Manchester, often referred to as the ‘Capital of the North,’ is a city rich in history, culture, and recreation. Known for its iconic sports teams, world-class museums, and vibrant music scene, this bustling city offers a treasure trove of activities and attractions for families to explore. From interactive museums that spark curiosity and creativity to sprawling parks where nature and play come together, Manchester has something for kids of all ages.
Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, you’ll find a plethora of engaging things to do in Manchester with kids that will not only entertain but also educate and inspire. In this guide, we’ve curated a list of top family-friendly activities and destinations in Manchester that promise unforgettable experiences and lasting memories.
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Top Things to Do in Manchester With Kids
Visit Manchester City Football Club Stadium
If you’re planning a trip to Manchester, one of the attractions you shouldn’t miss is a visit to Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. As one of the most famous football teams globally, Manchester United has a rich history and a fan base that spans the world. Taking an Old Trafford tour can be a unique and exciting experience for both you and your kids.
During the tour, you will get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the famous stadium. You’ll have the chance to walk through the same tunnel the players use to enter the field, explore the locker rooms, and get an up-close view of the pitch where the team plays their matches. The tour also includes a visit to the Manchester United Museum, where you can learn about the history and achievements of the team.
For avid Manchester United fans, or anyone looking to have an unforgettable matchday experience, reserving a VIP experience for a home game is a great option. You’ll get to watch the match from some of the best seats in the stadium and enjoy the atmosphere of the game like never before.
Whether you’re already a supporter or just curious about the world of football, a visit to Old Trafford is sure to be a memorable experience for you and your kids. Who knows, it might even inspire your kids to become lifelong fans of the team.
Visit National Football Museum
The National Football Museum, located in England, proudly holds the title of the world’s largest and finest football museum. It’s an ideal destination for families to explore and learn about the rich history of soccer, a sport that has captivated billions over the last 150 years. The museum showcases the far-reaching influence of English football on the global stage.
Visitors can immerse themselves in a collection of remarkable artifacts that bring to life the emotions, memories, and excitement of historic matches. The museum offers a journey through the sport’s history, from its origins to the present day. You’ll have the chance to revisit the magic of the FA Cup, understand the significance of football in culture and society, and explore the diverse aspects that make it more than just a game.
For sports enthusiasts, particularly those visiting Manchester with children, the National Football Museum is a must-visit destination. It provides an engaging and memorable experience that celebrates the beautiful game and its enduring impact.
Explore Sea Life Manchester
If you are looking for the best things to do in Manchester with kids then you should discover the wonders of the underwater world at Manchester’s Sea Life Aquarium, a haven for marine enthusiasts and families alike. With its diverse array of marine creatures, the aquarium offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore the depths of the ocean without leaving the city.
Experience hands-on learning at the interactive pools, where you can get up close and personal with starfish, shrimp, and other fascinating critters. Gaze in awe at the vast ocean tunnel, providing a unique perspective of the sea floor and the marine life that calls it home.
Make your visit even more memorable by taking advantage of the aquarium’s photo section at Sea Life Manchester. Here, you and your children can transform into swashbuckling pirates or enchanting mermaids for a photo opportunity that will be cherished for years to come.
Located at Trafford Palazzo in TraffordCity, adjacent to The Trafford Centre at Manchester M17 8AS, United Kingdom, the Sea Life Aquarium is an ideal destination for families seeking a fun and educational experience amidst the wonders of marine life.
Visit Manchester Art Gallery
The Manchester Art Gallery, situated in the heart of Manchester, is renowned as one of the UK’s most family-oriented museums. It boasts 21 spacious rooms spanning three floors, each brimming with captivating art and design exhibits. The best part? There’s no entry fee to experience all this museum has to offer.
This gallery is home to an array of noteworthy artists, including the Pre-Raphaelites and Turner. Local painters like Henry Tidmarsh have also left their mark here, with captivating portrayals of Manchester’s industrial heritage. Each masterpiece showcases a unique slice of artistic history that’s sure to inspire admiration in visitors.
Though some galleries may currently be unavailable, rest assured there is still an abundance of activities for families with kids to enjoy. The museum has a host of interactive opportunities, like Explorer Tool Belts and Story Bags, specially designed to engage younger visitors. Moreover, children are encouraged to tap into their creative side by producing their works of art.
