Whether it’s football-fuelled flag-painting, spellbinding outdoor theatre, absorbing museum craft sessions or an afternoon building the LEGO creation of your dreams, you can make new and unique memories for the whole family with an unforgettable day out at a variety of Manchester’s best galleries, aquariums, theatres and play spaces this summer.

Here are some of the best family days out around Manchester this summer.

For more family summer inspiration, check out our guide to the best day trips within driving distance of Manchester.

Summer at the Science and Industry Museum | Sat 20 Jul-Sun 1 Sep | FREE

From Sat 20 Jul to Sun 1 Sep, visitors to the Science and Industry Museum can enjoy a dizzying variety of hands-on entertainment, live science shows and fascinating installations without spending a penny.

In the interactive Experiment gallery, families can explore the mind-bending magic of science brought to life with glow-in-the-dark art, thermal camera heat vision, shadow walls and more, before heading to the Textiles Gallery and Revolution Manchester to learn about the machines and people which made Manchester the first industrial city, and its proud history of world-changing ideas.

Open daily throughout the holidays, Power Up invites parents and children to try out hundreds of iconic video game titles across over 160 consoles, from first-generation 80s arcade machines to cutting-edge VR headsets.

Elsewhere, the museum hosts a range of pop-up events and activities, including a celebration of Manchester Pride which honours LGBTQ+ stories in the Conversation Space display from Thu 22-Wed 28 Aug.

Visitors can also check out the brand new exhibition Injecting Hope: The Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine, which celebrates the Herculean efforts of scientists around the globe who worked tirelessly to end the pandemic, with inspirational stories of resolve and collaboration as told through artwork, video and significant objects from the initiative.

Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4FP
Wondrous and Wild | Manchester Museum | FREE

This August, Manchester Museum hosts a line-up of free creative activities inspired by their ongoing environmental exhibition, Wild. Each week, families with children aged 7 and above can use different art forms to explore the wonder of our natural world, with sessions including paper globe mobile-making, plasticine painting, collaging and more.

Find out more below.

University of, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL
Legoland | Trafford Palazzo | From £12

Open daily through the school holidays and beyond, Legoland Manchester invites families into a vibrant, absorbing world of endless wonder with everyone’s favourite building blocks at TraffordCity.

From the Ninjago City Adventure and a 1.5 million-brick Miniland to earthquake simulators, build-your-own-racecar thrills and even a 4D Cinema, creative kids and nostalgic parents can spend a memorable day exploring the limits of their imagination with tickets available in a range of combinations and multiple attraction passes.

Trafford Palazzo in TraffordCity next to The Trafford Centre, Manchester M17 8AS
VIP Turtle Feeding | SEALife Trafford | Until Jan 2025 | £75 for 2

Running throughout summer and continuing all year, SEALife Manchester presents a bucket-list opportunity to feed its resident turtles Ernie and Cammy in an awe-inspiring VIP experience for aquatic enthusiasts aged 8 and above.

Join a member of the animal care team and enjoy the lunch of a lifetime while learning about Manchester’s only giant green sea turtles before exploring the rest of the aquarium.

Trafford Palazzo, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester, M17 8AS
The 100 Story Hotel | Z-arts | Hulme | Until Thu 31 Oct | £9.98

Z-arts invites you to the wondrous, interactive narrative experience The 100 Story Hotel, a fun-filled fictional world of magical stories and engaging play for families with children aged 1-8.

Devised in partnership with multi-award-winning bestselling author and illustrator Rob Biddulph alongside Discover Story Centre, The 100 Story Hotel offers families the chance become guests at this rather unusual establishment where children can explore their imagination through the world of Rob Biddulph’s books. Children and grown-ups alike can explore its countless secrets and meet its wild assortment of characters, from lions and tigers to dinosaurs and sausage dogs, as the guests and staff enlist your help to unpick the clues to find a story that’s mysteriously gone missing.

Z-arts, 335 Stretford Rd, Hulme, Manchester M15 5ZA
Bluey’s Big Play | The Lowry | Wed 31 Jul - Sun 11 Aug | 11am, 2pm, 4.30pm | From £18.50

This Summer, everyone’s favourite heeler and his friends invite families with children of all ages to experience a magical adaptation of the Emmy Award-winning TV series, as Bluey and Bingo pull out all their mischievous tricks and fun-filled games to get Dad off his bean bag in a wondrous caper featuring an original story, inventive puppetry and brand new music.

Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford
Jodrell Bank's Out of This World summer | Tue 23 Jul - Sun 1 Sep | From £10

Throughout Summer, Jodrell Bank is inviting explorers of all ages on an inspiring, informative and fun-filled day out with interactive exhibitions, live science demonstrations and immersive planetarium shows.

The venue’s Curious Kids series offers budding astronauts the chance to partake in hair-raising experiments, Jodrell’s First Light Pavillion Dome hosts a range of jaw-dropping 360-degree screenings and the Royal Society presents the first leg of their Summer Science Exhibits on Tour programme.

Jodrell Bank, Bomish Ln, Cheshire, Macclesfield SK11 9DW
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Mon 22 Jul 2024