The unofficial capital of the north and renowned for its vibrant atmosphere, there’s always something to see or do in Manchester. With so much to choose from, it’s easy to fall into the trap of hitting the same spots time and time again. But if you know where to look, there are plenty of quirk and cool things to do in Manchester that are ideal for a first date.
Junkyard Golf Club
One of the worst kept secrets in town, this quirky venue ticks all the first date boxes. The Manchester Junkyard Golf Club location has booze, beats, junk food, and plenty of weird and wonderful holes for you and your date to putt your way through. Having made First Street their permanent home, this junk-filled wonderland has three courses to choose from – all of which blow other first date activities like bowling out of the water. This is crazy golf in Manchester, but not as you know it.
Ready to love Junkyard Golf Club even more? Once you have finished making your way around the course, you can kick back and relax with one of Junkyard’s legendary cocktails, so you don’t have to worry about finding a bar nearby!
Offering something different from the usual haunts, if you’re set on heading to a bar for some casual drinks with your date, then choose The Temple. It’s a quirky watering hole that also happens to be one of Manchester’s most iconic bars. Described by Elbow’s frontman Guy Garvey as a “hole in my neighbourhood down which of late I cannot help but fall” in the song Grounds for Divorce, The Temple is quite literally an underground hole, having once been a public toilet.
John Rylands Library
Architecture lovers and literary buffs will both be in awe of the gorgeous John Rylands Library. Perfect for a casual date during the day, this historic building is home to the oldest library in the English-speaking world. On a sunny day, it’s easy to spend an afternoon getting lost in the stacks, and the library’s vast collection of manuscripts and first editions will give you two plenty of things to talk about. To really impress your date, make sure you stop by the library’s copy of the Gutenberg Bible – one of its finer gems.
Easily one of the more adventurous things you can do on a first date in the city, it’s unlikely that you will have come across a first date activity like Whistle Punks before. Labelling itself as an “urban axe throwing” venue, Whistle Punks offers exactly what it promises – axe throwing, in a safe and fun environment. Located in the Great Northern Warehouses, drinking is not allowed (for obvious reasons) but there are plenty of bars nearby to call at once you’ve finished up here.
Refuge Winter Garden
For those looking to impress, there’s nowhere quite as cool as the dramatic interior of Refuge, more specifically its winter garden. Housed inside one of Manchester’s most iconic buildings, Refuge’s quirky winter garden can be found in an atrium which sits at the heart of the wider dining area. Whether you’re planning a dinner date or going for cocktails, this is one quirky space that is guaranteed to win some brownie points with your date.
Museums can often get a bad reputation but like the John Ryland library, it can be the ideal setting for a first date, with plenty of different exhibitions to explore together. While the city is home to several different museums, none of them beat Manchester Museum, which is not only home to the second-best preserved T.rex fossil in the world – called Stan – but also offers a chance to show off your knowledge about in-house collections, including ancient Egypt.