Manchester city center has several urban parks, game centers, and museums that are all fabulous places for kids to have a blast. Do you have sports fans in the family? Don't miss the Manchester United Museum! Make your way to Barton Square to marvel at the creatures in SEA LIFE Manchester where tropical seas await.
Head out to the lush countryside and explore quaint villages just outside of Manchester. Your kids will love stepping back in time while exploring historic villages. It's easy to keep the kids busy at places like Cockfields Farm. But we've compiled a list that includes things to do other than the ones mentioned here. So read on!
Before visiting a spot on the list, drop backpacks and large bags in a Manchester luggage storage location for safekeeping. Whether on guided tours or in art galleries, it's best for the family to be hands-free!
Science and Industry Museum
Address: Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4FP
One of the best things about this museum is there is free admission available! But even better than that, your gang will love seeing exhibitions that cover 250 years of change. Experiment is the name of the interactive gallery that all kids love. To start, picture bubbles making their way through colorful liquids. There are even exhibits where you can see if you can lift a Mini! Another display involves your own skeleton. You'll have to go to find out why.
Visit a textiles gallery where the little ones can join in as Mini Movers, making their way through this interactive gallery. Try the section called Science Stops. Consider making your way here to learn some intriguing science secrets. The museum hosts both permanent and temporary displays, so there is always something fun going on.
AirVault Trampoline Park
Address: Great Bank Road, Unit A 1002 Wingates Industrial Park, Westhoughton
Kids, young and old, will have a blast at the first inflatable trampoline park in Manchester. AirVault is a unique experience that will wear out even the most energetic kid and give parents a much-needed break. Turn your children loose and watch them as they bounce and race throughout the park.
Adults can even join in the fun and take part in some of the more common activities including air glide jumping, the foam pit, basketball, dodgeball, air tots, and air conditioning. You will definitely want to make your reservations in advance to make sure you can visit on your desired day and time.
Coronation Street: The Tour
Address: The Studios from Dock 10, Media City UK, Trafford, Greater Manchester
While your kids will definitely not remember the popular British show that was filmed during the 1960s, the tour of Coronation Street will still leave them excited. Just visiting Media City UK is a big deal with all its exciting movie and television sets. Your kids will be bouncing in their seats waiting for the tour to begin.
The tour lasts about an hour and takes you along Coronation Street, Victoria Street, and Rosamund Street. The experienced guide draws several of the young tourists in and makes them part of the tour by sharing film secrets and using teachable moments to pull the quieter kids into the party.
Address: Beyond, 7 Trafford Way, Trafford City, Manchester
The Chill Factore opened in 2007 and quickly became a favorite attraction for families. Located just minutes from Manchester’s city center near Trafford Centre, it is the biggest indoor ski slope in the United Kingdom. You can sign your kids up for ski lessons and then turn them loose on the slopes.
The beginner slope is the perfect place for them to start as there are several instructors there ready to step up and lend a hand. If skiing is not up your kids’ alley, give wall climbing a try! The indoor climbing wall is massive and a great way for your gang to test their skills. The fun Play Factore is here too. While the kids play, browse along Alpine Street where you can find great shops.
Crystal Maze LIVE Experience
Address: Lower Byron Street, The Crystal Maze Studios, Manchester
You and your kids will have a blast at Crystal Maze, which is a fantastic series of physical and mental challenges that promote teamwork and make you use your brain and think outside the box. Children especially love the mystery of not knowing what the next clue will be or how they will figure out the puzzle.
Crystal Maze offers four different adventure areas for you to choose from: Aztec, Futuristic, Industrial, and Medieval. The more challenges you complete, the higher your score. Your maze experience lasts for 75 minutes and is generally recommended for children 13 years or older but younger children can participate with the help of an adult.
Paradise Island Adventure Golf
Address: 203B The Dome, Trafford Centre, Manchester
What kid doesn’t love spending the day playing mini golf? With over 16,500 square feet of space, Paradise Island has two eight-hole courses that cover two different levels. The entire arena was created to resemble a tropical island and has statues of various wild animals and stone carvings.
You and the kids can pick between Tiki Hut Trail or Temple Ruin Adventure and plan to spend a few hours giggling your way through the mini golf course. Located in the Trafford Centre across from the Odeon Cinema, you cannot miss this crazy golfing experience. You will make memories to last a lifetime.
Address: Textilose Road, Trafford Park, Manchester
Plan your day around a trip to one of the top inflatable parks in Manchester. Located in Trafford Center, InflataNation is open year-round except on Christmas Day. You will want to make reservations if you are planning to visit on the weekend, as it is a very popular attraction for families.
With several different inflatables that are perfect for all children, young and old, you and your kids can bounce your way through the park and try all the different challenging inflatables such as bumpy slides and gladiator podiums. There are two levels to explore. InflataNation has even developed programs for disabled children and children with behavior and sensory issues.
Treasure Hunt Adventure
Address: Sackville Gardens, Whitworth Street, Manchester
Treasure Hunt Manchester is one of the best ways for you and your kids to discover more about Manchester. This self-guided treasure hunt follows a one-and-a-half-mile loop trail and will take about two hours to complete. You can even bring along the family dog for an adventure the entire family will love.
If you get stuck on a clue along the Wizard’s Spell Book Treasure Trail, you can have extra clues or even the answer sent to your phone. You will go at your own pace and it is great fun for all ages. Solve the clues and follow the map until you find the hidden treasure. You will learn more about Manchester and its rich history as you search for amazing treasure.
