Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Days out with children in and around Manchester

 I have been meaning to write a post for a while about our favourite family days out in and around Manchester, North West England. We are very blessed to have many free museums and galleries in our area, and lots of interesting places to see. Here are some of our favourites...
The Museum of Science and Industry (free entry, parking charges) is a lovely day out; a fantastic interactive gallery to explore, working steam house and air and space hall. From here you get a good view of Beetham Tower, the tallest tower in Manchester and home to the Hilton Hotel. 
Manchester City Art Gallery (free entry, parking charges) is a lovely gallery to wander round with the children. It has a mix of paintings through the ages and some contemporary pieces, which stimulates discussion! It also has a hands on, interactive gallery linking with various works of art in the galleries. We usually combine this visit with lunch at Chinatown which is nearby.

Our children love the Museum of Transport, (children are free but adults are charged £4 each.) It's run by enthusiastic volunteers and houses a large collection of vintage buses and trams. You are welcome to climb aboard some of the vehicles.

Although The Manchester Museum is not our favourite museum in Manchester, as some of the artefacts are too high up for our young children to see, it is currently undergoing a modernisation programme and we thoroughly enjoyed their recently reopened Ancient Worlds Exhibition.

Next door to Manchester is the City of Salford which has also has some fantastic museums.  Our favourite is Ordsall Hall, (free entry, parking charge) a Tudor Manor House, a gem in the middle of a Salford housing estate. Lots of clothes to try on and children are welcome to touch!

Salford Museum and Art Gallery (free entry, car parking charges) has a reconstructed Victorian Street to explore complete with optional costumes to help recreate the atmosphere. 

The Imperial War Museum North at Salford Quays (free entry, car parking charges), is another of our family favourites. It has a viewing platform (not for the faint hearted!) where you can see the sights across Manchester. We often combine this with a walk along the Quays and a quick visit to The Lowry Gallery where you can see work by Manchester artist L.S Lowry. The Lowry Shopping Outlet is a nice stop for a coffee.

Legoland Discovery Centre (charges apply!) is another favourite for a special treat. You can save quite a bit of money by booking online and avoiding school holidays. It is housed at the Trafford Centre, which is an interesting place to explore and have some lunch. Next door to Legoland Discovery Centre is a brand new Sealife Centre which we haven't visited yet. We are saving that for the next birthday outing!

City Airport (free, no parking charges!) is not as well known as Manchester Airport, but we think it is a gem. You can get up really close to the small aircrafts and helicopters and watch them land and take off.

At a later date I intend to follow up this post with more family favourites around Stockport, Cheshire and Ashton.


  1. This is embarrassing but I've never been to Manchester. Sounds as though we need to arrange a family trip to see some different museums.

  2. Sounds like Manchester is THE place to be ;) What a pity it's so far away! I'm glad that you can take yourselves around and enjoy it all. Good for you.
    Blessings, S.