18 Alternative Ideas for Valentine’s Day 2020

Including doggy speed dating, mini cinemas, ghost walks, UK garage and more...

By Manchester's Finest | 11 February 2020

Share this story

Get a date on US this Valentine’s Day…

Throughout the city
We’ve come up with something VERY special this Valentine’s Day – and you can be involved. We’re going live around Manchester with single people all looking for dates… and if you’re quick enough to get to them you can be that date. From 5pm on we will be at various locations throughout the city centre with someone single – someone looking to find love on the most romantic day of the year. The next bit is pretty simple. We will GO LIVE on our Instagram and Facebook accounts and we will tell you exactly where we are. The first person to come and meet us gets a date with our single person, and don’t worry the bill’s on Manchester’s Finest!

More Info


Find your perfect match at this Doggy Blind Dating Event

One for all you dog-lovers, Hatch will be hosting their Hounds of Love event this Valentine’s Day – with live music, delicious food and plenty of booze to accompany. Offering a chance for single pupper owners to meet their soulmate, join Hatch from 6pm onwards for a blind dating pooch party like no other. There’ll be a canine compere (to keep the doggy dating moving!) and plenty of pawsecco – so no furry friends get left behind. Oh and it’s FREE!

Stay Up To Date


A pop-up cinema, street food, bar and live DJ set

Victoria Baths
Manchester’s Grade II-listed water palace will be transforming their Gala Pool into a cosy pop-up cinema from The Village Screen this Valentine’s weekend. On the 14th, there’ll be a screening of Tarantino’s True Romance, followed by iconic romcom Bridesmaids on the 15th. Before the screening, there will be street food, a pop-up bar (complete with themed cocktails) and a live DJ set. It can get pretty cold in there – so bring your blankets!

Book It


Lounge: The Love Party

Think real-life Tinder. With booze. And disco. Cultureplex will be hosting The Love Party this Valentine’s – hosted by Mistress of Love and Emily Spowage, Love Party DJ’s will be bringing the noise to this singles mixer with the best in LGBT disco, pop, dance and RnB with DJs from the city’s queer alt scene. It’s free entry and will run from 7pm until midnight.

See More


Vietnamese street food from a double-decker bus

Hanoi 75 @ Hatch
Hanoi 75, the Vietnamese street food vendor is offering up delicious and unique dining this Valentine’s from the top deck of their iconic double-decker bus, which is parked up at Hatch. The intimate 30-cover seating area has been transformed into a cosy Asian lounge and is serving up delicious Vietnamese-inspired street food. Nothing screams ‘romance’ more than a bit of grub at the back of a bus.

Book It


UK Garage and hip-hop with the ORIGINAL Artful Dodger

Ghosts of Garage and Warped present their first ever joint venture this Valentine’s night with ‘Search for a Sweet One’ – a massive line up of some of the city’s best and biggest DJs and MCs. Top of the billing is Mark Hill, the original Artful Dodger (who actually wrote the classic UK Garage anthems), DJ Sticky, Mike Millrain (MCR debut), Olli Ryder (Animal Crossing), Rich Reason, Warped DJs and host – T-Man.

Buy Tickets


All night ping-pong, discounted drinks and a party til 3am

Twenty Twenty Two
Ping Pong, Drink and Dance this Valentine’s at Twenty Twenty Two, located in the heart of the Northern Quarter in their underground venue. Nothing says I love you like destroying your partner in an intense game of ping pong. On the 14th there will be ALL-NIGHT ping pong, happy hour from 4-7pm (which includes full bottles of prosecco…) and live DJ’s playing timeless classics and party hits until 3am!

Stay Up To Date


Bottomless pizza and bubbles…

Tariff & Dale
This Valentine’s Day the team at Tariff & Dale will be going full-on bottomless with unlimited woodfired pizza and bottomless bubbles – all for just £30pp. Two of the world’s greatest foodstuffs, you can’t go wrong with endless pizza and Prosecco – and if your loved one feels the same – this is a no brainer really. Get yourself booked in as soon as possible – it’s getting booked up quick.

Book It


Chinese-inspired private dining with a secret mini cinema!

