17 Best Things to do in Manchester for Families

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Looking for things to do in Manchester for families? We are here to help! 

Our northern city is lively and has plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Child-friendly fun can be had across the city at a variety of venues.

Young football fans will be in their element as they can explore two premier league stadiums as well as the National Football Museum. 

For those who enjoy adventurous activities, you can head to Chill Factore for skiing lessons or check out Manchester’s climbing wall. 

No matter your interest this guide will help you decide what to do on your family days out in Manchester.

Museum of Transport

Manchester Museum of Transport Bus
Manchester Museum of Transport Tram
  • Address: Boyle St, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M8 8UW

Located on Cheetham Hill, the Museum of Transport is one of Manchester’s best kept secret.

It’s a small museum about the history of transportation in Manchester. Here you will find many old buses, trams and even firefighter trucks that were used in Greater Manchester.

It’s an ideal place to visit as a family since it’s quite a cheap activity (£6 for adults) and takes between 1 and 2 hours to visit.

You can easily get there by car and there is free parking. You will also find a bus stop in front of the museum, making it easy to get there by public transport.

As you go in, you will find a set of quizzes that you can play during your visit.

The old buses and other vehicles are absolutely beautiful. You can find real buses from the 20s, 30s, 40s and more! It’s like being back in time.

Some of them are here as display only but you will find a handful where you can go in and sit at the top floor of the double decker.

It’s also quite nice to see the destinations on the buses since you might find the place where you live. Some were at destination of Gatley, Radcliffe or even Ramsbottom.

You will also find a vintage tea room where you can get coffee and snacks (also, it’s super cheap, a coffee is not even £2!).

The museum is stroller friendly and such a perfect place for an family afternoon.

Museum of Science and Industry

Science and Industry Museum in Manchester
  • Address: Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP

This is one of the excellent Manchester attractions for families. 

There are plenty of museums in Manchester, but the Museum of Science and Industry is best suited for families with kids.  

Not only is the museum fantastic but it’s also free, perfect for a budget family day out. 

Families can learn about Manchester’s role in science, technology, and industry developments throughout the years.

One of the best parts of the museum is the interactive gallery which has a ton of fun activities for young budding scientists.

There’s also the ‘Mini Movers’ program for under 5’s, where your little ones can explore everything science. In the permanent exhibit, you can discover how to make music with your body and create glow-in-the-dark art. 

The Museum of Science and Industry is conveniently located just a 6-minute walk from Deansgate train station.

Treetop Adventure Golf

Treetop golf in Manchester
  • Address: The Printworks, Dantzic St, Manchester M4 2BS

Located inside the event venue Printworks, Treetop Adventure Golf is one of the best family activities in Manchester.

This mini golf venue is more than just your regular pitch and put.

There are two 18-hole courses to choose from, either the Tropical Trail or the Ancient Explorer.

Pass through luscious rainforests and tackle the entranceways of ancient temples, this crazy golf course is fun for the whole family.

Navigate your way through a stunning rainforest past a ‘Whomping Willow’ style tree, all the while trying to be crowned family champion.

A family of four can be 18 holes for less than £40. There’s also food and drink on site so if all the adventure made you peckish you can grab a bite to eat.

You’ll find Printworks just a couple of streets over from the National Football Museum and close to the Arndale Centre. 

Crystal Maze

Crystal maze manchester
  • Address: St Johns, Lower Byrom St, Manchester M3 4FP

Crystal Maze is another of the top things to do in Manchester with family.

If you are visiting with young kids, they will probably have absolutely no idea about the 1990’s T.V. show Crystal Maze.

Whilst the nostalgia is for the adults the kids will still have an incredible time.

Your family will need to solve a series of puzzles and mysteries, and compete in physical and mental challenges all with the aim of winning crystals.

You can choose from four awesome adventure zones, including medieval, industrial, Aztec, and futuristic.

The more crystals your family collects the longer they can stay in the iconic giant crystal dome. Whilst in the dome you’ll need to catch as many flying tokens as possible to win prizes.

Crystal Maze offers family tickets for under £40 with other ticket options in the range of £30 to £60.

The Crystal Maze is next to the Museum of Science and Industry and a 15-minute walk from Manchester Oxford Road train station.

READ MORE: 6 Best Things to do in Manchester with friends

Treetop Trek Manchester

  • Address: Heaton Park, St Margaret’s Rd, Manchester M25 2GT

Not to be confused with Treetop Adventure Golf, Treetop Trek Manchester is one of the best things to do near Manchester for families.

Located in Heaton Park, Treetop is located just 25 minutes outside of Manchester’s city centre.

Treetop Trek offers an enthralling high ropes adventure course. There are 20 aerial challenges as well as more than 10 zip lines to hurl yourself down. 