The Manchester Art Gallery, with its combination of historic art, interactive experiences, and a welcoming atmosphere for families, is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a memorable and enriching outing in Manchester.
Trip To RHS Garden Bridgewater
The Royal Horticultural Society’s newest garden, RHS Bridgewater, offers an inviting and family-friendly space for those seeking a refreshing outdoor experience. Situated in Salford on the former site of Worsley New Hall, this garden boasts a diverse range of themed gardens that will delight visitors of all ages.
One of the standout features of RHS Bridgewater is the expansive Woodland Wild Play area, which spans seven acres. This natural play space provides an ideal setting for children to explore and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.
For families traveling from Manchester, the RHS Garden Bridgewater Express Bus provides a convenient transportation option. The bus is accessible from both Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly railway stations and offers a quick 25-minute journey to the garden entrance.
As one of the top family-friendly attractions in Manchester, RHS Bridgewater is a must-visit destination for those looking to enjoy the outdoors, explore beautiful gardens, and create lasting memories with their loved ones.
Explore Manchester Museum
The Manchester Museum, a renowned establishment associated with the University of Manchester, is a must-visit destination for families with children. It specializes in natural history, anthropology, and archaeology, providing a captivating array of exhibits for young minds to explore.
Visitors are greeted by impressive displays of dinosaur skeletons and can immerse themselves in the museum’s collection of over a million preserved animal specimens. The intrigue doesn’t stop there; the museum also showcases Ancient Egyptian mummies and ancient stone tools, allowing visitors to take a journey through time and different cultures.
A trip to the Manchester Museum offers more than just entertainment; it ignites a sense of curiosity and wonder in children. Exploring the diverse artifacts and exhibits at this sizable institution fosters a spirit of discovery and inquiry, making it one of the top things to do with kids in Manchester.
Travel Legoland Discovery Centre
The LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Manchester is a world of imagination and creativity where children can let their minds run free. Designed with interactive elements, the Centre caters to LEGO fans of all ages and provides a perfect blend of entertainment and education.
At this one-of-a-kind venue, visitors can explore a range of exhilarating rides, including the thrilling Kingdom Quest. In addition, the Centre showcases an impressive reconstruction of some of the most iconic structures from the North West, all crafted with meticulous attention to detail.
Among the top attractions in Manchester for families, the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is a favorite among children who relish the excitement and adrenaline that comes with exploring new worlds. The Centre offers an engaging and imaginative experience that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.
Enjoy at Clip N Climb Preston
Clip ‘n Climb Preston is one of the best things to do in Manchester with kids and a dynamic climbing center that promises action-packed fun for everyone aged four and up, including both kids and adults. It features twenty different climbing challenges, including visually striking and stimulating options like the Twister, Skyscraper, and Astro Ball.
Perfect for families in Manchester, these vibrant and inviting climbing tasks are sure to capture the imagination and enthusiasm of children, encouraging them to take part in these adventurous activities. Whether you’re looking to test your speed and agility or simply want to learn how to climb in a relaxed and enjoyable environment, Clip ‘n Climb Preston has the perfect challenge for you, regardless of your skill level.
Additionally, the center offers a cafe where families can recharge and relax after their climbing adventures, as well as a soft play area specifically designed for children under four. Clip ‘n Climb Preston is the ideal destination for families seeking a fun, adventurous, and inclusive experience in Manchester.
Take A Ride of Open-Top Bus Tour
Discover Manchester’s rich history and modern-day allure with a 90-minute Open-Top Bus Tour that offers a comprehensive overview of the city. Perfect for families, this tour allows you and your children to explore at your own pace with the flexibility of hopping on and off at any point within the two-day ticket validity period.
Starting from the heart of the city, the bus tour encompasses some of Manchester’s most iconic landmarks, including the neo-Gothic Town Hall and the National Football Museum. As you journey through the city, an integrated audio commentary provides fascinating insights into the city’s history and development, enhancing the learning experience for both you and your kids.
An engaging and informative adventure, the Open-Top Bus Tour is an ideal activity for families seeking to explore Manchester’s highlights while learning about its unique story. It’s an exciting and educational experience that should not be missed when visiting the city with family.
