Saturday, June 22, 2024

The perfect issues to do in Manchester with children

There’s a buzz to Manchester which at all times makes it an ideal place for a household metropolis break – as a result of with so many issues to do in Manchester with children, the capital of the North isn’t only for grown-ups.

Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester city centre, with a view of the ferris wheel - the best things to do in Manchester with kids on a family city break
comprises affiliate hyperlinks*

Rising up about 50 miles away, I’ve received reminiscences of frittering my cash at Afflecks as a teen earlier than exploring the Northern Quarter on later metropolis breaks – and regardless of its popularity for drizzle, you’ll have loads of alternative to discover open air (in addition to a number of concepts for wet days in Manchester).

And from soccer galore to animal sights, some incredible free museums, plus loads of probability to play, I’ve picked out 24 of the very best issues to do with children in Manchester to begin you off, with concepts for exploring Manchester Metropolis Centre, Salford Quays and Trafford Park.

Manchester Metropolis Centre

Science and Trade Museum

The Science and Trade Museum is likely one of the greatest family-friendly museums in Manchester, with loads of fascinating and interactive reveals appropriate for teenagers of all ages – and it’s free!

You possibly can study Manchester’s achievements in science, know-how and trade, from its main function within the industrial revolution and textile trade to the town’s impression on fashionable computing.

Children also can get hands-on and see science dropped at life within the interactive ‘experiment’ gallery, with a number of enjoyable and thrilling experiments designed particularly for little scientists. An effective way to get children serious about STEM!

Don’t neglect to take a look at the schedule of dwell demonstrations and particular occasions all year long on the museum (previously generally known as the Museum of Science and Trade, or MOSI), which options household science exhibits throughout the college holidays as nicely.

Sign for the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester against a blue sky - one of the best museums for kids in Manchester, UK

Manchester Museum

One other nice free museum in Manchester for teenagers is the Manchester Museum, specializing in pure historical past, anthropology and archaeology.

Reopened in 2023 after a significant refurbishment venture, there are model new galleries masking Chinese language culure and South Asia, in addition to some thrilling short-term exhibitions for households.

The previous favourites stay too: giant College of Manchester museum is full of fascinating artefacts and collections, together with full dinosaur skeletons, over a million preserved animal specimens, Historical Egyptian mummies and prehistoric stone instruments.

There’s additionally a enjoyable household programme of talks, demonstrations and hands-on workshops, in addition to early opening instances and vacation occasions for youngsters with autism and different wants.

The Folks’s Historical past Museum

Any budding diplomats or politicians will love studying about ​​the historical past of democracy and folks’s lives in Nice Britain on the Folks’s Historical past Museum. The museum was designed to encourage folks of all ages to consider essential causes equivalent to equality, social justice, and co-operation.

Whereas this will likely sound somewhat heavy for youthful children, the museum really does an ideal job at discussing these essential issues in an especially fascinating and fascinating manner (plus you’re proper by the River Irwell if you happen to want some contemporary air afterwards).

Each gallery has hands-on actions and interactive video games, and the museum additionally has an ideal programme of household pleasant occasions and workshops, whereas children get a free I Spy exercise sheet to be able to participate in a treasure hunt across the museum too.

Nationwide Soccer Museum

Soccer followers of all ages shouldn’t miss the chance to discover Manchester’s Nationwide Soccer Museum, the most important museum on the earth devoted to the game.

Dad and mom can reminisce over the intensive assortment of soccer memorabilia and the brand new Soccer Corridor of Fame, whereas children can get hands-on with the interactive reveals and video games. 

You possibly can try to beat the digital goalkeeper in a penalty shootout, practise your passes with One-Two, and even attempt your hand at calling the motion within the Match of the Day Commentary Problem. Plus, don’t neglect your digital camera so you’ll be able to snap some household images lifting the Premier League trophy. 

You should e-book your tickets and entry time slot upfront – the museum is normally open 7 days per week, however does shut sometimes on Mondays and Tuesday so test upfront. Below 15 tickets are half worth and children underneath 5 get free admission.

Purchase tickets to the Nationwide Soccer Museum with free cancellation right here

The Etihad Stadium, the Manchester City football ground, where you can take tours during a visit to Manchester with kids who love football

Manchester Metropolis Stadium excursions

As any fan will remind you, there’s multiple soccer group in Manchester – and you’ll take a Manchester Metropolis stadium tour within the Etihad Stadium.

Stroll by way of the tunnel onto the pitch, in addition to getting the identical view that the supervisor could have – or be part of him for questions at a digital press convention.

You’ll discover loads of high-tech enjoyable alongside the way in which: holographs convey the exhibition to life, whereas the membership’s story can be informed within the 360-degree cinema. You possibly can even discover out what occurs on match days with a present within the Residence Group dressing room.