Not only is it so fun to spend time immersed in nature but balancing on beams, hopping from wavering logs and flying through the air is incredibly entertaining.

This is the perfect family bonding activity as you encourage your nervous kids, laugh at spectacular falls and scream as you zipline through the trees.

Treetop Trek Manchester offer both two-hour “Full Trek” and one-hour “Mini Treks”.

There’s also a super fun “Treetop Nets” course where you can jump around on bouncy nets and play with giant exercise balls. Prices range from £15 to £40.

SEA LIFE Manchester

sealife manchester
Photo credit: Sealife
  • Address: Trafford Palazzo in Trafford City, Next to, The Trafford Centre, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AS

Sealife Manchester is located next to the Trafford Centre around 6 miles outside of Manchester’s city centre.

A classic favourite among children, the sea life centre is one of the best Manchester attractions for families.

Explore the ocean tunnel, an amazing experience where you feel as if you are truly underwater. Discover sting rays, sharks, and green sea turtles.

Wonder at the peculiar-looking Humphead Napoleon Wrasse, spot the smirking smiles of Cow Nose Stingrays and marvel at the Moon Jellyfish.

SEA LIFE Manchester is both a fun and interesting learning experience that will surely get the whole family excited about our ocean’s habitats.

Click here to see the prices.

Tatton Park

Tatton Park
  • Address: Tatton Park Tatton Park, Knutsford WA16 6SG

If you are looking for things to do near Manchester for families, then look no further than Tatton Park.

This is a fantastic historic estate complete with Tudor hall, epic gardens, a deer park, and a playground for the little ones.

Tatton Park is around a 40-minute drive from Manchester city centre and is well worth a visit.

The park is home to two herds of deer, it’s a lovely treat to spot them running around. With over 50 acres of gardens, Tatton Park is beloved by nature enthusiasts.

The gardens have been in development for over 200 years. Japanese bridges and pagoda-like structures sit by a tranquil lake and there is a plethora of flowers to admire.

Kids will also love visiting the on-site farm and stable yard. There’s so much to do at Tatton Park it’s the perfect venue for a family day out.

There are a number of ticket options including single attractions (mansion or gardens or farm) and the full ‘Tatton Ticket’.

Prices vary between £6 and £35 depending on the attractions you choose to see.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre

Legoland manchester
Photo credit: Legoland
  • Address: Trafford Palazzo in Trafford City next to The Trafford Centre, Manchester M17 8AS

Most kids love LEGO but even if they don’t, they will thrive at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre.

Located right next to SEA LIFE Manchester, LEGOLAND is another of the attractions at Trafford Palazzo.

Kids between the age of three and ten will love playing at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre.

Inside you’ll find a 4D LEGO cinema, VR racing activities as well as places to build to your heart’s content. ‘Miniland’ is any budding architect’s dream, with miniature reconstructions of famous monuments around the world.

Here you’ll find a LEGO Blackpool Tower as well as all the Manchester attractions you’ve probably been discovering.

Click here to see the prices.

VUE Cinema at the Printworks

Vue Cinema in Manchester
  • Address: The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS

You just cannot beat a trip to the cinema, it’s a classic kid’s favourite, and chances are the adults will enjoy it too.

The Printworks is home to a number of attractions including a VUE Cinema. The Printworks is along Withy Grove, across from the National Football Museum and close to Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

VUE shows all the latest blockbuster movies that will delight children and adults.

Grab some popcorn and pick and mix sweets and enjoy one of the new releases.

There are often 3D IMAX movie experiences as well. Tickets for many movies can be found for under £10.

National Football Museum

National Museum of football Manchester
  • Address: Urbis Building Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester M4 3BG

Depending on where you are from and what football team you support you will have different thoughts on where the home of football is.

Whilst many would say London you can’t argue with the fact that Manchester has two very successful Premier League teams and is in fact, the birthplace of the football league in the UK!

For this reason, the National Football Museum is one of the best places to visit in Manchester for families with football fanatics.

This wonderfully shaped glass building is home to the largest football museum in the world.

Across four floors you can explore tons of memorabilia, informative displays, and learn more about the world’s favourite game.

Kids will love the interactive exhibits and you can even have a family photo with the FA Cup and Premier League trophies.

If you are a Manchester resident or an essential carer you can enter the National Football Museum for free.

If you book online, you can save between £1 and £3 on tickets. Tickets can be found for under £15 and you can book here.

Visiting Old Trafford

Old trafford in Manchester
  • Address: Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester M16 0RA

You can even plan an entire football-themed day out for your family in Manchester.

After the National Football Museum, why not head to Old Trafford? Any football fan will know that Old Trafford is the home of Manchester United.

