Child-friendly isn’t necessarily the first image that springs to mind when you think of Manchester. We all know the heart ot’north more for its amazing grunge and indie music scene, and world-renowned footballing history. More mad raves and Fergie fanatics than family-orientated attractions.
But, despite what Mancunian stereotypes would have you think, the city and its surrounding areas are brimming with blinding days out for you and your youngsters.
Whether you live in Manchester, Salford, Trafford, or nearby cities, such as Bolton, or you’re visiting the area with your children, you’ll find loads to do in the North’s capital. With Man United tours, the central football museum and the Chill Factore and Vertical Chill Ice Wall near to Old Trafford, you could make a long weekend out of United match alone.
That said less football, more all-around family fun. Here are five of the best family days out across the Manchester region.
SEA LIFE Manchester
Who says that shopping has to be boring? After spending a couple of hours purchasing a few bits and bobs at the Trafford Centre, surprise the children with a trip to SEA LIFE Manchester. You’re about to get closer than ever before to over 5000 creatures – this is an aquarium with an awe-inspiring difference. Drop deep down, around 600 metres below sea level, to meet the ginormous Japanese Spider Crabs, which measure over three metres claw-to-claw.
But that’s not all, the Giant Pacific Octopus, known as the king of camouflage, will be there to greet you, as well. Can you spot him? The centre also boasts a brand-new 360-degree doughnut tank, where youngers can immerse themselves amongst the fluorescent wonders of the floating moon jellyfish.
Who would have thought in the Industrial City that is Manchester, there would be an outdoor family-friendly haven such as Heaton Park? Unlike many other city-based green areas, Heaton Park offers much more than grass. We’re talking 600 acres of fun stuff for all the family. Dubbed as the biggest and best park in the North West, you and your youngsters can enjoy rowing boats, beekeeping, a local tramway museum, donkey rides, and a farmyard animal centre. Keep your eyes peeled for the park favourites – the exotic alpacas and the famous Heaton Park peacocks.
Museum of Science and Industry
You’re not going to believe this… hold your breath. The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester is completely free for all the family! A free attraction in 2018, who would have thought it! Completely educational but totally fun too, the museum is devoted to all things science and techy, with special attention paid to all the good stuff Manchester has achieved in this field. Expect interactive, playful exhibitions, which will undoubtedly encourage your child’s creativity and innovation.
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester
After a morning at SEA LIFE, why not pop around the corner at Barton Square to spend the PM at Manchester’s LEGOLAND Discovery Centre. Aimed at children aged three to ten years old, this ultimate indoor LEGO playground features a 4D cinema, three rides, ten LEGO build play zones and tonnes of local landmark models.
The attraction also boasts the UK’s first ever LEGO VR Experience, The Great Lego Race, in which racers become part of a twisting-turning minifig motor competition. Amaze.
CBBC Tour at MediaCityUK
From CBBC classics such as Blue Peter and Newsround to more contemporary favourites, too, children will love to get hands-on on the MediaCityUK interactive tour. As you head behind the scenes, children of all ages have the opportunity to take part in some of their favourite shows, taking centre stage to present fun stuff or read the news and weather. Don’t forget to take a CBBC selfie! As you would expect, this is a Blue Peter Badge attraction, meaning free entry for anyone in your family who holds the special award.