10 Affordable and Best Manchester Date Ideas That’ll Impress Your Special Someone

Unless you’re content with pints at your local pub or two tickets to the latest cinema release, you’ve probably spent some time thinking about a more impressive date night in Manchester.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with pubs or movies. But if you’re planning a first date, an anniversary, or just want to make some memories, there are so many unique things to do that might not be top of mind.

That’s why you’re in the right place. We’ve been doing some out of the box thinking for you and have come up with ten unique and fun Manchester date ideas to get you started. And, no, you don’t have to pull out a hundred quid, as we’re going budget-conscious, too!

Food from the bottomless brunch at cocoa cabana in Manchester

Pay What You Decide at the Royal Exchange Theatre

We said we’d pay attention to your budget, so we’re starting our list of best Manchester date ideas with a night at the theatre for £10.

The Royal Exchange is located in St. Ann’s Square and is an incredibly patron-friendly venue. While standard pricing for its various theatrical presentations averages £30 per ticket, there are a few ways to get a bargain and still impress your partner.

You could attend a preview performance when tickets are about a third of the regular rate. If you’re under 30, you can sometimes get lucky with those tickets (but under 30 admissions go fast!). A third way to enjoy a date night at the theatre is with “Pay What You Decide” tickets that start at just £5.

Tip: Plan on some after-theatre Tex Mex dining at Sandinista. It’s within walking distance and stays open until 3 am.

Enjoy the Outdoors with Cycling Made E-asy

Fancy a day of cycling but don’t have a bike? No worries, as there’s a new scheme by Cycling UK called Cycling Made E-asy, supported through the Prime Minister’s “Gear Change” cycling plan.

You and your date can take advantage of long-term e-bike rentals through Evans Cycles in Cheetham Hill.

Can you imagine how much fun it’ll be to hit the streets on your e-bikes? This one takes a little planning, as you have to enroll ahead of time on Cycling UK’s website. But, hey, isn’t your date worth it?

Tip: Figure out a route ahead of time, planning some fun stops. It’ll show you put real thought into this date.

Noi Quattro’s Pizza Masterclass

You could head to 120 High Street and enjoy one of Noi Quattro’s Neapolitan-style pizzas, like the Napoli, Montanara, or Casereccia. But learning to make the pizza is a better Manchester date idea, don’t you think?

You’ll both be greeted with a glass of prosecco before it’s time to get your hands messy.

It’s just as Kramer from Seinfeld envisioned it. “We give you the dough, you smash it, you pound it, you fling it up in the air, and then you get to put your sauce, and you get to sprinkle your cheese, and then, you slide it into the oven.”

Noi Quattro’s Pizza Masterclass is £40 per person and includes the prosecco, your pizza masterpiece, and a Noi Quattro apron and bag. So much fun!

Tip: Be sure to check the website for dates and availability.

Saturday at The Runaway Brewery

Sunday to Friday, The Runaway Brewery on Dantzic Street is busy producing a range of brews, including IPA, brown ales and porters, and hop-forward pales. But on Saturday, the doors swing open, and everyone is welcome to visit the Tap Room and Beer Garden.

You and your date can grab a seat outside under a tent, order some pints, and challenge each other to one of the board games provided.

It’s one of the more relaxing, laid-back date ideas in Manchester. So, if that’s the vibe you’re going for, make sure you focus on Saturday.

Tip:  The Runaway Brewery doesn’t take cash, so don’t forget your card.

Bottomless Brunch at Cocoa Cabana

You might know Cocoa Cabana as the place to get chocolate goodies in West Didsbury.

But Cocoa Cabana now has a new location in Ancoats, that’s a combination tearoom, chocolatier, and cocktail bar. There are quite a few things to take advantage of, including tasting nights and cocktail or chocolate-making classes. You could select any of them for a fun date in Manchester, but we’re recommending the Bottomless Brunch served daily for £40 per person.

You’ll select one food item from the brunch menu, and, with regular menu items covering Cabana Benedicts, Brioche French Toast, and filled Companio Croissants, you know there will be something to whet your appetite.

The “bottomless” in the Cocoa Cabana Bottomless Brunch refers to drinks, though. Cocktails are the star of the show, though. For 90 minutes, you can request top-ups of any Spritz, Wine, Beer, Bellini, Prosecco, or Mimosa.

Tip: If brunch isn’t your thing, Cocoa Cabana has an excellent Chocolate Afternoon Tea from £29 to £44 per person.

Other Manchester Date Ideas

We’ve shared our top picks for dates in Manchester. But there are so many unique ideas that we want to cover a few more.

Summer Knights at the Drive-In Cinema

If you’re up for spending some time in the car, you can take a short 30-minute drive to Chorley for Summer Knights at the Drive-In. It’s £25 per car for special screenings, including singalongs, fright nights, and more. And, yes, there is a bar on-site!

Craft Beer Tour

Tours may seem touristy, but they’re also great date ideas because you have a planned activity, making it easier for conversation to flow – especially on a first date. The Manchester Craft Beer Tour is only £35 per person and will keep you busy for almost four hours at four venues. It includes samplings of 10 craft beers.

Cocktails at 20 Stories

What’s better than a cocktail bar on a rooftop? We love the space at 20 Stories at Spinningfields. It’s a beautiful rooftop garden terrace with the bar situated under a canopy of trees. 20 Stories also offers dining with modern British cuisine.

Worsley Village Walking Trail

A fun three-mile walk awaits you just 20 minutes east of Manchester in the village of Worsley. It’s a circular route that takes you along the Bridgewater Canal. You’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other better before spending time in the village – or maybe enjoying a picnic?

Just say YES

You didn’t think we’d leave out live music in Manchester, did you? You can’t say no to YES. Its four floors are home to live music, a beer garden, a rooftop terrace, and plenty of food, including some vegan options.

Need we say more?

Start with any of our picks for the best Manchester date ideas and put your spin on it. Showing some thought instead of heading to the closest dining spot will get you quite a few extra points on the dating scale!