If your recent family days out have been lacking in things to do with the kids in Manchester, look no further than this blog – you're totally welcome.
We’ve put the leg work into finding the best family-friendly days out in Manchester.
And since you're already here, why not check out our favourite things to do indoors in Manchester?
1. Science and Industry Museum
Explore 250 years of innovation and ideas that started life in Manchester and have since changed the world – sounds pretty cool, right?
Did you know that Manchester’s history is tied closely to the cotton industry? We didn't either until we saw the epic displays in the Textiles Gallery.
2. Manchester Craft & Design Centre
Keep your eye out for workshops, events, and shows at this creative venue.
From making your own silver jewellery to a full-day workshop learning about the cyanotype process (Google it) – there's heaps to be done each week.
You may need to book in advance for this attraction, it's very popular.
3. Chill Factore
If you’re looking for a way to really switch up the weekend, why not try skiing? You know without all the costs and fuss of going to the Alps.
Whether you feel like a beginner skiing session or simple family fun – think ice slides, downhill donuts and ‘sledge ‘n’ slide’.
4. SEA LIFE Manchester
Why not stop by and visit the over 2,000 creatures that call this epic aquarium home?
There’s even an interactive Rockpool where you can (gently) get up-close and personal with starfish and many other sea critters.
5. Mayfield Park
Being the first new city park in Manchester in 100 years, this park really takes the cake. Based across 6.5 acres of parkland, the nature spot has 142 trees, 120,000 shrubs and plants – oh, and we can’t forget to mention the kids’ play zone with six slides (yes, six).
6. Virtual Hideout Manchester
Prepare yourself to experience some super-cool virtual reality on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets. Whether you opt for room-scale virtual reality of gaming, you can choose from a variety of experiences.
We love interactive experiences just as much as the next person, we even included it in our 2023 trend travel and tourism predictions.
7. Crystal Maze Experience
Did you watch this iconic TV show back in the 90s? Have you dreamt about experiencing it in real life? If you answered yes to either question, you’re in luck. With four themed zones (Medieval, Industrial, Aztec and Futuristic) and snazzy satin bomber jackets, you couldn’t really ask for much else from your day out. Embark on challenges as a team and see if you can escape the Crystal Maze.
FYI – only children aged 9 and above can join in on the fun.
8. LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre
This completely indoor attraction is perfect for a rainy day. With nine rides and attractions, four immersive zones and soft play for toddlers, there isn’t much you can’t do here.
Not to mention that you can face all the elements (we’re talking wind, rain and snow) all under one roof at the 4D cinema experience.
9. National Football Museum
You and your football-fanatic kids will absolutely adore this museum. Don’t be put off by the word ‘museum’ either, just think of it as a building filled with everything football – can’t forget the interactive games and guided tours too.
Oh, and for just £2 you can have three shots on the Penalty Shootout game.
We can pretty much guarantee that no matter what day of the week you go to MediaCityUK, there will be something going on – whether that’s a special event, shopping or a tour, you’ll have plenty to do.
Our favourites must be the Coronation Street Tour and the BBC and ITV tours - you’ll get the ultimate insight into the broadcasting which reaches 100 million people worldwide.
11. Manchester Opera House
From Mamma Mia to Sing-a-long Encanto and Shrek The Musical, this spot has plenty of family friendly shows on year-round.
The theatre was opened back in 1912 and has is one of the largest theatres in Manchester, playing host to musicals, ballets and more.
FYI: It's definitely worth keeping an out near school holidays too.
12. TeamSport Indoor Karting
You’re spoilt for choice in Manchester - TeamSport has not one, but two circuits in the city. Choose from the Trafford Park and Victoria venues.
Once you’ve had your safety briefing, feel free to let loose on the track, travelling up to 40mph (but it’ll feel a lot faster). And if you don’t fancy driving yourself, you have the perfect opportunity to get the camera out and capture your loved ones on the track.
FYI – the minimum age for all drivers is 8 years old (and they must have an inside leg measurement of at least 25 inches).
Do you love a savvy day out? We do too. That's why we've collected our top tips for saving money on a day out.
Oh, and if you're in the market for a quick trip out this weekend, why not check out our favourite days out which don't take all day?
13. Hat Works Museum of Hatting
This two-floored attraction will take you through Stockport’s once-thriving hatting industry. Going all the way back to the beginning, aka from the cottage industry all the way to the mass productions that took place in the early 19th century.
They’ve even recreated a hatting factory floor by restoring 20 Victorian-style machines, rescued from former local hat factories.
