Rainy City Loves the Weekend: 10 Things to Do

It’s been a busy week, from getting our business hats on to chortling our socks off at fishfingergate (my life rule is never, ever give the Daily Mail clicks so I haven’t read the offending article, but have enjoyed the witty comebacks on social media). In more soothing news, we’ve been enjoying craft and coffee in Urmston and signed up for the new Rock Tots class. We’ve caught the bluebells while they are still here (you might see some this weekend) and, gulp, started planning our half term which is taking a bit of a science-y turn, with activities at Jodrell Bank and throughout Cheshire. So whether you’re a slummy mummy, practically perfect in every way or just getting on with it (that’s most of us I suspect), we hope you have a fabulous weekend. Here are a few ideas of how to spend it.

family days out Manchester north west things to do weekend

Poetry and Pyjamas at Z-arts

It’s a bit early to count as the weekend but we just had to mention this adorable event. Z-arts will be hosting an evening of poetry and pyjamas as part of Manchester After Hours. Come along in your pyjamas, hear some lyrical rhymes and take part in an interactive workshop, whilst sipping your favourite night-time treat in the Z-arts Café. It’s a busy weekend at Z-arts as there is also the tabletop sale, Lego cafe, film club, family yoga, Mix it Up Families and performance of Pat-a-Cake Baby. Phew!

Z-arts, please follow the links for information on the various events. Poetry and Pyjamas runs on Thursday 18 May at 6pm and is suitable for age 5+

Saturday Spectacular Central Library

It’s National Share a Story Month in May! You can help create an interactive storybook for the upcoming “Read Manchester” Bookbench. You will be able to retell Manchester’s iconic history using stop-motion animation (ages 13+), artwork and illustration, performance and green screen.

Central Library, Saturday 20 May 12pm to 4pm, free, drop-in, all ages welcome

Unnatural Borders at Salford Quays

Unnatural Borders is the latest alfresco art exhibition to come to Salford Quays. A celebration of endangered species of land and sea, designed to question our responsibility to these creatures and highlight their plight. Large plinths will tower over the MediaCityUK Piazza exhibiting four huge statues, a polar bear, a bee, a red squirrel and a whale, which will be illuminated at night, projecting a magical show into the night sky. If you visited and enjoyed last year’s Lightwaves exhibition, I imagine you’ll enjoy this too.

Salford Quays, daily from 20 to 29 May, the statues will be illuminated from 9pm to 11pm, free

Big Saturday at Manchester Museum

Always a fan of the Big Saturday this month’s is Plants and Us, which sounds wonderful especially for this time of year. If the rain is bothering you but you still feel like being a little bit closer to nature this could be for you. Enjoy crafts and interactive exhibits and experience this beautiful building with the children.

Manchester Museum Saturday 20 May, 11am to 4pm, free, drop-in

 Aleena’s Garden at the Edge Theatre

Colour The Clouds Theatre Company are delighted to welcome you to Aleena’s Garden, a sensory, interactive adventure for 0-3 year olds and their grown-ups. Join Aleena as she tends to her garden from the first days of spring through to the snowy fun of winter with the help of some very special animal friends…

Aleena’s Garden is a perfect first theatre experience for very young children. Join Aleena in her beautiful garden, help bring the seeds to life, meet the animals that live there, watch the flowers bloom, the trees blossom and the seasons change.

The Edge Theatre Saturday 20 May, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, tickets from £6

Didsbury Festival

This year’s festival starts at 11am with a precession from St Catherine’s School. Didsbury Park will host the main event with a dog show, stalls, dance troupes and lots more.

Didsbury Park Saturday 20 May, 11am, free

The Deep Dark Wood at Bridgewater Park

Ahh this sounds absolutely lovely. Join the mouse and listen to the Gruffalo story as you walk around the Deep Dark Wood to find the fox, snake, owl and someone special, then collect natural objects and make your own Gruffalo to take home. Just don’t forget a change of clothes and your wellies… this is the Rainy City after all…

Bridgewater Park Boothtown, Sunday 21 May 1pm to 2.30pm, free but book ahead

art run kids days out manchester weekend wild rumpus

Art on the Run at Livia Forest

A 5k dash through the most beautiful landscape, encountering surprising and fantastical large-scale art installations awaits. You can expect costumes (beautiful creations rather than the rainbow clown wigs of my youth), an eccentric warm-up routine and a footstompin’ band at the finish. Sounds well worth getting out of bed for.

Art On The Run Sunday 21 May 11am, Livia Forest, Prestwich, tickets £20 for an adult, £10 child

A Perfect Purple Party at Hulme Garden Centre

There wasn’t loads of information available on this one at the time of publishing but in my experience you can’t go far wrong with events at this veritable children’s paradise. They are celebrating vegetarian week and their Prince solar panels (sorry I can’t help further there) with a purple party… wear purple, make purple pizza and enjoy this amazing green space in the city.

Hulme Garden Centre Saturday 20 May, 1pm to 4.30pm, free

Radical Run at Tatton Park

Radical Run is a 3km obstacle course designed for children aged 5 to 14 and takes place at venues all over the country – this time alighting on one of our faves, Tatton Park. Climb, bounce and jump your way over a number of specially created obstacles. Complete the obstacle course and collect your finisher’s goodie bag and t-shirt. Races are staggered so older children run first and younger children later on.

Tatton Park Saturday 20 May from 10am, £20 per entrant (don’t forget it is £6 for the car park too)

There’s tons of great stuff going on in and around our wonderful city this weekend; and if you are planning further head visit our May round-up for more ideas. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest goings on and of course, have a great weekend!

As always, if something on this list has taken your fancy, we highly recommend checking on the links provided to make sure a session hasn’t been moved or cancelled before you travel.


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