Whether you’re looking for something new to try during half term or it’s your family’s first time visiting the city, there’s a huge choice in Manchester for keeping both kids and adults entertained. With everything from museums and behind-the-scenes tours to go-karting and skate parks, there’s an activity for every interest. To help with your decision, we’ve put together 12 of the best things to do with kids, come rain or shine, the next time you’re in Manchester.
There’s fun for the entire family at Chill Factore, an indoor Alpine ski village that offers the chance for you and the family to try your hand at skiing or snowboarding without having to find a mountain. Those who have a little experience can spend a day skiing down the UK’s longest indoor slope with real snow, while newcomers can enrol on lessons on the centre’s nursery slopes. If you don’t fancy skiing but still want to play in the snow, there’s the opportunity to go sledging or snow tubing, as well as a snow-covered play area for younger children.
If you’re out for the day in the Trafford Centre, why not surprise the little ones with an afternoon playing indoor crazy golf at Paradise Island? The two wacky and colourful 18-hole courses can be tackled at your own speed, and are perfect for kids for whom this might be their first golfing experience. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, the Tiki Hut and Temple Ruins adventures will spark your kids’ imaginations while also providing a fun environment where they can get to grips with a new sport.
Just a short drive out of the city centre in the nearby town of Sale, the Bean and Brush Family Art Café is an ideal place to get the little ones’ creative juices flowing. The tables in the café are covered with plenty of arts and crafts materials, with painting, clay sculpting and modelling just a few things to get stuck into. It’s also a fully functioning café with an extensive menu to cater for the whole family: the perfect destination for a rainy day in the city.
Looking for somewhere for the kids to burn off some energy? The Depot Climbing Centre is the perfect place for them to clamber to their heart’s content. With walls available for all skills levels and ages, as well as special classes aimed at kids, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy. With climbing proving to be an excellent way for kids to get their exercise and with reasonably priced memberships on offer here, the Depot is definitely worth repeat visits.
The Virtual Hideout in central Manchester is one of the newer attractions for kids in the city. Offering its guests a unique virtual experience, this VR and gaming hub will be top of many families’ wish lists. With a wide array of adventures on offer, from sci-fi shooters to escape rooms, and from horror survival to family fun, there’s a VR adventure to suit every taste. If it’s your first time delving into VR, there’s a helpful beginners’ session available to get first-time users up to speed when plugging into the Matrix.
Based underneath the Mancunian Way flyover, Projekts SkatePark is a hub for boarders. The park itself caters to a mixture of different skate styles with street, transition and flat ground all featured. Housed in the park itself is also Projekts independent café, offering some of the best coffee in the city and a perfect place to take a break while the kids take to the ramps. First time on a board? Projekts has a team of experts that offer lessons for all age ranges, with board, helmet and knee pads all provided.
Additional reporting by Nicholas Grantham