosting venue Victoria Baths. While you're making the most of those amazing things to do? Grab food from the variety of traders, voting for your favourite wings across three categories.

The Hip Hop Orchestra Brunch - Manchester

@ 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.

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.

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.

Dean McCullough’s Pop Machine Day Party

@ The Anthologist, St Peter Square on Saturday 13th July and Saturday 17th August 2024

Dean McCullough's Pop Machine Day Party is a brilliant event taking place at The Anthologist this summer. The St Peter's Square location will be welcoming the BBC Radio 1 DJ for four hours of dancefloor-filling tunes - we're talking Steps, Britney Spears, Girls Aloud and more. Even better? Your £49.95 ticket also includes a two-course brunch, featuring tasty sharing boards followed by the likes of fried chicken and waffles, eggs Florentine of silken tofu Malaysian curry.

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.

Manchester Electric Shuffle Brunch

@ Electric Shuffle Manchester on Various dates from Saturday 13th July 2024

Spice your weekend up with tickets from £30 to Electric Shuffle's brunch in Deansgate. The buzzing events bar will be hosting a midday extravaganza where you can chomp on two hours' worth of unlimited pizza and enjoy a bottle of prosecco each, all while going head to head or teaming up to play a game of shuffleboard.

Lane7 Manchester Deansgate

With a lengthy list of fun things to do at their Deansgate venue, Lane7 is so much more than just a bowling alley. This quirky neon spot is covered in cool graffiti, boasting activities like pool, ping pong, shuffleboard, retro arcades and even private karaoke rooms. As for food, Fat Hippo are dishing out incredible burgers, loaded hash browns and dirty waffle fries here, with boozy slushies and Drumstick lolly cocktails on offer too.

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.

The Manchester Craft Beer Experience

@ Cloudwater Brewery Taproom on Saturday 27th July 2024 and 4 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.

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.

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.

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.

INDIEFLICKS MONTHLY FILM FESTIVAL

@ MiniCine on Sunday 4th August 2024 and 4 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.

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.

What's On At The Cockatoo

Does iconic bangers, 90 minutes of free-flowing bubbles and glitzy drag stars sound like a good time to you? If baby, you were born this way, then you should snap up tickets to Applause: The Gaga Brunch, taking place at Manchester's lively The Cockatoo Club on Saturday the 23rd of March. Just dance as the UK's biggest Lady Gaga tribute act, Donna Marie, takes to the stage alongside her glitzy dancers, icon Miss Blair and DJ Josh Smith. Expect up to four hours of entertainment and tasty themed burgers like The Paparazzi Party and Veg Of Glory from just £31.95 each.

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.

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.

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.

Treetop Adventure Golf Manchester

Fancy playing 2 courses? Add another 18 holes for £6per person

After a little competitive fun? Treetop Adventure Golf boasts two immersive, indoor 18-hole courses, where you and your pals can battle it out. There's even a bonus 19th hole where you can win a free game, and if you're hungry then you can nab fresh, handmade pizza from Pizza Cabana, alongside tropical cocktails and mocktails from The Thirsty Toucan Bar.

Our Japanese Whisky Masterclass

@ Peter Street Kitchen on Saturday 13th and Saturday 27th July 2024

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.

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.

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.

Hidden Gardens And Green Spaces

Manchester is full of gorgeous outdoor spaces, from secret gardens to spacious parks and hidden walkways. Whether you're heading to Sky Park's Castlefield Viaduct, Sackville Gardens or The Secret Valley just outise the city, there's plenty for you to discover in this beautiful part of the world.

The Best Immersive Experiences

Manchester is full of fantastic immersive experiences, from The Cube and The Crystal Maze live experiences to Breakout escape rooms. Whether you're looking to try out some high-tech VR or feast on an interactive dining event, there's something for everyone to be found in this city.