Family things to do in Manchester and the North

Shekina Rose, Families Editor

We’re officially into summer, and as we get closer to those big six-week holidays, we’re excited to see so much happening for families, including remarkable outdoor theatre, giant sandpits and arty fun!

Open air theatre is the thing to do this summer, rain or shine, so grab your bow and arrows (and maybe your brollies) and join the legendary Robin Hood at Longford Park this July. Next up, August sees the re-adaptation of a classic fairy-tale – Beauty and the Beast at Quarry Bank. Stepping firmly inside the theatre venue, the one-of-a-kind Showstoppers’ Kids Show is coming to The Lowry on 28-29 June for an interactive musical experience, where the audience literally decides what happens next!

And one for those budding artists. Get your creative hats on and head to the Family Folk Art session at The Portico Library on Thursday 15 August. And for a fun, free day out, head to The Great Northern Sandpit, open until the end of the summer.

Looking further ahead to the summer months, the cruellest animal snatcher is back with 101 Dalmations at Manchester Opera House, and you can explore existential questions of faith, endurance and the power of human nature with Life of Pi at The Lowry.

All this and plenty more below!

Our top picks

The Unusual Adventures of Robin Hood at Longford Park

The Unusual Adventures of Robin Hood at Longford Park, Manchester, 6 July 2024, from £12.00 - Book now

Grab your bow and arrows (and maybe your brolly) and join the legendary Robin Hood at Longford Park this July.

Hobgoblin Theatre Company

Beauty and the Beast at Quarry Bank

Beauty and the Beast - Outdoor theatre, 10 August 2024, from £12.00 - Book now

Hats and picnics ready! Time to sep outside for a fantastic summer outdoor theatre event at Beauty and the Beast at Quarry Bank.

Belle from Beauty and the Beast framed by red roses
Chapterhouse

Family Folk Art at The Portico Library

Family Folk Art at The Portico Library, Manchester, 1 August 2024, free entry - Find Out More

A delightful afternoon packed with folk-themed creativity and storytelling awaits at The Portico Library this August.

Family Folk Art at The Portico
Portico Library

The Showstoppers’ Kids Show at The Lowry

The Showstoppers' Kids Show at The Lowry, Manchester, 29 June 2024, from £26.00 - Book now

The one-of-a-kind Showstoppers’ Kids Show is coming to The Lowry for an interactive musical experience. And it’s up to you to decide what happens…

The Showstoppers' Kids Show at The Lowry
The Showstoppers

The Great Northern Giant Sandpit

Great Northern Sandpit, Until 31 August 2024, free entry - Visit now

The Great Northern Giant Sandpit is open throughout the summer months. Bring spades, buckets, a picnic, and you’re basically at the seaside!

Great Northern Sandpit
The Great Northern

101 Dalmatians at the Manchester Opera House

101 Dalmatians at Manchester Opera House, Manchester, 30 July–10 August 2024, from £13.00 - Book now

Watch out, there’s a dog-snatcher about! Get ready for a jaw-dropping show packed with colourful puppetry, musical delights and incredible storytelling as 101 Dalmatians comes to Manchester Opera House this July.

101 Dalmatians at the Manchester Opera House
via ATG Tickets

Aladdin at the Manchester Opera House

Disney's Aladdin at Manchester Opera House, Manchester, Until 7 July 2024, from £20.00 - Book now

Jump aboard Aladdin’s magic carpet for a whole new world of spectacle and delight at Disney’s Aladdin at the Manchester Opera House.

Disney's Aladdin at the Manchester Opera House
via ATG Tickets

Shaun the Sheep: Find the Flock at Tatton Park

Shaun the Sheep: Find the Flock at Tatton Park at Tatton Park, Until 23 June 2024, from £6.00 - Book now

Enjoy a baa-rilliant family adventure with Shaun the Sheep: Find the Flock at Tatton Park this spring.

 

Shaun the Sheep
Tatton Park

Preston: City Event Programme

Preston: City Event Programme, Until 28 September 2024, free entry - Visit now

From Easter egg rolling to the 50th anniversary Caribbean Carnival, there’s all manner of fun happening in Preston this year.

Image of a stage with a band playing and a crowd of audience members stood and sat down.
Michael Porter Photography

Bluey’s Big Play at The Lowry

Bluey's Big Play at The Lowry, Manchester, 31 July–11 August 2024, from £18.50 - Book now

Get ready for an exciting family adventure with Bluey, Bingo and their dad!

Bluey's Big Play at The Lowry
Darren Thomas

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth

Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth, Manchester, Until 20 July 2024, free entry - Visit now

Enjoy fun and creative activities at the Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth, an outdoor space designed to encourager little ones to play freely while exploring nature and the outdoors with family and friends.

OUTDOOR ART CLUB AT THE WHITWORTH
Image courtesy of The Whitworth.

Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book at The Lowry

Charlie Cook's Favourite Book at The Lowry, Manchester, 23 July–4 August 2024, from £19.00 - Book now

Explore a magical world of books and tales in this musical production inspired the original book, Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

Charlie Cook's Favourite Book at The Lowry
Little Angel

The 100 Story Hotel at Z-arts

The 100 Story Hotel at Z-arts, Manchester, Until 31 July 2024, from £9.00 - Book now

Step inside the 100 Story Hotel at Z-arts and meet all sorts of peculiar guests while experiencing an immersive wonderland of play and storytelling.

The 100 Story Hotel at Z-arts
Z-arts

TOTfest Cheshire

TOTfest at Chester Racecourse, Cheshire, 21 July 2024, from £12.00 - Book now

Tiniest festival goers can look forward to TOTfest Cheshire, packed with endless entertainment for kids and their grownups.

TOTFest Cheshire
TOTFest Cheshire

More families events

Pillock at Contact
Spotlight on

Fringe Theatre in Manchester and the North

Check out our top picks of shows previewing in the North West before heading to Edinburgh Fringe Festival later in the summer.

Take me there

Family things to do in Manchester and the North

HOME Manchester
Manchester
Theatre
HOME Manchester

Offering a packed schedule of events and things to do, HOME Manchester is one of the city’s leading hubs for arts and culture.

Manchester
Park
Platt Fields Park

Platt Fields Park in Fallowfield is steeped in history, the land having been acquired by the Platt family in 1225.

The Hepworth Wakefield
Wakefield
Gallery
The Hepworth Wakefield

Winner of the 2017 Art Fund Museum of the Year Award, The Hepworth in Wakefield is easily one of the leading cultural highlights of the North.

Cumbria
Event venue
Penrith Old Fire Station

Main venue for Eden Arts, an artist-led organisation based in Eden in Cumbria creating projects around mass participation, local distinctiveness and digital engagement, from Picnic Cinema to The Winter Droving.

The MerseyMade building in Liverpool
Liverpool
Shop
MerseyMade

In the MerseyMade shop you’ll find bottled gin from the likes of Turncoat Gin, Anfield Gin, Albert Dock Gin and Three Graces Gin. Yep, Liverpool REALLY likes its gin.

Culture Guides