It’s coming to the end of the Summer holidays, and if you’ve run out of ideas for places to visit with the kids, then look no further. Below, you’ll find five fun and educational venues that the weather can’t spoil. Naturally, they all have their own rules in place to keep you safe, including social distancing and advanced booking. So, please click the links and swot up before your trip.

Manchester Central Library | 10am-4pm (Mon-Thu, and Sat) | FREE

The downstairs area of the Manchester Central Library has been open for a while now but from this Thursday 20 August the entire building will be yours to explore. Families can enjoy not just the children’s section, but also the upper floors in all their Hogwarts-like glory. Visitors will be free to browse books to their heart’s content, and even borrow a few. The music library, visitor information centre, and – more importantly – the café are all now open, too. Even the Performance Space will be available to book for events.

St Peter's Square, Manchester, M2 5PD, Tel: 0161 234 1983
Manchester Art Gallery | 11am-4pm (Thu-Sun) | FREE

Another icon of the Civic Quarter also opens its doors in late August. Not all areas will be available to explore just yet, but visitors can view the exhibitions of British and European art and design. Standouts include the Pre-Raphaelite paintings of Rossetti, plus famous works by Turner and Stubbs. Also on display is a showcase of new commissions from up-and-coming artists who work with various different media, including metals and glass. A brand-new exhibit will look at the history of the Gallery itself and how it connects with the local community.

Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL, Tel: 0161 235 8888
Science and Industry Museum | 10am-5pm (Wed-Sun) | FREE

Visitors can explore the city’s rich legacy of innovation in the Revolution Manchester Gallery and discover how our heritage is interwoven with the cotton industry in the Textiles Gallery – all at the Science and Industry Museum. Experiment is an exhibition that aims to bring science to life, and you can safely gaze at The Sun, which is all about the solar system’s greatest wonder. The café will be open, but you’re also welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the outdoor areas and the shop will be on hand, offering a wide range of gifts, toys and science kits.

Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4FP, Tel: 0800 047 8124
National Football Museum | 10am–4pm (Thu–Sun) | FREE for Manchester residents

It’s been a long close season, but the Museum is match fit, with all its galleries now reopened. The exhibitions Strip! How Football Got Shirty and Goal Click have both been extended, giving visitors another chance to see hundreds of era-defining footy shirts and behind-the-scenes photographs taken by top players from the women’s game. The curators have been busy collecting items relating to the key issues of today, including Jonny Castro Otto’s Black Lives Matter shirt. Plus, the new and improved Penalty Shootout Challenge will let visitors go for glory from the 12-yard line.

Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Todd Street, Manchester, M4 3BG, Tel: 0161 605 8200
Imperial War Museum North | 10am-5pm (every day) | FREE

Exploring the impact of conflict on our world, the Imperial War Museum North looks at war from diverse perspectives. Visitors can peruse the main exhibition space, which has 2000 historical objects and photographs presented in interactive displays. Standouts include a seven-metre piece of twisted steel from the World Trade Centre and there’s also the Big Picture Show, a 360-degree cinematic experience that brings to life people’s experiences of war. The exhibition Mixing It reveals the forgotten histories of ethnic minority soldiers and civilians who came to the country during World War II.

Trafford Wharf Road, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester, M17 1TZ, Tel: 0161 836 4000
Thu 20 Aug
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Sat 29 Aug 2020