With a schedule including world-first scientific exhibitions, immersive aquatic trails and countless outdoor actvities, Greater Manchester’s half term calendar promises fun, affordable entertainment for toddlers, teens and parents.

Here are some school holiday highlights around the region.

The Wonder of Water | Dunham Massey | Thu 2 Feb - Sun 26 Mar | 10am-4pm | FREE

With fascinating insights and presumably appropriate weather, Dunham Massey’s new family-friendly trail encourages children of all ages to make a splash among nature while learning about the vitality of every raindrop and puddle. The trail is free and no booking is required, although standard National Trust admission prices apply.

Dunham Massey, Altrincham WA14 4SJ, Tel: 0161 941 1025
Jurassic Seas | Sea Life Manchester | Sat 11 Feb - Sun 26 Feb | From £15.50

Featuring fossils, challenges, photo opportunities and a meet and greet with The Professor, Sea Life’s Jurassic Trail transports families back 200 million years to discover a crucible of complex aquatic life while providing all the necessary training to become an honorary Sea Life Ranger.

Trafford Palazzo in TraffordCity, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AS, Tel: 0161 749 2875
Scarecrow Festival | Tatton Park | Sat 11 Feb - Sun 26 Feb | From £6

Spread across Tatton Park’s 50-acre Gardens and throughout the Farm, the annual Scarecrow Festival displays dozens of vibrant straw creations based on this year’s theme, ‘Kings and Queens’. On weekends, guests can join Aunty Mary and the miller for a round of entertaining, family-friendly tales.


Tatton Park, Knutsford, WA16 6SG, Tel: 01625 374400
Half term at the Science and Industry Museum | Science and Industry Museum | Sat 11 Feb - Sun 26 Feb | 10am-5pm | FREE/From £6 (Exhibition)

Comprising two interactive exhibitions and a packed family-friendly programme exploring the wondrous science of sound, the Science and Industry Museum’s half term schedule provides peerless weekday entertainment throughout the holidays. From Sat 11 Feb to Sun 26 Feb, visitors can build their own ‘music makers’, create their own tunes, hear from industry professionals in a number of ‘Sound Sessions’, experience the cacophanous noise of Manchester’s original mills and more.

Alongside the main half term programme, visitors are invited to discover five decades of video gaming technology with over a hundred playable consoles with interactive exhibition and nostalgic childhood wonderland,  Power UP, featuring classic titles including Guitar Hero, Pac Man and Astro Bot, before exploring the profound biological power of music with world-first exhibition  Turn It Up, which features a series of immersive musical experiences, interactive activities, a specially commissioned musical playground, ample dancing opportunities with a ‘Boogie to the Beat’ motion-tracking mirror and more.

Liverpool Rd, Manchester, M3 4FP, Tel: 0330 058 0058
Illuminate Festival | Oldham | Mon 13 Feb - Sun 19 Feb | FREE

Running for a sixth year, Oldham’s beloved light art festival returns with parades, spellbinding performances from artists across the country and an illuminated townscape stretching from Gallery Oldham and Oldham Library, through the historic Old Town Hall, past Oldham Parish Church and on to the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Oldham, OL1 1RA
Dinosaur World Live | The Lowry | Thu 16 Feb - Sat 18 Feb | 11am, 2pm | From £18

Described as ‘a spectacular interactive show’ by OK! MagazineDinosaur World Live brings a world of jaw-droppingly lifelike prehistoric creatures to The Lowry including the Triceratops, Giraffatitan, Microraptor , Segnosaurus and ‘every child’s favourite flesh-eating giant’, the Tyrannosaurus Rex – some of which are present for a post-show meet and greet.

Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0343 208 6000
Stoller Story Sounds: The Snowbear Story | The Stoller Hall | Sun 19 Feb | 1pm | £5

Suitable for ages 3-5 with accompanying adults free, Lizzy Finley and Carla Henry return with another interactive pre-schoolers’ workshop ‘where story, drawing and music are woven into one’ and a string quartet performance rounds off the engaging, informative entertainment.

Hunts Bank, Manchester M3 1DA, Tel: 0333 130 0967
Half term with East Lancashire Railway | Bury Transport Museum | Tue 21 Feb - Fri 24 Feb | From £12

Ahead of warmer weather and a reopened spring train schedule, East Lancashire Railway hosts a diverse, captivating set of half term events at Bury Transport Museum, with an Alice in Wonderland-themed detective mystery, an epic fantasy journey in Dragon Quest and a fun fair, activity trail and even a petting zoo with Peppa Pig and Friends.

Bolton St Station, Castlecroft Goods Warehouse, Bury BL9 0EY, Tel: 0161 763 7949
Kids Pirate Takeover with Manchester River Cruises | Salford Quays | Tue 21 Feb - Sun 26 Feb | £10-£12

Featuring fancy dress, bags of treasure, weavel biscuits for kids and rum punch for adults, Pirate Skai’s mutinous hour-long cruise from Salford Quays offers perhaps the most unique half-term family event in the city, as corsairs and mermaids host games, sing-a-longs and more along the Manchester Ship Canal.

Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ, United Kingdom
Fri 17 Feb - Sat 25 Feb
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Wed 8 Feb 2023