The 90-minute excursions range on match days (though there are various choices to take if Metropolis is enjoying at dwelling) however this can be a nice one for followers when there’s no precise soccer to observe.

And whereas the bottom isn’t within the metropolis centre itself, it’s lower than 10 minutes away on public transport – learn on if you happen to’re a Man U supporter…

Ebook Manchester Metropolis tour tickets with free cancellation right here

Manchester Artwork Gallery

One of many UK’s most family-friendly museums and artwork galleries, there are 21 rooms stuffed with artwork and design to discover on the Manchester Artwork Gallery, set over three flooring – plus it’s one other of Manchester’s free museums.

You possibly can marvel at artworks by nice artists, together with the Pre Raphaelites and Turner, together with native artists like Henry Tidmarsh who captured Manchester’s Industrial previous.

There are common short-term exhibitions together with loads of methods to get children engaged: in addition to inspiring them to create their very own masterpiece, different interactive enjoyable has included Explorer Instrument Belts and Story Baggage for households with youthful youngsters.

Look out for the opposite actions for teenagers throughout the 12 months too, particularly throughout college holidays.

John Rylands Library

A visit to the library won’t essentially sound like probably the greatest issues to do in Manchester with children, however simply wait till you see this one. 

The John Rylands Library is likely one of the most beautiful examples of neo-Gothic structure in Europe and is alleged by many to be one of many biggest libraries on the earth. And there’s no cost to enter, if you happen to’re in search of free days out in Manchester.

Take a stroll by way of its dimly lit corridors, wander down the grand staircases, admire the ornate Victorian statues, and browse the gathering of historic books and manuscripts contained in the magnificent constructing.

In all probability the closest you will get to feeling like a pupil wandering by way of the library or Nice Corridor at Hogwarts…

Exterior of the red brick John Rylands library in Manchester - one of the more unusual things to do in Manchester with kids

Crystal Maze LIVE Manchester

An immersive, action-packed exercise for the entire household, the Crystal Maze LIVE expertise allows you to journey again in time into the long-lasting 90s TV present. 

Transferring by way of the maze’s 4 journey zones – Medieval, Industrial, Aztec and Futuristic – you’ll run round and full a collection of enjoyable themed video games and challenges, from driving a large buckaroo-ing spaceship to decoding riddles, to make it to the Crystal Dome.

Contained in the Maze’s well-known centrepiece, end by leaping round to gather gold tokens that add factors to your last rating.

Whether or not you’re sufficiently old to recollect the unique present or not, Crystal Maze LIVE definitely must be some of the enjoyable and distinctive issues to do in Manchester for teenagers and adults alike.

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

A Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour is an effective way to discover Manchester’s important neighbourhoods and landmarks with youthful children, with dwell commentary to present you some background on what makes the town so particular – with out carrying out small ft.

You too can get on and off at any of the 12 stops across the metropolis, making it a simple technique to get round while not having to stroll too far or navigate the metro with children.

Tickets are legitimate for 2 days, with household passes additionally accessible – supreme for a weekend metropolis break!

The Huge Scavenger Hunt Journey

Add a little bit of a problem to your exploring by taking over the Huge Scavenger Hunt Journey in Manchester.

Utilizing GPS, you determine your personal route across the metropolis, ticking off completely different locations and challenges on the app, incomes factors as you go.

In addition to conserving children entertained as you journey from A to B, it’s an effective way to find elements of the town that you just won’t in any other case stumble throughout.

Uncover avenue artwork in Manchester

All you might want to do to identify avenue artwork in Manchester with children is to maintain your eyes open- there are some incredible works to identify throughout the town together with items from native artists. Don’t neglect to look down too, the place you’ll be able to even discover poems within the pavement.

However to ensure you get an ideal style of a few of Manchester’s avenue artwork, there are additionally family-friendly strolling excursions that you would be able to take, together with this avenue artwork tour of the Northern Quarter.

Trying on the space’s revitalisation, with avenue artwork serving to result in the present regeneration, it’s nice for older children, however can be accessible if you happen to’ve received a pushchair.

View of Salford Quays and Media City, where you'll find some of the best things to do in Manchester with kids

Salford Quays (MediaCityUK)

Residence to common pop-up sights, in addition to the BBC web site at MediaCityUK, there’s usually lots altering round Salford Quays. Sadly the CBBC Interactive Tour is at present cancelled together with all different BBC excursions in England.

IWM North

A part of the Imperial Warfare Museums, IWM North focuses on the experiences of strange individuals who’ve lived by way of conflicts.

