Live music, cocktail trails, lawn games…and that’s just for starters

Manchester’s popular King Street Festival returns this weekend (Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June) for another free family weekender of alfresco dining, live music, lawn games, family activities, historic tours and a pop-up gin bar. Organised by Manchester’s Business Improvement District (Manchester BID) to celebrate ‘the city’s most iconic shopping street since the 1800s’, the annual event has also revived the Manchester Flower Show; which began in 1955 and, following a fifteen-year hiatus, returned for King Street Festival last year.

2019 also sees the King Street Cocktail Trail - back with a range of £5 festival cocktails at Arcane, El Gato Negro, Grand Pacific, Flight Club, Sam’s Chop House, Thomas’ Chop House, Tast, Miller & Carter, Kala and Mash Tun - and more store incentives, including free tote bag making with Patagonia and complimentary shoe shining at Loake. Travel specialist Kuoni is offering one lucky winner a free Mexican holiday while acclaimed Catalan restaurant Tast and yours truly are offering a special eight-course menu with drink for just £45

2019 05 29 King Street Festival Cocktail Trail
There’ll be £5 cocktails at several venues thanks to the King Street Cocktail Trail

Family-friendly activities span floral crown-making with RHS Bridgewater to a life-size 3D Hangman from Mufti Game - not to mention lawn games aplenty - while the bicentenary of Peterloo will be marked with historical tours and a special Manchester Histories Soapbox. 

As ever, live music is a staple too. Artists this year include Vivienne Lynsey, Yemi Bolatiwa, The Rubber Duck Orchestra, Helena Williams, Fifi La Mer, Harvey Brittain and Dee Olares.

Finally, doubling in size this year and supported by RHS Bridgewater, Manchester Flower Show will see balconies, lampposts, bus stops, shop windows and parking bays bloom with flower power-themed installations from the region’s top horticultural talent. Those who fancy getting green-fingered themselves can also browse gardening products, outdoor accessories and stalls from popular plant stores Flourish and Nonsense. 

2019 05 29 King Street Festival Family Games
Family-friendly activities include games such as Jenga

Must-see gardens and installations in the running for a coveted Manchester Flower Show rosette this year include a Magic Roundabout inspired garden, an iconic 1969 VW Beetle with a botanical twist, a hippy ‪John Lennon and ‪Yoko Ono inspired ‘bed-in for peace’ garden with edible floral bed, a red rose carpet (complete with models donning floral gowns) and a ‘votes for women’ garden inspired by the suffragettes. Plus, keep an eye out for this year’s bicycle entries - new for 2019 - which will be weaving their way throughout the festival.

King Street Festival takes place from 1-2 June along King Street (free entry)