1. Explore the blooming streets of the Manchester Flower Festival

One of Manchester’s most colourful weekends is back to welcome the Summer season. Taking place across the city centre from 24 to 27 May, the Manchester Flower Festival brings the city’s streets to life with the vibrant colours and scents of flowers in stunning displays created to celebrate ‘Icons’ including Sir Ian McKellen, Emmeline Pankhurst and Girls Aloud. Free to attend, the festival brings outdoor dining and live entertainment alongside workshops, markets and a family-friendly Bee Parade on Sunday. Take part in the floral trail and discover a city blooming with colour, as businesses across Manchester take part in the celebrations.

2. Become your Teddy’s doctor at the Science and Industry Museum

This May Half Term, head to the Science and Industry Museum with the kids to teach them how our bodies work, between 25 May and 2 June. Bring your own cuddly friend to the Teddy Hospital where you can look after them with the Half Term Fun at the museum. Afterwards, head to the Operation Ouch! Food, Poo and You exhibition and explore a supersized digestive system. If you fancy a go at some old school gaming, try out Power Up, where you’ll find video games from the past 50 years alongside the latest virtual reality experiences. Admission to the museum is free, with standard Operation Ouch! tickets starting from £9 and Power Up tickets from £8.

3. Take your first steps in gardening at RHS Garden Bridgewater

This May Half Term brings with it amazing opportunities for the whole family to enjoy a day out and connect with nature. Between 25 May and 2 June, RHS Garden Bridgewater brings you the Family Gardening Festival, an event packed with craft activities, garden trails and entertainment for the whole family, including storytelling sessions and planting workshops. Most events are included with garden admission, which starts at £15.85 for adult non-RHS members.

4. Travel back to the 1940s with the East Lancashire Railway

A hugely popular celebration of bygone days returns this year with the East Lancashire Railway. Bringing back the social and musical life of this period, the Vintage 1940s Weekend has welcomed hundreds of visitors in previous years, and will feature live music and entertainment, vintage stalls and even a ceremonial flypast from the RAF. Visitors are encouraged to dress up in period costume, to fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the event. The event runs between 25 and 27 May, and standard tickets are available from £25.

5. Football icons are honoured at the National Football Museum

The National Football Museum has just launched a brand-new exhibition on football heroes that made an impact outside the pitch. Bringing together nine pieces from Manchester-based artists, MARKERS explores themes of LGBTQ+ rights, immigration, women’s football and ethnic minorities in a touching exhibition that celebrates personalities including Justin Fashanu, Lucy Clark and Mary Phillip, amongst others. You can also make your mark in the exhibition at the dedicated Community Creative Hub, to honour your own football idol. The exhibition is included in museum admission, with standard tickets starting from £14.

New opening: King Pins at Manchester Arndale

Your newest bowling venue has arrived at the Arndale on the 17 May. The second Manchester location for the bowling alley, King Pins has taken over the former Sports Direct unit on the ground floor of the shopping centre and brings with it Ten Pin and Duck Pin Bowling, shuffleboards, batting cages, air hockey and even a mini-golf course. For a complete day out, enjoy their food and drink menu that is packed with delicious classics including pizza, burgers and roast chicken as well as a selection of house cocktails. Games start from £9 per person.

Book now: Afterglow at Chester Zoo

This August, spend a magical evening exploring Chester Zoo and discovering the exceptional animals that inhabit it. Between 13 and 25 August, from 3PM to 8PM, step into Afterglow and enjoy five hours to explore the zoo and take part in exciting games and activities all the while surrounded by some spectacular entertainment. During your visit, you can also check out NATIVE, an immersive experience that spotlights the incredible British wildlife. You can join this brand-new experience for up to 50% less than a standard admission ticket, and tickets are available to book now.

What's On

Stay in the know with our 'What's On' guide for Manchester. Explore a curated selection…