There’s a breeze that feels like autumn in the air, and as we say bye to the summer holidays and begin to welcome in the cooler months, Manchester’s events and activities continue to bring joy and fun to families. Enjoy our top picks of the best outdoor and indoor family-friendly events and activities happening in Manchester and the North in the coming months.
First up, from 19 September head to Heaton Park for The Lost Words: Told in Gold at Heaton Park, an outdoor theatre performance inspired by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris’ beautifully illustrated children’s book, The Lost Words.
Next, on 25 September, float your way to Waterside Arts to join the bouncy, wonderful Mr. Bubbles at The Bubble Show, featuring all sorts of bubbly fun, storytelling and magic.
Part of the incredible Autumn season of events at Z-arts, Grandad Anansi tells an inspiring and heartwarming story of family, love, being brave, and letting go, with performances from 29 September – 1 October.
What’s that we can see flying overhead?! Is it a WITCH? With Halloween just around the corner, we’re looking forward to RNCM Young Explorers: Halloween Spectacular on 16 October, where young people will get an introduction to live orchestral music while also celebrating the best, spookiest time of year!
In more Halloween celebrations, during the half-term, budding artists and creative souls are invited to join much-loved, super talented children’s author and illustrator Nick Sharratt for a special Halloween themed drawalong at The Lowry on Sunday 30 October.
Another teaser for the half-term holidays… get ready for the Manchester Science Festival at the Science and Industry Museum and venues across Manchester, jam-packed with science-focussed experiences to inspire and entertain visitors of all ages, with cutting-edge scientific innovations and future developments. Come along and explore what the future holds for humanity.
More events coming up include the Manchester Folk Festival, where families can enjoy David Gibb’s weird yet wonderful Family Jukebox event at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on 15 October, the Mighty Kids Beatbox Comedy Show at The Lowry on 24 September, and the spine-chilling and electrifying Demon Dentist at the Manchester Opera House on 13-15 October.
Still open until 2 October is The BFG in Pictures, a new, free exhibition based at Chester’s Grosvenor Museum, and everyone’s favourite nanny, Mrs Doubtfire, is taking to the stage at the Manchester Opera House, in a hilarious and touching musical comedy about family, love, and friendship.
Open all year round is the interactive Fairy Tale wonderland at Z-Arts, in an innovative and enchanting exhibition that takes children aged 0-8 and their grownups to a magical world, jam-packed with storytelling and immersive play. And for a rainy day, there are loads of great indoor museums to visit, including the Science and Industry Museum and the National Football Museum.
Here are our picks
Enjoy a world of nature and language in The Lost Words: Told in Gold at Heaton Park, an outdoor theatre performance inspired by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris’ beautifully illustrated children’s book, The Lost Words.
Discover live orchestral music while also getting your spook on at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) on 16 October, just in time for Halloween.
A world premiere exhibition comes to the Science and Industry Museum. Suitable for children and adults alike, Turn It Up: The Power of Music is an interactive experience exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold over us, and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share.
Budding artists and creative souls are invited to join much-loved, super talented children’s author and illustrator Nick Sharratt for a special Halloween themed drawalong at The Lowry on 30 October.
What does the future hold for humanity? Come and explore this question and see cutting-edge scientific innovations and future developments at the Science and Industry Museum and other venues across Manchester this half term.
Roald Dahl fans and creative souls will not be disappointed at The BFG in Pictures, a new, free exhibition based at Chester’s Grosvenor Museum, featuring a number of original Quentin Blake illustrations, first prepared by Quentin for Roald Dahl’s much loved and classic story The BFG.
Step into the Electric Gamebox in the Arndale Centre in Manchester for a totally new digital gaming adventure experience. You’ll be mind blown by this interactive, fully private high-tech digital room full of fun and immersive arcade-style games and challenges.
Light Up Lancaster is back and taking place this November, with an astounding array of new light-themed installations and activities aimed to enchant and transport audiences into a mesmerising, glowing world without boundaries.
Pick a perfect pumpkin at the Pumpkin Patch at Tatton Park Farm this October. You can also visit your favourite farmyard friends and participate in The Lost Crystal quest taking place at Tatton’s medieval grounds.
The National Football Museum in Manchester boasts a variety of football-themed activities for people of all ages. Prepare for a day of football discovery, penalty shoot-outs, interactive play and much, much more.
A hilarious and touching musical comedy about family, love, and friendship, Mrs Doubtfire, based on the much-loved 1993 film featuring Robin Williams, is live on stage at Manchester Opera House this autumn.
This summer, the Lowry is celebrating children’s books with a wonderful exhibition of illustrations and an exciting accompanying events programme for the whole family.
Light Night Leeds is a chance to see the city’s most loved locations in a brand new light. The UK’s largest annual art and light festival, it has brought cutting-edge installations to Leeds for the past 17 years.
Taking place during Blackpool’s annual Illuminations display, Lightpool is a celebration of spectacular art works and live, illuminated performance across the iconic town.
Part of the Manchester Literature Festival, Baby Bear is a nature-inspired show for families.
The sun may have set over our Manchester theatres during the pandemic – but now “it’s rolling high through the sapphire sky” once again. Hit musical The Lion King has added even more dates to its previously postponed run.
An incredible wonderland of outdoor arts, masquerade and pint carrying competitions in Penrith.
Adventure around nine new magical, illuminated worlds after dark including an Ice Kingdom and meet Father Christmas.
Get that festive feeling you’ve been waiting for at the shimmering spectacle of lights at RHS Bridgewater.