From the greatest secrets of the universe to the United-City rivalry – indistinguishable in their cosmic significance – Manchester’s May half-term schedule offers an array of engaging family-friendly events and exhibitions to guarantee the perfect day out for parents and children alike.

Here are some of the best half term events taking place around Manchester in May.


For more school holiday activity inspiration, check out our guides to the best day trips, the best outdoor adventure parks and the best Green Flag-status spaces around Greater Manchester.

May Half Term | The Science and Industry Museum | Sat 27 May - Sun 4 Jun | FREE

Alongside dynamic drone displays, Lego Rovers, an incredible display of personal objects from Stephen Hawking’s office and ‘ultimate gaming experience’ Power UP, the Science and Industry Museum’s captivating half-term programme allows visitors of all ages to learn about modern programming with BeeBots, play with CHiP the robot dog and imagine their own bionic best friend before building them out of blocks.

The Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Rd, Manchester, M3 4FP
May Half Term | Jodrell Bank | Sat 27 May - Sun 4 Jun | £8

Promising a jam-packed schedule of space adventures for the whole family, Jodrell Bank presents a half-term programme of fascinating interstellar intrigue. Earthlings of all ages are invited to discover the First Light Pavilion, explore our wondrous interconnected ecosystems with screenings of We Are Guardians and ask extraterrestrial experts about the mysteries of the universe.

Jodrell Bank, Bomish Ln, Macclesfield SK11 9DW, Tel: 01477 571766
Peppa Pig | SeaLife Manchester | Sat 1 Apr - Sun 4 Jun | £15.50-£18.50 (admission)

Returning to SeaLife Manchester for another week of ‘oinktastic’ fun, Peppa Pig’s Aquatic Adventure features an activity trail on which guests can find their favourite creatures, visual games, crafts and photo opportunities, as well as opportunities to meet Peppa herself at various times throughout the day.

Trafford Palazzo, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester, M17 8AS, Tel: 0161 749 2875
Envirolution Festival | Platt Fields Park | Sat 27 May | 1pm-7pm | FREE

Billed as a free, inclusive celebration of creativity and ‘alternative approaches to reducing our impact on the environment’, Envirolution Festival returns to Platt Fields Park on Sat 27 May with world music, interactive workshops, a variety of talks, market stalls, children’s games and food by the team from GRUB.

Fallowfield, Manchester, M14 6LA
You Choose | The Lowry | Wed 31 May - Fri 2 Jun | 11am, 1pm, 3pm | From £7.50

Suitable for ages 2-7, You Choose offers children the chance to write their own unique musical from the audience, using picture books as inspiration while navigating a series of enthralling challenges to create a story that changes every show, with different costumes, characters and locations every time.

Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0161 876 2000
Starchitects | HOME | Thu 1 Jun - Sat 3 Jun | 11am, 3pm | £12.20-£16.20

Blending digital projections with gravity-defying choreography, Starchitects brings a cosmic dance-circus visual spectacle to HOME from Thu 1 – Sat 3 Jun. Promising thrilling surprises and a joyous, accessible narrative, the new production from Motionhouse celebrates the boundless possibilities of childhood imagination, wherein a cardboard box becomes a train and a simple costume unlocks a spellbinding realm of adventure.

2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1500
The Snail and The Whale | The Lowry | Sat 3 Jun - Mon 5 Jun | 11am, 1.30pm, 4pm | From £15

Inspired by the beloved illustrated book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, The Snail and The Whale follows an intrepid young girl and her seafaring father as they reimagine the impossible voyage of a tiny snail who, wishing to see the world, hitches a ride across the oceans on the back of a colossal humpback whale. Vividly rendered with fast-paced storytelling, evocative music and non-stop laughs, The Snail and The Whale promises a heart-warming adventure from the Olivier-nominated company behind The Gruffalo and Room On The Broom.

Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0161 876 2000
Noisy Neighbours | National Football Museum | Sat 27 May - Sun 4 Jun | £7-£13 (under-5s free)

In celebration of the first all-Manchester major cup final in history, the National Football Museum hosts a half-term programme of crafts, talks, games and gallery trails dedicated to the timeless rivalry between United and City. Featuring interactive discussions about Manchester’s greatest footballing talents, make-your-own-medal sessions and an insightful history of the FA Cup, the museum offers everything necessary for Reds and Blues of all ages to get match-ready before kickoff.

Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, Manchester, M4 3BG, Tel: 0161 605 8200
Fri 26 May - Sun 4 Jun
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Thu 25 May 2023