So today I had a very frugal lunchbreak and it got me thinking about all the different things there are to do in a big city that don’t cost a thing. Here are my top 5 free things you could do in Manchester, I’d love to hear your suggestions for other cities in the comments!
1. Manchester Art Gallery. Free entry, apart from selected exhibitions. Today I went to see The Sensory War, an exhibition marking the centenary of the First World War. It was hard going, thought provoking and very sad. Definitely took me away from thinking about work for an hour, and made me realise how lucky and privileged I am.
2. Manchester City Library. Not just a library, this is a great space to just go and sit and while away an hour. There are comfortable seats, free wi-fi and newspapers and magazines to flick through. I tend to head over for an hour and stream something on iPlayer on my (cheap) tablet.
3. Virgin Lounge. You need to have a Virgin Money product to register but you can just open a savings account with them and deposit £1 to gain access. Once you do, you will be able to use their wi-fi, watch TV, use their iPads, drink their free coffee and tea, eat free biscuits and fruit and read that day’s newspapers. Kids can also play on the Playstations and quite often there are themed days for them too.
4. Spinningfields. On a warm day, I like to head over and sit on their deckchairs, reading my free magazines. I’ll often pop to Waitrose for a free coffee first. In the summer months they show free kids films on the big screen as well.
5. The Bridgewater Hall. This weekend (16th-18th January 2015) there are a couple of free concerts as part of the Guitar Weekend, and they run a series of free concerts during the summer months called A Little Bite Music. There is also a series called Bridgewater Introducing, which showcases new talent. In 2014 they ran a Summer Festival, again for free, which included building tours, concerts and children’s activities, and there is a monthly children’s music session called Music Makers. Something for everyone!