Summer has finally landed in Manchester and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Although it’s a couple of months too late, it’s nice to be back dining alfresco without the worry of a torrential downpour washing away your Aperol Spritz.

If you want to keep cool on Thursday when temperatures soar to 25º, Manchester’s newest coffee shop Allpress is giving out 500 free soft-serve ice creams to celebrate its launch. As well as this, there’s a clothes swap taking place in the Northern Quarter on Saturday – a perfect chance to prepare for Autumn with a plant-friendly wardrobe revamp.

Read on for the best free things to do in Manchester this week.

Free ice cream | Allpress Manchester | Thu 7 Sep | 11am - 2pm

Allpress opens its first venue outside of London this Thursday at the Redfern building in NOMA. To celebrate the launch, the brand has teamed up with Oatly to create its own original coffee flavoured soft serve ice cream and the first 500 people through the doors from 11am this Thursday will be given one for free. There’s nothing you need to do, just make sure you’re there at the right time.

Marketing the Ship Canal exhibition launch | Manchester Central Library | Sat 9 Sep | 12pm - 1pm

A new exhibition launches at Manchester Central Library this week exploring the legacy of the city’s ship canals. Featuring adverts created by artists throughout the 20th century, it’s the first time this work has been displayed in one place and some of the pieces haven’t been seen by the public for half a century.

The launch features speakers including Dr Dodge who will talk about the exhibition, and about the lives of commercial artist Bert Wilson, and Ken Brady, Manchester Ship Canal publicity chief from 1926 and Mike Ashworth, retired design and heritage manager London Underground, who will discuss commercial advertising in the 1920s.

NYC indie disco | YES | Sat 9 Sep | 11pm - 3am

It’s time to dig out your favourite pair of faded skinny jeans and sharpen your kohl eyeliner, as YES is hosting a party dedicated to NYC indie bangers this weekend. Expect music from The Strokes, LCD Soundsystem, MGMT, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Talking Heads and more across the evening.

Clothes swap | The Frog and Bucket | Sun 10 Sep | 1pm - 4pm

If you’re trying to be more sustainable with your fashion choices as part of ‘second-hand September’ this month, this clothes swap is a great place to start. Held at legendary Northern Quarter comedy club Frog and Bucket, you’ll get a chance to rehome items that have sat on Vinted for far too long, whilst also bagging yourself something that will get guaranteed wear. For every item you bring, you will receive a token that can then be swapped for any item. You’re required to bring a minimum of two items and a maximum of five.

Stockport alternative market | Syndikat | Sun 10 Sep | 10am - 4pm

There’s nothing quite like a mooch around a market to cure the Sunday scaries. Hosted at Syndikat, 15 artists and makers head to Stockport this weekend for an eclectic market featuring crafts, clothing, artworks and more. Think witchcraft, creepy trinkets and gothic jewellery for this one, all handmade by local creatives.

Mon 4 Sep - Sun 10 Sep
Emma Davidson
Published on:
Mon 4 Sep 2023