Fun things to do with kids in Manchester

Manchester Museum, Museum of the Year Finalist, 2024

Get inspiration for your next day out in Manchester that is guaranteed fun for all the family, including options for budding scientists, woodland explorers and aspiring artists.

Manchester’s museums, galleries and cultural attractions are creative when it comes to keeping children entertained, with interactive museum trails or buggy-friendly paths connecting kids with nature. Whatever your little ones seem most drawn to, our selection of family-friendly venues will inspire adventure and spark curiosity in all ages to ensure that you have a fun day out together.

So if you're looking for fun things to do with kids in Manchester, check out this list to plan your next great day out together. Just don't forget to pack a National Art Pass Plus Kids to make great savings for the whole family.

Where can I take kids for a day out in Manchester with a National Art Pass?

Science and Industry Museum, Explainer Science Shows

Science and Industry Museum

Build a bridge strong enough to survive an earthquake, make music using your body or try out some glow-in-the-dark art at Experiment, one of the Science and Industry Museum’s free interactive galleries. Also here are live demos of looms in the Textiles gallery, construction packs for budding mechanics and a raft of other free activities, including regular mini movers sessions, story time for early years and special programmes during the school holidays.

Dunham Massey, Fallow deer in front of Dunham Massey Hall

Dunham Massey

From pram-friendly paths, roaming deer in the medieval park to a Book Nook in the Orangery, this National Trust property is a magical visit for people of all ages, little ones include. Reconnect with nature by spotting birds, keeping an eye out for unusual bugs or building a temporary den. Do check ahead for special events and don’t miss the epic annual light show in December.

Manchester Museum, Museum of the Year Finalist, 2024. Image courtesy of Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum

Manchester Museum’s recent redevelopment has made it an even better day out for families. There’s a new picnic area and revamped café, as well as a fabulous ground-floor shop. Look out for blockbuster exhibitions in the new temporary exhibition space, and fascinating artefacts in the Living Worlds gallery. The Vivarium includes several critically endangered species, while Stan the T-Rex can still be found in the Fossils and Dinosaurs gallery. Pick up a free Dinosaurs Activity pack, and keep an eye out for drop-in activities during the school holidays.

The Whitworth

The Whitworth

All entirely free, family activities at the Whitworth extend out from the beautiful galleries and into the surrounds of Whitworth Park. Inside, there’s sensory play sessions for babies, PLAY Days for under 5s, and Quiet Mornings for families with additional needs. Outside, the Outdoor Art Club includes mud painting and potion stations, while the Feel Good Kids Art Club is an expressive art and mindfulness session for 7-12 year-olds.

National Football Museum, visitor

National Football Museum

A must-visit for fans of the beautiful game, the National Football Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of football objects and archives – with historic artefacts and interactive displays across three levels. See the original rules of the game, lift a trophy or have a go at Match of the Day commentary. Re-fuel ‘post-match’ in the museum’s café and drop by the shop for unique, football-related gifts.

Tulips at Lyme


Lyme Park's epic expanses have been made even more accessible to explore with buggy-friendly walks around the deer sanctuary, garden and woods. The newly-refurbished Crow Wood play area is close to the café, shop and toilets – and, if the weather’s not on your side, you can head for the house. Visit the dressing up room, explore using a free animal spotter trail or play billiards in the Long Gallery.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

The Lion’s Den is at the heart of the gallery’s family offer, named after the huge lion painting on the wall. Designed with and for children, there are black and white artworks to stimulate babies’ sight, giant colourful cushions for den building and a hexagonal table tennis table. It’s also the spot for free workshops and holiday programming, Open Doors sessions for autistic children, and artist-led activities.

Playing Match Girls’ Strike game at People’s History Museum

People's History Museum

There are hands-on activities and interactive exhibits throughout the People’s History Museum, including a suffragette kitchen, Co-op shop and vintage jukebox. Bringing the history of democracy to life, there’s plenty to inspire history lovers and young radicals – as well as an ethical café, and shop perfect for spending pocket money.

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