This one is unique and suited to the whole fam – worth keeping an eye out for special events and exhibitions too.
14. Castlefield Bowl
This iconic Manchester outdoor music venue has been host to countless sold-out gigs. You may also recognise this spot as the arena used for the yearly ‘Sounds of the City’ series of concerts.
With a capacity of 8,000, it’s definitely worth checking out if there are any shows on when you’re in Manchester.
15. Manchester Music Tour
Are you absolutely mad about Manchester music? Well, this is definitely the spot for you. With tours across Greater Manchester including The Smiths, Oasis, Joy Division and The Stone Roses, you’ll definitely be able to find the perfect one for you.
Your tour guides have experienced ‘Madchester’ first-hand, so take it as the perfect opportunity to ask any of your burning questions.
16. Salford Watersports Centre
Who knew you could paddleboard that close to the city centre? Not us. And that’s not all either – you can try open water swimming, sailing, windsurfing and all sorts of other outdoorsy activities at the Salford Watersports Centre.
We'd recommend this one for a summer day out, but the attraction is open year-round - enter during winter at your own risk...
PS Keep an eye on the calendar as activity sessions vary by season.
17. Pottery Corner
This creative studio is tucked into the heart of Chorlton (around half an hour on the tram from the city centre) and is the perfect place to create something you’ll keep forever.
Whether you want to paint a pot, take a clay class or get prints of your baby’s hands and feet, there are so many memories waiting to be made.
18. Total Ninja
Get your workout gear on and prepare to take on your next challenge.
Young’uns can enjoy the Ninja Inflatable Course and Ninja Academy (both suitable for those aged four and above). But there’s also a soft play area for those under three, so it’s perfect for the whole fam.
You can replenish your energy at the onsite cafe too - perfect way to end an active day.
19. Chester Zoo
Known as the North West’s favourite zoo – and for good reason. The zoo has over 20,000 animals and 128-acres of zoological gardens for you and your fam to explore. That ought to keep you busy for the day, right?
Though this one isn’t in Manchester, it’s around an hour drive from the city centre with great transport links to Chester and Bache train stations.
20. Wizard’s Spellbook Treasure Trail
This magical self-guided tour is a great way to get thinking with your little ones.
The 1.5-mile loop can be taken at your own pace (we’d guess around 2 hours), and even has a handy dandy text message service for clues when you get stuck – there's no time for quitters.
You can choose to have your trail posted to you or download it (for instant access).
21. Dreamland Imaginarium
Your kids’ imaginations will run wild in this wonderland of multisensory experiences. There are loads of different textures, sights, sounds and scents to explore across this attraction.
This one is better for kids on the younger side, with a recommended age of 1 to 7 years old and booking slots last for an hour – plenty of time to explore the themed areas.
22. Treetop Trek Manchester
Get outside and enjoy the heights of these tree trekking adventures – full treks are available for those aged 7 and above but younger kids (5+) can take part in the lower-level Mini Trek on offer.
And if you and your kids fancy a muck about, they can enjoy the treetop nets (suitable for all ages). With all the super slides, treehouses, tunnels, and ball zones and ball zones on offer, you'll be in there for hours.
23. Spy Mission Treasure Trail
Find yourself as the top agent at the local spy agency, SWARM, challenged with the task of finding a villainous factory owner who has created a rain machine to increase production in his cotton mills.
This 1.3-mile trail (that takes around 1.5 hours) will take you along scenic backstreets and popular sights – and starts at the Museum of Science and Industry.
24. Good Life Skates
Located in Escape to Freight Island, this skating spot has the perfect amount of retro. There are loads of different events on, and the Beginner Sessions are perfect to get you started.
PS If you’re already an avid skater, select the BYOB (bring your own boots) option to receive a discounted price.
Oh, and if you love a bargain, you can get 50% off your skate session when you spend £20 or more at Escape to Freight Island (check official site for details), as of January 2023.
25. Head Over Heels
Get your little ones to this attraction if you’re looking for somewhere to get their imaginations going wild – there’s tonnes to do.
From Interactive Projection Pods (think challenges, movement music and drawings) to the Music Zone (where they can make their own tune with bongos, pianos and more), you’ll be busy for hours.
And there are two locations to choose from - Chorlton and Wilmslow.
Are you looking for more unqiue ways to spend a day out? Luckily you're in the right spot. Here are our favourite days out in the UK for film lovers. Oh, and we've picked out the best days out for history-buffs - you're welcome.
At daysout.com, you can book the UK’s best attractions (y’know the proper FOMO inducing ones?) -- we know where’s perfect for you. Find your next adventure.