As the first school holiday of the new academic year crests the horizon, we’ve assembled a guide of the most entertaining and affordable ways to keep the children – and yourselves – thoroughly entertained during the week off.

From the city centre to Warrington, here are some of the best half-term events around Manchester this month.

Manchester Science Festival | Manchester City Centre | Fri 21 Oct - Sun 30 Oct | Free-£12

Featuring ‘an unmissable programme’ full of world premieres, entertaining events and inspiring experiences curated to consider our place in the near and far future, the Science and Industry Museum’s nine-day family-friendly festival takes place across the city throughout half term week. With an events lineup including rhythmic robots, nocturnal nature tours, interactive cosmic journeys, after-hours adult exhibitions and more, the vast schedule of activities makes for perfect school holiday fun.

Various city centre locations
Baby Bear | Z-Arts | Hulme | Sun 23 Oct | 10.30am | £9

Taking place as part of Manchester Literature Festival, Z-Arts’ nature-inspired show featuring an agoraphobic but overwhelmingly curious little bear is ‘the perfect first theatre experience’ for toddlers. Featuring interactive puppetry backed by a blend of mesmerising visuals and a gorgeous soundtrack, this is the perfect morning event for babies and their families.

335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA, Tel: 0161 232 1912
Halloween in the City | Manchester | Sat 29 Oct - Sun 30 Oct

With live performances, a storytelling stage, a rock festival, a carnival, a rooftop monster invasion and much, much more, Manchester’s Halloween in the City weekend is a fearful, fun-packed end to the half-term break, as visitors can even ring in winter on the Scare Skate ice rink.

Nick Sharratt's Halloween Drawalong | The Lowry | Sun 30 Oct | 2pm | £16

Sketching ‘gently spooky’ characters from his beloved picture books including You ChooseShark in the Park and Pants, author and illustrator Nick Sharratt hosts a Halloween-themed drawalong for kids aged 4+. All visitors need to bring is paper, a pen and something to lean on to take part in this engaging 75-minute workshop.

Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0343 208 6000
Sneaky Spooks | Walton Hall & Gardens | | Sat 29 Oct | 9.30am-3.30pm | £12.50-£15.40

Out in Warrington, a team of ‘paranormal scientists’ invite guests on a supernatural expedition to uncover the source of mysterious sightings at Walton Hall and Gardens. Featuring immersive storytelling, magic, dancing, games and more family entertainment, the event – taking place in hourly timeslots – is the ideal rural adventure for kids on Halloween weekend.

Walton Lea Rd, Higher Walton, Warrington, WA4 6SN
Turn It Up: The Power of Music | The Science and Industry Museum | Fri 21 Oct - Sun 21 May | £6-£8

A ‘riotous hands-on experience’ commencing as one of the headline shows of Manchester Science Festival, Turn It Up: The Power of Music is the Science and Industry Museum’s new major exhibition exploring the data behind the spiritually propulsive nature of music and its role in our creativity, feelings and interconnectedness. Featuring musical robots, next-gen gesture-based sonic gloves and even a flame-powered organ, the SIM showcase is an unmissable experience for all ages.

Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4FP
Half-term at IWM North | Sat 22 Oct - Sun 30 Oct

Throughout the October half term, IWM North is hosting a wildly entertaining range of free family activities, from live performances and design studios to camouflage camps and adventure missions. Whether it’s captivating and insightful espionage sessions or sobering first-hand stories of combat from veterans, IWM North provides the perfect half-term day out this October.

Trafford Wharf Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester, M17 1TZ, Tel: 0161 836 4000
Sat 22 Oct - Sun 30 Oct
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Sun 2 Oct 2022