Family things to do in Manchester and the North

Debbie Cowley, Families Editor

Our top picks this March bring you the best family things to do across Manchester and the north. Spring is almost in reach and we all deserve some quality family time together exploring the places and things we love.

If a certain hungry tiger is popular in your house then head to Z-arts, where The Tiger that Came to Tea and Mog the Forgetful Cat. is receiving rave reviews. Children can get up close to some of Judith Kerr’s best-loved characters.

Over at Oldham Coliseum you can cheer on Zog in his mission to win a golden star! Join Zog at Madam Dragon’s school to learn all the things that dragons need to know.

In Barnsley the Cooper Gallery launches a vibrant new exhibition aimed at the under 5s, based on the much-loved children’s book, ‘Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood. A multi-sensory experience, the exhibition aims to inspire in young children the same sense of excitement the owl experiences in the story.

For the slightly older dinosaur lover in your life check out the Dino Ranger Day at World Museum Liverpool next month. Awake your inner palaeontologist and discover how the theories surrounding these fascinating beasts have evolved over time.

Lots to look forward to and we’ll make sure you hear about it all. Read on for more details.

Check out our free things to do in Manchester guides for more ideas.

Here are our picks

More in Families

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields
Exhibitions Until 20 July 2020, FREE

Maddi Nicholson: a place lived at Hardman Square in Spinningfields

‘a place lived’ by Maddi Nicholson is a new public artwork that delves into the near-forgotten history of Manchester’s thriving financial district.

Young girl playing with a tea set at Toddler Tuesdays
Families Until 30 June 2020, FREE

Toddler Tuesdays at Castleford Museum

These lively mornings of crafts and singing are fun, creative sessions for toddlers.

Little Lambs Toddler Sessions at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Childrens Until 12 May 2020, from £3

Little Lambs Toddler Sessions at The Piece Hall, Halifax

Visit The Piece Hall in Halifax for a series of People Play inspired early years mornings complete with songs, stories and a craft activity.

Alice Irwin: People Play Trail at The Piece Hall in Halifax
Activity Until 1 June 2020, from £1

Alice Irwin: People Play Trail at The Piece Hall in Halifax

Drop into The Piece Hall Welcome Centre and collect a sculpture trail map that will take you on a sketching and symbol spotting journey.

Children sat on cushions in Toddler Tales session
Families Until 4 June 2020, FREE

Toddler Tales at John Rylands Library

Find a cosy corner, pull up a cushion and listen to fun stories.

Stay At Home Activities - Online with National Football Museum
Families Until 7 September 2020, FREE

Stay At Home Activities – Online with National Football Museum

Stay at home and join National Football Museum online for a packed programme of activities for families this Easter.

Mini Music Makers
Families Until 28 May 2020, FREE

Manchester Camerata – Mini Music Makers

Mini Music Makers is a new series of online videos from Manchester Camerata designed for kids aged 5-7, but can be enjoyed by all the family, and include fun games, music-making, craft and singalongs.

The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum
Families Until 19 April 2020, from £17.00

The Jungle Book at Oldham Coliseum

This brilliant musical version of the Rudyard Kipling classic comes to Oldham. The perfect treat for the whole family this Easter.

Boy looking up at a tree in the easter egg hunt
Families Until 19 April 2020, from £2.50

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt at Lyme Park

Explore the sights and sounds of the stunning Lyme Park gardens in spring and discover your chocolate prize! 

Culture Guides

Cinema

Cinemas might be closed but independent venues and distributors need any help they can get. We look at some films you can stream and places to donate.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield

Exhibitions

Art and women’s wrestling, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Carcanet exhibition: Carcanet poets Michael Schmidt and Michael Symmons Roberts.

Literature

News of books just out and books worth revisiting, even if you can’t get to the events yourself. Plus a fabulous new exhibition about independent publisher Carcanet, on for the next six months…

Music

Discover the best live music coming up in Manchester and the north this spring and, dare we say it, summer!

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Bringing opera, dance, fierce experimental performance and new writing, there’s much to enjoy in our guide to the best theatre in Manchester and the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

It’s time to find the best restaurants for the weeks ahead. Here’s our guide to the best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Expect thrills, informative discussion, politically charged tours and wobbly towns in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.

Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.

Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.

Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.