Whether you’re looking for ways to entertain your children during half term, or you’re visiting the city with kids in tow, there are multiple activities to keep the little ones entertained in and around Manchester city centre. There are plenty of parks and playgrounds for your kids to run riot in the city’s suburbs, but for entertainment come rain or shine, we’ve listed eight of the best undercover activities for kids to enjoy.
Legoland Discovery Centre
Whether your child is a budding builder or simply likes to be creative, Legoland Discovery Centre is the perfect place for them to spend the day getting inspired. Despite being housed indoors, there’s still the opportunity for your child to have a go at the famed Lego driving school, where they could walk away with a special driving licence, alongside plenty of other entertainment, rides and experiences. Extrovert kids will love the karaoke room, whilst smaller ones can play in the Duplo farm and the whole family can enjoy the 4-D cinema. Don’t miss Miniland, where Manchester’s iconic landmarks can be seen built out of Lego, which might perhaps spark inspiration for learning more about building with the colourful bricks, during one of the expert workshops.
Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
If your kids tend to get bored in museums, MOSI is the perfect place to transform their opinions. A far cry from stuffy old museums, the Museum of Science and Industry presents Manchester’s important industrial history, demonstrating, with fun and colourful displays and interactive exhibitions, all of the ways that the city has invigorated science and technology. Children will love playing with the experiments upstairs, and exploring the halls filled with steam engines and planes.
Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road, Manchester +44 161 832 2244
Sea Life Manchester
Manchester’s Sea Life centre is located right next door to Legoland and a joint ticket can be purchased to save money if you plan on enjoying both experiences. Not only can you roam the centre walking through tunnels of exotic fish, coming face to face with sharks and sting rays and experiencing plenty of colourful sea creatures, but your kids can even have a go at diving for the first time in the immersive sea trek experience. Anyone can participate in this fantastic activity (the only one of its kind in Europe), wearing a special breath-easy helmet and a wetsuit to ensure that they feel comfortable during the ten minute experience into the deep.
There’s fun for the entire family at Chill Factore, an indoor Alpine ski village that offers the chance to try your hand at skiing or snowboarding without going anywhere near a mountain. Those with prior experience can spend a day skiing down the UK’s longest indoor slope with real snow, while newcomers can enrol on lessons on the nursery slope. If you don’t fancy skiing but still want to play in the snow, there’s the opportunity to go sledging or snow tubing and even a play area in the snow for younger children.
CBBC tour at Media City
Younger children will love this glimpse behind the scenes at CBBC, meeting their favourite characters and seeing how their favourite programmes are made. Based in Media City, the interactive tour takes an hour and a half but will fill your child’s imagination for the remainder of the day as they recall having a go at presenting their own TV show, the news or the weather. Make sure you book in advance as the tours are extremely popular, especially during school holidays.
Media City UK, Salford +44 161 886 5300
Paradise Island Adventure Golf
If your kids are sick of being dragged around the Trafford Centre on shopping sprees, why not surprise them and treat them to an afternoon playing indoor crazy golf at Paradise Island? Two wacky and colourful 18-hole courses can be tackled at your own speed, 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 providing a fun environment to get to grips with a new sport.
Bounce Central UK
Unleash your child’s energy at Bounce Central, where they can spend a couple of hours leaping around in the huge trampoline arena. Over 90 trampolines have been connected together to create giant areas for kids to bounce up and down, as well as basketball lanes and trampolines that are designed to be run up and leapt over. Kids will also love the huge air bag that they can launch themselves on, before attempting to pick themselves up and bounce away. Children’s parties and weekend nights aimed at teenagers are also available.
Bounce Central UK, 4 Labtec St, Pendlebury, Manchester +44 161 794 0677
Kids as young as five can experience driving for the first time at Daytona Manchester, thanks to their Bambino Experience. Providing training programmes for younger children, aimed at getting them ready to control the go-karts all on their own, kids must complete two 30-minute sessions before being unleashed on the junior circuit. Older children of 8 – 15 can enjoy birthday parties, race school and 15 minute bursts around the track to hone their skills and attempt to beat their friend’s lap times.
Daytona Karting, unit 4, Circle South, Wharfside Way, Stretford +44 330 332 7870