Gwen Riley Jones

Father’s Day in Manchester and the North

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

Though often dismissed as a lucrative invention by greeting card companies or a sorry tag on to Mothering Sunday, Father’s Day is a tradition that can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Making it pretty legit, in our books. Either way, it’s a great excuse to celebrate the old man. Whether you’re looking for straight-up, unwrappable gift ideas (dads being notoriously difficult to buy for) or planning to give the ultimate gift – your precious time – our Father’s Day Guide should have plenty to keep you going.

Here are our picks

  • 1. El Gato Negro Tapas

    El Gato Negro Tapas
    Image courtesy of Marketing Manchester

    El Gato Negro Tapas, 52 King Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 4LY - Visit now

    You can’t go wrong with a slap-up Sunday Roast. But forget ’Spoons, we’re thinking of something a bit more memorable. Last month, El Gato Negro (already one of Manchester’s most highly-rated restaurants) launched its new Sunday Specials menu – and our Food and Drink Editor, Ian Jones, was more than a little impressed.

  • 2. Bundobust Manchester

    Bundobust Manchester
    Ian Jones

    Bundobust Manchester, 61 Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 2AG - Visit now

    Alternatively, for a slightly more wallet-friendly option, we recommend veggie-heaven: Bundobust. The tapas-style curry menu is divine, and the absence of proper plates or cutlery will leave him feeling truly ‘down with the kids’.

  • 3. Pubs in Manchester

    Britons Protection entrance.
    Image courtesy of Briton's Protection

    Walk lunch off with a tour of Manchester’s many excellent craft beer establishments.

  • 4. Breakout Manchester

    breakout manchester
    Photo by Gnist Design from Pexels

    Breakout Manchester, 36 High Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1QB - Visit now

    In a similar vein, try putting your dad’s survival skills to the test by challenging him to a session at Breakout Manchester. Perfect for those who are into high concept, cryptically minded thrill-seeking.

  • 5. Manchester International Festival

    Manchester International Festival: The Walk
    Photo: Josh Telles

    Manchester International Festival 2021 at Albert Square, City Centre, 1–18 July 2021, from £12.00 - Book now

    Going for best Child of the Year award? Snap up a pair of the few remaining tickets for Manchester International Festival. Thanks to the stellar 2019 programme, they’re going fast!

  • 6. National Football Museum

    Image courtesy of National Football Museum

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

    Doesn’t matter if he’s uplifted or depressed by this year’s season, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the world’s biggest football museum. Plus, it’s free!

  • 7. Record Shops in Manchester

    Record Store Day
    Image courtesy of Piccadilly Records.

    Whether it will actually ever touch a needle or not is irrelevant, let your dad relive the youthful joy of unwrapping a fresh slab of vinyl.

  • 8. Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories

    Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories in Cumbria
    Courtesy of Lakeland Arts

    Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories, Rayrigg Road, Windermere,, Cumbria, LA231BN - Visit now

    All dads like boats, right? What better than a brand-new museum dedicated to the simple, timeless pleasure of boating on the banks of one of England’s largest and most picturesque lakes? You could even go for a hearty walk after and pretend to let him to be in charge of the map.

  • 9. Rapha Clubhouse Manchester

    Rapha Clubhouse Manchester
    Courtesy of Rapha

    Rapha Clubhouse Manchester, 5 St Ann’s Passage, Manchester, M2 6AD - Visit now

    Cycling culture in Britain has exploded over the last decade or so, with dads the least able to resist the allure of the Lycra. Your average man having a midlife crisis is far more likely to be found comparing the weight of the forks on his carbon fibre road bike than he is thumbing the pages of a Mazda MX-5 sales manual. This is (mostly) a good thing and should be encouraged. Stop by Manchester’s Rapha Clubhouse and make sure he’s kitted out in the most stylish finery for those gruelling hill climbs.

  • 10. Utility Gift Shop

    Utility Gift Shop
    Utility Retail Ltd

    Utility Gift Shop, 128 Oxford Road, University Green, Manchester, M139GP - Visit now

    Utility Gift Shop on Oxford Road is all about products that are new, unique, quirky and cool… Just like your dad! We recommend the Kinto Travel Mug, Vitra Toolbox and Rains Wash Bag. Check out our guide to independent shops in Manchester for more ideas.

  • 11. Hanging Ditch Wine Merchants

    Hanging Ditch Wine Merchants
    Creative Tourist

    Hanging Ditch Wine Merchants, 42 Victoria Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 1ST - Visit now

    Located on the site where either linen or – it’s rumoured – people were hung out to dry; Hanging Ditch Wine Merchants is the best place to shop for wine (and last-minute gifts!) in the city.

  • 12. Bookshops in Manchester

    Blackwell's bookshop

    Give it a heartfelt, handwritten inscription and you can’t go wrong with a book. It’s also a great excuse to spend an afternoon sifting through some of Manchester’s best independent bookshops, if ever you needed one.

  • 13. Breakfast in Manchester

    Breakfast in Manchester
    Image courtesy of Alabama's All American Eatery.

    Top tip: if you see your dad early in the morning, you pretty much get the rest of the day to yourself. (Love you, pop.)