Best Manchester experience gifts to treat someone to in 2023
These are the top experience gifts and days out to treat a friend or family member to, from the Coronation Street tour and Old Trafford Stadium tour to an authentic Flamenco experience and plenty of food and drink spots.
Manchester is known for its rich TV and film history. Did you know the soap opera Coronation Street, which first was released in 1960, is filmed in Manchester? Plus, the northern city has been home to scenes from household name TV shows like It’s a Sin, Peaky Blinders, and Sherlock Holmes.
On top of its media history — Manchester is the location of MediaCity, after all — the city is best known for Old Trafford Stadium, home of Manchester United, and the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City.
One of our RadioTimes.com writers used to live in Manchester, and they can reassure you the city has no shortage of exciting things to do if you’re there for a visit, like theatre shows, cinema screenings, art installations and more. Plus, there’s nothing better than sitting outside on Stevenson Square, enjoying food and drink from one of the Northern Quarter’s haunts.
With its eclectic areas, from the Northern Quarter and the Gay Village to Spinningfields and Deansgate, there truly is something for everyone. We’ve narrowed down some of the top experience gifts to treat a loved one to in Manchester, and we’ve categorised them by experiences for friends, your partner, foodies, and TV and film lovers.
Let’s take a look at the top Manchester experience gifts, and be sure to take a look at the RadioTimes.com team's guides for other cities, such as the top things to do in Liverpool and the best London experience gifts.
- Best Manchester experience gifts for 2023 at a glance
- Best Manchester experience gifts for friends
- Best Manchester experience gifts for your other half
- Best Manchester experience gifts for TV and film lovers
- Best food and drink Manchester experience gifts
- Colors Festival: Manchester's Most Colourful Street-Art Exhibition, £9.50
- Haunted Manchester City Exploration Game, £9.99
- Manchester Exploration Game - Mystery Walk with Pub & Café Stops, £15
- Candlelight: The Best of Joe Hisaishi, from £20
- Dirty Dancing, from £24.38
- Mrs Brown Rides Again, from £29.45
- Authentic Flamenco Presents Yolanda Osuna, from £31.50
- Loose Women Live, from £34.20
- The Manchester Cheese Crawl, £35
- Traditional Afternoon Tea for Two at the Gotham Hotel, £50
- Manchester United Old Trafford Stadium Tour for Two Adults, £50
- Manchester City Etihad Stadium Tour for Two Adults, £56
- Coronation Street: The Tour for Two, £70
- The Crystal Maze Live Experience for Two, £100
- Revitalising Spa Day with Treatment and Prosecco for Two with Nu Spa & Health Club, £118
- Pasta Making Masterclass at The Pasta Factory for Two, £124
Best Manchester experience gifts to buy in 2023
Manchester United Old Trafford Stadium Tour for Two Adults
If you woke up this morning feeling fine, and you’ve got Manchester United on your mind, why not book a ticket to visit the iconic Old Trafford stadium, home of Manchester United football club?
In this experience from Buyagift, you’ll get a tour of Old Trafford by a knowledgeable tour guide who knows everything there is to know about the Red Devils, and you’ll walk in the footsteps of the club’s greatest legends. Plus, you’ll gain entry to the Manchester United Museum, for unlimited time amongst the football club’s trophies.
These are the best stadium tours to do in 2023.
Manchester City Etihad Stadium Tour for Two Adults
Man City ‘til you die? Grab a friend and head to Manchester City's Etihad Stadium for an unforgettable day amongst the famous players’ glass tunnel, true blue pitch, and the dugouts.
This stadium tour uses state-of-the-art technology to let you interact with Football Manager Pep Guardiola in the press room, an immersive exhibition which features holograms, and a 36-degree cinema experience in the First Team changing room. On top of this, tour guides will share their extensive knowledge about Manchester City, which will impress even the most avid football fans.
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This would be a great gift to treat your father figure to, and for more inspiration, here are the best Father's Day experiences.
Haunted Manchester City Exploration Game
If you have any scaredy-cats in your friendship group, this next experience is maybe one for your tougher friends (unless you fancy scaring the socks off of them). Solve 13 creepy clues to release the ghosts of The Pusher, a fictional Manchester serial killer, and visit plenty of creepy locations throughout the northern city.
Authentic Flamenco Presents Yolanda Osuna
The RadioTimes.com team have put together a lot of experience guides — just take a look at the best London rooftop gardens and the best UK driving experiences lists — and we believe this is the first time we’ve come across an authentic flamenco show.
Flamenco is an art form based on folkloric music traditions of southern Spain, and in this particular experience, you will watch a traditional Spanish flamenco dance show performed by Yolanda Osuna and created by award-winning choreographer Amador Rojas. The production by the Royal Opera of Madrid promises to be a unique evening for you and your loved one. Tickets are on sale now, and the performances take place from 2nd to 10th June.
Colors Festival: Manchester's Most Colourful Street-Art Exhibition
After three successful instalments and over 100,000 visitors in Paris, the Colors Festival is heading to the UK, to the northern city of Manchester. From street art and photography to paintings and illustrations from over 30 street artists, this 800 metre x 800 metre space has been transformed to delight street art fans from all over the UK.
The Crystal Maze Live Experience for Two
Are you and your partner competitive? If so, then head on down to the Crystal Maze Live Experience to see who truly is the champion.
