The best family things to do in Manchester are great for those looking to keep their kids busy and happy. While there are plenty of pubs for adults to enjoy, the city's child-friendly attractions are virtually endless with no shortage of fun things to do. The city centre itself has several unique museums, game centres, and urban parks that entertain all ages. 

    It’s also a good idea to plan a family trip to the Greater Manchester countryside, where picturesque villages, lush valleys, and traditional farms take you back to simpler times. Check out our guide to the best family things to do in Manchester that both you and the little ones can enjoy.

    What are the best things to do with your family in Manchester?


    Lark Hill Place

    Go back in time to see Victorian England

    • History

    Lark Hill Place, located inside the Salford Museum, functions as a mockup of Victorian England. The recreated street has genuine fittings and signs that will make you feel as if you've travelled back to 1897. With cobblestones, gas lamps and even the sounds of carriages around you, it creates an immersive atmosphere you won't be able to find anywhere else. You can even venture into some of the local shops and taverns to learn more about what everyday life was like for people back then.

    Location: Peel Park, The Crescent, Salford, M5 4WU, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. Saturday–Sunday from 11.30 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1617 780800


    photo by Richard Rogerson (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Greater Manchester Police Museum

    Learn how to be a law enforcer

    • History

    The Greater Manchester Police Museum is housed within a former police station, containing extensive archives regarding Victorian policing. You'll find vintage vehicles dating back to when local police first adopted the use of cars.

    Other items that you may not have considered to be so essential to police work include old Victorian lanterns. You can also learn more policing in general, a topic your children may be especially interested in if they want to be a law enforcer when they grow up. 

    Location: 57A Newton Street, Manchester, M1 1ET, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm (closed from Fridays to Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1618 564500


    photo by Rept0n1x (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Science and Industry Museum

    Discover unique wonders

    • History

    When you visit the Science and Industry Museum, you'll find yourself immersed in the rich history of transportation technology. There are exhibits highlighting aircraft and locomotives, along with a 3rd exhibit showcasing Manchester's history with computing technology and how it affected communications across distances. 

    This museum is home to a replica of the Manchester Baby, which was the first electronic stored-program computer in the world dating back to the 1940s. You can explore large industrial machines including old steam engines and hot air engines. Most of them are still operational, so you can see them in action at the museum during scheduled presentations.

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    Location: Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4FP, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1618 322244


    Play Factore

    Let loose at a theme park

    • Families

    Play Factore is one of the most popular family entertainment arenas in Manchester. You'll find plenty for the little ones to enjoy, whether they're as young as 6 months or as old as 16 years. Parents are even welcome to play with their children on state-of-the-art equipment. Among the attractions within, you'll find a laser tag arena, a virtual reality game, a go-kart track, a zip wire ride, and even the tallest indoor slide in the UK. Additionally, there's delicious food available ar its onsite pizzeria.

    Location: Trafford Way, Trafford Quays Leisure Village, Manchester, M41 7JA, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)8448 246030


    Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum

    A museum honouring first responders

    • History

    The Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum is dedicated to the rich history of firefighting across the UK, with a focus on the Greater Manchester area. Firefighting and fire engineering developed quite a bit in this region featuring some advancements that fire brigades all over the world later adapted. 

    The museum displays relics from the early days of firefighting, including some from England's first municipal fire service that was formed back in 1826. When you visit the museum, you'll find exhibits showcasing equipment, vehicles, uniforms and more including how they changed over the past 2 centuries.

    Location: Maclure Road, Rochdale, OL11 1DN, UK

    Open: Friday from 10 am to 4 pm, First Sunday of every month from 10 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1706 341219


    photo by Mike Peel (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Treetop Manchester

    Find sky-high adventure

    Treetop Manchester lets you traverse the breathtaking greenery of Heaton Park. With Treetop Nets and Treetop Trek both available here, you can travel through elevated walkways and soar across exciting zip lines. 

    Treetop Manchester has many obstacles for all skill levels, so both you and your kids can find a fun challenge no matter what you're capable of. You'll also find ballparks, slides, and trampolines scattered about as well.

    Location: Heaton Park, St Margaret's Road, Manchester, M25 2GT, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1539 447186


    Cockfields Farm

    Discover farm life in Manchester

    • Families

    Take a trip to Cockfields Farm and your little ones are sure to delight at the sheer diversity of animals that live there. The farm has donkeys, llamas, goats, cows, pigs, ponies, chickens, reindeer, alpacas and meerkats, just to name a few. Additionally, your kids can get up close and personal with the exotic reptiles and creepy crawlies that live on the farm during one of the live reptile shows. 

    Of course, no farm visit would be complete without meeting some of the adorable creatures on site. Children are welcome to handle small animals, such as rabbits, chicks, ducklings, hedgehogs and owls.

    Location: Cockfields Farm Lees Road, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 8AR, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 4.30 pm, Sunday from 10 m to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)16 3313 3322


    East Lancashire Railway

    Take a scenic ride through the countryside

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    Manchester is home to some incredible countryside, and you can see all the vibrancy for yourself when you book a ride on the relaxing and historic East Lancashire Railway. You'll bypass picturesque villages and landscapes including vibrant and lush valleys. As an adult, you can even order an ale on the ride while kid-friendly drinks are available for the little ones. You can even sign up for special events that let you experience what it's like to drive a diesel train.

    Location: Bolton Street Station, Bury, Lancashire BL9 0EY, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)3332 3202830


    Knowsley Safari

    Get up close with wildlife

    • Families

    Knowsley Safari is home to a 550-acre safari drive and over 700 wild animals. Some of its most popular residents include lions, wildebeests, and baboons, many of which can be viewed from the safety and comfort of your car. 

    Follow the section that allows you to traverse on foot and you'll see massive birds of prey and bats from Egypt. Your little ones will especially enjoy the wolf sanctuary, where adorable pups can be seen roaming around and playing with each other.

    Location: Prescot L34 4AN, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 3.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)15 1430 9009


    Crystal Maze

    Be the star of the show

    • Families

    The Crystal Maze offers a fun-filled interactive experience for families in Manchester. You and your little ones can team up with others to conquer the challenges and make the leaderboards. The challenges will be varied and will require teamwork to figure out, but you'll have fun regardless of working together in this immersive 3D environment. It's based on a popular 90s TV show of the same name. Plus, you get to wear satin bomber jackets throughout the experience, and that's reason enough to go.

    Location: The Crystal Maze Studios, Lower Byrom Street, Manchester, M3 4FP, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Wednesday from 4 pm to 8.30 pm, Thursday from 4.30 pm to 9.15 pm, Friday from noon to 9.15 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 9.15 pm, Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1617 910727


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    COVID-19 Travel Alert

    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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