So, we’re now into the second week of January (still 3 and half more to go – urgh!). You’ve survived Storm Eleanor and successfully binged everything on Netflix (including all 10 seasons of Friends), so what now? Well, here at Engage Hub, we’ve put together a list of things to try in Manchester in 2018 to fight the January blues and make it a little less rubbish!


  1. Bowling

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Okay, so nobody likes wearing the bowling shoes, but with the likes of Dog Bowl and All-Star Lanes serving up great food and cocktails along with a hint of nostalgia – bowling is suddenly cool again!


  1. Cat Café / Central Bark

Tucked away on High Street in the Northern Quarter is the Cat Café. For £12 you can visit for an hour and get unlimited hot drinks – sounds purrrfect! But be sure to book ahead as it can get busy!

If dogs are more your thing, this ought to get your tail wagging. Central Bark is a doggy day-care centre, grooming parlour and dog-friendly café with treats for you and your furry best friend.


  1. Junk Yard Golf

Yes, we know, Mini Golf is another old-school activity! However, just like bowling, it has recently had a trendy makeover. Located on First Street, there’s 3 courses to choose from at Junk Yard Golf, including Bozo’s circus theme, Pablo’s Jungle theme and Gary’s garage theme. It gets really busy so book ahead if you want to avoid a wait – otherwise there’s a bar serving beer, wine, cider and cocktails to pass the time!


  1. Break-Out Manchester

If you don’t want to be stuck in a room with someone for 60 minutes, then this one’s not for you. Break Out Rooms Manchester is described as “a live escape room game whereby you are locked in a room with friends, family or work colleagues for an hour and have to solve a series of puzzles and mysteries to escape,” so choose who you go with wisely!


  1. Visit a ‘secret’ bar

2017 saw several ‘secret’ bars pop up all over Manchester – hinting back to the ‘prohibition days’. If you’ve had enough of dry January already, why not try the likes of Washroom, Convenience Store or Dusk til Pawn?


  1. Crystal Maze

Take part in a live action version of the hit 90s TV show – The Crystal Maze! With the four adventure zones – Medieval, Industrial, Aztec and Futuristic – as seen in the show, solve mysteries and challenge yourself both mentally and physically! Collect those crystals along the way and take on the iconic Crystal Dome! It’s more 90s fun than a Britney Spears mega mix.


  1. Whistle Punks Axe Throwing

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Has January already taken its toll on you?  Let off some steam at Whistlepunks Axe throwing! Yes, there is a place in Manchester where you can go and throw axes at a target and release your inner Lumberjack. If you’re any good there’s even a league! This one is strictly for over 18’s though – you know, ‘cos sharp objects!


  1. Jumpnation / Inflatanation

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During dry January, waking up at the weekend hangover-free can feel like a whole new world. But what is there to do with yourself? Burn off that excess energy at one of Manchester’s many trampoline parks such as Jumpnation or visit the new Inflatanation – the UK’s first inflatable theme park!


  1. Mackie Mayor

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The Grade II listed building, Mackie Mayor, has recently undergone a stunning makeover. The team behind Altrincham Market, who are responsible for more facelifts than Sharon Osbourne, have transformed a once derelict building into the home to a whole host of independent food and drink retailers, such as Honest Crust Pizza, Wolf House Coffee and Tender Cow. It’s a hipster’s paradise.


So, if you’re feeling a little blue (daba-dee-daba-daa): don’t be! Get out this January and try something old or something new! Let us know how you get on and stay tuned for more recommendations!