We all know what it is like to plan some great outdoor fun when all of the a sudden the weather turns and it looks like things are going to be more wash out than sun bathed. And this is why I have decided to create this post to share with you these free things to do in Manchester when it is raining.
Yes, we have been having an AMAZINGLY sunny summer so far, but when the rain does come it is handy to have some contingency to fall back on. Here are 10 free things to do in Manchester when it rains.
Enjoy and do let me know whether you get inspired to take a rainy day out – I’d love to know what you get up to!
You’ll find it on Deansgate near Spinningfields.
150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH || Tel: 0161 306 0555
The perfect place to spend a go couple of hours learning about the amazing science revelations and history associated with this fair city. There are hands on things for the kids (and the kid in you!) as well as changing exhibitions and regular events. You can find out more about these things on their website. The cafe is also lovely if you just fancy sitting for a bit, drinking something nice and watching the world go by.
You’ll find MOSI in Castlefield, not too far to walk in the rain from John Rylands and you can also jump on the free Number 2 (green) Metroshuttle bus.
Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP || Tel: 0161 832 2244
Again, a great place to while away the hours while the clouds pass. There are a great number of rooms and differing kinds of art and design that you can explore in the gallery and there is also a child friendly interactive area too – so it’s not just for the grown-ups. The cafe is lovely too and a perfect place to chill out for a bit or to read a book.
The exhibitions change regularly, so it is worth keeping an eye on the website so you can keep it to hand when you need that rainy day cover! Also, if you’re lucky, there are volunteers who hold free tours of the gallery. These are really worth going on as you get a great new perspective as well as having someone to hand to answer any questions you might have.
The Gallery is on Mosley Street, jut around the corner from Piccadilly Gardens tram and bus stops.
*Note that not all exhibitions are free as they do have special ones that are charged for.
Mosley St, Manchester M2 3JL || Tel: 0161 235 8888
OK, so this one sounds a little bit off the wall, but if you’re down near the Royal Infirmary and Eye Hospital, it is worth popping in through the main entrance and having a look around. Little do many people know, there are artworks and scientific objects displayed in the main lobby and waiting area. There are some tactile pieces too. This little document takes you on a tour of the artwork, shares information about the artists and helps you to know where to look.
You can find the Eye Hospital behind the old Eye Hospital on Oxford Road (you take the street between MRI and the Old Eye Hospital)
Oxofr Road, Manchester, M13 9WL (go behind here!) || Tel: 0161 276 1234
If you fancy a bit of history, then the People’s History Museum is definitely the place for you. There are main galleries with set exhibitions – on the history of Democracy and more – plus changing exhibitions and activities throughout the year. There is also a lovely cafe if you fancy treating yourself to a drink.
The People’s History Museum is just around the other side of Spinningfields, so you could pop here after your adventure in John Rylands.
Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3ER || Tel: 0161 838 9190
The Manchester Museum is an absolute treasure trove of things to see – there are dinosaurs, giant crabs, mummies, live animals and reptiles, Egyptian artifacts, history, world history and way more than I could even list here – plus there are changing exhibitions and activities too. You seriously would’t believe how much you can see and do all for free in this museum. There is more than enough stuff to keep you and any kids interested and exploring for hours.
It is situated down Oxford Road (not far from the Eye Hospital) so definitely something you could combine together if you’re taking a whole day to explore.
The University of Manchester, The University Of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL || Tel: 0161 275 2634
The Whitworth is not far from the Manchester Museum and literally just around the corner from the Eye Hospital, so definitely one to do while you are around that way. What’s more, there is a park beside it for the moments between showers!
The gallery is newly refurbished and packed full of incredible pieces from their own collection. There are changing exhibitions that are always worth seeing too and the cafe is lovely if you do fancy a treat – it looks out onto the park through large glass windows, which is absolutely lovely!
Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER || Tel: 0161 275 7450
Manchester Central Library was done up a couple of years ago and offers WAY more than just a facility to borrow books. There is the local Archive kept on the main floor which is free to access and you can explore the history of the city and browse old photos too – I could spend hours dong this!
Or you could make yourself at home in the cafe or grab a couple of travel books and chill out on the comfy seats downstairs and plan your next adventure.
The building is pretty cool too and it is easy to get lost – so exploring here is fun too.
If you keep an eye on the website below, you can also discover the many amazing free events that are held at the library throughout the year.
St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD || Tel: 0161 234 1983
Formerly Cornerhouse art gallery, Home has regular exhibitions that are free to explore. The building is really lovely too and there is plenty to explore wile wandering around it. Browse the shop and take a nosy at the other events coming up.
If you have a few quid to spare though, you could treat yourself to a brew in one of the cafes and enjoy doing a bit of people watching while the rain trickles down the large glass windows.
Home, 2, Tony Wilson Place, First St, Manchester M15 4FN || Tel: 0161 200 1500
Rather than wandering around the shops spending money on clothes you probably don’t need 😉 how about exploring the history of fashion, the links to the Manchester cotton trade and see some of the style icons from the decades. It is a bit of a way from the city centre, but if you’re down by Manchester Museum and the Whitworth, it is only a short bus journey to get you there. (you can jump on pretty much any of the buses heading to Didsbury or Stockport to get there)
It is a lovely building too, with lots of original features. Definitely worth a visit if you love fashion, history and getting out of the rain!
They are currently having some renovations done though, so some of the exhibitions are closed. There is still plenty to see though! You can also have a wander around Platt Fields park if the rain decides to ease up for a little while.
Thursday and Friday 1-5pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm
Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall, Rusholme, Manchester, M14 5LL || Tel: 0161 245 7245
There are loads more than 10 free things to do in Manchester when it rains – and when it is sunny too! I just wanted to give you a bit of a snippet to get you going as it is a bit drizzly right now!
I love hunting out free things that I can explore and would love for you to know about them too. Do you know anywhere fun in Manchester that is free and good for a rainy day? Share them in the comments and I’ll add them to the next round-up!
Keep walking, exploring, adventuring and wandering!
Have you visited any of these places? What are your favourite things to do when it rains?
Share in the comments – I always love to have rainy day activities saved up just in case!