Do you want to plan a quick trip to visit Manchester with your kids? Manchester is packed with a huge variety of family fun! Smaller and more relaxed than London, it boasts a lot of activities and attractions that match many of the capital’s family friendly offerings. Sprawling kid-friendly museums, incredible climbing structures, and a variety of exciting family activities make 24 hours in Manchester a breeze with kids.
With so much for families to do in Manchester, we thought we’d make your trip planning a little easier and create two different itineraries. You can choose the one that best fits your location in the city and your kid’s preferences.
Here are our ideas to make the most of a short stay!
If you want to learn a lot and have tons of fun too
Visiting the museums in Manchester is a great way to get your children’s imaginations going and save some money as well! If you prefer to stay in the city, most of the best kid-friendly museums are located in and around the downtown area. This makes it easy for families on just a quick trip to Manchester to visit a few.
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
This is more than a museum, it is an enormous interactive learning experience for kids! The focus of the exhibits is on how science and industry sustain our modern society. Families have the chance to get close to vintage planes, a steam engine, and walk an underground sewer!
The museum is very big, so it’s a good idea to check out MOSI’s website to decide on the exhibits you really want to see before you visit. Also, be sure to grab a map when you arrive to navigate and use your time wisely while exploring the Museum.
John Ryland’s Library
John Ryland’s Library is a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture. The stunning building holds one of the world’s most magnificent collections of manuscripts and rare books and features daily exhibits and events. Admission and introductory tours are free. The tours run from 3:30 p.m. daily. With no time to waste, a tour will help you learn about the history and the coolest things in the library.
A bit further afield is the Manchester Museum. This museum is easily accessible by public transit from downtown Manchester.
Highlights include the Egyptology Collection, which is organized into three tomb-like galleries, displaying 16,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts. There is a lot to take in at the Manchester Museum, including 20 human mummies! Then there are the dinosaurs! No visit would be complete without an up close look at the resident T-Rex, Stan.
If action and adventure is more your family’s style
Located seven kilometers from downtown and 20 minutes drive from Manchester Airport, you’ll find Trafford Quays Leisure Village. There are many hotels close to Trafford Quays Center and the leisure village offers families lots of choice for activities, restaurants, and shopping all in one huge complex. It’s the perfect place to spend 24 hours in Manchester with kids if action and adventure are more your speed.
Here are some of the best places for family fun in Trafford Quays Leisure Village.
Does your family like to ski or snowboard, you can hit the hill right in Manchester. Located right next to the Trafford Centre is Chill Factore, the UK’s longest indoor ski and snowboard slope! Here the family can learn the basics of different snow sports, refine existing ski and snowboard skills, or have fun zooming down the slopes on an inner tube all within a few hours, any time of year. Chill Factore rents all the waterproof clothing, gear, and equipment needed to enjoy everything offered on the indoor hill.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
With over two million LEGO bricks all under one roof, LEGOLAND in the Trafford Center has tons of creative fun to delight the little ones. Designed for kids three to ten years of age, they offer various attractions, two rides, a 4D cinema, and more. A standard visit takes two to three hours.
If your family is a little more adventurous, Ariel Extreme offers a thrilling treetop experience. It is a high ropes adventure course packed with exciting challenges. As high as 27 feet at some points, visitors can swing, climb, and navigate obstacles, then zip line down off the course!
If you want a bite to eat or to do a little shopping, the INTU Trafford Center has a wide range of choices. Sea Life Aquarium, 18-hole mini golf, and Indoor skydiving are all located in the area as well. Staying at one of the hotels in Trafford Leisure Center Village makes finding family fun easy in Manchester. Both Premier Inn and Travel Lodge, have locations close to INTU Trafford Center.
Do you want to visit Manchester with kids? Start planning your quick trip today!
Cover photo: Zuzanna Neziri under Creative Commons CC 2.0