Craft beer, reggae beats, and a lesson on South Asian heritage

We're halfway through 2022. Just let that sink in. What we've not heard the half of though is the endless list of cool crap to do in and around the Manchester city region. 

The weather's getting warmer which means more outdoor fun, and festival season, beer garden season, and just general frolicking season are all in full swing. If you're staying in MCR for the month July, we've got reggae, Refract:22, and a handy make-up masterclass right on our doorstep. 

With star gazing, a gin festival, and some Manchester Museum content at The Whitworth also on the cards, July is a packed one and we suggest you make some plans ASAP. 

Read on for a list of the best things to do in and around Manchester in July 2022.

Northern Fashion Week Models Manchester Central 2022
It's called fashion, look it up Image: David Dresser via Northern Fashion Week

Zen meditation| Aspirit, Stockport | Monday 4 July and Monday 18 July

Free meditation sessions are pretty hard to come by, but Aspirit in Stockport runs free sessions from 6pm on the first and third Monday of every month. Designed to help set you up for the week and check in with your mind, body, soul etc. the sessions are 90 minutes long and you can secure a spot online. The sessions are drop-in, so this could be your first time ever or your third session of the day, Chris and Matt don't care. 

Aspirit (Mind, Body & Soul), 67 Castle Street, Stockport SK3 9AT

Northern Fashion Week | Manchester Central | Thursday 7 July - Sunday 9 July

Parkas, bucket hats, gazelles, don't even try and tell us that Northerners don't know how to dress. Placing focus on "the future makers and shakers of the industry", Northern Fashion Week is here to create links between northern industry professionals, spotlight the opportunities that lie in the North, and create an ecosystem to retain talent - all in the name of fashun. 

Tickets for Northern Fashion Week range from a standard day ticket to a full three-day pass, and both student discounts and VIP entry are available online too. Taking over Manchester Central for three whole days, you can expect catwalks, guest speakers, food and drink, and tons of stalls and awards. Dress accordingly, of course. 

Manchester Central, Petersfield, Manchester M2 3GX

Outdoor digital photography sessions | Alexandra Park, Oldham | Saturday 9 July

Get some killer snaps in Oldham next Saturday as these outdoor photography sessions give you the opportunity to get creative and develop your skills. Using digital Panasonic Lumix cameras, you will learn how to capture different subjects using the camera's different settings, whilst learning to use manual mode and exposure to get the best snap. Afterwards, you can transfer your pics to the Samsung Galaxy tablets and learn to edit them using Adobe Lightroom.

This is a short, fun taster class and a fab way to learn a new skill whilst being outdoors in the gorge grounds of Alexander Park. The session is designed for ages 12-19 and if you're under 18 just get your mum and dad to fill in a consent form.

Boating lake cafe, Alexandra Park, Oldham OL8 2AZ

The Peoples History Museum Left Bank Manchester 2022
Leave some space in your diary to visit Left Bank's best museum this month Image: People's History Museum

Summer Gin Fest | Werneth Low Golf Club, Hyde | Friday 15 July - Saturday 16 July

Whether you like it pink, with tonic, or in a martini, gin is for the win when it comes to summer bevs and good times. Celebrating this botanical beauty in the hills of Hyde, Werneth Low Golf Club is hosting a summer gin fest for two days in July with a huge selection of over 100 gins and gin liqueurs, including the full Bee-Ginning collection of -premium and flavoured gins. There's also live acoustic music, a free gin glass with every ticket, and a selection of rums and tequilas if gin isn't your thing. 

Tickets are £15 per person and also include a goodie bag, a pen and a gin tasting menu. 

Werneth Low Golf Club, Werneth Low Road, Gee Cross, Hyde SK14 3AF

Until it looks like this| People's History Museum | Saturday 16 July - Sunday 11 September 2023

Venture Arts is a pretty cool cause that helps disabled and neurodivergent artists to play an active role in the cultural sector. Showcasing the work of 12 different artists and with no booking required, this new show at the Peoples History Museum includes photography, ceramics, textiles, illustration and prints. Like almost everything at this Left Bank location, the show is family-friendly and is operating as part of the venue's programme exploring the history of disabled people’s rights and activism. We always bang on about cool exhibitions, but this one's got a good cause behind it too. 

People's History Museum, Left Bank, Manchester M3 3ER

Cultivate 2022 | Oldham Coliseum | Monday 18 July - Saturday 23 July

If you've always been into all things jazz hands and red velvet curtains, a week full of workshops centred around theatre upskilling and learning new tricks should be one for your July radar. Cultivate Festival at Oldham Coliseum is an unmissable opportunity for anyone wanting to get into the worlds of stage and screen, and this year's workshops are run by the likes of Girl Gang MCR, Hollyoaks' Darren Jeffries, and It's A Sin actor Nathaniel Hall. 

Workshops and masterclasses are matched with open auditions, artist mixers and live performances, and a full programme with dates and times allows you to plan your week of star-studded action. Try and book your spots as soon as poss to secure a place in the best coliseum outside of Rome. 

