Manchester tourist with graffiti backdrop

To support the safe reopening of Greater Manchester’s tourism industry, we’re providing a weekly list of ten things that you can plan and enjoy for the week ahead, starting Saturday 26 September. All businesses mentioned in this blog are following the relevant government guidance but please familiarise yourself with our Know Before You Go page as you plan your trip to make sure that you have the latest information. When out and about in Greater Manchester, please remember to keep your distance from others, wear a mask and and wash your hands regularly. 

Ten things to do in Greater Manchester this week 

1. Our top pick for the week is very much a hidden gem of an attraction. The Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester in Cheetham Hill – a leisurely walk north from the city centre – contains over 70 vintage buses, coaches, trams and historic objects, all housed within an iconic 1930s bus garage. It’s a fantastic day out for kids who’ve grown up only knowing newer forms of transport and offers a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those a bit older. The museum is initially only opening Saturdays and Sundays, but no pre-booking is required. 

2. Next up, Greater Manchester’s student population is back in town and if you’re a new student reading this or know someone that has just moved here to study, let them know about our 9 things every new student should do in Manchester article. Once up to date on the essentials, students might want to take advantage of intu Trafford Centre’s Student Shopping Week which starts on Monday 28 September where more than 50 stores will be offering students some amazing deals and exclusive offers, with up to 50% off some brands. 

3. A brand new opening came to Manchester on Thursday 24 September when Napoleons Casino & Restaurant opened on Portland Street. The 24-hour Manchester casino, situated next door to Hotel Brooklyn, has a huge range of gaming tables, including American Roulette, Blackjack, Three Card Poker and Punto Banco, plus the latest market-leading Slot Machines and Electronic Roulette. A luxurious restaurant overlooking the buzzing gaming floor offers delicious gourmet grills, creative vegan and vegetarian dishes and a variety of world cuisines. 

4. The excellent Bolton Octagon theatre, which has been closed for a massive refurbishment and extension, is hosting a virtual live stream of A Midsummer Night’s Dream this week. Running now until Friday 2 October, Guildford Shakespeare Company’s special adaptation of their 2017 open air production is directed by Octagon’s Artistic Director Lotte Wakeham and is a great way to support our regional theatres while they remain closed to live performances. 

5. Our two top picks for last week should remain firmly on your radar: The Whitworth reopened last week with a brand-new exhibition WHITE PSYCHE, alongside five fascinating ongoing exhibitions; as did Manchester Museum, where you can see its popular Natural History galleries including Stan the T.Rex, and a vivarium full of endangered living frogs. Both are only currently open Wednesday to Sunday and request that advance tickets are booked online where possible. 

6. Speaking of dinosaurs, Dippy, the world-famous dinosaur cast from the Natural History Museum, is back on display in Rochdale after his previous visit was cut short in March. The exhibit and its accompanying exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale can now be visited Monday to Saturday until Saturday 12 December; however, all visits must be booked in advance using this link

7. The People’s History Museum, the national museum of democracy is now welcoming visitors to explore the past, present, and future of ideas worth fighting for. Opening hours are now Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm and to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience the team have introduced an online registration system where you can select a date and time up to two weeks in advance to visit the museum. 

8. A phased reopening of museum sites in Stockport means that both the superb Tudor manor house Bramall Hall and the eerie and poignant Stockport Air Raid Shelters are now open Thursday to Sunday until 12 September. Furthermore, with local restrictions lifted in the borough, now is a great time to visit and to explore everything the town centre has to offer. Tickets for both attractions need to be booked in advance

9. Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre is now open Thursday to Sunday. The museum – something of a hidden gem that helps visitors to discover more about Bury’s rich history – comprises an art gallery that houses the Wrigley Collection that contains over 200 oil paintings, watercolours, prints and ceramics whilst the Sculpture Centre features some of the most prominent sculptors in contemporary art. 

10. The wonderful people at Food Sorcery Cookery School in Didsbury were busy during lockdown making meals for vulnerable people, delivering prepared meals to the local community and hosting online cookery events. They’re now back open and running face-to-face cookery classes with reduced numbers and following industry standard approved guidelines. This coming week you can get involved in Japanese, Malaysian or Mexican classes that combine learning with a delicious meal to enjoy at the end. 

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