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First look inside UK’s only NERF Action Xperience opening at Trafford Palazzo

Blasters at the ready!

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NERF Action Xperience

A new NERF Action Xperience venue is opening at Trafford Palazzo next month and here’s a sneak peek into how it will look.

Earlybird guests who snapped up the first taster tickets will be the trailblazers to try out the exciting experience while having an absolute blast at the 35,000 sq ft indoor centre – the first of its kind in Europe.

The venue offers a variety of action-packed NERF experiences for families to enjoy, including thematic blaster battlegrounds, training activities and plenty of fun sports games.

NERF Action Xperience

It also promises an exhilarating social, active play experience with some heart-pounding challenges – as well as an on-site Archie’s to fuel up before or after your adrenaline rush.

Run by Manchester-based Rocafella Leisure, and licensed by leading toy and game company Hasbro, the venue will also house the UK’s first dedicated NERF retail store, selling hundreds of products as well as bespoke NERF AX merchandise.

Chris Hayes, Rocafella Leisure’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The wait is nearly over. We’re so happy to be opening our doors to allow people to see what we’ve been creating tirelessly behind the scenes.

NERF Action Xperience

“We’re confident what we’ve created will be an unparalleled and thrilling first-class experience for all the family.

“These early trailblazers will be the first in Europe – never mind the UK – to try an experience like this, so we’re keen to hear what people think.”

Matt Proulx, Vice President, Global Experiences, Partnerships and Music at Hasbro, commented: “For nearly 55 years, NERF has cemented its place in culture as a true social, active play lifestyle brand. 

NERF Action Xperience

“NERF AX represents the culmination of this legacy, combining NERF product innovations with thrilling experiences, dynamic gaming and much more.

“It’s heartening to see the early response, and we can’t wait for every fan – from NERF newbies to long-time players – to get their hearts pumping as they play through all that NERF AX has to offer.”

NERF Action Xperience will officially open to the public in October half-term. For more information, and to buy advance tickets, click HERE.

What's On

New makers market with everything from dog accessories to house plants and jewellery coming to Manchester

Get this one in your diary!

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A brand new makers market is coming to Manchester this late May Bank Holiday weekend, with something for everyone.

Taking place at New Jackson – a new urban neighbourhood located at the southern gateway to the city – Manchester Made Market will be held on Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th.

Over the two days you’ll be able to browse a selection of local artisanal traders and small businesses from across the region.

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There’ll be everything, from food produce, homewares, crafts and creations to dog accessories, house plants, jewellery and homemade soap.

Among the traders will be Manchester and Cheshire-based florist and floral artists Dot & Flora, graphic artist Ablott MCR selling music prints, HGT with crochet fashion and homeware designs, and artisan candlemakers Leaves and Prickles.

Elsewhere, there will be essential oils and other treatments from Grounded Wellness, permanent jewellery from Sealed Links, and desserts from Cake With Heart.

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There will be plenty of street food options to keep you topped up while you shop, including The Wild Grill, Food Sorcery, Salvi’s and new favourite Medlock Canteen.


Neighbourhood Brew will be supplying some great drinks as well.

Supported by Renaker, the market is free, but you can upgrade your experience with a limited, free VIP ticket with access to the dedicated bar area.

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Manchester Flower Festival returns with tributes to Sarah Harding and Caroline Aherne

It’s taking place later this month!

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The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

The legendary Manchester Flower Festival is returning to our city later this month, complete with pop-ups, installations and tributes to some local icons.

Taking place over the late May Bank Holiday, the event will be headlined by its ‘Floral Trail’.

This year’s theme is Manchester Icons, with a host of names past and present being honoured in flower form, including the late comedy legend Caroline Aherne, pop star Sarah Harding and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Collaborating with Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow, floral designer Liv Woodward will create a portrait of Caroline Aherne at the Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street, using sustainably sourced plants and flowers.

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding will be remembered in a ‘tribute garden’, sponsored by the AO Arena, with visitors able to donate to the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal by scanning the QR code at the display.

The homage to Pankhurst has been created by female-led Decordia, featuring an ornate wooden Manchester Town Hall-inspired planter with sashes, posters and colourful icons, alongside a wicker figure of the suffragette herself.

This can be found at the corner of Cross Street and King Street, adorned with purple, green and white plants – the colours of the suffragette movement.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Other local legends will also be honoured with their own installations, including Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta and iconic Manchester brewery Boddingtons .

Fringe events will be taking place too, at locations including Northern Quarter art shop Fred Aldous, The Bridgewater Hall, the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct.

Selfridges Exchange Square, El Gato Negro, Tast Catala, Franco Manca, Grand Pacific Manchester and Urban Playground will also be taking part, with alfresco dining, festival-related dishes and cocktails.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Now in its seventh year, the Flower Festival, which is put together by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, with live entertainment, workshops, and arts and crafts markets.

It all happens from May 24th to May 27th – head over to the website HERE to find more information.

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Billie Eilish announces FOUR Manchester shows as part of world tour

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Billie Eilish / Instagram & Co-op Live

Pop star Billie Eilish is coming to Manchester, with four dates confirmed at the new Co-op Live arena.

The Grammy and Oscar-winning pop icon will be playing Manchester’s newest arena on July 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd, 2025.

The dates are part of a full world tour taking place next year, in the wake of Hit Me Hard And Soft, her fourth studio album which is due out on May 17th.

The full UK dates:

  • 7 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 8 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 10 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 11 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 13 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 14 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 16 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 17 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 19 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 20 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 22 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 23 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester


Presale tickets go live tomorrow, Tuesday April 30th, at 12pm and are exclusive for Co-op members only.

To become a Co-op member, click HERE, and enjoy exclusive benefits.

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