Greater Manchester is open for business, with venues following strict guidelines and Covid-safe enhanced cleaning regimes. When out and about, please remember to follow Government guidelines around social distancing, wearing a face covering where required (unless exempt), wash your hands regularly, and seek open spaces with good ventilation where possible. 

Here’s our pick of the top ten things you can do in Greater Manchester this week: 


1. Visit the new exhibition celebrating the legacy of Factory Records 

Manchester’s iconic record label Factory Records is celebrated in a new exhibition opening on 19 June. Use Hearing Protection: The early years of Factory Records at the Science and Industry Museum will display 50 artefacts from the official Factory catalogue including items from Joy Division, New Order and The Durutti Column, and objects loaned from the estates of both Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton. 

You can also find out more about the culturally iconic record label that had a huge influence on Manchester in its early years from 1978-1982, in a video interview with the curator here

2. Explore the UK’s oldest public library 

After a year of closure, Chetham’s Library is now back open for public tours, starting with socially distanced groups of six available to pre-book online.  Chetham’s is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, with roots back to 1653. Visitors joining a tour will get an up-close look at its medieval buildings and their histories, plus a look at the library’s exhibition ‘Images of Manchester’, which features curated items with treasures from its local history collection. 

3. Immerse yourself with improv musical theatre this Saturday 

Direct from the West End, a spontaneous musical comedy comes to the Octagon Bolton for one day of Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, where the audience get to say what the cast sing, promising a unique show with every performance. This is a one day only, must-not-miss live theatre performance, so get your tickets quick!  

4. Get booked in to see Grayson Perry’s Art Club 

Booking for the next set of available slots for Grayson Perry’s Art Club at Manchester Art Gallery are now available to book for June – August. The popular free exhibition has been fully booked for its opening months, with visitors flocking to see a curated collection of visual works representing local people’s experiences of lockdown. The artist has selected pieces by the public, but also by well-known faces such as Noel Fielding, Joe Lycett, Harry Hill, and Jenny Éclair, as well as North West artists including Anthony Gormley, Jeremy Deller and Martin Parr. 

5. Take the new bus service to RHS Garden Bridgewater  

new express bus is now available to take you to the beautiful RHS Garden Bridgewater, which opened in May. With daily departures from both Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations, the bus takes you directly to the garden in just 25 minutes and includes full access to the gardens with its walled garden (one of the largest in Europe!), Paradise garden inspired by early Persian gardens, and the Kitchen garden, as well as a lake, Chinese Streamside Garden, plant shop, café and more. To book a ticket on the bus visit the Manchester Sightseeing Tours website.

6. Make your own jewellery at Manchester Craft & Design Centre 

Manchester School of Jewellery is offering a workshop on how to make your own silver jewellery. Suitable for beginners, learners will be taught about the variety of skills needed to make jewellery, and by the end of the session will have made their own wearable silver piece. Workshops are selling out fast, so book your space at Manchester Craft & Design Centre here

7. Celebrate female photographers in a new exhibition 

A new exhibition curated by the British Culture Archive is now on display at the Kimpton Clocktower hotel on Oxford Street. Guests at the hotel and visitors to The Refuge restaurant and bar will be able to view ‘A Woman’s Work’, which showcases the work of acclaimed female photographers from the North.  

8. Learn about the city’s powerful women on a special walking tour 

An exploration of the history of inspirational Mancunian women who influenced transgender tour guide Laura’s journey of transition makes up this unique guided tour of Manchester from Invisible Cities. Celebrating the rich and radical female history of Manchester, Laura will delve into stories about the Suffragette movement and other strong women who shaped the city. The next walking tour is on 20 June and runs for 2 hours. Tickets can be booked here

9. Explore new shops and dining at The Trafford Centre 

Unique architecture and a vast range of shops and restaurants make The Trafford Centre one of the most popular shopping destinations in the UK. New stores have recently been added to the centre’s line-up including new homeware brands and fashion labels at Selfridges, pop-ups at John Lewis, and athletic clothing store Gym+Coffee. All that shopping will make you hungry, so be sure to check out new dining experiences including Archie’s, Slim Chickens, Chopstix, and a limited-edition menu at Haute Dolci for delicious sweet treats!  

10. Take to the water with a mini river cruise 

Manchester River Cruises are running Salford Quays mini cruises this weekend (19 - 20 June), with a 60-minute river trip offering an insight into the history of the area and a unique view of Manchester including Media City, Old Trafford and the disused dry docks. Departing from Salford Quays, the boat has a fully licensed bar and offers a round-trip, with tickets available to book online


Science and Industry Museum
The Science and Industry Museum building

Home to the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station, and the world’s first railway warehouse. Encounter amazing objects and find out about ideas that were born in Manchester and changed the world forever.

Use Hearing Protection: The early years of Factory Records
Use Hearing Protection Exhibition

Celebrate Manchester's place at the heart of Britain's music and creative industries with our new exhibition dedicated to one of the city's most influential record labels.

Chetham's Library
Historic Site
Chetham's Library

A seventeenth-century library, believed to be the oldest public library in England.

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical
Showstopper: illuminated sign

Audiences can expect a truly unique musical extravaganza with Showstopper! The Improvised Musical. Taking suggestions from the audience, this Olivier Award-winning touring improvisational troupe will weave a brand new musical live on stage, complete with hilarious characters, fabulous dance routines, beautiful songs, epic storylines, all sprinkled with the pizzazz of a Broadway show where every night is a world premiere.

Octagon Theatre Bolton
Octagon Theatre

The Octagon Theatre Bolton is committed to the highest standards in regional theatre, producing an average of eight professional theatre productions each year across two performance spaces. Productions include classic and contemporary plays, new plays, musicals and a festive production for children.

Grayson’s Art Club
Poster: Grayson's Art Club

An exhibition of works selected by artist Grayson Perry during Grayson’s Art Club, the popular Channel 4 TV series.

Manchester Art Gallery
Manchester Art Gallery

Showcasing internationally renowned and Designated collections of fine art, decorative art and costume.

RHS Garden Bridgewater
Formal Garden
RHS Garden Bridgewater entrance, cafe and shop

Reviving the gardens of the historic 156 acre Worsley New Hall estate to create RHS Garden Bridgewater represents one of the largest gardening projects in Europe at this time.

Manchester Sightseeing Tours
Walking Tours
Manchester Sightseeing Tours

Are you wondering what to do in Manchester? Whether you’re planning to visit Manchester or you’re already here and looking for things to do, GreatDays offer a great choice of activities that are sure to give you a truly memorable experience.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre
Antique/Craft Centre
Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Manchester Craft and Design Centre is home to over 19 studio shops home to some of the region’s most talented designers and makers. You can see the makers at work, discover what they do, and find that special handmade gift or souvenir to take home with you.

Kimpton Clocktower Hotel
Kimpton Clocktower Hotel

Kimpton Clocktower Hotel is a luxury hotel with an industrial soul that is sprawled out on Oxford Street at the heart of Manchester

Refuge by Volta
Outdoor Dining
Refuge by Volta

With its welcome ambiance and sociable buzz, The Refuge has become a hotspot where you can play all day and stay all night. Sip cocktails, whizz through work emails, catch a live DJ, sample pours from a local brewery: You can do it all and more.

Invisible cities: Powerful Women with Laura
People on a tour

As a transgender woman, Laura explores the history of inspirational Mancunian women who have influenced her journey of transition. Her exuberant character and cheerful attitude makes for a unique and exciting guided tour of Manchester’s city centre.

The Trafford Centre
Shopping Centre
intu Trafford Centre

Manchester's shopping and entertainment complex.

Manchester River Cruises
Boat Trip
Manchester River Cruises

Manchester River Cruises run regular sightseeing trips from Salford Quays on board the dutch built 'Princess Katherine. The ultimate way to enjoy the historic Manchester Ship Canal and River Irwell.



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