When I was a kid growing up in Salford we didn't have a garden but I was lucky to have a great park at the end of the street and another one just round the corner. Now I live on the other side of Manchester and have the same situation with Birchfields Park and Platt Fields Park. Platt is directly opposite where I live and was built as the 'People's Park' and celebrated it's Centenary last year.
It's home to all sorts of great festivals throughout the year. Sometimes it seems like there's one every week and more often than not they're free.
It's also home to the Gallery of Costume which has the biggest costume collection in England outside of the V and A. The amazing piece below 'Widow' is by Susie MacMurray. It's not actually wearable as it made out of thousands of dressmaker's pins. Check out her website for her other amazing garment sculptures like the balloon dresses.
There's a 'teenage village' with basketball courts and a BMX park.
And, very excitingly a vegan cafe opened last weekend in the Boathouse! It's run by Pedal Manchester who are a workers co-op dedicated to recycling bicycles, offering mechanical education, cycle training and promoting bicycling by helping people to obtain, maintain, repair and ride bicycles. My friend Tracey and I went in on Saturday and had a huge, delicious breakfast for £4. The people working who are all volunteers were very friendly and I can't wait to go again to work my way through the menu!