All Aboard: Mini-Explorer Boat Trips

Creative Tourist

This is a museum explorer day with a difference… traveling along historic waterways on a family boat trip connecting some of the city’s popular museums and galleries with the fascinating story of the canals and the Industrial Revolution.

The boat will navigate its way from Castlefield through locks and backwaters, sailing past waterbirds and wildlife before it reveals the spectacle of The Quays with its impressive cultural attractions, architecture, outdoor spaces and shopping, returning to the city centre at Spinningfields later in the day.

On board there will be an artist-led activity for all the family, helping you discover for yourselves the secrets of the canals and rivers as you make your way from museum to museum. Each one tells its own unique part of the story of our city.

  • There’s Revolution Manchester at MOSI where you can find out just how much Manchester scientists, engineers, industrialists and inventors have contributed to the modern world
  • At Imperial War Museum North join in drop-in activities and climb to the top of the Air Shard for spectacular views; follow the children’s trail around The Lowry or enjoy family activities in the Outlet Mall
  • At People’s History Museum children can enjoy hands-on activities as they explore the museum’s themes.

There are just 60 tickets for each boat, so book now to reserve your places.

Dates:  Sunday 7 August and Sunday 14 August, departing from 12.30pm and arriving back at 4 pm

Tickets:  £5 per seat, book in advance online through Quay Tickets. Children under 2 go free but will sit on adult knees.

Location:  see map for our route

Planning your day:  We’d like to suggest the following mini-explorer  itinerary for a great family day out getting around by canal boat.  Start your day at MOSI, which opens at 10 am and enjoy a couple of hours there before joining the boat which is moored nearby at Castlefield Basin (departing 12.30). There will be drinks and snacks to buy on board if you wish, or you can bring a picnic. The children will be given a ‘sketchbook’ to do along the way with our on-board artist.

At Salford Quays you could follow a heritage trail, visit the Imperial War Museum North to join in a drop in activity, see the Lowry exhibition ‘Warhol and at the Diva’ , visit the Lowry Outlet Mall for shopping and restaurants or simply enjoy a wander around. At 3.30pm the boat will depart for the People’s History Museum where you will arrive at around 4.00pm. The boat trip ends here and the museum is open til 5pm.

See our family summer guide, Six whole weeks? and  modernhistory.co.uk for more fantastic things to do this summer.

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