Oldham Coliseum, Fairbottom Street, Oldham, OL1 3SW

Uoma Beauty Masterclass Manchester Harvey Nichols Things To Do 2022
Make sure you've got a hot date after your Harvey Nicks masterclass Image: UOMA Beauty

UOMA Beauty Masterclass | Harvey Nichols | Thursday 21 July

If you haven't washed your foundation brush in over 6 months, you've been using the same eyeshadow palette since your high school prom, and primers are a complete myth, don't worry, we can relate. Treat yourself to a trip to Harvey Nicks for a beauty masterclass with Nigerian-born Sharon Chuter, the creator of UOMA BEAUTY. 

Guiding you through their famous make-up routine with live demonstrations, you can tailor the tips to fit your own needs and the UOMA Beauty experts will be on hand after the event to discuss your routine and products. Tickets for this beauty masterclass are £15 and are fully redeemable against UOMA products purchased on the day of the event. Get ready for some glam from 6 til 8 pm. 

Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral St, Manchester M1 1AD

Refract: 22 Festival| Waterside, Sale | Thursday 21 July - Saturday 30 July 

Following on from its four-day Pride Festival in June, Waterside is ready and waiting with its annual summer arts festival, Refract: 22. As spaces both inside and out are transformed to host live music, dancing, comedy, performance, and theatre, there's everything from Riot Jazz to Balkan and Grime - sounds like our Spotify Wrapped. 

Refract: 22's itinerary also includes West End musical hits, one-woman explorations of "the intricacies of humanity" and a free outdoor street performance that celebrates dance, circus skills, and cabaret. If you're looking to take the kiddos along, there's loads for them, and according to producer Darren Adams, the acts include "a great wealth of local and national talent". Nice one Trafford. Tickets are on sale on the Waterside website, alongside a full list of events, dates, times and all the essential stuff. 

Waterside, 1 Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF

Manchester Craft Beer Festival | Mayfield Depot | Friday 22 July - Saturday 23 July

At a recent conference for the new Co-Op Live Arena, we were told that Manchester is one of the top 5 locations in the world for sell-out gigs and tours. Sticking to our eager beaver ways, we also sold out the 2021 Manchester Craft Beer Festival. Mancunians love booze and tunes, who knew? 

Back for another year of crafty shenanigans, the two-day fest is here at Mayfield Depot with loads of breweries and brewers coming to pour hundreds of different pints. Not just about the booze, there are also amazing DJs, chefs and other drinks producers to fill up the weekend and help you get wankered. Tickets are available online for either Friday or Saturday, or if you're really hankering after a proper session, you can get one for the whole bloody weekend. 

Depot Mayfield, 11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PY

Jodrell Bank Light Pavilion Things To Do In July 2022
Light up your life at Jodrell Bank Image: Confidentials

South Asian Heritage Month Festival | The Whitworth | Friday 22 July - Saturday 23 July

Although Manchester Museum is currently closed for a massive glow-up, the team is still celebrating South Asian Heritage Month with a two-day festival featuring film, music, workshops and more. South Asian Heritage Month runs from 18 July – 17 August every year and celebrates the heritage in the UK through arts, culture, education and commemoration, so a fest is only fitting. 

Taking place at The Whitworth Gallery on Oxford Road, the festival will allow guests to get a sneaky taster of what's to come at the new museum and there are also private screenings, Bengali folk music, and a writing workshop by award-winning author Anita Sethi. The Whitworth also has a pretty banging café too

The Whitworth, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER

First Light Pavilion | Jodrell Bank Observatory | Open now

This new £21.5m attraction tells the fascinating story of Jodrell Bank, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019 thanks to its revolutionary research into our universe. Designed to mimic the observatory’s famous Lovell telescope, the grass-topped building features state-of-the-art auditorium shows (narrated by Brian Cox, naturally) and a striking interactive exhibition. First Light Pavilion is now included with all Jodrell Bank tickets, promising an ideal day out for families and adults alike. 

Bluedot is also on this month at Jodrell Bank, so you could pack Bjork and Brian Cox into one short month if you fancy - it'll be out of this world. 

Joddrell Bank, Bomish Ln, Macclesfield SK11 9DW

Manchester Reggae Festival | Manchester Academy | Saturday 30 July - Sunday 31 July 

Could you be loved by the festival Gods anymore this July? A gin fest, a craft beer fest, Bluedot, and now Manchester Reggae Festival. You're welcome, man. 

Running for two days at The Manchester Academy, Manchester Reggae Festival is run by Unity Radio Xclusives and costs £19.50 per person. This year's lineup includes jammin' artists like Eek A Mouse, The King Yellowman Show Ft K'reema & The Saggitarius Band
and Dub Smugglers Sound System. It's not quite Notting Hill Carnival, but it's pretty damn close, and it's split between Academy 1, Academy 2 and Club Academy. Is this love? We think it might be. 

Manchester Academy, Manchester University Students Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR

Read next: James Daly MP - 'Sport in the North is a matter of immense pride'

Read again: HOME announces season of live theatre for 2022/23

Get the latest news to your inbox

Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email by signing up to our mailing list. This is one of the ways that Confidentials remains free to our readers and by signing up you help support our high quality, impartial and knowledgable writers. Thank you!