Tattu is welcoming the return of its ever-popular mini cinema screening event this Valentine’s weekend! On Sunday 16th of Feb, they’ll will be screening 3x classic rom-coms in their private dining room. There will also be a delicious 3-course sharing menu for diners to enjoy (which will include their famed hearts and roses dim sum baskets!) plus a sharing cocktail. Tickets are £40pp and must be booked in advance over the phone. Screening times: 1pm – How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days / 4pm – The Proposal / 7pm – Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Call To Book: 0161 819 2060


New-York inspired bowling with giant sharing platter and prosecco

Dog Bowl
Feeling up to a challenge? The New York inspired bowling alley and speakeasy are offering up some lovely deals this Valentine’s, ensuring you and your date are supplied with plenty of booze and food whilst you battle it out (sounds perfect to me). Enjoy a game of bowling for 2, their famous sharing platter (loaded with chicken wings, loads of fries, nachos, mini cheeseburgers & more) and a glass of prosecco or beer for just £18pp! Or, you can swap your food for the full bottle of prosecco for £25 per couple.

Book It


Galentine’s Brunch

Celebrate the national day of love with the only people that matter – your best mates. The Galentine’s Day Brunch is £19.95 per person and includes UNLIMITED cocktails. You can even get Steak and Burford Brown Egg with peppers and chips for brunch! If you’d prefer a classic dish – there is of course plenty of avo on toast and pancakes flying about.

Book Now


‘With Love’ Art Installation

Previously seen in Singapore and France, ‘With Love’ is a collection of dazzling art displays with a HUGE, six-metre inflatable heart at the centre. Created by Franck Pelletier, the heart will pulse with vibrant colours, representing the ‘beat’ of the city, and there’s also a button you press where you can hear your very own heart beat through specially selected music. Romantic? I suppose it is a little bit yes.


Gin Valentine’s Matchmaking Party

Atlas Bar
This new gin has created ‘Ginder’ a new matchmaking service for singles based all around the spirit – designed to help you avoid red flags and get matched with someone’s actual personality. Taking over Atlas Bar on Thursday 13th, connections are made using gin cocktails – ensuring you’ll find your perfect date and never have to argue about what you’re going to buy from the offy ever again. All cocktails on the matchmaking menu are priced at £5.

More Info


The Most Depressing Valentines of Your Life

If you’re single or have just been dumped or perhaps never felt the sweet caress of another person’s touch – there’s no need to be depressed and upset this year. Instead head on over to YES as they host ‘The Most Depressing Valentines of Your Life’ – a celebration of all things heart-broken. The whole place will be packed with other like-minded people, all listening to the healing powers of Whitney, Celine, Mariah, Roxette and their heavy-hearted friends.

Buy Tickets


4 puddings and 4 matched beers with Grubby Valentines

GRUB @ Redbank
The team from GRUB have accumulated some of the best vegan puddings from the likes of Drizzle City Bakes, Choux Chou, Weenie Bakes & BakeOrama and they’ve gone and paired them up with 4 matching beers. So, if you’re a fan of either of those things – then you’re in for a bloody good treat this Valentines. Tickets are £20.

Buy Tickets


Go on a Ghost Walk with Flecky Bennett

Throughout the city centre
What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than being scared shitless by a bloke dressed as a leather-clad glamour pirate? Flecky Bennett is the city’s foremost ghost expert and knows more about the city’s horrible and terrifying stories than anyone else living (or dead). This Valentine’s Day he’ll be hosting a Special Ghost Walk complete with a 30-minute interval in Sam’s Chop House (so you can calm your nerves over a couple of pints).

More Info


A Valentine’s Day ‘Meal’ cocktail flight

Science & Industry
Cocktail specialists Science & Industry are putting on a 4-cocktail flight that’s inspired by the whole dining process – so there’ll be starters, a main course – all that jazz – so instead of spending a month’s wages on a proper meal – just get this liquid alternative instead. It’s much cheaper and it also means that you’ll have enough money left for a kebab on the way home. Romance is certainly not dead yet.

Science and Industry, Cane & Grain, 49, 51 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA


Valentine’s cupcakes

Hey Little Cupcake!
To celebrate this most erotic of holidays, the gang at Hey Little Cupcake! have decided to create some super-special Valentine’s designs, all of which would be perfect for your other half. There’s loads of designs and flavours available – so even if your fella is a fussy bugger – you’ll be able to get something. My tip – buy a box of 6, get under the covers and devour them together while watching Waterworld with Kevin Costner. Now that’s romance.

Hey Little Cupcake!
2 Hardman Street, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3HF
Selfridges Food Hall, The Dome, Trafford Centre