Dig the City 2015: Gardens, cocktails and a massive water fight

Susie Stubbs
Teapots filled with flowers

Manchester’s summer garden festival makes a return – with a novel way to water the plants.

What was the best thing about summer when you were a kid? For me it was scrapping about with my brother on long, hot days, eating our tea outside and epic water fights that encompassed half the kids on our street, a couple of cats and a few game parents. I can’t be the only one – this year’s Dig the City is tapping into the childhood vibe with a festival that wraps up with a giant water fight. But more on that later.

There are more show gardens, fashion, pop-up eats and cocktails than ever before

The late July festival has changed tack this year. While all the usual elements are in place (National Trust activities, a fabulous installation from Frog Flowers, TV gardening expert Diarmuid Gavin), this year there are more show gardens than ever before. From hanging baskets to the best of the RHS Tatton Flower Show, via vertical, edible and community gardens, there’ll be a whole lot of floral fun going on in town. There’s more fashion, too (including a shopping weekend and a roving catwalk show) and a Grey Goose bar outside Harvey Nicks. The Bridgewater Hall Bandstand, meanwhile, provides live music throughout the week long event.

The best, however, is surely saved until last. On the final day of the festival (Thu 6 Aug) Run Wild, Child explodes across the city centre. Dreamt up by the very clever folk at Wild Rumpus, it’s a kind of treasure hunt meets family fun day, with secret codes, a musical parade and dressing-up thrown in. Oh, and it ends in the sort of massive water fight that made my 1970s childhood mint – and could make it so for your small people, too. It’s free, but you’ll need to register. Head to the Dig website for more info.

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