Father’s Day in Manchester and the North

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

This year’s Father’s Day is Sunday 18 June, just three days before the official longest day of the year. That means lots more hours of daylight with your dear old dad so why not make it something to remember?

It isn’t just another made-up gimmick to sell products and cards, it actually dates back to the Middle Ages, so show some respect for papa and treat him to something nice. We all know dads are difficult to buy for – how many JFK documentaries can one man watch? – so an experience-led gift is the way forward, whether that be a nice meal or a high-octane day out with the family.

And it doesn’t have to be expensive, we have some pocket-friendly options below, depending on what pops is a fan of. The great outdoors? We’ve got you covered. Football? Tick. Cinephile? Check out our expert list of films, taking in everything from chin-stroking arthouse fare to blockbuster smashes.

Food and drink treats are always a winner, so we’ve picked out some of the best father-friendly restaurants and pubs and events to explore this mid-June weekend.

Our top picks

Indy Man Beer Con 2023

Independent Manchester Beer Convention 2023 at Victoria Baths, Manchester, 5–8 October 2023, from £14.50 - Book now

The 2023 edition of Indy Beer Con might be in October but tickets are flying out already. Why not surprise your dad with tickets to an autumn treat day involving multiple varieties of fermented yeast?

Green Island Festival at Hulme Garden Centre

Green Island Festival at Hulme Community Garden Centre, Manchester, 17–18 June 2023, from £12.50 - Book now

It’s a known fact that as soon as a bloke has kids, few words in the English language excite more than ‘garden centre’. One of our favourites is the flora-filled sanctuary of Hulme Community Garden Centre, which is hosting a very laid back, global sounds-focused music festival on Father’s Day.

Image courtesy of Green Island

GASP! Horror Festival at CultPlex

GASP! Horror Festival at Cultplex, Manchester, 17–18 June 2023, from £5.00 - Book now

GASP! Horror Festival arrives in Manchester over Father’s Day for an inaugural edition filled with werewolves and scream queens, killer clowns and queer classics, all dedicated to showcasing diversity in horror.

GASP! Film Festival

National Football Museum

National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 3BG - Visit now

Red or blue or some obscure shade of colour that the mainstream press don’t much care for, there’s something for all footy-loving dads at the world’s biggest football museum.

The National Football Museum Manchester
Image courtesy of National Football Museum

Manchester International Festival

Manchester International Festival 2023 at Factory International, City Centre, 29 June–16 July 2023, from £10.00 - Book now

It’s not all beer and football, these days any self-respecting father fancies himself as something of a culture vulture. With that in mind, go through our comprehensive guide to the globally-revered MIF23 festival and pick out some events to take him to. Stick a cherry on top with a promise to take him over to the all-new Festival Square and treat him to a slap-up feed.

Yayoi Kusama, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro and David Zwirner.
Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro and David Zwirner.

Freight Island

Freight Island, Mayfield Depot, 11 Baring St, Manchester, M1 2PY - Visit now

Manchester’s cultural hub of food, drink and entertainment, Freight Island presents a special Father’s Day programming with the return of its action-packed Better Days series on Sunday 18th June. This Father’s Day sees Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) present a DJ set alongside Fat Tony, Raw Silk, Scarlett O’Malley, and Freight Island’s residents.

You can celebrate Father’s Day at Freight Island with a stellar line-up of DJs, delicious food from the North West’s most celebrated independent traders, and a wide selection of craft beers from Manchester and beyond at The Tap Room. Plus, alfresco BBQ, festival vibes and family entertainment all day long. Book your trip out here.

Escape To Freight Island
Freight Island

The Refuge

The Refuge, Oxford Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M60 7HA - Visit now

Then there’s the glorious-looking The Refuge at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel –  a fine place to celebrate dads, partners or father figures on 18th June. Celebrate Father’s Day by bringing them to The Refuge to enjoy one of Northern Pie Co’s tasty pies and a pint of any beer. A free gift from Track Brewery is included for all dads to take home.

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The Alan

The Alan, 18 Princess St, Manchester, M1 4LG - Visit now

The Alan has launched an exclusive dining offer to be enjoyed with loved ones this Father’s Day. Available from Saturday 17 June to Monday 19 between 12pm and 9pm, treat the father figure in your life to half a kilo of 50-day aged picanha beef, served with beef fat potatoes, greens, and a bone marrow gravy. The limited-edition dish serves two and is priced at £60 (£30 per person).

The Alan

Albert’s Schloss

Albert’s Schloss, 27 Peter Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 5QR - Visit now

Make your Father’s Day celebrations extra special this year, as Albert’s Schloss Manchester hands out a free bier upon arrival to every dad who visits the venue (valid on Father’s Day from 12pm).

