Best Things to do in Manchester when it rains

Let me guess, you are visiting Manchester and it started raining? Yeah, I know… That happens a lot around here. 

The weather in Manchester is pretty unpredictable and to be completely honest, it does rain a lot! The good news though, as it does rain all the time, we are pretty used to it!

Therefore, there is plenty to do in Manchester when it rains! Whether you are staying for 1 day or more, you will be spoilt for choice!

Also, let’s be positive, we all expect at least a bit of rain when we go to England.

That would be more disappointing if you’d be in Spain! So let’s discover what you can do in Manchester when it rains!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!

things to do in manchester when it rains

Trying the Crystal Maze Experience

Address: The Crystal Maze Studios, Lower Byrom St, Manchester M3 4FP

Tickets: See prices here.

Have you ever dreamt of participating in the famous Channel 5 show, Crystal Maze? Then your dream is about to come true! 

You can play a real-life version of Crystal Maze in Manchester!

Located by the Museum of Science and Industry, the Crystal Maze Live Experience is the perfect thing to do in Manchester when it rains!

If you are a group and can play as a team, it’s highly recommended, it’s so much fun!

But you can also experience it on your own or with one other person.

So, are you ready to collect these precious stones? Let’s get started!

Click here to see the latest prices

Visiting the Museum of Science and Industry

Address: Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 am-5 pm

Tickets: Free!

Manchester was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and that’s the reason why you can find so many old warehouses all around the city.

The main industry used to be textile but Manchester has also contributed a lot in developing computer and transport technologies.

The Museum of Science and Industry honours this industrial background. It’s located on Liverpool Road, next to the former train station that where the cotton would arrive from Liverpool.

Not only is it one of the best museums to visit in Manchester but it’s also a great thing to do with kids. You’ll find several buildings, each one with a different theme.

A day might not be enough to see everything there is here but you can also just visit one building and come back another time for the others.

The entrance is free but donations are appreciated. You will also find a cafes and a couple of paying attractions in the transportation building.

Trying Indoor Skydiving

Address: Leisure Village, 9 Trafford Way, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M41 7JA, UK

Tickets: See prices here.

If you love a bit adrenaline rush, you may want to try indoor skydiving in Manchester.

Located on Trafford Park, near the Trafford Centre, iFly offers an indoor skydiving experience. Basically, instead of jumping off a plane, you’ll be in a big wind tunnel.

Not only is this a fun thing to do in Manchester but it’s also something that professional skydivers use for training purposes.

The experience lasts 90 minutes and include 2 flights.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Visiting Manchester Museum

Address: University of, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL

Opening hours: 10 am-5 pm all day except Thursday 10 am-9 pm

Tickets: Free!

Located on Oxford Rd, Manchester Museum is one of the best places to visit in Manchester when it rains. Obviously, everything is indoor so you will be able to escape the rain but it’s also good fun.

This is suitable for both adults and children.

There are several floors and the building is absolutely stunning. If you like taking photos, you’ll be in for a treat.

You will find a lot about natural history. This includes animals and dinosaurs.

Going for an afternoon Tea at 20 Stories Rooftop Restaurant

Address: NO. 1, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester M3 3EB

Located in Spinningfield, 20 Stories is one of the most famous restaurants in Manchester. They are located at the top of the building and their rooftop restaurant boasts some of the most amazing views of Manchester.

If it’s foggy, you won’t get to enjoy the view that much however, if it ‘just’ rains, it can be pretty nice.

Regardless of the view, it’s still one of the best places in town to get afternoon tea.

Click here to see the prices.

Visiting Manchester Art Gallery

Address: Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley St, Manchester M2 3JL

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 am-5 pm

Tickets: Free!

Located on the edge of St Peter Square, the Art Gallery is a great place to visit in Manchester on a rainy day. Firstly, it is free which is always a good thing.

You will find a donation box at the entrance too.

They always have fantastic collections on display. It can be from local artists as well as world-famous painters. For example, they had the drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci in 2019.

It’s a great place to visit if you love art and even with kids. They have a small cafe as well where you can grab a quick lunch or coffee.