Go Ape Rivington
Address: Rivington Lane, Horwich, Bolton
Where are you staying in Manchester? Why not an area for the kids? Located in the Rivington neighborhood just south of downtown Manchester, Go Ape is one of the biggest adventure parks in the United Kingdom. Kids will “go ape” when you turn them loose and let them explore all this adventure park has to offer. From the Treetop Challenge to Zipping Safari, kids will spend hours challenging themselves.
Adults even love spending time here where you can look out over a picturesque lake while taking on a climbing wall or crawling through a forest. The 42-foot-high platforms at the Treetop Challenge will have you screaming like Tarzan as you make a treetop trek, swing through the trees, then free fall to the nets below.
Address: 9 Trafford Way, Trafford Quays Leisure Village, Stretford
Sign up for a little skydiving when you visit Trafford City and feel complete exhilaration as you leap into the iFLY wind tunnel. You do not have to have any experience with skydiving to try your luck here; it is great fun for the whole family. There are several trained instructors who will make sure you are safe.
Wheelchair-bound individuals can even take part at iFLY in a special tunnel. This indoor skydiving facility is a great way for your kids to experience the heart-stopping experience of leaping into thin air and plummeting toward the ground. After you have been in the tunnel, grab a cup of coffee or tea and relax while watching other flyers.
Address: Springfield Park, Bolton Road A58, Marland, Rochdale, Greater Manchester
With only 43 acres, Springfield is the smallest park in Rochdale but is home to Hollingworth Lake and Healey Dell Natural Reserve and wildlife sanctuary. Manchester is just a stone’s throw from Rochdale and families love spending time here, especially Springfield Park.
Take your kids to TeamKarting which is the longest indoor go-cart track in Greater Manchester. After racing go-carts, head over to Flip Out Rochdale and the largest indoor trampoline park in the Manchester area. You can even spend time outdoors on nice days and play tennis, cricket, or football. Kids will be exhilarated when they ride the miniature steam railway through the park.
Address: Alexandra Park, Kings Road, Oldham, Greater Manchester
Visit during the summer months and hit the Oldham Summer Beach for a great day of seaside fun. Oldham is also home to the Daisy Nook Country Park, which is 98 acres filled with picnic areas, forests, and canals. Animal Farm and Lancaster Park are also ideal for visiting Oldham with all the family.
Tandle Hill is a great place for your family to hike through woodlands and open fields. Smaller children will love visiting The Little Owl Farm and spend time petting cows, rabbits, goats, chickens, donkeys, and even lambs. The Peak District National Park is home to the Dove Stone Reservoir, another amazing place for families to visit and enjoy outdoor activities.
Address: 15 Great Underbank, Stockport, Greater Manchester
Stockport is about seven miles to the southeast of downtown Manchester and is a large town located in Greater Manchester. Spend an hour or so wandering along Leap Frog Trail, also known as Big Frog Trail, where your kids will be delighted to check out the various gigantic and multicolored frogs along the way.
You will love seeing frogs such as Swagberry Frog and Midas, Frogtendo, Super Kevin Frogcis, and SpiderFrog. SpiderFrog is one of their most popular frogs and was based on the Marvel character, Spider-Man. While here, check out the Reddish Vale Farm including Dino Farm where young children can meet baby dinos.
Address: Copperas Lane, Haigh, Wigan, Greater Manchester
Families with young children love spending time at Haigh Woodland Park in Wigan where the Kenyon Hall Farm is located. Little children can interact with horses, sheep, goats, alpacas, and bunnies which makes for perfect photo opportunities. Older children and adults will be thrilled to head over to the Atherton Gun Range, the biggest indoor public air gun range in Britain.
Make your way to Scotsman's Flash and rent a paddleboat, raft, kayak, or paddle board and spend time out on the lake. Bents Garden and Home is fantastic fun for the whole family with the Bents’ Jurassic Cave Adventure Golf Course and Ninja Warrior Challenge.
Manchester Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
There really is no better way to get acquainted with a city than taking a tour, whether it be a bus tour or a walking tour. The Manchester Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour lasts about 90 minutes and has 15 stops along the way so you can get off and explore a bit before re-boarding the bus.
Your informative guide will spin tales about the city and important figures that helped shape Manchester. The guide speaks English but you can download an app and listen to the information in a different language. Some kids may be bored with this activity, but others will love getting on and off the bus visiting different places along the way like Manchester museums and parks.
What Are the Best Family Activities in Manchester?
We think Go Ape Rivington is terrific, especially for adventurous kids who love a challenge. If you have kids who adore taking part in interactive exhibits, remember there is the Science and Industry Museum, sure to please everyone. Take a scenic ride and make your way to Oldham where there is everything to do from relaxing at the cinema to the Tower of Fun indoor play area. Of course, the Daisy Nook Country Park is there as well. To see the best of Manchester city, absolutely make time for the Manchester Hop-On Hop-Off Tour.
East Lancashire Railway and More
Kids in Manchester have so many fun things to see and explore from interesting museums like the National Football Museum (don't forget Old Trafford, too) and Salford Museum to special events and parks like Heaton Park and Haigh Woodland Park. Another fun excursion is to spend the day traveling along the East Lancashire Railway. It's similar to a hop-on, hop-off bus tour only the fun takes place on the train. With 7 stations to stop at and investigate, you can stop and start at any station along the way! It will be easy to plan the day exploring the fun world that is Manchester.