Then tuck into Manchester’s most wunderbar Sunday Service roast menu, available as a two or three-course offering starting at £23. For your main course, choose from Lancashire beef, Schwienshaxe, Cheshire chicken or brand new vegan roast, ‘Schloss no-nut roast’, with mushroom celeriac, sun-dried tomato stuffed confit onion plus vegan cheese and vegetable gravy. All main courses are served family-sharing style, with roast potatoes, root vegetable mash, seasonal greens and lashings of gravy.

Staying out for the night? Get into the post-gravy groove as Albert’s Schloss presents its fantastich Sunday Service showtime line up. Taking to the stage on Father’s Day will be The Piano Man starting at 1.30pm, followed by The Feel Good Choir with sets from 5pm, then welcome DJ royalty DJ Paulette, who’ll be playing into the early hours.

Alberts Schloss
Albert Schloss

Three Little Words

Three Little Words, 12-13 Watson St, Manchester, M3 4LP - Visit now

Treat your dad to one of the greatest Sunday roasts in Manchester. Our advice: if it’s a sunkissed day, treat daddio to a pina colada – they’re the best in the city.

Three Little Words
Three Little Words

The Ivy Spinningfields

The Ivy Spinningfields, The Pavilion, Byrom Street, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3HG - Visit now

Show some appreciation for pops by treating them to an exceptional dining experience with a specially curated set menu at The Ivy. Showcasing a perfect blend of classic and contemporary dishes, including timeless favourites such as The Ivy Shepherd’s Pie, or the Mediterranean Sea Bream Fillet. Try a two-course meal for £25.50 or three courses for £29.50 and make this Father’s Day truly special.

The Ivy has some other delightful Father’s Day specials, such as an exquisite 8oz dry-aged Sirloin Steak accompanied by green beans and a flambeed brandy and truffle sauce. Pair it with a signature Double Jus Old Fashioned cocktail, expertly crafted with Maker’s Mark bourbon, 30&40 Double Jus, syrup, and a touch of bitters. This cocktail is a perfect balance of sweet, rich, and bold.

The Ivy Manchester

Hew Locke: The Ambassadors at The Lowry

Hew Locke: The Ambassadors at The Lowry, MediaCityUK, Until 25 June 2023, free entry - Visit now

After Father’s Day, there’s a week remaining of this fascinating exhibition at the Lowry. Be nice, let your dad daydream about how he was probably a fearsome figure on horseback in a previous life. Yes, dad. Sure you were, dad.

Hew Locke, The Ambassadors. Image: Jules Lister

Outdoor Art in the North

More art, but art you can enjoy in the great outdoors. The North is home to more than its fair share of iconic outdoor artworks – discover the best of them in our comprehensive guide.

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 natural, cultural, historical and scientific Sites of international interest, and they’re right on your doorstep! Pick one or two from our guide and take your dad on a trip to remember.

10 Tib Lane

10 Tib Lane, 10 Tib Lane, Manchester , M2 4JB - Visit now

If your dad loves food then he’ll love 10 Tib Lane. They have a well-deserved reputation as being the finest purveyors of modern European food in Manchester and beyond. Just ask the long line of national food critics who rushed over to visit following our review last autumn.

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The University of Manchester Community Festival 2023

The University of Manchester Community Festival, 10 June 2023, free entry - Find Out More

All dads like science, right? What better than an all-day event dedicated to the fascinating weirdness of how the world works? There’s everything here, from sports events to VR,  not to mention killer fungus, space rocks, graphene and linguistics, at this family-friendly festival (it’s a week before Father’s Day so a great opportunity to surprise him with an unexpected day out).

The University of Manchester Community Festival 2023
Image courtesy of The University of Manchester.

Pubs in Manchester

It’s a good bet that the majority of dads like a pint, or just like kicking back in a pub reading the paper. Do your duty and join him at one of these top-tier establishments.

Britons Protection entrance.
Image courtesy of Briton's Protection

Gilpin Lake House

Gilpin Lake House, Knipe Tarn, Kendal , Lake District, LA8 8LN - Visit now

If you really want to do something special with your Dad… The word ‘idyllic’ was created for places like Kendal’s Gilpin Lake House. This stunning Lake District getaway is one of the most prized destinations in the North, consisting of 100 acres of private grounds, with just six bedrooms sharing every possible luxury you can think of (spa treatments, hot tubs, saunas, swimming pool, nature trails, and so on).

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Take your dear old dad out to one of the many excellent cinemas dotted around the North and take in a big-screen experience that he’ll waffle on about for years.

Breakfast in Manchester

Top tip: if you see your dad early in the morning, you get the rest of the day to do something fun – fill up on high-energy grub then get out and get active.

Federal Cafe Bar
Image courtesy of Alabama's All American Eatery.
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