It’s been one of those weeks, full of ups and downs. Amongst the media coverage of terror there has been lots of people rising up to encourage hope, not hate. 

We need to remember that life moves on and that despite what is happening around us, we should hold our heads high and remember to carry on and stay strong. 

In Manchester, the last few days have seen the return of a visitor we have missed dearly, the sun!

This past weekend, even with the temporary closure of the Mancunian Way, the city has been flooded with people wanting to go out and make the most of the bright and surprisingly warm, spring weather.

What’s new?

I mentioned last week, that the preview nights had started for The Crystal Maze Experience, which is opening at old Granada Studios on Quay Street. 

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My friends and I had the pleasure of securing a preview spot and I can now confirm from first hand experience that it is worth every penny. 

The experience is based on the TV show, hosted by Richard O’Brien back in the 90’s.

Made up of four zones, Aztec, Futuristic, Medieval and Industrial, you and your team will find yourselves immersed in the game show with each of you in turn taking on challenges to win crystals. 

As a fan of the original show, I’m happy to say that it exceeded my expectations. Our maze master was also seriously exceptional. Book your tickets now!

In other big news, the first Pakistani and modest clothing and accessory retailer has now opened in the North West. 

With a high profile spot in the ever popular intu Trafford Centre, Khaadi specialises in hand woven loose fabrics, children clothing and accessories. They are the first traditional Asian clothing brand to join the Trafford Centre, it’s exciting to see our culture being represented amongst other high street fashion brands.

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The Hilton Hotel on Deansgate played host to the Asian Media Awards 2017 networking and launch evening last Thursday. Past winners, nominees, judges and partners of the AMA all spoke about what the 

Awards meant to them and how they provide an excellent platform for progression and reward to individuals and businesses who are working tirelessly to showcase their talents within mainstream media. 

A great opportunity for networking and an evening of inspiration for those of us wanting to share our voice in this ever changing world. 

The message of the night was definitely that of believing in your own ability and pushing past what society may or may not tell you to do. 

What’s happening?

Ok let’s get down to business, what’s happening this week…

Escape Rooms have fast become part and parcel of an evening out with friends.

The idea of being locked in a room, thrown into a make-believe scenario with 60 minutes on the clock for you to crack the code and get yourself out, is exactly the type of adrenaline fuelled entertainment millennials crave to stimulate their minds. 

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Breakout Manchester was one of the first to show up on the Manchester scene and every so often they host a charity day, where all proceeds from the games are donated to charity. 

Their first charity event is this Thursday and there are still a few slots available. Nothing changes with regards to the game set-up, the only difference is each room is dedicated to helping a specific cause and the money you pay for tickets goes directly to that cause.

An increasing number of Asians are finding themselves having to reconsider their eating habits as healthy eating becomes a game changer in battling common health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. 

Personally, switching to a gluten and dairy free diet was quite daunting and almost unheard of in our community, but recently we have seen a rise of Asians embracing different dietary requirements and adapting cuisine to cater to them. 

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The Northern Vegan Festival is here this weekend and this time they’ve managed to secure a much bigger venue. It’s a great opportunity to sample foods that you may not have tried before but also to meet businesses that are going out of their way to be environmentally conscious - something we all need to start concentrating on. 

As a creative, I’m drawn to events that celebrate the arts and moreso ones that are related to current events, exhibitions that are designed to evoke emotions and change opinions. 

The Whitworth Art Gallery runs a Thursday Lates programme, which is usually designed to encourage discussion and conversation about a particular topic. 

This Thursday is Warhol, Money and Capitalism.

A topic that will span from the Factory floor to Trump Towers, it will be an evening of discussion, politics and performance in collaboration with the Alliance Manchester Business School and the Manchester University Music Department. Even for those of you who aren’t particularly interested in art, this evening will hopefully stimulate your mind into looking at things differently.

What’s coming up?

Easter is just around the corner and as usual Manchester is gearing up for weeks of family friendly entertainment, let’s hope the sun is here to stay.

Good Friday will once again see people flooding the banks of the River Orwell to witness the oh-so-popular Manchester Duck Race.

Thousands of rubber ducks will race each other down the river. Proceeds from duck sales will be donated to Brainwave, a local charity helping people with brain injuries across educational and physical therapies throughout the UK. Spinningfields and New Bailey will have a range of activities lined up and I’ve also heard there’s a fairground and petting zoo on its way to the city. 

Sci-fi fan? Well, Bolton Street Station has something very special planned. 

They’ve teamed up with the Bury Transport Museum to create a family event that will welcome guests from galaxies far, far away.

Sci-fi on the Sidings is made up of three themes based on popular movies and TV shows: Back to the Future; Knight Rider and Star Wars to name but a few. There’s going to be Storm Troopers, Doc Brown and the Delorean, Daleks, Ghostbusters and so much more. Guaranteed to be a great day out for the kids (and adults!).

Legoland Discovery Centre has recently undergone a bit of a makeover and opened up Ninjago City Adventure Play Area - a UK exclusive! A three-tiered temple has been built and children can join the Ninjago training camp which will teach them all they need to know on how to become a Sinjitzu master. 

You’ll find a build table (like every good LEGO play area, interactive playground and a rotating climbing wall. However this week, I’ve just discovered the best part of our discovery centre… adult night. 

Thats right, one evening every month has been dedicated to those of us who don’t have kids and are big kids at heart. The event runs from 7pm-9pm with tickets reduced to a very reasonable £5. I know where I’ll be next month.


This weeks recommended links:

The Crystal Maze experience


Asian Media Awards 2017

Breakout Manchester

Northern Vegan Festival

Thursday Lates: Warhol, Money and Capitalism

2017 Manchester Duck Race

Sci-fi on the Sidings

Legoland Discovery Centre

Asma Younus  is a travel, food & lifestyle blogger. For more check out