We all know Manchester isn’t winning awards for its blue skies and endless sunshine any time soon. In fact it’s most likely to be hailed for being overcast and a little on the grey side. But don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t enjoy the summer in the city, as Manchester has so much to give when it comes to fun things to do. From mega cultural festivals to charming seasonal markets to stimulating world-class attractions, there’s tons of ways to celebrate with friends, families or your significant other. And whether the thought of six weeks with the kids sparks tenderness or simply tiredness, Manchester has plenty of child-oriented and family-friendly activities to get you through.
Come rain or come shine, Mancunians know a thing or two about celebrating no matter the weather, and summertime in Manchester is unmistakable. The city comes alive with energy and excitement, warmed by the number of events, performances and entertainment taking place across the summer months. Discover the best things to do in Manchester this season with our helpful guide to spending summer in the city.
Bollynights Manchester - Friday 19th July
A Night of Magical Motown & Soul
Action Bronson - White Bronco Tour
Aloha - Thursdays at Lola Lo
Break Stuff - A Night of Nu-Metal Nostalgia
Bop Social : 1950s Rock And Roll Jukebox
Animals As Leaders
Bollywood Seduction - Asian Nightclub -Manchester
#upcloseandpersonalmcr Jeremy Olander
80's Party Night
BOOM Meets Back It Up
Attic goes to town
Manchester United vs Chelsea FC (Premium Hospitality & VIP Packages)
Premier League: Manchester United - Chelsea 11-08-2019
Prophets of Rage
A Level Results All Nighter
A Magical Night of Motown & Soul
Baila Manchester: Hawaiian Tiki Night
Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul
Premier League: Manchester United - Crystal Palace 24-08-2019
Back By Dope Demand
Machine Gun Kelly
Cate Le Bon
Manchester Psych Festival
Upcoming events in Manchester this summer
Find more things to do this summer with our monthly inspiration guides:
Things to do for couples in summer
Manchester isn’t just about the raves; it’s rather romantic too. In summer, the cosmopolitan city brings plenty of opportunities to cosy up in your couple, from watching the sun go down at high rise hotspots, to strolling hand in hand around the latest exhibition, to picnicking in the park at a local festival. It’s no Paris, but Manchester is dreamy and poetic in its own right.
Check out more date ideas in Manchester.
Things to do for families in summer
Six weeks off school can be exciting for kids, but often a little daunting for parents who are desperately searching for ways to keep them entertained. But Manchester’s summer programme is bursting with family fun to be had, meaning it’s that much more enjoyable for everyone and a great chance to book in some quality family time. Tire them out at child-friendly festival, learn something new at a museum or come together at a summer cinema – your choices are endless. Discover some of the best activities and events to do in the summer holidays with the family here.
Need more inspiration? Family-iarise yourself with Manchester with our guide to family events.
Free things to do in Manchester in summer
Summer is a super sociable season meaning there’s always pending invitations to do something fun. But we know this can quickly become expensive and if you’re like us, saving money is always on the to-do list. You can still make the most of the summer in Manchester with the city’s range of free things to do, leaving you more cash to get that last round in at the next party.
Summer nights in Manchester
Yes we all enjoy the longer days and chance to get a tan alongside some day drinking, but summer nights are when Manchester’s most magical. Think balmy evenings and the ability to dress up without all the thermal layers on top, summer nights are made for going out. Dig out those summer dresses and shorts and head to a gig, festival or the club, or why not go fancy with a trip to the theatre? There’s no better time to exploit Manchester’s rich nightlife than during the summer months, so start planning your next night out now…
Outdoor activities in Manchester
Being outdoors is the best way to salute summer. There’s nothing like the feeling of fresh air hitting the lungs and breathing your troubles away. You might not expect one of the UK’s top ten rainy cities to cater to outdoor events and activities, but Manchester prominently raises a middle finger to the clouds through its selection of alfresco things to do. Cruise the city on a boat canal, go exploring on a nature trail, or get your adrenaline pumping at Go Ape or Helly Hansen Watersports Centre. It’s summer so make the most of the warm(er) weather, and head outside with Manchester’s wide variety of outdoor activities.
Parks to visit in Manchester
Despite being an urban metropolis, Manchester has a great supply of green oases dotted around the city. Each has its own characteristics, ranging from community vibes to historic halls. Venture further north to find the largest municipal park in Europe and a Grade I listed hall to unearth at Heaton Park, or travel south to Manchester’s smaller districts of Rusholme, Whalley Range, Chorlton and Didsbury to find more gardens and green spaces.
Summer festivals in Manchester
For many reasons, summer is the ultimate festival season; long nights, dry days (usually), and great fashion. Some of the best music festivals take place during this time of year, as Manchester gears up to host Pride, Parklife, Sounds of the City and many others. But the city’s eclectic nature means you can enjoy a whole bunch of festivals, no matter what you’re interested in. So whether you’re a proud foodie, partial to upcoming theatre, or an enthusiast of all things science and technology, Manchester has something to fix you up. Check out the range of festivals happening in the city and its neighbouring areas.
And if it rains…here’s what you can do
Well we’ve tried to be optimistic, but summer in Manchester far from guarantees great weather. So on the odd (or maybe high) chance that that it does rain, there’s still lots of fun things to do and places to visit at your disposal. Find inspiration for the how to spend those rainy summer days in Manchester below.
If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration for what to do over the August bank holiday, discover TickX’s guide to events happening in Manchester for the last long summer weekend.