The tales begin throughout the First World Warfare and proceed to the current day, from area weapons fired on the Western Entrance to twisted steelwork taken from the location of the World Commerce Heart in New York

The 360-degree Huge Image Exhibits additionally have a look at life after battle, and what occurs as soon as the firing ends.

With over 2,000 objects, it’s notably good to go to with older children, sparking conversations about among the world’s largest points in a really participating – in addition to inspiring and shifting – manner. It’s additionally one other of the string of free Manchester museums.

IWM North by the waterfront - visiting the Imperial War Museum is one of the best free things to do in Manchester with kids

The Lowry

Centered on each visible and performing artwork, the Lowry has an entire string of inventive actions geared toward households – proper from infants up, together with choices for underneath 5s and underneath 11s.

You’ll additionally discover loads of performances and exhibitions that are excellent for younger audiences, together with one centered on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Older youngsters also can be taught extra about LS Lowry, the artist who gave the museum its identify, and who spent a lot of his life in Salford. Visiting the galleries themselves has no cost, though chances are you’ll want a timed ticket, making it one other nice possibility if you happen to’re in search of free issues to do in Manchester with children.

Trafford Park

Manchester United Museum & Stadium at Previous Trafford

A go to to one of many UK’s most outstanding soccer cities wouldn’t be full with out a tour of one in all its iconic stadiums, particularly for die-hard soccer followers (young and old).

Previous Trafford has been dwelling to Manchester United FC for over 100 years now. And on non-match days, there are many methods so that you can expertise the world-famous stadium. 

The Previous Trafford Museum and Stadium Tour allows you to see the gamers’ tunnel, stroll subsequent to the pitch the place so many soccer legends have performed, and get spectacular views from the Capacity Platform. Excursions are fashionable so do should be booked upfront – purchase tour tickets right here, with free cancellation choices

You too can seize lunch on the stadium’s Pink Cafe, the place murals of gamers line every wall, and go to the Megastore to choose up a memento.

In the event you’re going to the total soccer theme for your loved ones metropolis break in Manchester, you’ll be able to even test in to Lodge Soccer close by

Old Trafford, home to Manchester United Football Club, reflected in water - a visit is one of the best things to do in Manchester with kids who love football

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Who doesn’t love Lego? With with its interactive Lego-themed play zones, rides, and actions, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Manchester is a superb indoor household attraction – particularly for a wet day in Manchester with children.

Kids can discover among the most well-known landmarks within the North West made utterly from Lego bricks at Miniland, deal with the Ninjago Metropolis Journey three-storey impediment course, watch Lego motion pictures in 3D within the Lego cinema, and hundreds extra.

There’s even Lego tender play areas for toddlers and safer Duplo bricks for under-5s, making it an ideal time out for teenagers of any age. It’s additionally near the Trafford Centre and Sea Life Manchester, really easy to mix if you happen to’re in search of extra enjoyable issues to do close by.

Ebook right here for Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester tickets with the choice to reschedule without cost

Sea Life Manchester

Rise up-close to among the world’s most wonderful aquatic creatures at Sea Life Manchester – excellent for animal lovers year-round, and one other nice time out for Manchester within the rain with children.

The massive aquarium has 11 completely different zones to discover, from the Ocean Tunnel to the Shark Shipwreck. You’ll get to see a great deal of completely different species, together with sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, large spider crabs, sea turtles, and extra.

Hold a watch out for workers feeding the inhabitants as nicely, though for now, the same old schedule of talks and dwell feeding instances are suspended.

For an expertise they’ll always remember, over-8s can get pleasure from a personal feeding session with the aquarium’s Inexperienced Sea Turtles, Ernie and Cammie, whereas over-10s can snorkel with the sharks – there’s an additional price for the VIP experiences.

In the event you’re in search of different animal sights in Manchester, Knowsley Safari Park is lower than an hour away, and Chester Zoo solely somewhat additional, however you gained’t discover a zoo within the metropolis itself.

Brightly coloured blue and yellow reef fish in an aquarium tank - visiting SeaLife Manchester is one of the best things to do in Manchester in the rain with kids

Inflata Nation Inflatable Theme Park

Inflata Nation Manchester is the UK’s first inflatable theme park, with two ranges of large inflatable slides, assault programs, gladiator podiums, freefalls, and bouncy free-play areas. A session right here is totally assured to wear down even probably the most energetic of youngsters.

The weird inflatable theme park is appropriate for youngsters of all ages, with a separate bounce area for underneath 4s if you happen to’re visiting Manchester with little children.

And if you happen to’re tempted (and you can be), mother and father are additionally greater than welcome to hitch in.

Chill Factore

Residence to the UK’s longest indoor ski slope, Chill Factore is a enjoyable indoor snow park with loads of actions for folks of all ages.

