School’s out for summer!
With the summer school holidays fast approaching, you might be wondering what kind of family days out in Manchester you can plan with the kids. Don’t panic, we’ve got the ultimate guide of things to do in Manchester for all the family this summer!
From city centre beaches, to family friendly theatre, to interactive and educational experiences that everyone can enjoy, there are loads of things happening in Manchester for the summer holidays. We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of activities and events for you and your little – or not-so-little – ones to enjoy.
And if you are looking to spend time in Manchester with the family, we have a range of Family and Two Bedroom Apartments for you to enjoy as your home away from home. With a fully fitted kitchen and Sky TV, our serviced apartments give you space to live as well as providing a comfortable base after a day of exploring the city. As part of our summer promotion, you can get 20% off on stay dates until 31st August 2022 with code SUNNY. Book now.
The ultimate guide of family things to do in Manchester this summer
Get involved with workshops and performances at The Den
When: 29th to 6th August
Where: Ukrainian Cultural Centre, Cheetham Hill, M8 8XB
Full of workshops, art and photography, music, dance, and poetry, The Den is a fantastic initiative from the Royal Exchange Theatre that involves a local community of ambassadors for a big cultural celebration. This year, The Den is at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Cheetham Hill and Crumpsall, and involves a brilliant team of local people.
Perfect for families, tickets are either free or just £1. Don't miss this chance to be transported to another world - more information all the performances here.
Snorkel with Sharks at Sea Life Manchester
When: Lots of dates throughout the summer
Where: SEA LIFE Manchester, Manchester Aquarium Trafford Centre
Snorkle in the Ocean Tunnel at SEA LIFE Manchester and get up close to some of the most wonderful and scary creatures in the sea! In the snorkel cage, you’ll be able to see majestic stingrays and spine-tingling sharks, as well as say a big underwater hello to Cammy and Ernie, the giant green sea turtles. Along with this, there will be over a thousand more creatures for you to meet!
The experience lasts for 60 minutes, and all equipment is provided – you just need to bring your own swimwear and a towel. More information and book here.
Free Tennis Coaching for Juniors
When: Coaching sessions available throughout the summer
Where: Various parks in Manchester
Across many of Manchester’s parks, We Do Tennis have partnered with MCR Active to offer quality tennis coaching to both kids and adults throughout the summer. There are a number of sessions and courses to choose from, and locations include Wythenshawe Park, Alexandra Park, and Chorlton Park. Could your child be the next Serena Williams or Andy Murray?
Choose your park and find a session here!
Power UP at the Science and Industry Museum
When: Every day during the school summer holidays
Where: Science and Industry Museum
Described as the ultimate hands-on, interactive gaming experience, Power UP returns to Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum for the summer holidays. Perfect for kids and adults alike, the whole family can play the very best video games from the past 50 years (yes, really – Pong was one of the first ever arcade games, released in 1972!). Other games available include Pacman, Sonic, Street Fighter, Mario, Minecraft, and some VR experiences, plus a fantastic selection of games created in Manchester.
All children aged 16 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult, but we assure you that the experience will take all parents and guardians down a wonderful nostalgic rabbit hole! Tickets & info here.
UEFA Women's EURO 2022 Manchester Fan Party
When: 6th July 2022 - 31st Aug 2022, 11:00 - 16:00
Where: Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester
Welcoming fans and friends of all ages, from home and abroad, Piccadilly Gardens will be home to a huge Fan Party to celebrate the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. The daily event is 100% family friendly with football activities, face painting, and plenty of food and drink. There will also be matchday screenings on giant screens for the following games:
- 15 July, 18:30 – 22:00, Northern Ireland v England
- 18 July, 18:30 – 22:00, Italy v Belgium
Entry is free for this celebration of the biggest ever European women’s sporting event. More information here.
The Great Northern Giant Summer Sandpit
When: 13th July to 31st August 2022
Where: Great Northern, Deansgate, M3 4EN
Housed in the basin of the amphitheatre, Manchester’s Great Northern is bringing the beach to the city with a huge summer sandpit. Free, family friendly spaces in the city centre are hard to come by, but the giant sandpit will have plenty of buckets and spades for your little ones to explore and let their imagination run wild with building sandcastles and making sand angels!
Stop by this city centre sandpit this summer – more information here.
