Family things to do in Manchester and the North

Creative Tourist

Because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, our usual recommendations for family things to do in Manchester and the North are a little different. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses that make the North of England a great place to live and visit.

We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis. This means that, although venues remain shut and campaigns cancelled, our writers can be reengaged to help arts organisations and artists across the North of England share their online content with our culture-hungry readers.

Be sure to check out our full guide to the best online events from organisations in Manchester and the North too.

Stay well folks.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge

    Poet and performer Dommy B (Dominic Berry)
    Poet and performer Dommy B.

    Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge, online, Until 2 September 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Launching on 1 July, Manchester Libraries invites younger readers to a feast of Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge daily activity stretching over nine weeks – from Draw Alongs with Nick Sharratt, poetry with Dommy B and sessions with a host of storytellers, to supercool crafts with Archives+ and Manchester artists.

  • 2. People’s History Museum’s Radicals Quiz

    People's History Museum's Radicals Quiz
    Sylvia Pankhurst by Halah El-Kholy

    People's History Museum's Radicals Quiz, online, Until 30 September 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Find out which radical you are, and some of the ideas they fought for, in this fun and interactive quiz from the People’s History Museum.

  • 3. Lost Online with HOME, Z-Arts and STUN

    Lost Online with HOME, Z-Arts and STUN
    HOME

    Lost Online at HOME Manchester, Manchester, Until 31 December 2020, free entry - Visit now

    One for our next generation of digital natives: an exciting new dance commission inspired by the dance challenges on TikTok and Instagram.

  • 4. Love Letters to a Liveable Future with HOME

    Love Letters to a Liveable Future with HOME
    HOME

    Love Letters to a Liveable Future at HOME Manchester, Manchester and online, Until 31 December 2020 - Book now

    Part of Homemakers, this ongoing project offers the space to imagine how we would like our world to change once we emerge from lockdown.

  • 5. Stay At Home Activities – Online with National Football Museum

    Stay At Home Activities - Online with National Football Museum
    Chris Payne / National Football Museum

    Stay At Home activities - National Football Museum, online, Until 7 September 2020, free entry - Visit now

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

  • 6. My First Protest Song with People’s History Museum

    People's History Museum

    My First Protest Song, online, Until 1 August 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Rejoice! You can now join the People’s History Museum online as they stream this regular favourite from their events programme.

  • 7. Muso Baby Virtual!

    Rachel Swanick

    Muso Baby Virtual!, online, Until 8 September 2020, free entry - Visit now

    Join Manchester Museum online for emotional support and suggestions for family well-being activities followed by music and songs. Perfect for ages 0-5.

  • 8. Parks and Gardens

    Flower beds beside a wide lawn
    Image courtesy of Dunham Massey and the National Trust.

    We’ve rounded up some of our favourite secret gardens, city parks and patches of outdoor space.

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.

Half term fun - Young girl sat next to the tiger as part of the The Tiger who came to tea and the adventures of mog the forgetful cat exhibition
Exhibitions Until 31 December 2020, from £8.00

POSTPONED -The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Adventures of Mog the Forgetful Cat at Z-arts

In this immersive exhibition, children can let their imaginations go wild as they take centre stage alongside some of their favourite characters from beloved children’s author, Judith Kerr.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre: Craft at Home
Exhibitions Until 31 August 2020, FREE

Manchester Craft and Design Centre: Craft at Home

‘Craft at Home’ is a new online space where you can continue to support Manchester Craft & Design Centre’s resident makers, pick-up bespoke gifts, and get busy with bee related craft.

Families 21–23 August 2020, from £20

Just So Festival 2020 CANCELLED

The best family festival in the UK returns for its 11th outing. Pillow fights, paddle-boarding, woodland opera, and the best new outdoor arts for families.

Vintage by the Sea
Families 5–6 September 2020, FREE

Vintage by the Sea in Morecambe CANCELLED

Celebrate the brilliance of 20th century design, fashion, vehicles and entertainment at this award-winning festival set around Morecambe’s famous art deco Midland Hotel.

The Good Life Experience
Families 10–13 September 2020, from £119

The Good Life Experience 2020 at Hawarden Estate CANCELLED

Set in the shadows of two castles on the Hawarden Estate in Flintshire, The Good Life Experience returns for its seventh outing in 2020.

Culture Guides

Cinema Online

From our picks of the latest streaming titles, to drive-ins and live digital film events from your favourite venues, we round up the best in lockdown cinema.

Family of Lord Alf Morris, image courtesy of Manchester Histories

Exhibitions

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

Poet Sasha Dugdale. Photo by Zima Zima

Literature

From book launches to readings and open mics to creative writing workshops, Live Literature Land has taken to online activities and events like the proverbial duck to water.

Music

Discover the best live-streamed concerts, broadcasts, musical activities and exhibitions on offer during the lockdown.

Plastica Galactica: Get Involved

Theatre

We can’t wait to be back in the stalls again…until then our theatre guide brings online theatre festival fun, a live drive-in musical and interactive performances to enjoy at home.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Higher Ground

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Lockdown is in full effect but that doesn’t mean we can’t support our favourite bars, restaurants, brewers and food suppliers. Here’s our guide to the best takeaway and delivery Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Isolation Broadcast

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

More online inspiration in this month’s tours and activities guide with French lessons, Life drawing and virtual Tours.