10 top things to do on a winter’s day in Manchester
Manchester Tram

Winter has most definitely arrived in Manchester, with temperatures plummeting and rain, sleet or even snow becoming the daily picture.

Thankfully there are plenty of ways to spend your time if the weather is bad – which let’s face it, is quite often…here are 10 of our favourites.

1. Go behind the scenes at the BBC

Just a short tram ride out of Manchester city centre is MediaCity, home to the BBC. Take part in one of their interactive tours and you’ll gain insight into the inner workings of TV and radio, as well as having a go at some broadcasting yourself. It’s a working studio so you might even bump into some familiar faces during your visit.

BBC, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2EQ, more info

2. Escape the weather in a pay-by-the-minute café

Ziferblat Manchester

Ziferblat is the perfect place to get away from the Manchester weather as it really is a home from home. The only thing you pay for is the time you spend there (six pence per minute) – once inside you can make yourself unlimited hot drinks, toast, crumpets and enjoy cakes and sweet treats for free! It looks and feels like a living room, and you can use your time there to chat with friends, read a book, or even pull out one of their board games to play. You simply settle up for your time as you leave.

Ziferblat, 1st Floor, 23 Edge Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1HW, more info

3. Catch up on your culture

HOME is Manchester’s new culture and arts centre, and with their extensive programme of cutting-edge theatre productions, contemporary art exhibitions, independent film events, and creative learning discussions, courses and events, this is definitely the place for like-minded creatives to spend their time.

HOME MCR, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN, more info

4. Shop, dine and be entertained under one roof

It’s true – intu Trafford Centre is home to over 200 stores, so you can shop ‘til you drop without being exposed to the elements. But it is far from being just a shopping destination. You can dine in one of over 60 restaurants (with a range to suit every budget), climb The Rock, visit an ODEON IMAX cinema, escape into the Legoland discovery centre, spend your pennies in Namco’s amusements and even explore underwater worlds at Sea Life – and all without going outside.

intu Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8AA, more info

5. See what the city’s libraries have to offer

Manchester Central Library

The newly reopened Central Library looks seriously stylish inside, and now boasts a Media Lounge full of the latest digital technology worthy of spending several hours getting to grips with. The library also hosts various events, from workshops on how to start your own business, to film groups and computer coding sessions.

As a complete contrast, the stunning neo-Gothic architecture of the John Rylands library and its amazing collection of rare books and manuscripts would not look out of place in a Harry Potter film. Delve deeper into its mysteries with one of the workshops or tours on offer.

Central Library, St Peters Square, City Centre, M2 5PD, more info
The John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH, more info

6. Get your bounce on

Rainy days don’t have to mean being inactive. Try something both physical and fun at Jump Nation – an indoor trampoline park featuring 139 trampolines all joined together into one exciting bouncy adventure. Kids and adults are both welcome, which is perfect if you’re looking for a family activity, and they offer bounce sessions, classes and group parties too.

Jump Nation, Textilose Road, Trafford Park, Manchester, M17 1WA, more info

7. Discover the history of modern war

You won’t realise just how interesting this subject can be for all the family until you’ve explored the exhibitions at the Imperial War Museum. Learn about the political background to some of recent history’s major wars, whilst really getting a feel for what life was like through those conflicts through more hands-on exhibits. The immersive sound and picture projection show alone is worth the visit.

Imperial War Museum North, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester M17 1TZ, more info 

8. Try your hand at snow sports

This could be the perfect winter’s day activity! Whether you’re experienced and looking to improve your skills or a complete beginner you can have a go on the indoor slopes at Chill Factore. Take part in their skiing and snowboarding taster sessions or lessons with professional instructors, or just simply do your own thing. If you’re not quite that adventurous you can just enjoy some winter fun in the snow park and watch the professionals do their thing from the comfort of the viewing balconies whilst enjoying a hot drink.

Chill Factore, Trafford Way, Trafford Quays Leisure Village, Manchester, M41 7JA, more info

9. Explore one of the world’s largest football clubs

Manchester is lucky to be home to not one, but two top-flight football clubs, and whether you’re red, blue, or simply a football enthusiast, a stadium tour will give you the chance to explore the unseen areas of Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium. What football fan wouldn’t want to take a peek inside the players’ dressing room and then walk in the footsteps of the greats down the players’ tunnel?

Manchester United, Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 0RA, more info
Manchester City FC, Etihad Stadium, Etihad Campus, Manchester, M11 3FF, more info

10. Have an All Star American experience

It’s bowling, but glamorous! All Star Lanes has retro bowling lanes, a menu of American classics and a swanky cocktail bar with a very long list of cocktails to choose from. Escape the elements into one very stylishly decorated venue – and dine, drink and bowl all under one roof! Remember, bowling is no less cool today than it was in the 1950s.

The Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4EN, more info

Like this? Try these:

5 fun-filled activities to try in Manchester this winter
10 warming winter food and drink spots in Manchester
Quiz: How well do you know Manchester?