You and your other half will join a team led by the Maze Master, and together you’ll have to collect as many crystals as possible in the four zones: Aztec, Medieval, Industrial and Futuristic. The more crystals you collect, the more time you’ll have in the Crystal Dome. It’s time to put your brains to the test – but more importantly, it’s time to have a lot of fun and laughs.
Revitalising Spa Day with Treatment and Prosecco for Two with Nu Spa & Health Club
Located at the Nu Spa health club in Manchester city centre, this revitalising spa day is a welcome recharge during a few days of Manchester activities.
In this Virgin Experience Days package, you’ll have access to the spa’s gym, pool, steam room and sauna, and you’ll enjoy a 50-minute treatment of your choice, from either the Essential Full Body massage, Holistic Hot Stone therapy, Luxury Dermalogica facial, or the Bespoke Back massage and Mini Dermalogica facial. Sign us up!
Based in the south of the UK and in need of some well-deserved R&R? We have the best spa experiences in London just for you.
Candlelight: The Best of Joe Hisaishi
This next experience is for fans of Studio Ghibli movies, whether it’s Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle or Ponyo that spark nostalgia.
If you haven’t heard of candlelight concerts before, they’re concerts performed by a live orchestra – usually a string quartet or a pianist – and the venue is completely immersed by candlelight. In this particular one, a string ensemble plays music by Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi from films such as My Neighbour Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Did you know My Neighbour Totoro tickets are on sale now for its Barbican theatre return?
Loose Women Live
For the first time ever, ITV1's award-winning talk show Loose Women will be doing a live tour across the UK. Want to know if your favourite Loose Woman will be making an appearance? The UK tour line-up includes Brenda Edwards, Charlene White, Christine Lampard, Dame Kelly Holmes and Denise Welch.
You can also expect Frankie Bridge, Gloria Hunniford, Jane Moore, Janet Street-Porter, Judi Love, Katie Piper, Kaye Adams, Kelle Bryan, Linda Robson, Nadia Sawalha and Sunetra Sarker.
Loose Women Live will be at the Manchester Opera House on Friday 8th September.
For more of the latest ticket releases, from comedy to music to theatre shows, stay up to date with our Going Out section. Be sure to sign up to our newsletter below, too.
Traditional Afternoon Tea for Two at the Gotham Hotel
Ah, Gotham. The terrible city home of the superhero Batman. What was it said in Cattitude? "It wasn't Hell; only fools and drama queens throw that word around about a place like Gotham. It was worse, in a way, because it was manmade."
Luckily, the Gotham Hotel in Manchester isn’t quite as gruesome, and it provides some yummy afternoon tea. In the Honey Restaurant, you’ll try Eccles cake, Manchester Tart and Gotham Cake, as well as munch on a selection of sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and jam. You’ll also be served a choice of coffee, hot chocolate or one of 10 herbal teas.
Mrs Brown Rides Again
Mrs Brown’s Boys launched on TV in early 2011 and picked up five awards with its second season just the following year, including a BAFTA Award for the Best Scripted Comedy. By the time the third season came out in 2013, Mrs Brown’s Boys had a huge following.
In the stage performance of the beloved show, Mrs Brown Rides Again sees the hilarious Irish mammy try to outsmart her children’s plans to put her into a care home.
Coronation Street: The Tour for Two
One of the RadioTimes.com writer's mums would love this next Manchester experience. Laura’s mum is a huge Corrie fan, and Olivia’s mum is partial to the Coronation Street Christmas episode, whereas Imogen’s mum has never quite got on board with soap operas (we can’t imagine this life!).
On the Coronation Street tour, you’ll visit the actual Coronation Street outdoor TV set. You’ll walk in the footsteps of some of the show’s most iconic characters, and hear behind-the-scenes stories of the show’s history and the cast.
Dirty Dancing Stage Adaptation
Relive the brilliant Dirty Dancing film with this stage adaptation. Performing at Manchester Palace Theatre from Tuesday 30th May to Saturday 3rd June this year, the iconic story features the biggest hits from the movie such as Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, Do You Love Me?, and of course (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – with the mesmerising lift.
For more of the best Manchester theatre shows, take a look at our handy guide.
The Manchester Cheese Crawl
Do you know your bries from your cheddars? Your feta from your camembert? Or do you simply enjoy eating cheese? Step right this way, curd nerds, for the Manchester Cheese Crawl.
On this tour which is as rare as Gorau Glas cheese, you’ll take part in a cheese-themed quiz, sip some wine and eat some cheese as you do so. You’ll learn all about the art of cheese making, and be introduced to cheesemongers and top cheese shops.
Do you have a cheese loving friend in your life? This would make a brilliant birthday experience gift, and we have some more present inspiration in our guide.
Manchester Exploration Game - Mystery Walk with Pub & Café Stops
If this is your first time in Manchester, there’s no better way to get your bearings than with a city exploration game. Plus, with café and pub stops, you’ll certainly be hydrated! This outdoor escape room game challenges you to solve clues on your phone to uncover secret parts of Manchester.
The game also recommends top-rated bars, pubs and cafes to visit on your tour, so if food and drink is your bag, you can be reassured these spots are some of the best.
Pasta Making Masterclass at The Pasta Factory
Do you fancy yourself a culinary whiz? Perhaps a pasta chef in the making? If so, head to The Pasta Factory in Manchester for a fun day of honing your pasta creating skills.
In this masterclass for two, you'll make two different types of dough and use various tools and the pasta machine to create a multitude of pasta shapes. With each shape, you'll learn about which Italian sauce is the best to pair it with.