Summer Fun in Gaskell’s Garden
When: 20th July to 4th September 2022
Where: Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, Manchester, M13 9LW
Launching on Wednesday 20th July, the Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Family Garden Trail will entertain with fun facts, discoveries, and things to do as you make your way around the Victorian garden. As well as a carefully cultivated vegetable patch and a rose covered pergola, there will be QR codes throughout the trail that will activate the different elements, providing a wonderful interactive and educational experience.
Weather permitting, there will also be a selection of traditional Victorian garden games like croquet, skittles, and quoits on the lawns, where you can also enjoy a picnic. Entry is £6.50 for adults and free for children under 16, when accompanied by an adult - information here.
The Crystal Maze Experience & Crystal Camp
When: Various dates throughout the summer / August for the Crystal Camp
Where: The Crystal Maze Experience, Manchester, M3 4FP
If it’s a rainy day, of which there can be many in Manchester, you can bring the family together as a team for The Crystal Maze experience. Just like the TV show, there are 4 distinct adventure zones which lead to the Crystal Dome at the end. Solving the Maze requires teamwork with solving a range of challenges that will test your physical and mental abilities, so it’s a great way to see if any members of the family have a hidden talent!
Along with the regular Maze experience, there will also be a Crystal Camp running in August, where children aged 9-16 will learn the ropes of becoming a renowned Maze Master, just like Richard O’Brien in the original TV show.
Walk like a Diplodocus
When: 28th July 2022, 10am - 11:30am
Where: Blackleach Country Park, Greater Manchester, M28 3TD
Described as mindful exploration for the whole family, Walk like a Diplodocus will show you how to be more contained and connected to yourself. Mirroring as a family, your children will be able to learn how to explore their emotions and gain a great sense of self awareness through long, slow, and focused strides in a beautiful green environment. Suitable for children 4-11 years.
Walk like a Diplodocus and connect with your body, thoughts, feelings and emotions. More information and tickets here.
Summer Daze at Trafford Centre
When: 22nd July to 4th September 2022
Where: The Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8AA
The Summer Daze are here at Trafford Centre with a whole range of activities on offer and plenty of events to add to your diary. Not only will there be a beach, fairground rides, and an outdoor cinema, but there will also be alfresco dining, sports screenings, and a Splash Park for you to cool off on with a log flume and a wave ride called Sea Storm. Basically, everything you need in one place to enjoy a fun family day out!
The various dates and times for everything are on the Trafford Centre website here.
Get Creative at the Science and Industry Museum
When: 23th July to 4th September 2022
Where: Science and Industry Museum
Enjoy hands-on activities at the Science and Industry Museum this summer while learning about the textiles industry and how it shaped our world. From fabric printing and designing your own materials, to experimenting with moving machines and building your own vehicle for transporting textiles, Manchester’s 1830 Warehouse museum has it all.
The programme of events is free and recommended for all ages. See dates and book your slots here.
Family Fun on the East Lancashire Railway
When: Various dates throughout the summer
Where: East Lancashire Railway, Bury, BL9 0EY
Throughout the summer holidays, the East Lancashire Railway (ELR) has plenty going on to keep the kids entertained! The first is The Wizarding Adventure on July 31st, where students aged 5-12 can enrol at the Wizard Academy and take broomstick lessons, practice their potion making, and talk with a tawny owl.
The ELR also has a special Day Out with Thomas & Friends on August 6th and 7th, where you and your little ones will be able to meet Sir Topham Hatt and say hello to Thomas on the platform before climbing aboard and taking a lovely meander through the countryside.
Finally, there will be a Pepper Pig and Friends Fun Day on August 25th and 26th at the Bury Transport Museum. As well as meeting Peppa, George, Daddy Pig and Mummy Pig, there will be an activity trail, fun fair, balloon modellers, face painters, and even a petting zoo!
Don’t miss out on these train-tastic events! Tickets & info here.
Lego Pirates at LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre
When: 16th July to 4th September 2022
Where: LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre
This summer, the LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Manchester is home to a swashbuckling pirate party! You’ll be able to meet a LEGO Pirate, build a perfect pirate parrot, collect trading cards, and explore MINILAND which has been taken over by pirates. This event is only on for the summer holidays, until September 4th, so jump onboard!
Pre-booking is essential, so grab your tickets here.
The Gruffalo at The Lowry
When: 30th July to 21st August 2022
Where: The Lowry Theatre, Salford, M50 3AZ
Promising songs, laughs and monstrous fun for children aged 3 and up, join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of The Gruffalo!
Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the high-spirited Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there?
This performance is a must for little ones and their grown-ups, tickets here.
Check out our Summer Sale here!