Visiting Legoland Discovery Centre

Address: Legoland Discovery Centre, Unit D5 Barton Square Trafford Centre, Stretford M17 8AS England

Tickets: See prices here.

If you are looking for indoor activities for kids in Manchester, this may just be what you are after! Who doesn’t like Lego?

Located in the Trafford Centre, Legoland Discovery Centre is the perfect family day out. You will discover many buildings and characters made of Legos. They also have some laser rides and a 4D cinema which are very good fun.

Visitors usually spend between 1 and 3 hours on site but it can be more than that, especially if you choose to eat at the Lego cafe.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Museum of Transport Greater Manchester

Address: Boyle St, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M8 8UW

Opening hours: Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday – 10 am-4:30 pm

Tickets: £5

People’s History of Manchester 

Address: New Ct St, Manchester M3 3ER

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 am – 5 pm

HOME

Address: 2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN

Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 12:00 – 20:00, Sun: 12:00 – 18:00

Tickets: Free!

Whitworth Art Gallery

Address: Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER

Opening hours: 10 am-5 pm all days except Thursday 10 am-9 pm

Tickets: Free!

Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Address: Crescent, Salford M5 4WU

Opening hours: Monday – Closed, Tuesday to Friday – 9:30am-4:30pm, Saturday to Sunday – 11:30am-4pm

Tickets: Free!

Visiting Etihad stadium and Manchester City Museum

Address: Ashton New Rd, Manchester M11 3FF

Tickets: Information and latest prices are here.

If you are a Manchester City fan, the Etihad Stadium is a must-do! The tour is a behind-the-scenes showcase of the inner workings of the football club.

You will discover areas normally off-limits to the public such as the press conference room, the players’ tunnel, The away dressing room, The First Team warm-up area, and more!

Visiting the Upside Down House

Address: The Orient Intu Trafford Centre Manchester M17 8AA, UK

Tickets: £4.00 during the week, £5.00 on the weekends and Bank Holidays. Free under 3.

If you are looking for a unique thing to do in Manchester on a rainy day, check out the Upside down house.

Located in Trafford, this is, as the name suggests, a house upside down. It creates amazing optical illusions and is a great place to take photos.

If you are into photography or love to take Instagram pictures, this will be your paradise!

It’s also a great thing to do with kids as it’s very fun and unusual.

Visiting Old Trafford and the Manchester United Museum

Address: Sir Matt Busby Way, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M16 0RA

Tickets: Information and prices are available here.

If you are a Manchester United fan, you can get the same kind of tour at Old Trafford. If you go on the Stadium tour, you will discover behind the scenes like the dugouts, tunnel and dressing room too.

You will also get access to the museum and you’ll also get a souvenir guide and great gift to take away.

Going on a beer tour and tasting

Manchester may be known for its gin but we also have some very good beers! If you are a bit of a foodie and are always up for a good drink, consider going on a beer tour.

You’ll go around Manchester and try several tap beers from local breweries. The guide will explain to you the history behind each drink. It’s both interesting and delicious!

Admittedly, this is not completely indoors as you will have to walk from one place to another but you will be inside most of the time which makes it a good thing to do on a rainy day.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Visiting the Football museum

Address: Urbis Building Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester M4 3BG

Opening hours: All days. 10 am to 5 pm

Tickets: Prices here.

Fun fact about Manchester! Did you know that Manchester was the birthplace of the world’s first professional football league? It was created at the Royal Hotel, Piccadilly, in 1888.That plus the fact that we have two very famous football teams, I think it’s safe to say that when it comes to football, Manchester has a hell of a lot to say!Which is why we’ve got the Football Museum!Open every day from 10 am-5 pm, you will need an entrance ticket to access the museum.Once inside, you’ll see it’s much more than just a museum. It’s interactive and very good fun. You will get to: 

  • Get your photo taken with famous trophies
  • Discover must-see collections of memorabilia from the past of English football
  • Remember the drama and emotions of famous matches
  • Have fun testing your skills with the Penalty Shootout Challenge

If you are interested in knowing more about English football, I’d highly recommend going on the guided tour. They take about 40 minutes and are included in the price of your ticket!They work on a first come first served basis and run between 11 AM and 12 PM, 1 PM and 2 PM, and 2 PM and 3 PM.