Whether you are a United fan or not (better if you are) you can take this epic tour of the Manchester United Museum and stadium.

On this tour, you will be able to learn about the history of the club as well as access the players’ dugout and dressing rooms.

Because you are touring a Premier League club be sure to plan ahead as to what time you can take a tour.

Old Trafford is a little outside of the city centre so you can take the green, navy, pink or purple line train from St Peter’s Square straight to the stadium.

Click here to see the prices.

Visiting Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium
  • Address: Ashton New Rd, Manchester M11 3FF

Continuing on this football-filled day out you can head next to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.

The Etihad is on the east of the city around 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre.

The nearest train station to the stadium is Ashbury’s Rail Station which is about a five-minute ride from Manchester Piccadilly.

Make sure to book your tickets for the stadium tour and museum online. The tour lasts 75 minutes and takes you around the stadium’s top attractions.

Tour the state-of-the-art stadium, and see the media room.

Click here to see the latest prices.

Chill Factore

Chill Factore in Manchester
  • Address: 7 Trafford Way, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M41 7JA

This is one of the best things to do in Manchester for families and adrenaline junkies. Manchester is known for its rain, but did you know you can ski?

Chill Factore is close to the Trafford Centre on the outskirts of Manchester.

Chill Factore offers an array of activities for the entire family to enjoy.

Chill Factore is home to the longest indoor ski slope in the UK at 180 metres. 

The temperature indoors is -4 degrees C, so you best come prepared with some warm clothes. You can choose to either ski or snowboard.

You can take lessons or just choose an hour lift pass.

There are even kid’s ski and snowboard holiday camps. Hourly life passes range from £33 to £40 with junior prices being a little lower.

Whether you are a seasoned skier looking to get your snow fix whilst being in the UK or you want to get the kids started on the slopes at a young age this is a fantastic day out in Manchester.

Rock Over Climbing

  • Address: Park Garage, Cheviot St, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M3 1LW

From ski slopes to rock climbing walls. Rock Over is an excellent climbing centre close to Manchester Victoria train station (just a 10-minute walk).

This climbing wall is Rock Over’s first and biggest centre.

There are 300 different bouldering problems, 10 auto belays and a competition training area.

People of all ages and abilities are welcome at the climbing wall and they offer a variety of classes too.

Whether you decide to take a family lesson or opt for the day pass you will have a ton of fun. Rock Over staff are super friendly and always on hand to provide help and advice.

You can climb for the day for under £20 this includes a pass and shoe and harness hire.

Tenpin Manchester Printworks

Bowling 10 pin Printworks in Manchester
  • Address: The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS

Another of Printwork’s top attractions is tenpin bowling. Everybody loves a bit of bowling, and this makes for the perfect family fun activity.

Manchester Printworks has 14 bowling lanes. You can even pick fun graphics to use on your lane which adds to the excitement.

If you get peckish along the way you can order food and drink from the app. You can enjoy one game of bowling for under £10.

The fun doesn’t just stop on the lanes, Tenpin Manchester also offers table tennis, American pool, karaoke, and arcade games.

The kids will thoroughly enjoy playing all the games after a competitive round of bowling.

RHS Garden Bridgewater

RHS Garden Bridgewater in Manchester
  • Address: Occupation Rd, Worsley, Manchester M28 2LJ

The Royal Horticultural Society Garden Bridgewater is one of the largest gardens in Europe. At 154 acres there are a lot of wonderful green spaces to enjoy.

You can book your ticket for RHS Garden Bridgewater here.

The garden is located a little out of Manchester city centre, in Salford. It’s about an hour’s drive to the garden from the city centre.

There are so many different gardens to explore at Bridgewater.

There’s the Weston Walled Garden, the Kitchen Garden and the Chinese Streamside Garden.

Kids will love the Woodland Play area as well as the Peel Learning Garden where they can get all hands on.

Click here to see the prices.

Blue Peter Garden

Looking for free family days out in Manchester? The Blue Peter Garden in Media City is a fantastic free option for the whole family!

As the name suggest, this garden is deeply connected to the renowned BBC show, Blue Peter.

While the original filming of this show was in London, it was later on moved to Media City and that’s why this garden was created.

It is a bit of an homage to this incredibly successful children show and a great place to visit now as a family.

It is open to the public for free. You can easily get there with the tram or by car (but will have to pay for car park in Media City).

Although it’s small, it’s quite fun to explore the garden. Here you will find loads of hidden gems such as the handprints and footprints of its presenters, a sort of walk of fame with all the golden badges and a statue of Petra.

It’s a very nice thing to do in Manchester with kids but also for yourself since you might have watched the show when you were a child!

Now that you know all the best family things to do in Manchester, it’s time to go out and explore!

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