Flower hats on five models
Rob Martin

Dig the City

Manchester's urban garden festival brightens up the city centre with gardens and activity this summer

Rob Martin

Manchester city centre has many great things. It's got some amazing places to eat, fantastic bars, and some of the best cultural venues in the country, including great theatres and wonderful art galleries.

But what about green space?

Hello Dig the City, Manchester's annual celebration of urban green spaces, city centre gardens and all things green fingered. With show gardens, fun for kids and a programme of activity, you'll dig it. Literally.

Visit the Dig the City webiste.

Dig the City highlights

Wild Rumpus and family fun

There's loads for kids during the festival. Mr Bloom from the telly makes an appearence (you'll need to buy tickets for that one), HOME present a preview of their Inkheart Christmas show, and on Thu 6 August he city centre becomes a playground for kids for one day only, with tree climbing, a mass water fight and lots of activity designed to release the wild thing in your little one... Expect a wild end to the festival.

Find out about the Wild Rumpus event

Food and drink to make you grow

Inside the Dig the City Den there will be a selection of fine ales, a tearoom for coffee and cake, sharing platters, hog roast and paella. Over on King Street, there’ll be ping pong, cold beer and busking at the Budvar Bar. On New Cathedral Street at the Harvey Nichols and Grey Goose Boulangerie François Terrasse, you can expect small plates, mini patisseries and fruit tarts alongside light and zesty cocktails – all based on Grey Goose flavoured vodkas. There's also afternoon tea with a floral twist at the Double Tree by Hilton, floral inspired cocktails at The Lowry and tours of The Printworks henhouses and bee hives and a special Dig the City menu at the Hard Rock Cafe.


One big shopping weekend

Some of the biggest and best shops in the city centre are coming together to offer a weekend of disocunts and special offers to celebrate Dig the City. To keep on top of them all, you'll need to visit the Dig the City website offers page

Sat 1st August — Sun 2nd August 9.00am until 8.00pm Shopping District

Music to garden by

Throughout the festival there's plenty of music to enjoy, from daily entertainment at noon in St Anne's Square to a takeover of the Manchester Jazz Festival. Expect steel bands, a Northern Soul night, Drunk at Vogue getting their fingers dirty, DJs in the Den and Manchester's Best Busker.


Coronation Street the Tour Garden

That ginnel behind the Rovers was never exactly a model of urban gardening. Well, here's what it could look like as it gets a proper green make-over.

Fri 31st July — Thu 6th August 10.00am until 6.00pm
King Street

More great things to do over summer

There are some fine examples of beer gardens across the region where you can enjoy a relaxed outdoor drink and, as there's nothing better than a cold beer on a hot day, here are ten of Manchester's very best beer gardens. Cheers.

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