Visit Hollingworth Lake Country Park
This well-loved natural destination is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, providing an array of amenities and activities that allow everyone to make the most of the great outdoors. Here, you can soak in the breathtaking landscape, enjoy a delightful picnic, take part in exciting water sports, learn about wildlife in the nature reserve, or simply embark on a leisurely walk around the beautiful lake.
With such a diverse range of options available, you and your kids will be spoilt for choice as you explore the area. It’s a perfect place to immerse yourselves in nature and create lasting memories together.
Watch Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium, located in Manchester, is more than just a sports venue; it’s an iconic destination for football enthusiasts and visitors alike. As the home ground of Manchester City Football Club, the stadium offers a captivating experience for fans of all ages.
Whether you’re watching an exhilarating match, taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium facilities, or exploring the rich history of the club at the dedicated museum, there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy. With its impressive architecture and vibrant atmosphere, the Etihad Stadium promises an unforgettable visit for families looking to immerse themselves in the world of football.
Delve into the passion and excitement of the sport, and create lasting memories with your loved ones at this world-class venue.
Have Fun At Greater Manchester Police Museum
The Greater Manchester Police Museum is a fascinating and educational destination that transports visitors into the world of law enforcement and its evolution throughout history.
This engaging museum offers a unique opportunity to explore a wide range of exhibits that showcase the rich heritage of policing in Greater Manchester. With authentic artifacts, interactive displays, and well-preserved archives, visitors of all ages can immerse themselves in the stories and challenges faced by the officers of the past.
The museum even features a recreated Victorian-era police station and courtroom, offering a glimpse into the daily life and operations of early policing. Whether you’re interested in criminal justice, history, or simply curious about the life of a police officer, the Greater Manchester Police Museum is a must-visit attraction for families looking to learn and discover together.
Explore Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens
Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens is a beloved natural haven nestled within Manchester, offering visitors a serene escape from bustling city life. It’s a destination where families can immerse themselves in the beauty and wonder of the great outdoors.
The park features a wide variety of flora and fauna, with lush gardens and carefully curated botanical displays showcasing the diverse plant life that thrives within its boundaries. Well-maintained paths are meandering through the gardens, inviting visitors to take strolls amidst the vibrant greenery and blooming flowers.
The park also offers amenities such as tennis courts, football pitches, and a cafe, making it a perfect spot for both active recreation and relaxation. The Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens provides a delightful setting where families can come together, connect with nature, and create cherished memories amid picturesque surroundings.
Enjoy Activities at Heaton Park
Heaton Park is a vast and vibrant oasis located in Manchester, offering an extensive array of amenities and activities that cater to visitors of all ages. As one of the largest municipal parks in Europe, it provides a picturesque and welcoming setting for families looking to explore the great outdoors and enjoy recreational activities.
The park boasts a sprawling landscape filled with lush woodlands, serene lakes, and open meadows, creating a natural haven for nature enthusiasts. Beyond the natural beauty, Heaton Park offers numerous facilities, including a boating lake, a golf course, an animal center, and even a historic tramway museum. It’s a place where families can take leisurely walks, enjoy picnics, engage in sports, or simply immerse themselves in the park’s serene surroundings.
With its diverse range of attractions and activities, Heaton Park is a must-visit destination for families seeking to enjoy outdoor adventures and create lasting memories in the heart of Manchester.
Explore Castlefield Urban Heritage Park
Castlefield Urban Heritage Park is a unique destination that combines historical significance with modern-day urban charm. Situated in Manchester, this park serves as an ideal setting for families to explore the city’s rich industrial heritage while enjoying a leisurely day outdoors. Castlefield’s picturesque canals, historic bridges, and restored Victorian warehouses showcase the area’s pivotal role during the Industrial Revolution.
The park features several intriguing landmarks, including the world’s first railway station and the iconic Roman fort of Mamucium. As you wander through the park, you’ll discover a perfect blend of history and modernity, with repurposed industrial buildings housing contemporary bars, restaurants, and galleries. The park also offers a range of recreational activities, such as walking, cycling, and canal boat tours, providing a delightful experience for families seeking to learn about Manchester’s history and enjoy the vibrant urban atmosphere.
With its rich heritage, scenic beauty, and vibrant cultural offerings, Castlefield Urban Heritage Park is a must-visit destination for families looking to discover and appreciate the past and present of Manchester.