Going to the Printworks

The Printworks is Manchester’s number one spot for entertainment! You will find there many things to do! It’s perfect for families and friends that just want to have fun.  When you walk in the Printworks, you feel a bit like being thrown into some sort of movie set. You will find there many restaurants and bars. Address: 27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS

Playing mini golf at Treetop Adventure

If you fancy a bit of fun, this jungle-themed mini golf is for you! Located next to Weatherspoon, you will discover an actual jungle themed mini golf. Trees, water, parrots… you have them all! It’s very good fun and you can be assured to always have a good time!

Address: The Printworks, 7 Dantzic St, Manchester, M4 2BS

Tickets: Can be booked onsite or online

Watching a movie at VUE cinema

The Printworks is also home to one of the cheapest cinemas in Manchester: VUE. Tickets are at £4.99 every day! And they even have some offers on certain days of the week.

Address: The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS

Tickets: Can be booked onsite or online

Skiing at the chill factore

Who said we couldn’t ski in the UK? Manchester is home to the UK’s longest indoor real snow slope! The Chill factore opened its doors in 2007 and since then has become one of the leading UK visitor attractions. So if you fancy hitting the slope with skis or a snowboard, go for it!This activity is suitable for every age and also has many activities for children. A good day of fun is ahead of you! 

Address: Unit 6 Trafford Way, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M41 7JA

Tickets: You can book a slot or lesson on their website. 

Sealife

Sealife needs no introduction but did you know there was one in Manchester? If you want to go on a journey through the underwater tunnel as sharks, jellyfish and rays swim overhead, Sealife will be perfect for you! You will discover many marine species and even get to touch some of them (although if you do, please be nice with them. I don’t really like to recommend these things but it would be impossible not to mention it in an article about things to do in Manchester when it rains).

Address: Barton Square intu Trafford Centre, Manchester M17 8AS

Tickets: Information and prices are available here.

Enjoy a delicious meal in one of the local restaurants and pubs

There is nothing better than grabbing a nice and hot meal when it’s raining! Manchester is full of restaurants and pubs! While the showers last, take that time to discover some amazing British dishesYou can choose to go for:

  • A full English breakfast 
  • A Sunday roast (on Sundays of course)
  • A brunch
  • Afternoon tea. 

I particularly recommend TROF in the Northern Quarter when it comes to traditional British places and food.

Going on a Food tour

Another option for the foodies out there is to go on a food tour! For this one, please note that you will have to be outside a bit more than any other activities mentioned in this article. However, you will obviously go from pub to pub which means that you will be indoors most of the time. During the tour, you will get to savour many local delicacies across the city. Perfect to embed yourself in the local culture and be full!You will learn plenty about Manchester through food and drinks so no matter which options you choose, don’t overlook this part!   For more information and prices, head here.

Going to see a play or musical

Manchester is home to many theatres and we always have amazing shows coming. Book of Mormon, Lion King, Amelie, Mathilda, Back to the Future… they all step a foot in Manchester. Shows are running every day so you will always find something to watch! Generally, matinees are less busy so that can be a good option. Here are the theatres to check out: 

Palace theatre

Address: 97 Oxford St, Manchester M1 6FTTickets: Book here

Opera House

Address: 3 Quay St, Manchester M3 3HPTickets: Book here

Lowry

Address: The Quays, Salford M50 3AZTickets: Book here

Going shopping

Manchester is a pretty amazing place to go shopping. Of course, there are many shops everywhere but it’s also home to some of the biggest commercial centres in the UK: the Arndale and Trafford Centre

The Arndale is located in the centre, on market street, which is very convenient. You will find plenty of shops there. However, if you get a chance, I’d totally recommend going to the Trafford Centre. 

Trafford Centre is way more than a commercial centre, it’s an experience! Each area is organised in a theme which makes it look more like Universal studios than anything else! I hope this article was helpful and that you have a better idea of what to do in Manchester when it rains! 

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