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Indulge your moods with Magnum

Feeling playful? Feeling sophisticated? We've got 20 great things to do in Manchester to suit your mood
 (Urban Food Fest)
Urban Food Fest
 (The Royal Exchange © Jonathan Keenan)
The Royal Exchange © Jonathan Keenan
 (The Liars Club)
The Liars Club
 (The National Vintage Wedding Show © Paola De Paola Photography)
The National Vintage Wedding Show © Paola De Paola Photography
 (The Whitworth © David Levene)
The Whitworth © David Levene
 (Manchester Craft and Design Centre)
Manchester Craft and Design Centre
By Time Out in association with Magnum |

Pleasure seekers! You are about to find two new ways to indulge your senses: the brand new Magnum Pink and Magnum Black – two contrasting ice creams to reflect different sides of your personality. Raspberry-flavoured ice cream coated in a pearlescent pink coating, Magnum Pink reflects your cheeky and exuberant side, while Magnum Black’s intense espresso tones and dark chocolate appeal to your more refined tastes. To celebrate their arrival, we’ve put together two hot lists of things to do in Manchester for when you’re feeling playful and when you want to get sophisticated – from fantasy movie nights to elegant tea dances.

Plus we’re giving away two fabulous festival experiences in our special competition – you choose if you want to win the playful prize or the sophisticated prize! So come on, what mood are you in today?

Playful things to do

Bars and pubs

Gay bars in Manchester

With Manchester being one of the friendliest places in the country and one of the gayest, there’s a fabulous feathery boa of a fun night out to be had in the Gay Village. Most of the bars are as mixed as a drag queen’s wig collection, so drag yourself along.

Bars and pubs, Breweries

Twenty Twenty Two

icon-location-pin Northern Quarter

You know that urge you get on a night out in a cool bar with great DJs, brilliant art and a fine selection of drinks, when you just need a game of table tennis? Yes, that feeling. Well, at Twenty Twenty Two, you can ping pong while you pogo with your pinot grigio.

Music, Music venues

Go ape at Gorilla

icon-location-pin City Centre

Whether you’re after an evening drink, something to eat or you want to catch a gig, Gorilla is the silverback of Manchester venues, with a great menu, a gin parlour where you can indulge in great cocktails, and a performance space holding about 500. It’s your whole night out, sorted.

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Cocktails at The Liars Club

icon-location-pin City Centre

With a 4am licence that keeps the place bursting at the weekends, and more rum than you’d find in a pirate’s liquor larder, The Liars Club is tiki cocktail heaven. They really know their stuff here, and there’s always a flaming drink on the menu, so make sure it’s not your pants that are on fire, liar!

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Under New Management

icon-location-pin Salford

Just inside Salford, this post-work or late-night New York speakeasy-style bar offers a concise cocktail menu that hits all the right notes, as do the DJs playing a great range of Motown, soul and disco. Almost impossible to find, too, which makes it even more fun.

News, Shopping & Style

Fashion at Afflecks

Vintage vestments never go out of fashion. Spread over several floors, Afflecks is a castle of clothing, mixing second-hand quality gear with original designer items, from beaten-up old leather jackets to funky girly T-shirts. It’s one of a number of great vintage shops in the city.

News, City Life

Sewing classes

If you like your fashion to reflect your own sense of personal style, you could turn your hand to making your own clothes or sprucing up your tired garments. Manchester offers some great sewing classes, so you can learn new skills as you put your own frills to your fashion thrills.

Shopping, Health and beauty

Beauty at Mufti Hairdressing

icon-location-pin Central Manchester

An independent unisex salon where you can go in looking like a dog’s dinner and come out looking like the beauty of the North. The cuts won’t cut too deep a hole in your pockets and the music is a treat – you’ll have so much fun, you almost don’t need to go clubbing afterwards.

Sophisticated things to do

Art, Galleries

Late nights at the Whitworth

icon-location-pin Oxford Road

The £15m redevelopment at the Whitworth Art Gallery has paid off, with visitor numbers going through its beautiful roof, attracted by exhibitions of internationally significant work to match the stunning building. And with late opening until 9pm on Thursdays, a glass of wine in the lovely parkside café after a tour around the gallery makes for a highly enjoyable night out.

Theatre, Public and national theatres

The Royal Exchange

icon-location-pin City Centre

Some of the best theatre in the region happens in the round at Manchester’s glorious Royal Exchange, where the space is as impressive as what’s on stage. During April, catch the intense new production of Tolsty’s ‘Anna Karenina’, adapted by Scottish playwright Jo Clifford.

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars

Cocktails at Cloud 23

icon-location-pin Greater Manchester

Quite simply, Cloud 23 offers the very best views in the city. Yes, the cocktails are magnificent, as you’d expect from a watering hole at the Hilton hotel, but there’s no denying that looking out over the city and beyond from the 23rd floor of Beetham Tower, as the sun goes down and the twinkling lights come out, is as delicious as the drinks.

Restaurants, British

Manchester House

icon-location-pin City Centre

One of the newer players in high-end dining in the city is Manchester House, where a cocktail bar offers tastes as sophisticated as those created in the impressive kitchen. The views of the city are as spectacular as the drinks on offer.


Join Manchester Film Fans

After a movie, do you like to discuss and critique it over a glass of wine? Did you appreciate the mise-en-scène, the narrative structure? Did you like the bit with the burping contest? Whatever you like about films, joining Manchester Film Fans means going as a group, mainly to Saturday matinées, so you can start your weekend cinematically.

Music, Music venues

Bridgewater Hall film nights

icon-location-pin City Centre

It’s not only inside a cinema that you can indulge your love of film. Manchester’s world-class concert venue, Bridgewater Hall, hosts film-themed orchestra nights in April, one devoted to the talents of Gene Kelly, plus ‘A Night at the Movies’ with film composer David Arnold, featuring the Manchester Camerata.

Museums, Fashion and costume

Gallery of Costume

icon-location-pin Greater Manchester

Anyone with even a passing interest in fashion shouldn’t miss this gem of a museum just outside the city centre. The array of vintage couture, hats and shoes, from the seventeenth century to the present day, is simply stunning, the largest collection of its type in Britain. Look for pieces by Ossie Clark and Christian Dior, and a recently acquired Givenchy dress that belonged to Audrey Hepburn.

Shopping, Art, craft and hobbies

Fashion at the Craft & Design Centre

icon-location-pin Northern Quarter

Do you like your jewellery with a touch of the individual about it? Head to the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, where several of the stalls are devoted to handmade, unique pieces. Elegant, surprising and affordable, the artistry and impressive designs of the jewellery, ceramics and furniture match the beauty of the 1873 building, a former fish market.

More to explore