1. The Manchester Flower Show returns to the city 


This weekend welcomes the return of the Manchester Flower Show as one of the first public events since lockdown. From 29 May to 6 June, the city will be adorned with flowers, with the hubs in St Ann’s Square and King Street featuring a statue garden, cherry blossom, a 1920s garden, and tributes to NHS Heroes through floral displays. Events also take place across the city at Manchester Cathedral, the Arndale Centre, Angel Meadow Park, and other pop-up locations. 

Why not also tag on a visit to the brand new RHS Garden Bridgewater? The new gardening project is now open in Salford, offering one of the UK’s largest walled gardens, a Chinese streamside garden, Welcome Centre with plant shop, and much more beautiful floral displays and green space. A new Garden entry and bus combo ticket has also just been launched (starting 5 June) for those who like to pre-plan and require a shuttle from either Victoria or Piccadilly Stations. 
 

2. Watch a live orchestra at The Bridgewater Hall 
 

Enjoy the first event in The Bridgewater Hall’s summer season, which brings two socially distanced performances of Elgar’s Enigma Variations, led by esteemed conductor Sir Mark Elder. A perfect way to lift the curtain for The Hallé orchestras first in-person performance, tickets are now available for the shows at 2:15pm and 7pm on 3 June.  
 

3. Enjoy a brand-new outdoor theatre and reimagined Shakespeare 
 

Homeground, a new outdoor venue from cultural powerhouse HOME opens this week, with a range of events including a reimagined A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a live band; performances from cult cabaret sensations Bourgeois & Maurice; plus a bumper opening weekend from 29 May which includes DJ Paulette, Clint Boon, and Joy Division’s Stephen Morris.  
 

4. Catch up on the beautiful game as the National Football Museum reopens 
 

A major new exhibition has been launched at the National Football Museum as the museum reopens its doors for the first time this year. The English Football Hall of Fame will focus on 50 of the game’s most inspirational and influential figures, spanning all eras from the 1880s. Objects will go on public display for the very first time including; Manchester City legend Colin Bell’s MBE, England captain Billy Wright’s collection of gramophone records, and a host of famous footie shirts worn by legends such as Sir Stanley Matthews, Tony Adams, Sheila Parker and Sue Lopez. 
 

5. Experience music, talks and a family musical at The Met 
 

Now open again for live music and theatre, The Met in Bury is hosting three in-person events this week. The first event on 29 May is a talk by filmmaker, DJ and musician Don Letts who looks back on his career as a music video director and reflects on issues such as Black Lives Matter. On the same evening, blues and soul singer-songwriter Hannah White performs a duo with her husband/guitarist, with special guest Robbie Cavanagh recipient of the Emerging Artist Award 2021.  

And, on 31 May the charming How the Koala Learnt to Hug offers a family-friendly show with games, giggles and songs celebrating ten years of Karen the Koala and her furry friends. 
 

6. Discover hidden secrets in an exhibition all about spying 
 

The Science and Industry Museum’s brand-new special exhibitions gallery hosts its first exhibition with Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security. The free exhibition explores the history of communications intelligence with a display of hand-written documents, declassified files and previously unseen artefacts from the Science Museum Group and GCHQ’s historic collections. 
 

7. Shop at Salford Quays makers market & eat-in art-adorned pods 
 

This Bank Holiday weekend The Quayside at MediaCityUK will host a Makers Market bringing the very finest local food and drink, art, design and vintage wares all selected from Greater Manchester artisans and businesses, alongside live music and performances. 

Whilst at Salford Quays, you can also enjoy Box on the Docks, the popular outdoor dining concept with its striking, art-adorned pods serving great food and drink from the bars and restaurants across the Quays. Booking in advance is required. 
 

8. Take a trip that spans generations on East Lancashire's heritage railway

East Lancashire Railway hold many events throughout the year, with “Union of South Africa” visiting this weekend and beyond for the first in what will likely be her last series of appearances in steam. Loco enthusiasts won’t want to miss the chance to get up close and personal with this fan favourite engine.

Eagle eyed visitors should also try to spot the Springbok, a commemorative plaque donated to the engine in 1954 by a South African newspaper to pay tribute to her name. 

The engine will be running three return trips daily on a blue timetable 29 - 31 May and a green timetable on 2 - 4 Jun.


 

9. Learn about experiences of war at Stockport Air Raid Shelters 
 

Accommodating as many as 6,500 people during the Second World War, Stockport’s Air Raid Shelters offer a glimpse into life of Stockport residents living under the shadow of war. Visitors can follow audio guided tours throughout the intriguing network of underground tunnels, learn about the history of the Shelter’s from displays, and browse mementoes of the 1940’s in the gift shop.  
 

10. See 53 new works of art at Gallery Oldham 
 

A new exhibition at Gallery Oldham presented by Manchester Academy of Fine Arts brings the theme of ‘Art of the Everyday’ into Oldham with a series of drawings, prints, paintings and sculpture produced by 53 artists. The works reflect the unusual year we have all had, including an eerily empty painting of Manchester and portraits of local Oldham residents such as Professor Brian Cox and Sir Norman Stoller.  

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