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The best things to do in Manchester when it rains

Cities in England are known for their temperamental weather. And as we move into Autumn – there’s no better time for us to pull together our list of the best things to do in Manchester when it rains.

Filled with locations and activities that appeal to different age groups and interests, Manchester is arguably one of the best places to visit when the heavens open!

Cultural pursuits

One of the best things about Manchester’s rich array of museums and galleries is that they’re all indoors! With quite a selection to choose from, you truly are spoilt for choice in the city.

If you’re an art lover, there are an abundance of galleries across the city, ranging from grand exhibitions in historic buildings, to smaller modern outfits that display art that’s just as exquisite. The newly refurbished Whitworth Art Gallery is a cataclysm of old and new, classic and modern, whilst the Manchester Art Gallery is home to the big names and world-class art, albeit with more of a traditional focus.

For the museum buffs, there’s an equally as impressive selection in the city, spanning a range of topics. A neighbour of Potato Wharf, there’s the Museum of Science and Industry which tells you a lot about Manchester’s industrial past, whilst the People’s History Museum takes more of a political slant. The Manchester Museum is a great option for those looking for places to go on a rainy day that’s suitable for toddlers, as the natural world and dinosaur displays are sure to capture the imaginations of both young and old!

Go shopping

Can you take a trip into Manchester City Centre without hitting the shops? After all, it’s arguably one of the best cities in the country in terms of its retail selection. That makes it one of the better things to do in Manchester when it rains!

If you’re looking for prolonged shelter, you have shopping centres like Manchester Arndale or The Trafford Centre to choose from or for those with more premium tastes, The Royal Exchange is home to loved brands like L’Occitane, French Connection, and LuluLemon.

Not quite in the city centre, but close enough for a day trip – Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet brings designer brands to customers for exceptionally good prices. With over 140 stores and 18 restaurants, it really is no hardship whiling away the hours.

Seek a thrill or two

For thrill-seekers who are looking for things to do in Manchester when it rains, the city has a surprising number of adrenaline activities to scratch that itch. Chill Factore is home to one of the UK’s longest indoor ski slopes, and whilst it won’t be raining inside – you’ll still need to wrap up! You can learn an array of snow sports, including skiing or snowboarding, or take on a team activity or two (we’re talking sledge building or mountain climbing!).

If tropical jungle climates are more your thing, there’s also I’m a Celebrity Jungle Challenge over at MediaCity UK. Inside there are an abundance of trials, for children and adults alike. Take on infamous bushtucker trials like scavenger hunts, or ‘Get a Grip’ which will have you holding on for dear life! From kids’ parties to corporate team-building days – there are packages to suit everyone.

Go on a date!

One for couples – Manchester’s bar and restaurant scene is thriving, so on a rainy afternoon or evening, why not tuck yourself away in a cosy bar or restaurant with your significant other.

Spinningfields is an exceptionally popular district for dining which brings more experiential bars like Alcatraz (the city’s own prison-themed cocktail bar) and BLVD which is full of live entertainment and late-night fun inspired by the uber-luxe bars of New York and LA.

If something more traditional is to your taste, there are plenty of pubs with roaring fires, cosy interiors, and classic pub grub up for grabs. The Sawyer Arms on Deansgate boasts the cosy interior of an old English pub, but appeals to the more discerning customer, serving up lentil cottage pie, cheese boards, as well as an extensive beer and ale selection. Harking back to the Victorian period, Mr Thomas’ Chop House serves up gastro fare, as well as traditional pub delights – all set in a stunningly retro Victorian setting.

If none of our suggested things to do in Manchester when it rains are suitable for you – we say get out on foot and explore. The city is easy to travel around with tram services, or by foot, and you’re sure to stumble across a hidden gem or two as you wander the city.