Children aged 4+ can benefit from the snow slides, donut lanes and sledging within the devoted Snow Park. The entire household also can benefit from the raise passes and ski and snowboard classes on the principle slope, with classes for all ranges and skills.

Hold a watch out for particular occasions all year long, equivalent to Santa’s Grotto every December, with magical lights, actual snow and a go to from the massive man himself. It’s additionally now dwelling to mountaineering at Rock Up Manchester.

Play Factore

The Play Factore sits subsequent door to the Chill Factore in Manchester’s BEYOND constructing, so can simply be mixed for a very enjoyable household time out.

The state-of-the-art venue is dwelling to each the most important play body within the UK and the tallest standing indoor slide within the UK, in addition to a laser tag area, zip strains, trampolines, and VR gaming pods. 

With actions appropriate for youngsters aged between six months and 16 years, the Play Factore can be the one household leisure area within the UK the place mother and father can play alongside their youngsters on all age-applicable tools. Beats your common ball pool!

Upside Down Home

It won’t make a full time out in Manchester with children, however the Upside Down Home Trafford is a massively enjoyable technique to mess along with your thoughts.

Geared toward children aged 4+, you’ll wander round on the ceilings of this little pink home as you benefit from the phantasm of being the wrong way up – don’t neglect your digital camera for this one, for some hilarious photographs.

Half the enjoyable is discovering the oddest perspective: might you attain for a drink from the kitchen desk from the ceiling, do a handstand within the toilet or steadiness in an apparently not possible manner?

The sky – or ought to that be the ground? – is the restrict right here.

Nerf Motion Xperience

Who wants paintball when you’ll be able to battle it out at NERF Motion Expertise at Trafford Palazzo close to the Trafford Centre.

With a string of various zones, you’ll be able to select which of the themed battlegrounds you’d desire to problem your loved ones and buddies. And in case your Nerf abilities want some enchancment, there’s a coaching floor as nicely.

Tickets embrace an hour’s enjoying time and goggles (though when you’ve got Nerf AX goggles already, you’ll be able to convey your personal). Appropriate for age 5+ and at present as a consequence of run till January 1, 2024.

View of boats on the canal at Castlefield Basin in the city centre of Manchester

Methods to get open air in Manchester with children

If you need broad open areas and out of doors actions, you’ll discover patches of inexperienced in Manchester itself nevertheless it’s price making a journey to discover these beautiful spots.

Castlefield Viaduct

Some of the uncommon parks in Manchester, the Castlefield Viaduct is the proper place to find among the metropolis’s historical past whereas additionally getting open air.

Designed as an city park within the sky, much like the Excessive Line in New York, the Nationwide Belief web site opened as a pilot venture, with the choice to hitch brief guided excursions or simply to discover at your personal tempo.

The 330m lengthy Grade II-listed viaduct was inbuilt 1892, and stayed in use till 1969 – Castlefield itself is the oldest a part of the town of Manchester, and the viaduct is just a few minutes stroll from the Science and Trade Museum.

RHS Bridgewater

The most recent backyard from the Royal Horticultural Society has some incredible family-friendly sides to it, in addition to being a stunning place to get exterior.

Set in Salford, within the former grounds of Worsley New Corridor, there’s an entire string of themed gardens at RHS Bridgewater, together with a pure play space – the Woodland Wild Play spaced throughout seven acres.

Transport your self to China, or wander by way of the Paradise Backyard for starters, in addition to additional household trails throughout college holidays – its opening summer time noticed one themed round Alice in Wonderland.

There are numerous bus providers, together with from Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly practice stations, for the journey to the gardens.

Heaton Hall in Heaton Park, Manchester - one of the best places to get outdoors in Manchester with kids

Heaton Park

The most important municipal park in Europe, Heaton Park has a beautiful mixture of issues to do with children – hop on a tram and also you’ll be there in lower than 20 minutes from central Manchester.

In addition to loads of open grassy areas and play areas, there’s woodland to discover, however much more excitingly a big lake the place you’ll be able to rent boats and pedalos.

Youthful children will love the free animal centre too, with farmyard animals together with guinea pigs and rabbits, plus cattle within the parkland itself.

It’s dwelling to some historic buildings too, together with Heaton Corridor and the Temple, with wonderful views out in the direction of Manchester.

Or for one thing to get your coronary heart racing, take a look at the Treetop Trek (with choices for five+ and seven+) and Treetop Nets, supreme for youthful children.

*First revealed 2021, final up to date 2023*


The best things to do in Manchester with kids - from the free museums in Manchester, UK, to family attractions, street art in Manchester, places to get outdoors and more inspiration for a family city break in Manchester

Disclosure: This submit comprises affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I’ll obtain a small fee

Photos courtesy of Depositphotos


Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles