Whether you’re on a first date, a thirtieth date, or you’re trying to add a little more spark to your relationship, there are loads of fantastic date ideas in Manchester. And it’s not all bars and cinemas either, we’ve picked out some unique activities to impress the person you’re trying to, well, impress.
We’ve done our research to bring you the best date ideas in Manchester! Pick your favourite and have an unforgettable date.
- Divulge in delicious ice cream at Ginger’s Comfort Emporium
- Admire literature & architecture at John Ryland’s library
- Listen to live music
- Hop on a canal cruise
- Wrap up warm for the slopes at Chill Factore
- Learn & laugh at the city’s museums
- Mooch around the Northern Quarter
- Chuck some axes at Whistle Punks Axe Throwing
- Laugh out loud at a comedy night
- Enjoy some top-notch grub at a Michelin starred restaurant
Divulge in delicious ice cream at Ginger’s Comfort Emporium
Located on the top floor of Affleck’s shopping centre, you’ll find this exquisite ice cream parlour, which boasts some of the most unusual and delicious flavours you’ll ever experience. From marmalade on toast to olive oil and sea salt, these unique ice cream flavours will be unlike anything you’ve tried before. Those who love 1950s nostalgia will love sharing an ice-cream sundae and flicking whipped cream at each other.
Admire literature & architecture at John Ryland’s library
Whether your date is a book worm or an architecture admirer, a trip to John Ryland’s Library will be well received. Spend time appreciating the collections or simply wander around the corridors, getting lost in the labyrinth of passageways.
Listen to live music
Impress your date with your music taste at one of Manchester’s many gigs. There are tonnes of places to check out live music in Manchester! Try venues like the Manchester Arena or the O2 Apollo if you want to see big acts. The Albert Hall have a calendar of music and acts throughout the year, or, you’re looking for something a little more intimate, check out Ruby Lounge. Find out more about Manchester’s music scene on our Music on the Move: Manchester blog post.
Hop on a canal cruise
Do something a little different with your date and hop on board a canal boat down the Manchester Ship Canal. Begin the City Centre Cruise from the docks at Castlefield Basin and watch Manchester, Trafford Park and Salford glide past you as you sail along the Manchester Ship Canal, Bridgewater Canal and River Irwell. If you’ve got the time, you can experience Mersy Ferries’ Manchester Ship Canal Cruise and go all the way to Liverpool.
Wrap up warm for the slopes at Chill Factore
Whether you’re a seasoned skier or you’re yet to set foot on snow, the Chill Factore is a great date idea in Manchester. The UK’s longest real snow slope offers skiing, snowboarding and sledging, so you and your date can pick which activity you want to try. It may be below sub-zero slope side, but it’s warm and toasty inside the many shops, bars and restaurant that grace the Alpine Street and beyond. Why not pop into Lift Up Café for a warming hot chocolate, or head to Nando’s for some cheeky chicken?
Learn & laugh at the city’s Museums
Manchester is home to many museums where you and your date are sure to learn a thing or two and bond at the same time. You could visit the fantastic Museum of Science & Industry, or the Football Museum. The People’s History Museum continually create compelling and exciting events and special exhibitions for a range of subjects and interests. Visit the Manchester Museum to show off your knowledge of dinosaurs and Egyptian mummies.
Mooch around the Northern Quarter
Manchester’s famous Northern Quarter is an eclectic, fun and welcoming area of the city. You’ll find independent fashion stores, record shops, cafés, bars and restaurants, all perfect for browsing with your date. The laid-back bohemian daytime vibe transforms at night into teeming pavements of people in search of good food, craft beer, pop-up events and live music. You could easily spend the whole day exploring.
Chuck some axes at Whistle Punks Axe Throwing
It’s kind of like darts but instead of darts, you use axes…what could go wrong? Axe throwing is so much fun and a great way to try something new with your date. You will be taught how to throw the axes, and once you’ve gotten the swing of things, you’ll be entered into a small tournament against your date! Just make sure you aim towards the board and not your love interest.
Laugh out loud at a comedy night
You’re certain to have a laugh at a comedy night in Manchester. With a range of sizes from large comedy venues hosting international acts, to more relaxed nights in Manchester bars. The Comedy Store Manchester has become an institution, showcasing some of the best international latest and greatest talent from the comedy circuit. A relative newcomer to the city's comedy scene, 'Group Therapy' takes place at Gorilla on the last Saturday of the month and is sure to get you giggling.
Enjoy some top-notch grub at a Michelin starred restaurant
If you're really trying to pull out all the stops to impress your date, a meal at a Michelin starred restaurant is sure to do the trick. One of 9 Michelin starred restaurants in the city centre, Mana is an informal dining experience showcasing the best of Britain’s produce. The menu changes constantly to enable the creativity and evolution of the kitchen, as well as to work with seasonal supply. Think 16 courses, and potentially more, but put aside three hours and over £100 a head.
CrossCountry has services running to Manchester from all over the country, throughout the year. Whenever you plan your visit, remember to buy an Advance ticket to CrossCountry via our Train Tickets app. Don’t fancy Manchester? Check out the best date ideas in Birmingham instead.