After a long week, it’s nice to let your hair down. Check out some of these activities around Manawatū to get your weekend started right.

Go to a show

Check out the local theatre scene in Palmerston North – there’s always something to keep you entertained. Book yourself in for dinner somewhere, followed by a show at Centrepoint Theatre, The Globe or Regent on Broadway or, have a look at what’s happening at The Dark Room, where local, national and international acts come to take their turn in the spotlight.


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Centrepoint Theatre, 280 Church Street

GAON Korean BBQ Restaurant

For a do-it-yourself dining experience head to GAON Restaurant and order one of their Korean BBQ meat seats. The chef will bring a small charcoal grill to your table with a selection of raw meats and guide you through the best way to cook and flavour your meat. For an impressive dining experience from start to finish, this is the place to be.

Open for dinner 5.30pm – late Monday to Sunday and for lunch 11.30am – 2.30pm Friday to Sunday.








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GAON Korean Restaurant, 130 The Square

Night rides at Arapuke Mountain Bike Park

If you’re an adrenaline junkie head out to the Kahuterawa Reserve and try a night ride on the Arapuke Mountain Bike Trails. The tracks are designed to be used in all seasons (just keep an eye on track closures on the Arapuke Trail’s Facebook page) and have a range of trails for riders of all experience levels. Get the heart racing this Friday night and see Manawatū by moonlight (or torchlight).








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Arapuke Mountain Bike Park, Kahuterawa Road

Apiti Glow Worm Caves

For an off-the-beaten-track activity, visit the Limestone Creek Reserve Glow Worm Caves in Apiti. Bring a headlight and a spare pair of shoes (you’ll definitely get wet feet), and prepare to immerse yourself in a mesmerising experience – without the price tag. On the way home, stop in at the Apiti Tavern & Eatery for a delicious dinner – try one of their handmade pizzas or generous-sized burgers! You’ll be warmly welcomed by the locals who are regulars on a Friday night.








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Limestone Creek Reserve Glow Worm Caves, Apiti

Feilding Farmers’ Market

While this isn’t technically a Friday night activity, the Farmers’ Market in Feilding will sort you out for your evening ahead. Make the most of the town’s free parking and head to Manchester Square, where local suppliers will provide you with all the bread, cheese, and nibbles you need for your weekend platters. We love the cheese from Pohangina Valley’s Cartwheel Creamery, paired with fresh BABCO bread and straight-from-the-farm honey.

Held every Friday 9am – 1.30pm.


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Cartwheel Creamery at the Feilding Farmers’ Market, Manchester Square, Feilding

Brew Union

In the heart of Broadway Avenue, Brew Union serves the best beer in town. Hands down. Offering a huge selection of freshly brewed house and guest beers on tap, it’s the place to go if you fancy yourself a bit of a beer connoisseur.  The atmosphere is always busy and vibrant, the food is fantastic and on a Friday night it’s the busiest spot in town.

Open 3pm – 10pm Monday to Wednesday, 11am – 11pm Thursday to Saturday, 11am – 9pm Sunday.








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The Fat Farmer

Located in Palmerston North’s Hokowhitu Village, The Fat Farmer’s menu is designed to be shared and their pork belly bao buns have earned cult status on the Palmerston North dining circuit. With a full service bar, an eclectic wine list and New Zealand made craft beer offerings – it’s pretty easy to spend quite a few Friday nights at The Fat Farmer.

Open 4.30pm – late Tuesday and Wednesday, 3.30pm – late Thursday to Saturday.








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The Fat Farmer, 360 Albert Street

The Brewer’s Apprentice

The only thing better than a classic sausage sizzle is a free sausage sizzle – and that’s exactly what you’ll find at The Brewer’s Apprentice (with every drink purchase) between 4.30pm – 5.30pm on a Friday night. Brewer’s Apprentice also do a Friday night $12 cocktail special. Grab a drink, play some mini-putt and, when the live band starts, hit the dance floor.

Open 4pm – late Monday to Thursday, 11am – late Friday to Sunday.








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The Brewer’s Apprentice, 334 Church Street

Live band at Bubbles Champagne and Wine Bar

Not sure what to do this Friday? Head down Regent Arcade to Bubbles Champagne and Wine Bar where every Friday night they host a live band. Bust a move on the dance floor and sing along to some fantastic tunes, then take a seat on their couches and make the most of their drink specials. Or hop across the lane and park up at one of the other bars – how about four beers for $20 from the Celtic Inn?

Open 4pm – late Wednesday to Sunday.

Bubbles Champagne and Wine Bar, 59 Broadway Avenue


There’s nothing like ten-pin bowling to bring out the inner athlete in all of us. Bowlarama on Cuba Street, Palmerston North, is a 20 lane, fully automated ten-pin bowling centre, with pool tables, air hockey and arcade games. In between matches order a Hells Pizza delivery, or visit the fully licensed bar to rehydrate.

Open Monday 2pm – 9.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday 10am – late.








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Bowlarama, 94 Cuba Street

Words by Manawatū locals

Nicola Johnson & Lizi Guest

Little Kowhai

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