The Alchemist

May Bank Holiday 2022: Things to Do

Creative Tourist

While you can’t always rely on the weather to provide the perfect Bank Holiday conditions, you can certainly count on us for lots of ideas for activities, rain or shine. We’ve gathered a list of options to suit everyone’s taste, from urban dwellers looking for a night out in style to cold water swimming enthusiasts. Looking for an inspirational long weekend of culture? Look no further. Fancy a cocktail? We’ve got you covered.

With spring programmes of art venues and cultural spaces in full swing, now’s the time to plan your perfect long weekend. There are music festivals, art exhibitions, film screenings, family fun and, of course, some fantastic food and drink all around Manchester and further afield. All you have to do is choose what you’d like to do!

For more ideas,  take a look at our culture guides: exhibitions, music, cinema, theatre, literature, tours and activities and family events.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Sounds From The Other City

    Sounds From The Other City 2018 - Jody Hartley

    Sounds From The Other City, online, 30 April 2023, from £29.95 - Book now

    Sounds From The Other City is finally back this May! Showcasing new and emerging talent, the festival will take place across some of Salford’s finest venues, all overflowing with fresh music, art, spoken word and performance.

  • 2. Ducie Street Warehouse

    Ducie Street Warehouse

    Ducie Street Warehouse, Ground Floor, Warehouse, Ducie St,, Manchester, M1 2TP - Visit now

    Manchester’s favourite creative hub and destination in the Northern Quarter, Ducie Street Warehouse, has announced a full curation this Early May Bank Holiday, dubbed “The May Weekender” – the FREE event will run all weekend from Friday 29th April until Monday 2nd May.

  • 3. Wild Swimming in the North of England

    If you’re looking for outdoor activity ideas, wild swimming might just be the one. Whether you prefer picturesque lakes or local lidos, there are lots of lovely spots to choose from. And, if you’re after something even more energetic, why not combine a hike with a refreshing dip at the end?

  • 4. Le Social Wine Bar

    Le Social

    Le Social Wine Bar, Pollar Yard, Contain 88 & 147, 15 Pollard Street East, Manchester, M40 7SL - Visit now

    A stylish wine bar and tasting room, Le Social is currently home to Caroline Dowsett and Ben Vulliamy’s debut collaborative exhibition MOTHER – an ode to Mother Earth through a series of original pieces and limited edition prints in the form of risographs, print and textiles. 29 April will also see Le Social takeover of Northern Quarter favourite Common for a Bank Holiday special party – entry is free, just turn up as you are!

  • 5. UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the North

    World Heritage Sites tell the story of this country’s unique contribution to the world. More than playing its part in that story, the North is home to many sites of international interest, and they’re right on your doorstep! Taking a trip to one or more of them would be an especially wholesome way to spend the Bank Holiday Weekend!
  • 6. FINT Leeds

    Ian Jones

    FINT Leeds, 73 Great George St, Leeds, LS1 3BR - Visit now

    A relaxed atmosphere with delicious Nordic-inspired food – what more could you want? FINT serves a selection of plant-based, as well as meat and fish dishes in a charming interior. If you’re looking for good food in Leeds, you’ve just found it.

  • 7. Fairy Tales at Z-arts

    Fairy Tales at Z-Arts

    Fairy Tales at Z-arts, Manchester, Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00 - Book now

    Head to Fairy Tales at Z-Arts, an enchanting exhibition that takes children aged 0-8 and their grownups to an interactive wonderland. Discover a world of giants and gingerbread houses, climb up the beanstalk and you can even grab a bite at Hansel and Gretel’s café. An interactive world of play and storytelling awaits!

  • 8. Outdoor Art in the North

    Often free and publicly accessible, outdoor art has a special relationship to community, cultural heritage and the landscape it’s situated in. Why not take the opportunity to discover the iconic outdoor artworks the North has to offer over Bank Holiday Weekend.

  • 9. Parks and Gardens in Manchester

    Blossom on trees in Manchester

    You can’t go wrong with a visit to the park, weather permitting. Take a break from the city noise, bring a friend, bring your dog, breathe in the spring air and have an ice-cream en plein air.

  • 10. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist

    The Alchemist, 3 Hardman Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3HF - Visit now

    It’s a long weekend so if you’re having a drink, you might as well pick the most stylish place for it. How about the recently refurbished Alchemist cocktail bar and restaurant? With a new cocktail menu longer than you could get through in one sitting, you won’t be disappointed with the selection of experimental flavours and surprising combinations.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Activity Until 8 February 2023, from £170.00

Drawing course with Nina Hunter

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

Queer Contact 2023
Comedy Until 18 February 2023,

Queer Contact Festival 2023

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 23 February 2023, from £59.99

Write Like A Grrrl: Ignite

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour

Fairy Tales at Z-Arts
Families Until 26 February 2023, from £3.00

Fairy Tales at Z-arts